yoga teacher training rishikesh

What the hell am I doing here?

This was the first question I was asked on the first day at Tattvaa Yoga Teacher Training Certification (YTTC) course. It resonated very much with me and raised other questions within me: Who am I? Am I the corporate executive who just quit the job, a mother, a daughter or partner? These were the questions dwelling on my mind at the beginning of the course which we were encouraged to explore during the program.

I chose the YTTC because I wanted to do it sometime ago and never found the time. Now, that I have the time this was the first thing I scheduled in my calendar. I chose Tattvaa Yogashala Rishikesh India through extensive research and intuition and it turned out it was one of the best decisions in my life.

When I came to Rishikesh I wanted most of all to put some distance on my life events and time to reflect. I wanted clarity of mind and help with the major transformation in my life. What I found is 6 wonderful teachers and yogis whose lives were dedicated to us – the students.

The rigorous, disciplined boot camp type of schedule with asana classes starting at 6:30am and ending with meditation at 9pm didn’t allow much time for thinking. We were reminded all the time to be in the moment – ‘if you eat– you eat, if you sleep – you sleep that’s what a yogi does’ Kamalji, the founder of the school used to say. He also mentioned that Nike’s slogan ‘just do it’ doesn’t apply to yoga. We need to be mindful and aware of the mind, body and breath in all what we do.

So between struggling at asana practice, getting dizzy at pranayama, I found my favourite subjects – yoga philosophy and yoga nidra. Yoga philosophy taught by Swamiji and Sunilji was close to home. It dealt with questions humanity and I have been trying to understand: What is happiness? What is mind? How to still the monkey mind? Thru lively stories, references to Kung Fu Panda movies and Yoga Sutras texts I was captivated in the world of yoga. There I came to understand that Ashtanga stands for ‘Eight limbs of Yoga’ which correspond to eight steps to achieve enlightenment. Asanas, what most of the Western world know of are only one of the eight steps in achieving the final goal.

I was relieved when I understood that I am not totally doomed if I cannot wrap my legs around my head or do other posture. It is all about practice and awareness of NOW. Actually, all the asanas, meditation and pranayama have the end goal to still the mind and eventually transcend the mind. After day 4 when I actually wanted to quit and made a pact with my mind that I would go with the flow and give my best, I started to enjoy the morning practice and celebrated every small achievement and extra inch I was able to stretch.

One other thing that was emphasized during the month long program was to ‘mind our own business’ as Sunilji used to say. In other words, yoga is about self-awareness and internal discovery. It is a very good reminder as in reality most of the time we are externally oriented focused on what the others are saying or doing.

How about my thinking? I went there to think what is next in my life…Well, I’ve learned that the real thinking comes when the mind is quiet. Also, I was reminded that all things come according to their own time and order. No need to worry – the right things will come at the right time. So for now, I am enjoying my break, exploring new ways to enrich my life and those around me. I am passionate about inspiring and motivating people and helping them to reach their highest potential.

With the Tattvaa TTC I received the toolkit for rediscovering myself, my awesomeness and appreciation for the Universe life and force. I look forward going back spending more time in this oasis of spirituality where chants, ashrams and bells transcend time and space.

Advertisements

So you want to complete your Yoga Teacher Training Course (TTC) in India?

It’s 2017 and the world is definitely not short of Yoga instructors or teacher training courses, that’s for sure. So where does one begin to look when exploring the wide world of Yoga. Firstly ask yourself this; if you were interested in learning Traditional Chinese dance, would you visit Australia to take a course? Seems a little disconnected right? Perhaps it makes more sense to journey to the heart of Yoga, the spiritual magnet, the Motherland herself – Rishikesh, INDIA.

Ok, so Rishikesh sounds wonderful. You’ve done some research and you’re mesmerized at the sight of the city at the foothills of the Himalayas and right beside the holy Gange River. The next question is how do you find the right school for you? Now days it’s easy to jump straight onto Google and search “Best yoga schools for TTC in India” that’s definitely going to give you several options. Or perhaps you can take the gamble like the good old days. Book your one-way ticket, pack your bags and embrace the process of the Yogic journey to truly begin before you even leave your home country. Show up open minded, take a few different classes, ask around and see what best fits for you and your needs on your personal journey, keeping in mind everyone’s different.

