BIHAR SCHOOL OF YOGA TRAINING

Change your manner of speaking, change your ambitions, your language, your viewpoint. Change your beliefs, change your self-created convictions, change your thoughts. Only then, through the depths of your life, will you be able to see the power of the Self manifesting.

—Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Yoga Capsule – Respiratory (Hindi)

From 21st to 27th February, training was conducted specific to the management of respiratory disorders. Eighteen participants from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Karnataka, New Delhi, UP and West Bengal took part. Swami Kaivalyananda and Swami Tyagraj conducted the asana, pranayama and yoga nidra sessions. They were assisted by Sannyasi Atmaprabha.

Marwari Mahila Mandal

From 22nd to 25th February, thirty ladies from the Marwari Mahila Mandal, Munger, attended yoga classes at Ganga Darshan. Swami Mantrapushpam taught yogasana, prana yama and relaxation practices.

Yoga Capsule – Total Health (Hindi)

From 24th March to 3rd April, yoga training was conducted for the maintenance of total health and well being. Forty-one participants from Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Uttarkhand, West Bengal and Chandigarh took part.

Swami Kaivalyananda and Swami Tyagraj conducted the asana, pranayama and yoga nidra sessions. They were assisted by Sannyasi Atmaprabha.

Yoga Capsule – Digestive (Hindi)

From 24th to 30th April, yoga training was conducted for the maintenance of the digestive system. Forty participants from Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Odisha, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal took part.

Swami Kaivalyananda and Swami Tyagraj conducted the asana, pranayama and yoga nidra sessions. They were assisted by Sannyasi Atmaprabha.

Hatha Yoga – Module 1: Shatkarma Intensive

From 24th to 30th September, the Hatha Yoga Module 1 (Shatkarma Intensive) was conducted at Ganga Darshan and was attended by 62 participants.

The national participants came from Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Overseas participants from the following countries attended: Argentina, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands and Uruguay.

Swami Niranjanananda conducted asana classes several times and gave daily satsang on the vidya of hatha yoga. Swamiji was assisted by Swami Shivadhyanam.

Judicial Training Academy, Patna

From 22nd to 24th September, one group of 42 judicial trainees and from 24th to 26th September, a second group of 40 visited Ganga Darshan. They attended morning APMB and afternoon yoga nidra and concentration classes conducted by Swami Tyagraj who was assisted by Jignasu Suryashri. The trainees also wholeheartedly joined in the ashram activities.

Yoga Teacher Training Group

From 17th to 28th September, a group of 20 yoga teacher trainees from Atmadarshan Ashram, Bengaluru, came to Ganga Darshan to experience ashram life. They were accompanied by their teachers Sannyasis Devananda and Devashri. After one year of training, this was for many their first visit to Ganga Darshan. They met Swamiji who encouraged them for their second year of practical training and invited all to come again. They attended APMB, yoga nidra and meditation classes with Swami Yogakanti.

Progressive Yoga Vidya Training

From 3rd to 30th October, the Progressive Yoga Vidya Training was conducted at Ganga Darshan. It was attended by 52 participants.

The national participants came from Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Uttarkhand and West Bengal. Overseas participants from the following countries attended: Australia, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK, Uruguay and USA.

Raja Yoga Training – Module 1

From 22nd to 28th October, the Raja Yoga Module 1 was conducted at Ganga Darshan and was attended by 70 participants.

The national participants came from Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, New Delhi, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. Overseas participants from the following countries attended: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, The Netherlands, UK and USA.

Swamiji spoke on the importance of developing pratyahara, the focus of raja yoga, which is a state where the mind is kept active. The first four limbs, yama, niyama, asana and pranayama are the foundation. The two actual practices of raja yoga are pratyahara and dharana. Dhyana and samadhi happen spontaneously without the help of any specific practice.

Kriya Yoga – Module 1

From 4th to 11th November, the Kriya Yoga Module 1 was conducted at Ganga Darshan and was attended by 34 participants.

The national participants came from Gujarat, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and West Bengal. Overseas participants from the following countries attended: Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Romania, Sweden and The Netherlands.

In the satsang sessions, Swamiji emphasized that kriya yoga is not a ‘stand-alone practice’. Preparation is required through hatha yoga to balance the ida and pingala nadis, and through chitta vritti nirodah of raja yoga. Once this is attained, one is able to practise and reap the benefits of kriya yoga.

The practical classes were taught by Swami Yogakanti and Swami Tyagraj.

Yoga Lifestyle Experience

From 7th November 2016 to 7th February 2017, the Yoga Lifestyle Experience was conducted for the first time at Ganga Darshan. The participants, between 20 and 66 years of age, came from Colombia, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Spain, Sri Lanka and The Netherlands.

The unique Yoga Lifestyle Experience is a training in the antaranga aspect of the yoga chakra and focuses only on bhakti, jnana and karma yoga.

Bhakti yoga is experienced through the chanting of Sanskrit stotras and the participation in pooja, havan and yajna. The students also had an introduction to yoga ecology through the practice of tree pooja.

Study and discussion help to learn, imbibe and live jnana yoga, while the practical tools of the Satyananda Yoga tradition take one to a better understanding of oneself.

Full involvement in all ashram activities and the training as a group give the possibility to experience and express the third aspect of antaranga yoga, karma yoga. Artistic skills become karma yoga as the students offered a musical presentation to ashram residents, students and guests.

The classes were conducted by Swamis Kaivalyananda, Prembhav and Yogatirtha.

For three months yoga lifestyle is an experience in the ashram environment, however the aim is to take the tools, the understanding and experience into one’s day-to-day life.

