By Madhava Smullen
Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bhakti Center in New York City has been offering a new selection of virtual yoga teacher training and meditation teacher training programs, as well as training in Ayurveda and kirtan.
Taking advantage of the online format, the classes are held at times that also accommodate a global audience – often hour-and-a-half sessions from 5:30 to 7:00pm on weekdays, with some modules offered between 10:00am and 5:00pm on weekends. This draws a wide and varied audience of all age groups, phases of life, and backgrounds from around the world.
Program Director Doyal Gauranga Das also hopes the global platform will facilitate ISKCON devotees who would like an authentic learning experience in various practices, taught by devotees from a Vaishnava perspective.
“Devotees around the world have interest in yoga and meditation, but it can be tough to find schools or institutions that train according to our Vaishnava lineage,” he says. “We want to be able to offer that support for devotees to get trained as teachers and to feel empowered as leaders.”
Programs include both 200-hour and 300-hour yoga teacher trainings, as well as meditation teacher trainings levels 1, 2, and 3, and 50-hour yoga nidra teacher training, all taught by Charuchandra Das aka Yogi Charu.
The 300-hour yoga teacher training, for example, covers intermediate to advanced postures; advanced pranayama meditation techniques; understanding the five basic elements that make up the body; Swara Yoga (the science of energetic rhythms and breath regulation); japa yoga; and mantra meditation. Teacher trainings equip students to teach on a basic level, although many take them simply to go deeper in their own practice rather than to teach others.
Meanwhile the Living Ayurveda and Ayurveda: The Subtle Body trainings, taught by Dhyana Masla, Vira Tansey, and others feature modules on digestion and nutrition; disease pathology; cooking; Ayurvedic psychology; why and how to Abhyanga (apply oils to the body); and the history and philosophy of Ayurveda.
Kirtan training, taught by Doyal Gauranga and Kishor Chandra, includes understanding how the harmonium works; basic rhythm and timing; the meaning of mantra; the mood of kirtan; and the history of kirtan. Teachers also discuss how to live a life that facilitates a powerful kirtan experience.
Read more: https://iskconnews.org/bhakti-center-offers-yoga-training-grounded-in-vaishnava-tradition,7700/