21.8.15

Eleven Reasons to Choose India for a Yoga Teacher Training

India is the birth place of Yoga everyone knows that. Maybe what is less known is that the name "India"  is not the original name of India as a country. The name "India" comes from the name of the river "Indus" this is certain. Yet Indians per se as people of a nation called India did not choose that name for their country. It was given to them, several thousands of years ago when first civilizations came in contact. People from the Indus Valley were called Indians and progressively the whole country became India. But the Indus valley is only a small part of actual India. India's  traditional name is "Bharat" which means "being maintained" in Sanskrit. Bharat was one of the names of Agni, the Hindu god of fire, and is also the name of the brother of Rama in the Hindu epic the 'Ramayana'. Bharat comes it self from the Mahabharata, better know as the Book of Life, where Maha means large or big.  

When it comes to the word "Yoga"  most Yoga schools agree that it comes from the Sanskrit word "Yug" meaning uniting. The union can be  of the mind and body;  the microcosm of individuality and the macrocosm of universality; or shiva and shakti (male and female energies). Yet it can also mean the separation of pure consciousness (Purusha) and unmanifested matter (Prakriti), in other words separation to give it a new form.




Have you ever heard of Yoga as "perfection in action" or "fearless expression of the Self"? Maybe yes if you have been to India, most likely not if you have taken your Yoga Teacher Training in any other parts of the world with a teacher who has never put feet in India. I raise a strong Disclaimer here: I am not stating that only in India will give Yoga teacher quality training, yet I am stating that there are obvious facts about going to India on a Yoga Teacher Training that may not be experienced otherwise. Simple.  Here eleven (11) good reasons to choose India for a Yoga Teacher Training:

1: Full Immersion in Indian culture will have you experience deep energetic connection with yourself, several aspects of what you thought of yourself will drastically change; Experience India authentic self, fully;
2: As the birth place of Yoga, you will get direct insights with little to none filters on what yoga really is: much more than just Asana to show off, a lot more of a philosophy of life;
3: Most likely the school or ashram of your choice will provide you with quality teachers and guidance on their own experience with yoga. These persons will eventually become good examples for you to learn directly from them: How to learn yoga? Rather than 'How to teach yoga'? This at first will be a puzzle to solve for the mind. A random check around, will quickly point to the appropriate insights on what this statement really means; 
4: Yoga used to be taught from student to master: sitting down and listening, practicing together and practicing alone yet mainly listening attentively to the teacher, they know. So whether you practiced a long time or not, attempting to show off your Asana will not get you anywhere because the Asana is only one of the eight (8) limbs of Yoga and in case you did not know what it meant, you will definitely get it during the training; 
5: In India, the Yoga teacher will rarely applaud your successes and progresses; on the contrary it will remind you the length of the path of yoga, take it as a life lesson, take it with welcoming attitude, and gratitude: you actually will realise that you are shaping your next level of practice, you will never forget that; 
6: Abhyasa and Vairagya as known as Practice and Non-Attachment will become your best friends: your practice will get to the next level for sure, but you will also get lighter and lighter and non attached to success or progress or the image of yourself. Many aspects of idea of your true self will drastically change for the better, always for the better. 
7: Eventually in India whether in a secluded ashram or in an open door school where you can even take your meals out, opportunities to disrupt your practice will be minimal, extremely minimal. The training will be like a retreat from a material world and it will serve its rewards for you. Guaranteed ! 
8: It is very likely that the amount of practice, combined with the change of climate, and food will get you wobbling at some point: take it as it comes as you may learn a great deal about the famous statement "it takes 40days to change a bio energetic system"; 
9: Philosophy classes as well as mantra chanting will give you deep insights on aspects of yoga you probably heard about, and never thought could juggle around with your own system of belief that deeply to make you cry and eventually realise that Patanjali was a quantum scientist; 
10: Your training will be a whole package: the energy of the place, the sounds and smells, the cows, the philosophy lived on the spot, right there right now with no gap, a bit of Hindi vocabulary thrown into it too; 
11:  If the place of your choice is Rishikesh, you will be immersed in a community of aspirant yogis, will have talked yoga and philosophy and anatomy even more than you ever thought of, will have met only and exclusively people on a yoga path which ever shape or form it takes.

You will come out transformed, lighter not only because of loss of weight,  also because you will left behind a lot of unnecessary packages that were turning your practice into an illusions path of selfish (or selfies) Asanas; you will have experienced how to bring the deep well of the Inner self in contact with Ishwara, cosmic energy. Only that is plenty enough! 

Read more on my experience at Rishikesh YogPeeth