Yoga Education Diploma Course
CNS is offering a Diploma Course on Yoga Education. The entire course can be completed in about a year or so. On successful completion of studies (or course requirements), AMGK will issue a Diploma in Yoga-Education.
The first two modules were covered at a recent Yoga Intensive. The next Yoga Intensive session will take place July 1- 12 and will cover Modules 3-5.
The Yoga Intensive (1) course in Ydrefors ran from 1st to 7th April 2007 and was attended by 13 serious students. On the evening of 1st April we watched a film called ‘Evolution and Essence of a Spiritual Tradition’ which gave a good overview of the history and evolution of yoga through the ages, starting from Shiva (5000 BC). It also explained different types of yoga which have evolved over time such as Bhakti, Karma, Jnana, Raja, Tantra, Kundalni and Hatha yoga and some of the spiritual masters who have been key in developing and spreading the tradition such as Patanjali, Vivekananda and Krsnamacharya to name but a few. What was not satisfactorily displayed in the film was the relation between the common origins of Tantra and Yoga.
Historically Yoga was developed as a holistic approach to quiet the mind and body in order to find inner peace and prepare for spiritual realization. However what also became clear from the film was that as Yoga has grown in popularity and been integrated into the west it has lost a lot of its spiritual origins choosing to concentrate more on the physical and health benefits. It was also very interesting to see how little was known about the Tantra Yogic tradition which we practice in Ananda Marga. Dada posed the question: What is left of yoga when we strip it from its historical and cultural context? The knowledge of the goals, methods and end results of Yoga is essential in order to determine its transferability across cultures and to keep it free from dogmas.
|What struck me personally was just how rich and holistic the type of Yoga we, in Ananda Marga, practice with its origins and purpose rooted firmly in spirituality. It is heartening to see that Ananda Marga Gurukula has undertaken the initiative to support formal programs for transmitting this knowledge to others with the spirit of service rather than business.||Some of the highlights from the week included:1. In depth review of Yoga History and its artistic presentation
2. Biographies of Yogiis of the Past
3. Yoga Subtle Anatomy
4. Human Physiology as it relates to Yoga Asanas.
5. Presentation on Cakras by Dr. Shatatman of Finland
6. In Search of Disciples and the Guru by Ac. Shambhushivananda
7. Acupuncture Meridians and the Mind
8. Fundamentals Principles of Human Life by Ac. Gatimayananda
9. One Human Society: How mind filters differences?
10. Minimum and Maximum Amenities of Life: The role of PROUT
|Day 2 was spent looking more deeply into the origins, history, traditions and biographies of Yoga through a presentation by Dada Shambushivananda. By using Wikepedia live we were able to look more carefully at the lives, teachings and accomplishments of some of the great Yogis like Patainjali, Matsyendranath, Milarepa, Totapuri, Ramakrsna, Swami Rama Tiirtha, Paramahasa Yogananda, Ramana Mahars’I, Swami Ram das, Paul Brunton, Aurobindo, Ananda Mai-ma’, Idries and Krsnamacharya.|
|We also looked at the different methods that Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiiji has prescribed for us to maintain good physical health in order to develop mentally and spiritually such as A’sana’s, Mudra’s, and Bandhas, Yama and Niyama, Madhu-Vidya, Guru-Saka’sh, Pranayama, Guru –dhya’na, Sattvika diet, Upava’sa, Kiirtan, Kaoshikii and Ta’n’d’ava etc.|
|During Day 3 and the morning of Day 4 we were presented with an introduction to yoga anatomy, physiology and biopsychology. Similar to the previous days the subject is so broad that we were only able to scratch the surface. The main aim being to see the whole spectrum of possibilities in order for us to decide where and in what aspects we wanted to study more deeply.
Dada gave a very beautiful quote from Shrii P. R. Sarkar on Biopsychology – which summed up very nicely the reason why it is so important for us to understand bio-psychology whilst practicing Yoga:“Meditation should be performed knowing fully well the location of different glands and sub-glands and also the different cells in the human brain. And people should not only know the location of these glands and sub-glands, they should also be acquainted with their respective systems of hormone secretion, otherwise their meditation will not produce any fruit. So for this system of meditation, knowledge of biology is essential.” (Shrii Shrii Anandamurtiiji)In order to understand biopsychology we need to first become familiar with anatomy and physiology. Dada emphasized that our starting point should always be an awareness of and a gratitude for the body that we have been given. Through this gratitude we will come to understand its workings. The spirit of gratitude is also cultivated by the daily prescribed use of the bath mantra that we recite after bath.We started to familiarize ourselves with the different anatomical and physiological parts of the body and touched on the influence that yoga, and in particular asanas, can have on it by impacting the hormones, glands, nerves, muscles and joints. Once we had explored the therapeutic qualities of yoga on the physical body we went on to look at the interaction between the body and mind and the subtle body and anatomy such as Atman, Kosas, Nadiis, Vayus, Cakras, Kundalini, Prana-shakti, Vrittis, Gunas, Tanmatras and Indriyas which our yoga practices also have a direct impact on.
|What I realized was just how important it is to fully appreciate the complexity of the gross and subtle body and the impact that our practices has on it at all levels.
In the afternoon, we worked on a group- mural to portray yoga history in pictures. It was fun to work collectively and brought the spirit of samgachhadvam (moving together).
|During the next three days, we were joined by other 30 + yoga aspirants from Finland and other parts of Scandinavia . Dr. Shantatman gave two interesting workshops; one on “Cakras and Emotions” and another one on “Science of Acupressure Points”. Dada Shambhushivananda gave an inspiring discourse on “In Search of Disciples and Gurus” and traced the sacred relation between Sadguru and yoga-aspirants. Dada Gatimayanandaji showed how Buddhas eight fold path is fundamental to yogic living.Akhanda Kiirtans were as always, the highlights of the Easter yogic fusion.Overall, the yoga intensive ended with a discussion of some review questions which Dada had prepared for us. They have been posted on the www.amaye.org website for Yoga Education diploma course students. There are other interesting articles also posted in Online Journal of that website for Ananda Marga Yoga Educators to read. It is hoped that the list of these published articles will expand.|