Self-Awakening Yoga:  A New Way of Learning for a New Way of Being

Meet the Founders: Don Stapleton, Ph. D. and Amba Stapleton

"We are here to unfold the radical uniqueness of each individual.
Technique is not a substitute for consciousness."

Don Stapleton

Don and Amba originated the principals of non-authoritarian, inquiry-based, and experiential learning for the multi-dimensional self, to describe their innovative teacher training methodology. These terms are now internationally acknowledged as a new standard in yoga education. The Stapleton’s original methodology is being adopted today by numerous yoga teacher training schools. We are committed to manifesting a contemporary expression of the 6000-year-old yoga tradition through approaching yoga as a creative learning process.


What makes the difference between a “professional yoga teacher” and a “professional yoga educator”?

Training as a Yoga Teacher:  A yoga teacher is trained with enough knowledge and content to understand the techniques and experiences of yoga. A well-trained yoga teacher can provide a level of expertise sufficient to engage learners who arrive in their classroom with interest, and enough pedagogic knowledge to know how to best present the information. In training to become a good yoga teacher we are trained how to give instructions for doing yoga with enough knowledge so that learners can practice what we are teaching them with confidence and safety. 

Developing into a Yoga Educator:  The transition from being trained as a yoga teacher to developing into a yoga educator requires another level of self-understanding that comes through reflecting on what is happening to oneself from the inside-out while learning and practicing all these wonderful yoga techniques. “Who am I being when I am doing or teaching yoga?” Something personal and meaningful is happening to me as I move beyond what I have been taught. And as I reflect on the broader nature of the inquiry into my own inner meaning and purpose I establish a conscious relationship with the levels of myself that extend beyond technique. Technique is not a substitute for conscious awareness of my whole self. 

Fully Integrated Educators:  The artistry of a yoga educator draws from the wisdom of one’s own inner being to continually engage students in learning, to inspire them to persist in following their own inner wisdom. Yoga educators grow into the ability to transfer their own personal passion for yoga to the student's learning. The art of education is to draw out the very best from learners, to encourage them to explore what interests them, and to instill this fascination with their inner being so they continue to do so for the rest of their time on this planet. The fully integrated yoga educator can provide all of these levels of learning.

Multidimensional Learning: Every level of the Self-Awakening Yoga curriculum combines both training and developmental objectives that address the whole self through multidimensional learning methods, including:

Core Competency:

We take the position that the core competency of human beings is the development of witness consciousness, defined as “the ability to see oneself and others with non-judgmental self-awareness.” Drawing from the profound discoveries in contemporary neuroscience regarding the brain’s regenerative capacities provides new depths of understanding about our human ability to learn from our own personal experience.

Transforming Human Learning Disabilities:
Learning How to Learn from the Inside Out:
Life Skills for Transforming Old Habits into Conscious Awareness:

What’s exceptional about the way Self-Awakening Yoga®  prepares professional yoga educators?


Experiential Learning: What’s unique about the way we prepare yoga educators is the emphasis we place on generating an experiential learning environment in a way that invites relaxed learning. Learning from one’s experience requires trust that inner wisdom already exists in the heart and mind of the learner.

Authentic Relationships: We place the highest value on establishing authentic relationships that encourage every individual to look to inner wisdom for the ultimate authority. Learning together in a non-authoritarian, experiential environment invites a depth of relationship that supports a depth of personal inquiry.

Yoga as Personal Inquiry: Yoga, alongside other wisdom traditions, begins with the fundamental question of all human beings, “Who am I?” We approach the experience of yoga as an inquiry into one’s own life experiences. Until we develop a yoga muscle that allows us to witness our life experience with non-judgmental self-awareness, we’re not that efficient at learning from our own experience. We stay trapped in the authority of another’s expertice or dogma. Learning from one’s own experience is the highest form of therapy, healing and integration.

Moving from outside-in learning to inside-out learning: From an interdisciplinary approach, we explore what is common to the diverse disciplines of yoga being taught and practiced in the world today and utilize the fundamental practices and philosophy for delving into the yoga that comes from the inside out. Instead of asking “How should I practice yoga?”, we begin with the inquiry, “What’s the yoga I was born to experience, to practice and to teach to the world around me?” Yoga teachers whose lives are transformed from the inside out are capable of transmitting enthusiasm for the learning process.

Inventing new ways of being human beings together: Our shared mission is to awaken awareness of the power we have as yoga educators and practitioners to invent new, more conscious ways of being together in the community of human beings on the planet today.


When you study with us, we hope you will find a stimulating environment that empowers you to deepen your own relationship to life through embodying the yoga you are born to live and contribute to the world around you. As lifelong learners ourselves, we treasure the opportunity to share this time in your life as you discover new levels of depth in your own yoga practice, as you nurture relationships with other yoga enthusiasts, practitioners and teachers, and as you take a fresh look into the inner world of the friends, family members, students and clients you are preparing to serve.

Should your journey bring you to studying and practicing with us, we will be welcoming you with gratitude for the opportunity to share and learn with you.




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