Impressions – Yoga Lifestyle Experience

November 2017 to January 2018

What a special course the Yoga Lifestyle Experience has been. Insightful, inspiring, heart opening, challenging, are just some of the impressions from the past few months. Being part of a small group of individuals and working together as one unit, was a great experience as it taught many lessons, not to see myself as separate, but in others, to adapt, adjust, accommodate, and to develop qualities like patience and compassion. To develop the sense of ‘we’ and drop the ‘I’.

—Jignasu Devanshi, Australia

I want to express my deepest gratitude for the abundance of opportunities to learn, understand and experience more aspects of yoga, life and myself.

The more difficult and hard work were the lessons of life outside the class room. Being with the same people day in and day out gave me the feeling of a mirror I had to look at every day, seeing my actions, reactions, traits and behaviours. Sometimes it became so intense that I took every chance to escape from that. Sometimes I took the chance and picked up an issue and could bring about a change. The practices of antar mouna, the review of the day, spiritual diary, pratipaksha bhavana, SWAN, meditation as well as the yamas of danti and adweshta were most helpful in that process. Still it remains a challenge to take the difficulties and obstacles as opportunities, in fact as ‘a gift to learn and to grow’. The change of perspective is the final step and the most important and that experience I take with me.

—Jignasu Suryamitra, Germany

What I have learned during the YLE course is that life teaches us lessons. Of course you can skip a lesson, but the lesson will come back until you have learned it. Yoga gives me the tools to be aware of the lessons and to find a creative and positive way to learn them.

The learning process can sometimes be very difficult, but if I apply the yogic techniques I have learned as a sadhana, I know there will be progress. May the gods and guru give me the strength to learn all the lessons that cross my way.

—Oliver Freiermuth, Switzerland

Mainly I have learnt to share a little bit more and be more tolerant, and that includes myself.

I have learnt to sit in sukhasana for many hours a day as well as the squatting posture and to feel comfortable wearing a dhoti! I have developed more empathy and my ability to listen. I have learnt to communicate a bit better in English.

I am so thankful for the several weeks, having learnt from all the teachers, the community and I feel a great honour of being before Swamiji and nourish myself with his wisdom.

My intentions are to keep a daily mantra sadhana in the morning and have a deeper understanding of antar mouna and antar darshan. I am going to keep developing spiritual diary and the SWAN. I will see life and work through the karma yoga lenses. I will show a little bit more interest in house cleaning! I will cultivate being more generous and open with my emotions.

On the whole, I take with me a samskara of positivity and hope which I intend to develop.

—David Mijanos Ramos, Spain

My major discovery during this course was that I can truly see myself in others and use it as a tool to make my life more beautiful. I was blessed to realize that every person I meet is an inspiration. This understanding was deepened by my daily practice of the spiritual diary, the review of the day and the mantra chanting. Now I’m glad to say that my classmates were wonderful teachers. By sharing these months with them I was able to observe deep and previously unknown layers of my personality. This enabled me to connect with the positive in me and them. I thank them for showing me how to be a channel of devotion, kindness, friendliness, tolerance, perseverance, compassion, open-mindedness and commitment. Above all I thank Swamiji for creating this course, sharing the yoga vidya with us, and most importantly planting the seed of positivity in my heart.

—Daniela Camargo, Colombia

I learnt a different consideration in the ‘use’ of time, that makes me more effective, letting me know that I really ‘can’.

Doing my best, in the conditions in which I found myself, without running from one side to the other but keeping the peace and the necessary perspective.

Awareness is like a revelation for me, and may be the word that ‘makes the difference’.

Finally, after 80 days I am doing my mantra sadhana still in bed, chanting and pooja, seva, Sundarakand, afternoon class, ceremonies, evening programs, and mantras at night before going to sleep, I can say that I’m at the point of being a new person.

—Adrian Alejandro Sansalone, Argentina

The pooja every morning is for me an exciting experience, power and emotion. The satsangs with Swamiji are a treasure that cannot be replaced with anything else. They are joy and richness for my soul.

Karma yoga is a healthy and useful method that gives me an opportunity to witness my reactions, to discover my weak and strong sides, it is a game in which we all are winners. The mantras have influenced my body very strongly like cleansing rain.

With all my love I would like to thank you for the opportunity to be part of this special class. Thank you Swamiji, for the patience and the commitment to teach us.

—Antoaneta Dimitrova, Bulgaria

At this moment I am very thankful, happy and peaceful. The YLE at Ganga Darshan was a pleasure for me. I found a full spectrum of yoga, and I feel it is a good way to bring more spirituality into my life, satisfaction and happiness.

—Gabriele Pietzho, Germany

When I come through the hollowed gates of Ganga Darshan at night time, I too was completely in the dark about the amazing depth and the truer meaning of ‘yoga’.

G iven me the chance to observe my mind

A llowing positivity to reign

N oticing my strengths and weaknesses

G ratitude for this unique opportunity

A ppreciating the sacredness of life from macro to micro’

D ivinity exits in each of us devotion and its importance directing my mind

A ttention to my sankalpa and sadhana each morning

R eawakening my head, heart and hands

S tripping away distractions to deepen my spiritual journey

H umbling on so many levels

A lert to my truer nature and calling

N ever ending journey – never to be forgotten

I have realized that value of simplicity, the rich benefits of silence both internal and external. I have learnt to do my very best in every task and to remain detached from the outcome.

I have learnt to enjoy cleaning and being more organized. I have learnt that I must take responsibility for myself, my decisions, my state of mind, my attitude. I have learnt from my classmates that as humans we are complex, multi-faceted beings. Most important it is to focus on the positive, rather than wasting time looking at the negatives.

I have learnt a lot from the wisdom and wit of Swami Niranjan.

Finally, I’ve learnt that this course is challenging on many levels and that my greatest learnings probably happened at the toughest times. It is with huge gratitude and love that I offer my thanks.

—Maeve McGovern, Ireland