COURSE JOINING AGREEMENT
Dearest Yoga Aspirant Pranaams,
This course follows the strict ethos of the lineages and traditions of the noble ones, the Yogis. This is in order to uphold the sanctity, purity and undiluted teachings of those Yogis who selflessly sacrificed their secrets.
This document outlines in detail the code of conduct and course ethos that is maintained by all students on the course. Even though we are learning remotely in our own homes, in essence it is the equivalent of joining an ashram under the observation of Dr Kumar. We are responsible for our own self-discipline.
PLEASE READ THIS CAREFULLY BEFORE AGREEING.
PLEASE NOTE YOU WILL BE ASKED ABOUT THESE POINTS IN YOUR COURSE INTERVIEW.
THE DOWNLOADABLE PDF OF THIS AGREEMENT IS ON THE COURSE PAGE.
Yoga supports physical and mental wellbeing and can lead to wide ranging benefits. Yoga Healing Foundation is not a medical care provider however and cannot be responsible for diagnosing, examining, or treating individual medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific course activity on a medical condition. When you engage in yoga practice please do so with awareness of your individual physical fitness and participate at a level that is appropriate for you. When practicing yoga, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating and assume all risk of injury to yourself. Please continue with any prescription medication during the course.
- I hereby state that all information provided in connection with my application is true and correct.
- I understand and agree to the declaration and the statements in the code of conduct outlined below.
- I understand that there are no interactive sessions.
- I understand that awarding the certificate of attendance at the end of the course is at the sole discretion of Yoga Healing Foundation
- I understand that I can be removed from the course at the discretion of Yoga Healing Foundation on the basis of not maintaining the code of conduct.
- I understand that Yoga Healing Foundation reserves the right to reject my application with or without assigning any reasons thereof.
This course is for serious aspirants who look to Yoga for complete transformation, purification and liberation of the body, mind and soul.
The course is conducted in Purvashrama Sampradaya, the traditional system of Guru Shishya Parampara of Shrutha Sampradaya, which means the oral tradition, ‘as heard from Gurus’. Every word spoken by Dr Kumar, honours the pure lineages which he graciously represents in absolute gratitude and reverence.
Though online, students on the course are entering into a virtual ashram and should be prepared to conduct themselves with utmost caution, discipline and awareness.
When one enters the gates of an ashram, they must leave their intellectual baggage and prior learning at the door regardless of qualifications, experience or status, and enter in humility, as a beginner, an empty cup ready to be filled with the purest of pure teachings. The path to enlightenment can only be taught by one who has achieved it, going to such a Guru should only be undertaken if one is able to surrender one’s own perceptions and judgments and to understand that everything being taught is necessary for the goal to be achieved. What is taught comes direct from the Pool of Consciousness exactly as it should be in order for us to break out of the bondages of our conditioning. In every traditional ashram in India, the student is at the lotus feet of the Guru in unquestioning devotion and surrender. The Guru is a representative of the Pool of Consciousness and a conduit to Singularity/ Holy Spirit/ Parabrahma/Paramatma/ Allah/ Non-Entropy and the way to connect is through the grace of the Guru’s teaching and voice.
This course is not for those who learn from the head, approach the course an intellectual pursuit, and consider it their right to critically evaluate, judge or take a position of agreement or disagreement on the teachings, as one might do in other educational contexts. Neither is it correct to learn conditionally, partially or on one’s own terms. The only way to learn in such a setting is unconditionally, non-judgmentally and choicelessly, to learn from the heart not from the head, and to establish a sense of connectedness to the Guru so that what flows through him can flow through you.
An enlightened Guru is a super-conductor. Any positive conduct as a student under such a Guru is like planting a mango seed in fertile ground that will bear hundreds of sweet fruit, however, any negative conduct is like planting a bitter seed in fertile ground that will bear hundreds of poisonous fruit. This is the reason why the code of conduct is strictly enforced in any ashram in which the technologies of enlightenment are being taught, it is for the protection of the student, the protection of the community and the protection of the traditions.
There will be no published curriculum, modules or electives. The course teaches us adaptability, flexibility and responsiveness. The course is not a commodity and students are not customers. The course will be taught in the ancient tradition of going to a Guru to choicelessly learn whatever that Guru teaches. The daily class will vary in length so each student needs to have some degree of flexibility about time commitment, any missed portions of classes can be caught up with on non-class days. The teaching style will be very strict, in line with the culture of Traditional Ashrams. Yoga is to be learned orally and experientially, not intellectually or through reading. For thousands of years, Yoga/ Vedic traditions are called Sruthas, which means only by listening. This entire tradition is based on listening, the quickest way to learn more, absorb and adapt to be transformed.
As a student, what is important is to have the right intention, the right attitude and the right devotion in order to benefit from this rare and precious opportunity. The teachings of Yoga do not exist without enlightened teachers to convey them and the student-teacher relationship (Sanskrit: Guru Shishya Parampada) is everything. Even though the course is online this is still very relevant as consciousness has no barriers. The attitude of a student is of paramount importance when taking a course of this nature. This is for your own benefit and in respect for the Guru and great lineage of enlightened teachers who have preserved these teachings.
