My Experience of the Yoga-Naturopathy Training in Anandanagar, India

by Ajuntha Anwari

In October 2022, nine people from Ireland, Italy, India, Indonesia, Russia, and Singapore received Diplomas in Basic Natural Therapeutics. We had completed the one-month Yoga Naturopathy Training; A training that brought us all together at the Ananda Nagar Yoga Naturopathy Centre in West Bengal.

The decision I made to join the course was spontaneous. Here was an opportunity to learn from an institution that launched a global network of qualified therapists and coaches. I wanted to be part of that team.

The warm welcome to the Centre made me feel at home immediately. It is a unique acre of land full of flowering shrubs, trees, and medicinal plants. The Centre comprises an interlinked complex which houses rooms and halls to facilitate accommodation of visitors, education, and the practice of sadhana.

More than any other place, the Centre felt like an oasis. Far from the cares of the world. I knew that here I could heal. I had come to learn and improve my spiritual practice. To become a better person.

The essence of the Training is learning how to stay healthy and happy. During the course, I thrived under the tutelage of able trainers. They were professionals. They were also guides showing me the way to healing. But, more than healing, I learned quickly because so much of the information I received was based on logic.

The highlight of my training day was the main lecture. It focused on critical points of healing the body. These lectures, more often than not, became a platform for friendly banter between trainer and trainees. The trainer is a master at steering a point home by the use of questions. Soon I began to think more deeply. I came to understand the utility of my own mind. For this I thank a fastidious teacher.

Another reason I joined this special training was to improve my health. Age was progressing. So were some worrying symptoms. I wanted to feel better. I could not have been in a better position. While I was learning, I was also a patient. I experienced a 5 -day juice fast (many of the trainees went longer than 5 days), physical therapies, and special meals for my health needs.

The Centre’s proven system of fasting and detoxification did not disappoint. Upon completing the fasting regimen, I saw how much my health had improved—a decisive outcome for me.

I ate healthy daily meals. These included fruits, sprouts, vegetables, legumes, and mostly whole grains. However, what impressed me most was the graduated fasting system. It included a pre-fasting program. Graduated fasting does not include any processed foods or grains. It is an efficient way to lose weight and get healthy. The weight began to be released from my waist. I felt light and free. The food they served tasted amazing. I wanted to learn how to prepare them.

I was taught tasty dishes to make. The ingredients were from natural sources that I knew would not harm me. Cooking classes provided a list of delicious recipes. Our diet was essentially a powerful tasty arsenal against disease. I plan to develop meals following this healthy template.

I learned the potential of natural sunlight, water and mud to help the body release toxins. Sunlight on bare portions of my body induced sweating within 15 minutes. And mud packs soothed my painful joints. There were, of course, other detoxification systems like steam baths, hot footbaths, and colema. But these natural and powerful elements from nature were my favourites.

At the same time, this expanse of modalities in one programme alone requires some glue.

The element that held the training together was the daily practice of 3 times sadhana and kiirtan, and 2 times asanas. It calmed my mind and body and uplifted my spirit. It elevated the training to something more.

The other glue, the daily schedule, is a carefully crafted roadmap of activities for the day. Rain or shine, it never wavered from regularity. It became my trial, my test.
The daily list of activities took my breath away. Yet, I was not flustered by the demands on my energy but by the invitation to a challenge. The pressure of accomplishing a whole day without defeat was my litmus test for success or failure.

The fight with myself was a by-product of the training. Each day the battle could only sharpen my wits. I was grateful.

Finally, the Yoga Naturopathy Training became my spiritual practice. The smooth flow of sadhana, asanas, therapies, and outings, together with the lectures each day, was like a harmonious blend of body, mind, and spirit that merge.

Everything about Anandanagar was sublime. Wherever I was, there was always our guru’s presence. I am grateful.

I know that I will change the course of my life after this month-long training.

In fact, steps are already being taken by some of the graduates and me to open four new projects and programs in different countries. My own concentration will be in Bali and Singapore.

This training has clearly brought a profound change in the direction of my life. Simply speaking, it has been a life-changing experience. One that I will cherish forever.

In appreciation to Dada Dharmavedananda, Niranjan, and Tapasudha. With special thanks also to all the assistant therapists and staff.

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