If you’re sneaking away from work for a short period of time and only planning a small stay in Rishikesh without the luxury to explore before your course, don’t fear! In Rishikesh you will find many schools offering short courses. Those who have flashy websites and appealing prices may not be the best choice for you, be smart and read people’s feedback, their experiences and follow your intuition (that’s the key). Now, you’ve visited a few schools but the question still stands what school to commit to? Although Yoga is Yoga and you will gain experience and knowledge wherever you decide, there are so many “types” of Yoga nowadays so be sure to research what you’re getting yourself into. Ask yourself, why am I embarking on this teaching journey? There are many reasons why people decide to dive into a TTC. Some people in your course will have never practiced Yoga in their lifetime yet some will be experienced practitioners. If you are considering a career change and think that a 200hour course will guarantee you the qualifications and ticket to teach, I hate to burst your bubble, it’s not that easy. Teaching requires time and experience. Understanding what you are teaching is the first step so be sure to really connect with your practice and understand the way in which your body, soul and mind work before choosing a course.

There are many courses available to choose from in Rishikesh alone. Each week there is a new influx of foreigners coming to take a teacher training course. For those interested in a very internal practice maybe Yin Yoga is for you? Interested in more of a powerful practice, perhaps Ashtanga is the way to go? Are you intrigued by a traditional format, Hatha could work best for you. Ultimately the choice is yours and all will be beneficial in the long run but take time to research before you find yourself knee deep in back bends. It’s like going to a new hairdresser… you kind of want to see a haircut before you let the scissors get close to your head. Research and experience the teachers offering the courses, feel a connection with your teacher, after all you will become a protégé of their works… Goodluck!

Views of Adam Binford About Yogi Kamal Singh

You so much for an amazing course Kamal.  I thoroughly believe i would not have gotten this same experience in another city or teacher.  I had a physically and emotionally draining month and would not change a thing, it was exactly what I needed ( and safe to say most others).  Below is a brief review you can use!

I attended the 200 hr Yoga Teacher Training Course at Tattvaa through the month of November in Rishikesh India.  There are many countries and cities to attend a TTC, but after my experience I could not recommend Rishikesh more.  There is a soul to the city that can be felt on arrival, and keeps your energy up till the end. Whether it be exploring the various markets, laying down by the Ganga River, or visiting the many ashrams, Rishikesh has a very unique spirituality that is perfect for practice.

Kamal offers a very intense course which teaches you or strengthens your previous work on the primary series.  Knowledge on the adjustments are second to none.  Kamal has surrounded himself and the students with amazing teachers to practice other areas of yoga outside the asana’s ie. philosophy, pranayama, yoga nidra which effected me as much as the practice on the mat.  I couldn’t recommend Tattvaa and Rishikesh more, a truly transformative experience.

Yoga for Travellers in Rishikesh, India

rishikesh

There are a certain number of people who love travelling and exploring new places. Among them are people who also love to practice yoga while travelling. India is a popular destination for yoga tourism, yoga retreats and yoga vacations. Many ashrams and yoga schools in India offer short term yoga experiences at an affordable price for those who enjoy exploring yoga and new places all at the same time.

Rishikesh is located in northern India at the gateway to the Himalayas and as the “yoga capital of the world” functions as a wonderful place for those looking for both travel and yoga. Yoga is said to have been born in Rishikesh along the banks of the sacred Ganges river several thousand years ago and since then has been a haven for pilgrims, yogis and spiritual seekers. With its rich history, stunning surroundings, and shanti vibes Rishikesh has also in the last decades attracted many travellers and tourists eager to explore and experience the essence of India.

