Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi

Council on Yoga Accreditation International

by Stephen Parker (Stoma)

Stoma at the CYAI Board Meeting, Lonavla, India

On his way to SRSG in March, Stoma represented Swami Veda at the board meeting of the Council on Yoga Accreditation International at Kaivalyadhama in Lonavla, Maharashtra, India. For a week, a small committee worked on construction of certification examinations for yoga instructor, which generally fits with our 200 teaching certificate; yoga teacher, which generally fits with our 500 hour certificate; and yoga therapist, which requires an allied medical background. All our certified teachers can also be certified with CYAI by providing the names and paying a US$25 registration fee which is good for five years. The procedures on getting this done are still being worked out. 

Members of the committee included Dr. Rajan Narayanan, a yoga therapist from Silver Spring, Maryland, in the U.S.; Dr. Ranjit Bhogal, Professor of Psychology and Associate Director of Research at Kaivalyadhama, India, and editor of Yoga Mimamsa, the oldest journal of research on yoga; Rachel Hammerlein, a teacher trainer from the Yoga Institute in Mumbai, India; Dr. Suresh Barnwal, Professor at Dev Sanskriti Vishvsvidyalaya, Haridwar, India; and Dr. Satish Pathak, retired surgeon and medical consultant to the Yoga Therapy Program at Kaivalyadhama, India. These examinations with be available to all of our certified teachers.

At the board meeting, the examinations were approved and the procedures of administering them as well. They will be given online by a test administrations company yet to be chosen. The target date for the first administration is March 2016. Teachers certified before that date can take the examination when their certification renews in five years. During the next year we need to submit the names of our certified teachers. There is a fee of US $25 for certification which lasts for five years (compared to Yoga Alliance which is US $55 annually). We will be working on a way to administer this project soon.

Another resolution celebrated the work of board member, Swami Amrta Suryananda of the Portuguese Yoga Federation, to get the Government of India and the United Nations to declare World Yoga Day on June 21st each year. Swamiji gave his logo for the event to the Government of India and CYAI voted to encourage its member institutions to use that logo in any celebrations in which they participate.

Among the best experiences of the visit was the opportunity to meet Shri Om Prakash Tiwari and Subodh Tiwari, the Co-Directors of Kaivalyadhama. O. P. Tiwari was trained by Swami Kuvalayananda, the founder of Kaivalyadhama. He also knew Swami Rama and spoke warmly of late night sessions with Baba in his room in Chicago. Subodh Tiwari manages much of the activity at Kaivalyadham and is a wonderful combination of practicality and managerial ability and a deep knowledge and reverence for the heart of the yoga tradition. When we met, them I had only to see them for my heart to know that we were already friends. Subodh Tiwari will visit Sadhaka Grama in May.

I also met Lee Majewski, a yoga teacher and cancer survivor who has developed a three week intensive workshop program on yoga and cancer for cancer patients who have completed their chemotherapy and radiation treatment. She hopes to catch people at their lowest in the arc of the experience of cancer and help them to rebuild their lives, utilizing the gifts that the experience offers. We discussed the possibility of her bringing the program to SRSG at some point. Rachel Hammerlein and Divya Naithani of the Bombay Yoga institute, who also became friends during the event, both visited SRSG within days of the board meeting. The institution, second only to Kaivalyadham in longevity, was so well known in India that, says SVB, in the 1950’s one could send a letter to “Yoga Institute—India” and it would be delivered! Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavnani from Pondicherry was not only a very sensible physician but someone with a very traditional yogic heart. When he asked me to convey his greetings to Swami Veda he looked down at the floor and lovingly wept with respect. But he also laughed—a lot, which helped to lubricate things on the board.

For details on the work of the board, the minutes are maintained on the organization’s website www.cyai.org.

Editor ’s Note:

For more about the Himalayan Yoga Tradition – Teacher Training Program (HYT-TTP), please visit the website: http://hyt-ttp.com/

The next teacher training retreat scheduled to take place at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) 8th – 21st November 2015; please see http://hyt-ttp.com/india.html

Immediately preceding the teacher training retreat, there will be a Breath & Prana Intensive Seminar 1st - 7th November 2015 at SRSG with Marilou Hermens,

Senior Teachers and SRSG Teaching Staff; please see http://ahymsin.org/main/srsg-ashram/breath-prana-intensive-seminar-1st-7th-november-2015.html



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