The chanting of vedic mantras during a fourteen day puja charged the atmosphere during our March Teacher Training Program at SRSG. Our very large group of Level one and Level two students, forty-two in all, were immersed in the Himalayan Tradition through the calming sound of the chanting and our excellent faculty including Swami Ritavan, Ashutosh Sharma, Marilu Hermens and Peter Fabian. The grace of the lineage seemed to envelope us.
Sixteen Gurukulum students participated, some as Level 1 students and others who had now advanced to Level 2. They were unanimous in agreeing that the TTP program was an invaluable addition to their already intensive program of studies and sadhana. The Gurukulum students are not just from many parts of India, but also from Italy, Belgium, Canada, Holland, and Trinidad.
I am always asked what countries the TTP students are from as it is so amazing to see how The Himalayan Tradition spans the globe. The rest of the TTP students were just as international as our Gurukulum students. Six students were from the coasts of the USA including New Jersey ,the California Redwoods and the Far Northwest of Washington State. A cool Canadian was also with us. Two women came from Mauritius where Geeta Currimjee will soon open a HYT center. Trinidad brought a member of the AHYMSIN Executive Committee, Winthrop Harewood, whose goal is to teach to the quickly growing number of aspirants there. The continent of South America was represented this time by students from Venezuela and Brazil. A BIG welcome to you!! Holland and Hungary were our European connections. India was represented by Deepak Bagai, our new assistant in the TTP office and by Shoba an aspiring PhD in yoga philosophy from Haridwar. Finally, we had seven amazing Japanese whom our own Fuku Iida brought from his ashram in Japan. I say amazing as most of them spoke very little English and sat attentively with no recordings through all 140+ hours of the two weeks. Then went to their rooms at night to discuss the days’ lectures!!!!
Llyn Evans, who comes from Wales and is our resident English teacher at SRSG, gave a magical evening performance comparing the beliefs of two ancient cultures, Celtic and Indian. She took us in and out of marvelous experiences as she explored the blend of cultural myths and truths, a splendid personal interpretation. She held our undivided attention throughout the hour as only a gifted storyteller can.
This year, our retreat fell at the same time as “Yoga Week” at Parmath Nikethan, a large ashram on the bank of the Ganges in Ram Jula (Rishikesh). We had the pleasure of going to some of the events including a session by Swami Veda. Later, we attended the magnificent arti by the Ganga. All of us marveled at the magic and the presence of “spirit” as the sunset fell in brilliant saffron color and draped us in its robes into the evening moonlight.
This retreat we celebrated two graduates of the entire three level program. Certificates were awarded to Pamela Khudan from Trinidad and Irma DeBore, originally from Holland, now living in Asia. Congratulations to you both for your tenacity and your commitment to The Himalayan Yoga Tradition.
We can’t go without mentioning Swami Veda’s warm wishes for the students as we came to a close. Always Swamiji’s blessings and messages are invaluable. Thank you, Dear Swami Ji, for all your kindness and love to us all.
Editor's Note: To learn more about the Himalayan Yoga Tradition - Teacher Training Program (HYT-TTP), please visit https://www.himalayanyogatradition.com/