by Swami Sitaramananda
Q: Why is the immersion course four weeks long?
A: If we are learning Yoga techniques alongside our life like a weekend course for example, we will always pick and choose what we are going to learn and will not be able to experience the wholesomeness of Yoga Life where one element of life influences the other; for example, if we are positive and emotionally felt supported by the group, the spiritual community (sangha), we will feel more confirmed in our spiritual and lifestyle choices which will lead to Health and Peace.
Tree Pose in front of pond.
Q: Why the mixing of people from different countries, age groups and levels of fitness together in the same training group?
A: Students are not only being exposed to diverse cultures, diverse levels of physical fitness but also to diverse personalities and religions, and diverse levels of mental and spiritual fitness. This is the way to find Unity in Diversity, to find the commonness among differences: increase tolerance, love of humanity as a whole and avoid sectarianism and partisan spirit. Respecting our differences, we learn to adapt, adjust, accommodate, and thus can not be confirmed in our false beliefs and self images, rather reaching out to our core Self that is the Truth in all. This is the essence of the teachings of all religions.
Q: Why get up at 5:30am ?
A: Because it is the best time for meditation at sunrise. It represents the rise of Light, of Knowledge and the Awakening from darkness. It forces us out of tamas, depression, and turns our life around, holding life at the right end of it and not being victim to circumstances. Early morning meditation before starting the day is a foot in the right direction for a Healthy Lifestyle. 30 days of this regime will equip you with this new habit which has the capacity to turn your life around.
TTC Students practice and learn in yoga class and outside of class through daily interactions.
Q: Why this rigorous daily schedule?
A: Yoga is Life and Life is Yoga. Master Sivananda taught the Synthesis of Yoga, combining the different classical Yoga methods for a Balance Life and Peace of Mind.
The schedule is busy, but busy with good and positive things such as meditation, Yoga asana classes, pranayama , relaxation techniques, teaching instructions, vegetarian meals, scriptural study (Bhagavad Gita), and Yoga Philosophy (Vedanta).
We get to experience all day long new thoughts and get out of our habitual thoughts. This is helping us to create self discipline and balance our energies and forces us to live in the solid present, instead of wallowing in the past or projecting upon the future.
The NOW can be attained by a concentrated state of mind.
Q: Why so much emphasis on Gurus?
A: A Guru is not a person, it is a person who embodies the Awakening of Knowledge which will dispel darkness of our ignorance. A Guru represents our own higher Self. Contact with Guru will help us to be inspired for our own Freedom. This classical teaching is based on the universal teaching of Yogic Wisdom tradition. It is called the Gurukula, coming together and sharing under the common roof of the Guru, an enlightened sage.
In this way, we remain in awareness. There is no better way to keep being aware and keep being strong than to keep connection with Consciousness itself, reflected outside us and seen as the Gurus but felt within. Through the connection with Consciousness, consciousness will be awakened and thus the transmission of knowledge. Being a Yoga teacher is not being a preacher or a technician, but existing as a total Being sharing joy and Love with others.
There is no end to the list of why? It is sufficient to know that it is a time tested system, with more than 45,000 trainees up to today, and it is coming from the Heart of Love, of Selflessness, of a great Humanitarian Yogi, Swami Vishnudevananda and his own medical doctor and Satguru, Master Swami Sivananda.
It is not a business venture and all teachers are fervent selfless practitioners, following themselves the discipline, a rare thing indeed in the world of today. We invite you to share in this venture for Peace. The Yoga therapy here is not just physical therapy but the collective Yoga Therapy for a Healthy Mind, a Healthy World and Healthy Environment in a Healthy Spirit.
Om shanti- shanti-shanti.