There are many places to visit, see and much to do while in Rishikesh. Some of the spiritual temples and ghats where devotees bathe in the holy Ganges are Triveni ghat, Hanuman Mandir, Durga Mandir, Tryambakeshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, Neelkanth Mahadey Temple, Bharat Mandir, and the Vashisht Caves. Some other things to see are the traditional towns of Ram Jhula and Laxman Jhula, the world famous Beatles Ashram where the Beatles came and studied yoga, Neer Gaddu waterfall, Garud Chatti waterfall, the stunning national parks filled with jungles and wildlife, bungee jumping in the Himalayas, trekking and camping opportunities, white water rafting on the Ganges, and many many more things to see and explore.

Rishikesh also has no lack of yoga and ashrams where in between sightseeing and eating local cuisine one can explore traditional yogic practices as well as their own bodies and minds. Some of the older and more famous ashrams are Sivananda ashram, Parmarth Niketan, and Omkarananda ashram. These ashrams provide an authentic and peaceful environment as well as yoga and meditation classes for a very reasonable price. Many of these ashrams also offer affordable accommodation options and an array of other classes such as chanting and music classes. In addition to the ashrams, there is no lack of yoga

schools in Rishikesh. Many of these schools offer teacher training courses and intensive courses as well as regular drop in classes. It should be noted, however, that because of the recent popularity of yoga tourism there are many places that are inconsistent in their authenticity and quality of yoga. It is recommended to do some research or shop around before committing to a yoga school. One popular and reputable yoga school is Tattvaa Yogashala located in Ram Jhula. Here one can practice traditional Ashtanga yoga with Yogi Kamal Singh. Another highly respected and popular school is Patanjala Yoga Kendra where one can practice Iyengar yoga under yoga master Usha Devi.

Beyond the realm of Rishikesh there are many other spectacular experiences that one can easily reach from Rishikesh. Kunjadevi temple is a beautiful Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Durga and located only 25km from Rishikesh. The Valley of Flowers is a famous trek into a Himalayan valley filled with thousands of varieties of alpine flowers. In this area one will also find some of the most popular pilgrimages including Gangotri, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, and Badrinath. There is certainly no lack of adventure for the traveling yogi in and around Rishikesh.

 

Fitness Mantra for Your Mind, Body and Soul – Ashtanga Yoga!

How are you maintaining a balance with the fast paced world? Do you sometimes feel tired of life? Do you want to strengthen your body so that it can withstand the daily pressures of life? Are you sick of the daily exercises which are boring and which actually you want to avoid every morning? If your answer is a ‘yes’, then read on. And if it is a ‘no’, then I must say, there is something special for you too.

DSC_2707.jpgOne of the biggest drawbacks of your regular exercises is that it can provide fitness to your body only; what about your mind and soul? One simple answer – Try the age-old practice of Yoga. Yes, whatever you call it, yoga, dance yoga, kickboxing yoga, yoga workout or anything else, the point is that it can certainly give you a solution.

What you need is to join a yoga class. You can go for a yoga centre or a yoga studio, whatever it is and start practicing. One advantage of joining such classes is that you can have the proper training from the yoga teachers. Once you have learnt Ashtanga Yoga you can easily practice it at your home. You just need to buy some equipment like a yoga DVD, a yoga bag and a mat to perform the exercise.

DSC_2533No matter where you practice, at home or at a class, doing the yoga correctly is very important for a positive outcome. Whereas a right posture can cure many diseases, a wrong one can create troubles too. Here are some types of yoga which are very popular nowadays.

Pilates Yoga- Developed by George Pilates, this type of exercise is very popular in the United States. Though it is referred as yoga, actually it is not. The only resemblance is that it also gives an exercise to the mind. It can be referred to as a yoga with movement or yoga with machines.

Bikram Yoga- Bikram yoga is a more aerobic and a physical type of yoga. It was founded by Bikram Choudhry. This type of yoga is not meant for everyone. It is carried out in a warm room with a temperature around 90 to 100 degrees and therefore it is also called as hot yoga.

Power Yoga- This is actually a modified version of Ashtanga yoga, which will be described later on. It is a practice of doing ‘yoga poses’ in a continuous series of exercises. This type of yoga helps you to enhance your inner power and to make a connection with your soul.

