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Welcome to TTC, now with CEUs!
"Right now, aspirants all over the world are planning their journey to the Bahamas for one of this season's six Yoga Teacher Training Courses. The course is now approved for Continuing Education Units so you can advance your career while immersing yourself in yoga and the elevating experience of the TTC. For details, visit our new TTC web page and CEU page

It is the Supreme Being Himself or Herself
Who Comes to Us in the Form of the Guru

Q&A with Swami Swaroopananda

Swami Swaroopananda is the Acharya (spiritual director) of Sivananda Yoga Centers and Ashrams on the West Coast of the United States, in the Middle East, and in the Bahamas, and is one of the foremost disciples of Swami Vishnudevananda. He is renowned for his spontaneous yet clear, concise, and complete answers to every question. This Q&A is from a May 2010 Satsang in the Bahamas.

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How do aspirants know that they are following a true guru and not just someone who wants disciples, especially since the aspirant is supposed to do what the guru says without questioning the guru?

Answer:
First of all, if you are searching for a teacher, you have to take a risk. Most people don't want to take any risk but it is very rare for the guru to actually appear at the front door, knock, and say, "I am your guru. Come." It can happen, there are some stories of it happening this way, but only to a very few blessed ones. Usually it's not like this. Usually you have to search for your teacher; you have to find the teacher, and along the way you may encounter some disappointments. Those disappointments, however, should not become an obstacle for us on the journey to finding our teacher. We have to take risks.

We need to understand that the guru is a teacher, and that there are two types of teachers. There is a teacher who is teaching us mundane things, worldly things. This is one type of guru. We call this type of guru an upa guru. Then there is the teacher who is teaching us how to attain Self-realization, or how to attain God-realization. We call such a teacher a sat guru. Now upa gurus are many, but the sat guru is one for us. When a teacher who has the capacity to show us how to attain Self-realization or God-realization comes to us and we recognize that that teacher is our guru, and we surrender to that guru, this is because our prayers at the level of the soul were heard. The guru is not a human being. The guru is not the physical form that we see. This is not the guru. The Supreme Being Himself or Herself comes to us in the form of the guru. . . .Continue

Swami Swaroopananda Answers Questions on YouTube

Videotapes of several of Swami Swaroopananda's Q&As recently have been uploaded to our YouTube channel:
Being a Yogi in the World
How to Remove Doubt
Why Meditate?

Ashram News

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Our 2011-2012 Brochure is on its way to you!
Our 2011-2012 Brochure offers an easy and inspiring way to familiarize yourself with our 2011-2012 programs and helps you find the program that is right for you. Not on our brochure mailing list? Subscribe now and receive your copy.

 

Igniting the Fire of Transformation:
Ayurveda Body Treatments Certification Course

We are now accepting a limited number of applications for our Ayurveda Body Treatments Certification Course (Dec 3-11), which offers all interested students a wonderful opportunity to learn the techniques of Ayurveda body treatments with Lalita Devi, the ashram's Well-Being Center director. Practice the traditional oil massage (abhyanga), pouring of oil over the forehead (shirodhara), the introduction of oil into the nasal passages (nasya) and gentle heat therapy (svedana). These treatments provide deep detoxification and rejuvenation and help to achieve ultimate balance for body, mind and spirit.

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The following testimonial is from Narayani (pictured at left), who graduated from the course in 2009, then became a Well Being Center staffer at the Yoga Retreat, and is now enrolled as a student at the renowned Ayurvedic Institute in New Mexico.

"The Ayurveda Bodywork Course was a deeply transformational experience. I took the course with no prior knowledge of massage or Ayurveda. Now, I cannot imagine my life without Ayurveda.

"The course gives practical knowledge that allows us to get to know ourselves more deeply and inspires us to share this discovery with others. We started the day with self-care practices, meditation and chanting followed by yoga and ayurveda teachings, which prepared you for the afternoon of hands-on practice. The yoga class in the afternoon helped to assimilate the knowledge accumulated that day, relaxing and balancing the body and mind.

"The combination of the knowledge being passed from teacher to student, and hands-on guidance in the bodywork, yogic practices and self-care routines is a perfect blend to ignite the fire of transformation."

Learn more about the course here.