Yoga Chakra Series

From 19th to 23rd December, the Yoga Chakra Series was conducted at Ganga Darshan under Swami Niranjanananda’s guidance. The theme of this series was karma yoga and in his satsangs, Swamiji explained how hatha yoga and karma yoga complement each other in the yoga chakra, and have parallel goals. There are three aims of hatha yoga: one, shuddhi, or purification; two, the experience of balance between ida and pingala; and three, the experience of laghavam, lightness, which follows naturally from attaining the first two goals. Similarly, there are three aims of karma yoga defined by Sri Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita: atmashuddhi, or self-purification; akarta bhava, finding a balance between doing one’s best yet feeling like a non-doer; and naishkarmya siddhi, the state where one does not feel the weight of any karma, attained when the first two stages are perfected.

In the morning APMB classes, the participants were guided towards deepening their experience of yogic practices by systematically focusing on different components of awareness. The participants were also given afternoon yoga nidra sessions. The morning classes were conducted by Swami Shivadhyanam and the yoga nidra sessions by acharyas and senior teachers from around the globe.

Over 150 aspirants participated in the program. The following international group was represented: Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Nepal, New Zealand, Russia, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UK and USA. The national participants represented the states of Delhi, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

YOGA LIFESTYLE EXPERIENCE 2016–17 WITH LOVE AND GRATITUDE

This was not just a course for me but an intense time of transformation guided by the hand of the Master. I was learning to live with discipline, simplicity and non-attachment, trying to keep awareness in every moment or situation in order to grow and discover my inner self. This self is the fountain of perfect love and happiness.

—Diana Guevara, Colombia

Anyone who wants to call himself a spiritual aspirant should take this training and prepare for a true transformation to happen based on one’s roots.

A big, big ‘thank you’ from the bottom of my heart to Guruji for working our grounds.

—Divyakriti, Greece

Gratitude and inspiration, these are the words that can define shortly my feeling at the end of the YLE period. It was great to learn so many different things . . . from cleaning toilets to doing pooja. It was great to experience the power of mantras and stotrams, to experience bhakti and other ancient yogic practices as if we were living thousands of years back in time.

Before this course I knew that I was walking the right direction, now I know the destiny of this direction.

I bring a lot of inspiration home to go on with my life and the activities I am involved in. I feel purified after this three-month period. I know something has happened inside my heart that will uplift me until my last breath.

—Marcelo, Spain

We were privileged many times and I am grateful for that. The training has given me space to explore and reflect on myself. Doing seva with others and the spiritual diary have stimulated this the most. I think it is the best course running if you want to know yoga and modern ashram life.

—Nick, The Netherlands

For a spiritual sadhaka, guru seva, satsang and guru darshan are the most important things for their development. We had these opportunities.

We were taught the SWAN principle. It was an opportunity to see what my strengths and limitations are. How can I manage my limitations and how can I use my strengths in the most appropriate, correct and positive manner?

During this period we started to write spiritual diary as well as doing the Review of the Day which helped to deepen the understanding. My preconceived ideas were changed.

Now is the time to begin growing the seeds in our grounds, Swamiji. It is our responsibility to protect, to look after and to water this precious small plant and make it become a big tree to give shelter to others.

—Subasini, Sri Lanka

It is hard to wish a better beginning of the morning than pooja in the Akhara. I enjoyed it every second and I learned a lot. The best way to get to know yourself better is through seva. And also the best way to get to know other people is through seva. I am happy I had the opportunity to meet wonderful people. Definitely I will come back to help Swamiji more.

—Anandi, Croatia

During the YLE prasad was showered on us in abundance – in the same way that Karna distributed gold to his people.

I feel that a new era is about to start. In these three months, there were countless moments which went straight into the heart, and I have rediscovered the beauty of our world. All in all it was a privileged time here on the hill of Karna Chaura.

—Sannyasi Antarjyoti, Germany

Every moment during the YLE we were connected with the brightest examples of humans who lived yoga, the Gurus of our tradition. We were connected through Guru Pooja to the source of wisdom and positivity to keep us alert from moment to moment throughout the day.

If we follow the dharma and not the desires, without self-importance, without any expectation, not being the doer, then moment to moment we purify ourselves with karma yoga. When we successfully apply ourselves from moment to moment we come closer to a yogic way of living.

Swamiji gave us plenty on all levels and took care of us in the best possible way. We felt special by the way we were treated and I feel that the way to thank him is to do our best in applying these precious teachings we received from moment to moment so that we can make yoga a way of living.

—Rama, Greece

First observe, find out where some mistakes are being made, then change something so that you do not make the same mistakes again, then improve the qualities, improve yourself and once you have improved hopefully you will go on improving.

—Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

Seed of a Lifestyle

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

The purpose of the Yoga Lifestyle Experience is to learn how we can improve our lifestyle by living a regulated life, a life where we try to connect with the positives. If the right seed falls in the mire, then from that seed even a lotus can come out which is totally unaffected by the mire in which the seed had fallen.

Lifestyle is very much your choice, how you perceive it to be. Yoga gives you the seed of lotus, if you allow that to grow it will become a full bloom, full-fledged consciousness, yet the seed has fallen in the grime. If you think that grime is too dirty for a pure seed like the lotus then it will never flower.

Therefore, using the lifestyle as a laboratory where we can plant these lotus seeds to eventually see the emergence of the lotus flower is the purpose of the yogic lifestyle.

— 4 November 2016, Ganga Darshan, Munger