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Advanced Concepts

How the Peruvian – Shamanic Medicine Wheel Guides ourYoga Teacher Training

The word Yoga means ‘yoke’ or to unite in mind, body, heart, & soul. To walk the path of yoga is to look within and to recognize what is not in union and to take responsibility to action change. In the modern Western world there has grown a disconnect in our innate human ability to connect to spirit, we often do not feel we have the necessary practical tools to establish change.

This modern state of disconnect has sought us to look back to the wisdom of our ancestors and in this way, the yogic path meets the ancient wisdom of the Peruvian Yoga Medicine Wheel. This wheel calls in the ancient wisdom of Peruvian Shamanic ancestors to guide our inner journey of healing, spiritual practice, awakening, personal power, transformation, and empowerment. We honor the human experience and discover the ancient guidance that lives within us as a guide to fulfill our greatest purpose.

The School Yoga Institute 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training was built strongly intended for personal growth, empowerment, and expansion. We provide our students with tools to share the wisdom of yoga with others, but also to look at their own lives from a spiritual perspective. To assist with this journey of deep self-reflection, our Mystical 200Hr YTT draws on the ancient wisdom of the Peruvian Medicine Wheel.


Each training is arranged in four cycles, following the four cardinal directions (with one day off between each cycle):

Cycle 1 (4 days of the training): The Wind of the South, Serpent

Cycle 2 (4 days of the training): The Wind of the West, Jaguar

Cycle 3 (4 days of the training): The Wind of the North, Hummingbird

Cycle 4 (4 days of the training): The Wind of the East, the Eagle or Condor

Each of the four directions in the shamanic medicine wheel is associated with an animal spirit — The Wind of the South, the Serpent, leads us to shed our shadows and the past. The Wind of the West, the Jaguar, shows us how to face our shadows with courage. The Wind of the North, the Hummingbird, guides us on an epic journey of sweetness and joy. The Wind of the East, the Eagle, teaches us to see the world and what is possible from a newfound perspective.

Let’s explore more how each of these directions guide us and offer us a unique shamanic medicine throughout the training!

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Wind of the South, the great Serpent, Amaru.

For the first cycle of the 200-Hour YTT, we welcome the energy of the South — represented by Amaru. As you arrive at your Yoga Teacher Training, there will likely be a lot of newness — a new community, a new home, new foods, a new schedule, and a new way of life. The wisdom of the Serpent reminds us to, first and foremost, ground down and fully arrive into the present moment. This animal spirit encourages us to shed our layers like the Serpent sheds its skin. Many of us will have things back home that we need to let go of in order to fully arrive and we call on the energy of the serpent to allow us to do so.

At the level of the Serpent throughout Cycle 1 of the Medicine Wheel…

  • We rely on our senses to see, touch, smell, and taste and to fully arrive into the present moment of our incredible yoga teacher training.
  • We walk on the land of our sacred location in awe — moving slowly with gentleness, patience, and care.
  • We shed our layers, addictions, shadows by embracing them at the bodily level.
  • We start walking and behaving like a serpent, simply moving forward stride by stride.
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Wind of the West, the Jaguar, Orotongo.

For the second cycle of our 200-Hour YTT, we move into the direction of the West. In the process of self contemplation, it is natural that shadows will arise. The Jaguar invites us to turn towards our shadow parts to reclaim, understand and integrate them so we can use them in impactful ways. Our shadows offer priceless gifts — they are dark treasures waiting to be mined.

Healing is based on personal growth, wholeness and integration and as yogis, we strive to unify all parts of ourselves into an integrated Self. The Jaguar energy of the second cycle is that of the mother archetype — the one who provides protection so that we can truly heal and transform.

At the level of the Jaguar throughout Cycle 2 of the Shamanic Medicine Wheel…

  • We enter the perceptual state of the mind where we express ourselves in written and spoken words, ideas, beliefs, and feelings.
  • We interpret our world, infuse it with meaning and see the divine connection amongst us all.
  • We connect to our past, past life(s), suffering, shadows, unfinished business, and samskaras (subconscious impressions)
  • We learn how to fearlessly face darkness, death, shadows, and suffering with presence and courage.
  • We break free from our negative feelings or old patterns that prevent us from moving forward
  • We learn and establish tools for lasting change in our lives.
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Wind of the North, the Hummingbird, Colibri.

For the third cycle of our training, we move into the direction of the North. After moving through our shadows with courage and transforming them into light, we are ready to embrace the sweet joy of the Hummingbird. During this cycle, we are living in the heart. We create and express ourselves through music, dance, beauty, and the wonders of the sacred location that surround us — the mountains, flowers, streams, oceans, and forests. The Hummingbird reminds us to to perceive the world as a place of beauty and to embrace the sweetness of the flowers, the earth, and the food that nourishes us.

At the level of the Hummingbird throughout Cycle 3 of the Medicine Wheel…

  • We perceive all of our experiences as a part of our epic soul journey.
  • We reveal the inner callings of this life in light of our karma, past & future.
  • We learn to access the innate ability to reason, visualize, and create.
  • We feel with our mind, listen with our eyes, and think with our hearts.
  • We learn to shift ourselves into the perception of the soul by engaging in meditation, prayer, music, songs, poems, arts, and creativity
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Wind of the East, the Eagle, Anka, the Condor.

For the fourth and final cycle of our training, we move to the direction of East. The Eagle gifts us a greater perspective — to be able to zoom out and see all parts of our life journey as essential, even the most challenging.

From this bird’s eye perspective, we are able to tap into the pure possibility that lies ahead. We take flight — mentally, physically, emotionally — and lay the foundation for our lives after the training. The energy of the Eagle guides us to connect to the spirit beyond our body and mind. We are invited to step into our personal power and potential, and no share our gifts far and wide.

At the level of the Eagle throughout Cycle 4 of the Medicine Wheel…

  • We learn how to fly like an eagle beyond the clouds, mountains, and bring our dreams into reality.
  • We expand our perception beyond the literal world. We start to see the world from the perspective of a bird — no past, no future, only the present moment
  • We see the world with great perspective, while still appreciating the incredible details of the present moment.
  • We spread our wings and prepare to fly 🙂

The wisdom of the Peruvian Medicine Wheel is always present. It is a spiral with no beginning and no end. There is no final destination but rather continual evolution. The Medicine Wheel guides us deeper and deeper to personal growth and a recognition and understanding of ourselves. In recognising where we are we can embrace the wisdoms of our ancient guides to support our journey.

We are so grateful to incorporate the four directions of the ancient wisdom of the Peruvian Medicine Wheel into our 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training. We hope to share this magic with you and see how tuning into these animal guides creates change and transformation in your spiritual practice and different aspects of life!

Wherever you are on your journey as a yoga teacher, we’re here to help! If we can support you in any way please contact us!

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