My name is Mariska and I have followed the Hatha Yoga 200 YTT at Arhanta Yoga Ashram. At this Ashram the Yogic lifestyle is practiced throughout the whole day. So if you want to experience the authentic Ashram life, this is for you!
The daily schedule
You get up around 5:30 AM for the morning Pranayam (preparatory breathing exercises) and meditation. Around 7:15 AM there is breakfast, wherein no one talks. Everyone eats in silence and in peace.
After breakfast the How to Teach classes start at 8:15AM, followed by lunch at 11:30 AM and other classes in the afternoon. Either Philosophy or Anatomy, followed by a two hour Asana class for all teachers in training. This to advance our practice from a beginner into an advanced skilled teacher (if you weren’t there yet) and further. It is beautiful to see how everyone with perseverance is able to do all the poses of the basic Hatha class at the end of the training. Including arm balances and headstands!
After lunch there is Karma Yoga which means that all students perform a household task in the best way they possibly can. Important is that you focus solely on this task. At some point you’ll get less attached to your ego and your ego decreases.
There is respect, trust and calmness within the group. Also lunch is in silence and there are only designated areas outside the ashram where talking is allowed. You are not allowed to leave the premises, with the exception of Sunday.
The meals that are served do not contain additives and is freshly prepared from vegetables, fruit, beans, seeds, sometimes rice or pasta. After dinner there is a varied program. Sometimes there is an evening walk, other times chanting, Yoga Nidra or a lecture. In the evenings there is herbal tea. Lights off at 9:30 PM and trust me, you need all your hours of sleep, to be able to continue the same structure each day.
Note that during all classes you sit either on the floor or a meditation cushion. You are not allowed to lean against a wall or lay on the floor. Therefore it is important to buy a suitable meditation cushion before you get there. If I had this information beforehand, I could have saved myself a lot of pain… I have written down tips and advice in choosing a meditation pillow here. The hours and hours of sitting on a meditation pillow was a challenge. Especially after the first week my body had no idea what was happening and my muscles were running over hours in all the asana classes.
If you decide to do this training then really stick with it. It is a very tough program, so don’t think this is going to be some kind of retreat. It is a real challenge so be prepared. If you are healthy and have some good stamina and perseverance you’ll get to the finish line without problems.
All the information you receive can be very overwhelming. But Arhanta knows how to be professional and how to teach their students. It has been a very exceptional experience for me that has brought me so much further in life. After the training is over, you are very happy to go home and give your body some rest. But you’ll notice a few weeks later how well your body has adjusted. How deep you can get into the poses and how you have problems sitting on a real chair as sitting on the floor is something you are used to now. This experience has enriched me and helps me to bring the Yogic lifestyle into my classes and transfer it onto my students as well. Grateful! Thank you Arhanta Yoga Ashram!
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