AHYMSIN newsletter, issue - May 2011  

News from the Land Down Under

Yoga Nidra and Meditation Workshops in Australia

Dear AHYMSIN family, the month of April was a very special one for us all here in Australia. For the first time ever, the Land Down Under hosted a series of public events with a senior teacher of the Himalayan Tradition. We are all very grateful to Swami Ritavan Bharati for lovingly sharing with us the teachings and the blessings of the Tradition. Following are some reflections gathered from organisers and participants.


April 2-3: We at Dharma yoga were very pleased that Swami Ritavan blessed us with his presence and shared with us the finer points of yoga nidra and meditation. Overall the “Yoga Nidra and Meditation workshop” was very well received, some students traveling from all over the state of Victoria to attend.

April 4: Swamiji was kind enough to also give Satsang on Monday evening for the students who could not attend the weekend workshop. His visit has inspired many students to further their study in yoga philosophy and the Himalayan Tradition.

During the Melbourne visit Swamiji was interviewed by a documentary maker for a television series. The film crew also filmed part of the weekend workshop.  The interview will be aired on Chanel 31, a local community television station in the near future; the Melbourne interview will also be available on youtube after it is aired on television.

We look forward to his return in the future.

Yours in service,
Jean-Alain d’Argent & the Dharma Team


April 6: “Multi-Faith Peace Meditation” hosted by Oasis Centre at Flinders University

For us here in Adelaide, yet another dream came true. For the first time Christians, Buddhists, Muslims, Pagans, Atheists, faculty and staff, people from various age groups and walks of life, attended a peace gathering. Through meditation, peace is no longer a concept; it becomes an experience - a wonderfully powerful experience. The moment we understand that power comes from peace and not from fighting we finally achieve something, both individually and collectively. Through Swami Ritavan’s skill and the grace of the Tradition the innate urge for peace was amplified, clearly expressed; all attending had a glimpse of what it means to walk through life as a true messenger of peace.

Yoga for Stress Management” course class taught entirely by Swami Ritavan complemented the evening at Oasis Centre. Through an integrated yoga class the students learned how yoga asanas, breathing and relaxation practices are conducive to a stress-free life.

 April 7: “Evening Satsang” with Himalayan Yoga Meditation students from Adelaide.

A beautiful gathering of interested yoga meditation students. Swamiji graced us with a guided bindu meditation, then everyone introduced themselves; the evening continued with sharing delicious food, a very intensive questions and answers session, and concluded with meditation. Many questions focused on the issue of life and death and the approach to the art of dying in the Himalayan Yoga Tradition.

April 9-10:  “Yoga Nidra and Meditation in the Himalayan Yoga Tradition”. The 1 ½ days workshop included lectures introducing the  Himalayan Yoga Tradition, yoga nidra and the states of consciousness, meditation and samadhi, as well as practicums on yoga nidra, Om kriya, joints and glands exercises, and guided meditations.

First day: It rained. Auspicious - in Adelaide, rain is always a blessing. The workshop was organised at Village Centre, Flinders University, in a beautiful location, overlooking the city and the ocean. Birds singing seemed to have a gathering of their own… Thirty participants (this was the limit we set up in advance) gathered carrying yoga mats, blankets, cushions of different shapes and colours. Many of them we knew, as they had attended the meditation classes at Flinders University for some time, others we met for the first time. Quite a few of the participants came with their spouse, children or close friends. Somehow they felt that this event was worth attending and also worth sharing with dear ones.   And the journey began…

Second day: The rain stopped. Magnificent rainbow over the Pacific, a sign of good luck, a blessing of beauty from Mother Nature…Something had changed since yesterday. Few ladies brought flowers; everyone is smiling, and willing to give a hand with preparing the tea or arranging the room, to contribute and to share in some way. All felt that they were part of something special.  Indeed, the workshop was special in many ways.

Some Thoughts Shared by Participants

“I haven’t experienced yoga nidra so effectively in my 15 years of yoga…and going inside my heart cave was beautiful. I will now regularly visit this place…”

“An incredible  experience… and I have met some wonderful people, which  makes it even greater”.

“Swamiji’s words were like poetry and a pleasure to receive. It has been a weekend of inward discovery...”

“Swamiji’s presence and teachings this weekend are a blessing that I shall keep with me forever.”
“Swamiji’s advice and guidance, have helped me greatly and will continue to help me as I go further on my journey. I am truly blessed…”

“A life-defining, changing experience; I am grateful, inspired and will be smiling with my mind at all times”

“Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. Swamiji’s teachings were unlike nothing I have received before. I feel blessed.”

“Thank you for this weekend of learning. You have given so much to me personally and I look forward to seeing where it takes me…”

“I have attended various workshops and retreats; this workshop has been the most fulfilling for me. I truly appreciate having met Swamiji and I will carry my “aha” moments with me.”

“Swamiji was poetic, graceful; his teachings flowing… the guided meditations were like nothing I experienced to date. To be in his presence was a blessing.”

“This presentation was just wonderful. I have gained a lot of knowledge in how to live a better life.”

April 11: Swami Ritavan conducted an evening workshop on “Yoga Postures and Breath Awareness” hosted by Vida Yoga. Participants were impressed with the pleasant flow of the class as well as how this connects with yoga principles outlined in the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

April 12:  An evening lecture on “Meditation in the Himalayan Yoga Tradition organised by the Integral Yoga Academy of Australasia. Swamiji beautifully connected the goals of yoga practice with the Yoga Sutras, as the common element that connects all yoga traditions. Then a practical experience of meditation was given that deeply touched everyone present.

April 13: Conducting final meditation and concluding remarks for the ‘Yoga for Stress management ‘course at Flinders University,  ended the series of public events in Adelaide.

Many of those attending the weekend workshop expressed an interest in receiving mantra initiation and as a result three initiation sessions were organised.

For us the organisers, this has been a time of learning and sharing; a time of contentment seeing that the teachings of the Tradition finally get to be known and appreciated here in Australia. With a smile and gratitude in our hearts we wait for further inspiration. What next? What dream is yet to come true?

Reporting from Adelaide,
Dr Mihaela Ivan
Dr Daniel Jalba


April 15-19: After visiting two other Australian cities, Melbourne and Adelaide, Swami Ritavan Bharati honoured Sydney with his presence and teachings over 4 days.  The events were organized as separate lectures and workshops in different part of the city: Western suburbs (Indian and Macquarie University communities), Eastern suburbs and North Sydney. Topics presented and sessions led by Swamiji reflected some of the 'core' teachings of the Himalayan Tradition: meditation, yoga nidra, pranayama, relaxation, biofeedback and application of raja yoga in daily life.

We had a variety of participants, from experienced yoga teachers to people who had never practised yoga before. This mixture must have been a real challenge for Swamiji!

However, all participants gave us really good feedback and seemed to feel that they had learnt something they could take with them and apply in a practical way in their own lives.

 A few people also emailed us after the seminar to say 'thank you':

"I got so much out of Swami's teachings."
"It was very constructive."
"Thanks for organising Swamiji's visit. It was great!"

We all hope that Swami Ritavan's first visit in Sydney was just a start to his presence in New South Wales, and that the seed of Tradition has now been sown in the city. The work will continue ... a small group of us is already looking forward to sitting together for the Full Moon meditation in May.

From Sydney
Nina Pulaska

Editor’s note: Himalayan Yoga Meditation Society of Australia is an AHYMSIN affiliated center.  We invite you to visit their website