Ashtanga Yoga- In Sanskrit, Ashtanga means ‘eight limbs’ and it refers to the eight limbs of the Yoga Sutras. It was taken from Yoga Korunta, a very ancient text. A student has to progress through six different series in this type of yoga.

This method helps in the realignment of the spine, detoxification of the body, building strength and flexibility and also in the strengthening of the nervous system.

There are three different levels of Ashtanga yoga. The first level helps you to align the body and gets the toxins out of your body. The second level helps to clean and open the energy channels. The last level is for the advanced ones and it helps in measuring power and grace.

Ashtanga yoga is a very popular type of yoga. It is a very energetic and athletic form of practice. It has many benefits like relieving from sore muscle and joint pain. Along with these physical benefits, it does have some mental and emotional benefits also. If you practice this yoga, you gain the ability to focus mentally and release the negative energy. It will give you relief from unwanted tensions as well.

If you are searching for a perfect yoga fitness program, Ashtanga yoga can be a good choice for you. If you are a beginner in the field of yoga then this can be quite tough for you to start with. You can start with some other simple methods. After bringing yourself up to its level and gaining the required fitness level, you can surely give it a try and reap the benefits!

 

What Is Ashtanga Yoga? Understanding the Methods

Ashtanga yoga, also known as power yoga, is quickly gaining popularity among practitioners. So what is Ashtanga yoga? It is the form of yoga most used by athletes and those interested in quickly increasing strength and stamina. Because of that, Ashtanga yoga postures have a higher degree of difficulty than those in other styles. Additionally, they are done as part of series.

IMG_5689

Usually, students doing Ashtanga yoga postures will move quickly from one to the other to maintain that focus on strength. That is in opposition to many other forms of yoga where the emphasis is on breathing, relaxation, and flexibility.

Who Should Practice Ashtanga Yoga?

Ashtanga yoga poses are for most anyone who is in decent shape. If you are new to exercise, this is probably not the form of yoga with which you should start. Even the very easiest of Ashtanga poses are very demanding on the body, especially since you will even start with a body warming routine that is designed to activate your muscles. Overall, Ashtanga yoga can provide you with a build up of strength, stamina, and even some flexibility which explains its popularity with those involved in athletics.

If you decide to give Ashtanga a try, you should expect things to progress quickly. You will likely start right off with a sequence of yoga poses. Those will be practiced until the teacher feels you have mastered it fairly well and have complete understanding of its fundamentals. Then, you will move on to another series and a higher level of difficulty. Overall, it is a very fast moving form of yoga.

Ashtanga Poses

As for the Ashtanga yoga poses, they range widely in terms of positioning. You will find yourself moving from standing, backbent, inverted, balancing, seated, and even twisting poses. In power yoga, the sun salutation sequence of poses is very popular as well, so you will often use standing forward bend, upward dog, downward dog, and many other poses sprinkled in as well.

Though much of the focus in Ashtanga yoga poses is on the development of stamina and strength, you will also, as with any yoga, be focusing. You will be asked to focus your eyes on a point as you move through the poses given out by your instructor. In order to get the full effect and benefit of Ashtanga, you should make sure that your muscles and perhaps even the rooms are very warm. This ensures maximum flexibility and minimal injury as you work through the demanding postures.

If you are into athletics, exercise, or just want a new physical challenge, perhaps you should consider giving Ashtanga yoga a try. The clear choice of athletes and an increasingly popular form in general, it is perfect for those that are in decent shape and want to increase their strength, stamina, and flexibility. Power yoga is a series of poses taken in a quick and free flowing sequence. Even the classes move quickly with teachers adding more difficult sequences every time one is fairly well mastered. So if you learn fast, like to work hard, and think you are up to the challenge of power yoga, then you may benefit greatly from Ashtanga yoga poses.

Ashtanga yoga is great for losing weight, so if you’re interested in learning about the benefits of yoga breathing and weight loss