India is the magical land where all the yoga philosophy and many other philosophies come to life for thousands of years. It’s such an enormous country, you can find something different everywhere. Being there means, to witness all these spiritual knowledge ongoing for thousands of years with or without realizing it.
Besides this, it means to join many rituals that belong to different culture, philosophy, religion and various teachings and to see all the subjects you think only exist in the books exist in the daily life and how it is implemented.
For instance; I stayed in the South India for previous trainings. The South India is a place where Hindus, Muslim, and Christians live in an amazing harmony. It was the first day of the Ramadan Feast and laughter was coming out of every house literally. The Muslim families had invited their neighbors who were from different religions to celebrate the feast all together.
The ashram we went for this TTC was in the Bir Area of India. Bir is an area which Indian Government has assigned for the refugees from Tibet. The ashram we stayed was a Buddhist ashram. Everywhere was covered with Tibetan Flags. I felt like I have visited the Tibet I always wanted to visit 🙂 In the ashram, there were many teachings we got to join. Besides this, probably the best thing was to be only 1.5 hours away from Dharamshala and to have the chance to join Dalai Lama’s teaching. In India, to be far away from some place is equal to be 10 minutes away from a place in Istanbul. I will write about Dalai Lama’s teaching in more detail. These are only a few examples. Because the knowledge and philosophy which many people only read in the books in normal conditions still exist vibrantly in India, it is possible to run into a teaching everywhere.
How was life in the ashram?
For us, life was very intense. As a matter of fact, it was so intense that many times the other residents of the ashram came up to us many times to tell how dedicated our practice was and how they are inspired by us 🙂
Every day our day started at 5 am with meditation and ended with the last class at 9.30 pm. It was really an intense training where every moment was counted. In so much that, the “personal time” in the schedule ended up being time for group assignments or activity time. One day we were joining the Shiva Puja in the Shiva Temple, we were visiting the Hanuman Temple another day and joining the Mahakala Puja another. Most of these pujas were taken once a year so it was great for the group to be able to join them. As such, the personal time ended up being class time. 😀
We were taking taxis to all these activities, which may in my opinion count as a part of the training for the students. We had delightful trips with the kind drivers, driving crazy on those curvy roads with awesome Indian music. The key point here is not to eat anyhting before you take the trip 😀
What did they learn?
Even though the name of the training is 300 Hours, the number of the hours passes it exceedingly. Some of the classes in the program are;
Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 3 and 4 of Yoga Sutras, advanced breathing techniques, pranayama, asana, anatomy, bandha, mudra and Sanskrit Language which I teach and has a special place in my heart. It was amazing to see them saying this is very difficult in the first class and being able to read the Yoga Sutras at the end of the program.
And in addition to these, teachings in the and outside the ashram which some of them I’ve already mentioned. (Dalai Lama’s teaching on practice, Tenzin Palmo’s teaching on Mahamudra etc.)