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Satyananda Yoga Centre, Kathmandu Nepal

Om Shivam Satyam Niranjanam

My Experience at
Divine Yoga Institute

By Yuli Gowling

Namaste and good day. You are either doing or considering one of the yoga courses offered by the Divine Yoga Institute run by Thakur Krishna Uprety [Sannyasi Vishnuswaroop]. Having just completed the Yoga Passport Program  fast track (a 6 week program) and now returning to my home town of Adelaide  Australia, I will share my experiences with you … I first found the Divine Yoga Institute on the internet and as I was later to believe, some greater power was drawing me to this particular Institute of Yoga … I had been a student of Hatha Yoga for about four and a half years, I run my own fitness consultancy and use yoga in many of the classes I teach and in my work with various athletes and sporting teams … I was looking to expand my knowledge base … it was quite by accident that I stumbled upon the Divine Yoga Institute website as I did not know anyone who had attended the Institute and in fact did not know anything about the Satyananda Yoga style … cutting a very long story short I did my research and then started corresponding with Thakur … I am sure he must have wondered what he had struck with this extremely inquisitive and over the top “Aussie” but he was always very helpful and patient in answering all my questions … feeling an instant rapport to this gentle man I decided that perhaps I would do one of their courses … I signed on, paid my deposit and headed for Nepal, I went with an open mind about what the program may offer me (as I mentioned previously I felt that I was being drawn to the Institute and did not question why).

Upon arriving in Patan (I stayed at the Third World Guesthouse for the duration of the course) I contacted Thakur and he arranged to meet me that same day … we walked to the yoga center, which is situated down a laneway and overlooks the holy Bagmati River, Thakur gave me an over view of the course and some idea of what to expect, we arranged my starting time … having decided to do one-on-one sessions, I started my course the following Monday … as I am sure is the norm, I was very enthusiastic and looking forward to all I may learn …  the course has been designed and structured by Thakur so that the student first learns the most basic of practices from which a strong foundation for yoga can be built … I was completely blown away by how the preliminary and foundation practices could have such a profound effect on my learning and I could see its immediate application to my teaching … not only was this approach so different to the way I had initially learnt yoga but everything started to make far greater sense than it previously had (now don’t get me wrong my previous teacher in Australia had been very thorough but from this very basic approach I could see a far wider use of yoga teachings and a greater application for me personally in its use in my work) … Thakur’s depth of knowledge and his intuitive ability to be able to tap into the individual needs of his students is amazing and in fact one of the philosophies he espouses is “Do not teach what I have taught you, teach to the individual’s need”.

It would be difficult for me to tell you the single most important thing I learnt from the program because I learnt so much that it was mind blowing (perhaps not a very spiritual term but non the less apt) … however from my perspective the following philosophies (along with the previously mentioned one) have had the biggest effect on my learning and hopefully the way I shall teach in the future … “In learning yoga the awareness of the body is most important  take your focus within, of next importance is the breathing  synchronize it with the movement of the body part and finally is the emphasis on the actual technique  while this is important it will fall into place more naturally if the previous two actions are taken” … “Do not copy, compare or compete  as each person is an individual with individual needs, strengths, limitations, characteristics learning yoga will be slightly different for each person  it is not about aiming to copy and replicate someone else, we need not draw comparisons with anyone and we do not compete to see “who is the best”  these form the 3 C’s of yoga” … “When you are out of balance you have a dissimilated personality, yoga aims to get the left and right side of the brain working together not against each other” … now I could go on and on but by now you probably have a sense that I am a big fan.

Thakur has designed a course that gives an individualized approach to learning the principles and practices of asana, pranayama, mudra, bandha, relaxation, concentration, meditation and shatkarma, he is an exceptional teacher with an insight and intuition to cater to each person’s individual needs and the flexibility and understanding to be able to adjust the program to suit each student … my six weeks with Thakur is already proving to be one of the most profound experiences of my life and the couple of classes I have offered since being home are very different to the way I had previously taught, with the response from my participants being overwhelming in their embracing of this new approach … perhaps this may also be due in part to effect the course has had on me personally  my body took to cleansing itself physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually  again Thakur seemed to sense what my personal needs might be and so much of what he said and taught resonated strongly with me and allowed for personal growth far beyond what I could ever have imagined.

As I said at the beginning there was some greater power drawing me to this particular Institute of Yoga and the teachings of Yoga Master Thakur Krishna Uprety, I need not question this as it was right for me … perhaps you to have been drawn to this Institute and Master for just the right reasons for you … what ever those reasons are I hope you may be open to all that you can learn, that you stay in the moment and take great pleasure in this and that doing one of these programs will allow you to grow in what ever way you may need to … my name is Yuli Gowling and I can be contacted via email on yuligbb@senet.com.au and would love any further opportunity to talk with you about my wonderful and fascinating learning experience at the Divine Yoga Institute. Shanti.

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