The boundaries between my body and the atmosphere around me were disappearing. The weight of my body was sinking onto the ground. My fingers felt the porous earth and I could transparently feel the moisture nurturing my skin. The roots were formed and I built a solid foundation on the earth. They grew through the gap between my fingers, embracing the sunshine and yielding to the storms. The plant which once was little now touched the sky. It bore fruits and flowers while my mind was awake and aware, settled back. I was one with nature.
Before this conscious state which I just narrated, I saw the daylight. I was in the garden with ten other students and our yoga teacher. We were discussing the state of stillness without becoming lost in mind. Within a few seconds, I was lying on the ground and entered the abode of the innate inner presence. The Savasana class made me realize a feeling which is truly hard to express. It was a moment I truly felt how yoga makes a difference. Being there at AtmanAdhiroha for Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh intensified my learning experience in many ways. It plucked me out from the worn-out garden and planted me in the climate of love and perseverance.
The warm sun deepened my poses, the natural spring reminded me to stay hydrated, and the fresh breeze gave a turn to my perspective while a small butterfly in the garden invited me to learn how to focus on something small. I discovered myself.
AtmanAdhiroha always asked me to stay present and breathe deeply. There was so much between the routine of walking forth and back from my room to class. Here I found instantaneous freedom. Jotting down from my experience here is why AtmanAdhiroha is an investment every person wanting to learn yoga should make.
Staying on-premises which is filled with stuffy air impacts the learning. It makes it difficult for students to focus on their lessons and also limits the quality of yoga teaching. A campus with not enough space to breathe in could never meet the diverse needs of the students.
AtmanAdhiroha is set up on vast green land. Each building is constructed far distanced from others. Let’s start by walking in from the gate, you’ll come across the divine statue of Lord Shiva resting under the shade of a little hut. For us, Shiva is the very first element, the space/universe. He is the primal Atman (Self) of the universe. Bow to him and move forward to the four stairs leading to a good length corridor facing towards the garden, the second element: the earth. It is adorned with neatly trimmed hedges and vines of Bougainvillea. The grass here reminds me of a line from the poem Song of Myself Section 6 by Walt Whitman, where he guesses the symbolism of grass as ‘I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green stuff woven.’ Just like the grass is interwoven we as a part of humanity are connected.
The corridor gives an opening to multiple spacious rooms. It welcomes ample light and fresh air. The residential building has two floors to house a maximum of 24 students. Taking tiny steps forward from here to the elevated ground while you enjoy the landscape, you’ll find the Hawan Kunda (fire altar), the sacred fire and the third element of AtmanAdhiroha. With every sunrise, we gather here for Yagya to purify the subtle environment and destroy pollution permeating the atmosphere. It unfolds the peace for everyone residing on the premises for yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. While you face the fire altar on your right you’ll find the Yoga Shala. It is a large open central space with a solid metal roof on top and massive glass windows covering the walls to give a picturesque panoramic view. The building is equipped with shelves of yoga mats and props.
The air here is filled with many sounds of nature for better realization of different practices. Let’s head back to the yoga shala door and turn right to find the stairs leading to the natural water spring, the fourth element. The natural spring has this unique ability to pause the train of thoughts and bring awareness to the present moment. Take a left from here on the downward elevation and enter the open dining space. The kitchen serves sattvic food that purifies the mind and becomes part of pure consciousness. It is primarily plant-based and focuses on organic food that grows in harmony with nature.
The space is surrounded by short boundaries on three sides and opens from one to the deep forest. It invites fresh air, the fifth element throughout the day. Painted with neutral colours, the campus help attendees achieve a certain degree of initial concentration. The space creates enabling environments for reflection, introspection, and healing. a always asked me to stay present and breathe deeply. There was so much between the routine of walking forth and back from my room to class. Here I found instantaneous freedom. Jotting down from my experience here is why AtmanAdhiroha is an investment every person wanting to learn yoga should make.
Yoga is a lifelong journey and the teacher that guides you on that journey is a key part of it. One teacher teaching multiple subjects neglect deep fundamental content knowledge. Teaching skills of Yoga practices demand a comprehensive understanding of the principles and practices of Yoga.
Hence, AtmanAdhiroha follows the formula of ‘One Teacher per Subject’ for yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. Each teacher is highly qualified and experienced in their particular domain. They maintain the harmony between physical health and emotions based on their high understanding. During my journey, I didn’t just learn the physical positions and mental practices but also gained progressive development in the path of yoga with the help of my teachers. Yoga is realization. A realization of how you move, where you feel the weight or stretch or how you breathe. Hence, performing yoga correctly is essential. The Adjustment and Alignment class is a way of learning the correct technique of getting in and out of a posture to enhance its benefits and prevent any possible injuries.
All teachers of AtmanAdhiroha are very patient and instinctively know when you are ready to move to the next challenge. They always made sure that my practice is evolving and not stagnating. The classes are based on practical activities, interactive sessions and games. To support my learning and to make it more futuristic, they introduced me to a subject called Teaching Methodology. It gave me a chance to design classes from my perspective and conduct them during my yoga teacher training course. This experience helped me to develop an integrated approach to the learning experience with the blend of the best of the principles of teachings for my future endeavours.
I’m now a yoga teacher. What I learned in AtmanAdhiroha has stayed with me and will continue to do so. During my journey, I realized how important it is to be in a particular environment, under the guidance of proficient teachers and the company of like-minded classmates to be the yoga teacher I’m today. I don’t have one name. As I’m the voice of many alumni of AtmanAdhiroha and yours, who is listening to me right now.
“Aum Namaha Shivaya”