This course is for those aspiring to follow the highest path of Yoga, who wish to make a soul journey under the expert guidance of an accomplished and fully enlightened Guru. The aim is to become completely selfless, thereby liberating the soul from the ego. To become a student of such a teacher is a great privilege and an incredibly rare opportunity, the criteria to join is not payment, but suitability based on the attributes of a student outlined by the great Indian Saints and Gurus of the Yoga tradition.
The opportunity is to learn Yoga within its authentic Indian cultural context. In the Indian system a Guru teaches not just techniques but guides one on every single aspect of life, teaching us how to live in purity for the perfect health and happiness of the individual and for the rebalancing society as a whole.
Although the course is for five months, the tradition of going to learn with a Guru is to find a guide for a lifetime because this journey is not easy or immediate. Deep transformation takes dedication, perseverance and a burning desire to pursue the path. As long as Dr Kumar is willing to teach, students who uphold the code of conduct can continue their journey with him on an ongoing basis.
The course follows the strict ethos of the lineages and traditions of the noble ones, the Yogis. This is in order to uphold the sanctity, purity and undiluted teachings of those Yogis who selflessly sacrificed their secrets of practice and path, in absolute trust, in order to benefit their devoted students.
What will be taught is the highest science given by enlightened Yogis, not by those who are still seekers or teachers at the stage of exploring mind and body having not yet attained full liberation. The course will teach the pure technique of Self Realisation (Sanskrit: Siddhantha Vicharana / Vidya Paddhathi) as practiced and realised by every Yogi and Saint in India for thousands of years, such as the great Nachiketa, Brigu, Yagnavalkya, Vasista, Vyasa, Krishna, Buddha, Patanjali, Adi Shankara.
Please see the ‘Introduction to the Yogi Training course by Dr. Kumar’ slideshow on the homepage of www.traditionalyoga.co.in written by Dr Kumar, for detail about the expected qualities of a student (Shadguna) as given by Adi Shankaracharya and other important points.
Damamu: Not becoming distracted
Shamamu: The ability to focus
Uparathi: The ability to sustain concentration
Titiksha: The ability to avoid reacting
Shraddha: Total surrender, self motivation, devotion and interest
Samadhana or Gratitude: The development of humility, ego-lessness and selflessness
Also, Mumuksha: The burning desire to become enlightened. The realisation of Allah, the Holy Spirit, Paramatma, requires perseverance in spiritual progress.
Traditional Yoga is a charity established to restore the noble legacy of Yoga, in its wholeness, undiluted purity and highest standards. The course is offered on a donation basis.
1.Work hard without expectation/ Nishkaama karma yoga and Karmaphala sanyasa yoga: The fundamental yogic principle to stay happy is to have ZERO expectation, so that anything thus given gives complete satisfaction, happiness and gratitude. Do not come with any preconceived notions of what ‘should’ be taught. If what you expect is to be taught then why is a Guru or tradition required? This amounts to not learning. Dr. Kumar will teach what we need in order to become Yogis as per the traditions, not what we think we need or want. A Karma Yogi appreciates and has gratitude for everything they receive, and accepts challenges smilingly.
2. Live in the present with an open mind, accepting each moment of the teaching as it comes. This will enable you to get maximum benefit from the spontaneous and dynamic way in which Dr. Kumar teaches. A Guru is a clean water pipe through which the water of the teachings flow. Don’t look for a set package or timetable of teaching that would block that flow, just drink the water and trust that it will nourish and purify you. Yoga is to live in this moment, accept and adapt, instead of having any expectation about this moment. Because this moment is not created by you or for you but for everyone. Like any other species, instead of questioning what is given in this moment and becoming unhappy, the best way is to accept it.
3. Surrender to the Guru/ Bhakthi Yoga: Surrender is your strength and protection on the path to enlightenment. Take refuge in the Guru. Don’t question or argue with the Guru mentally. Whatever is not understood just leave it be, don’t react. Learn to listen without bringing the filter of subjective interpretation based on past conditioning. Just absorb without putting an intellectual filter of preconceptions and previously learned notions. In order to learn we must unlearn and relearn. As Shankaracharya says, once you have used right discernment to choose an enlightened teacher, then that is it. What the Guru teaches should not be questioned. The student is at the lotus feet of the Guru. If you trust your own perception more than the Guru’s teaching, then why go to a teacher in the first place? This is ingrained in the traditions. Respecting the authority of the Guru is central to this path.
4. Inflammatory response is required for growth. Tarka/Vitarka: A true Guru is not a pleaser or pamperer and is prepared to shake us out of our conditioning even though it is very difficult. A much easier option for a Guru is to only say what we like and avoid saying things that we don’t like, but with this approach we would never progress. A Guru shouts and admonishes us in order to bring deep change and clear our karma, this is sometimes called ‘tough love’. Be prepared to go out of your comfort zone. The path to enlightenment takes courage, faith, resilience and dedication. If something being taught triggers a strong emotion in you, that is an opportunity to observe the reaction and learn more about your own unconscious habit patterns. If something has triggered you (perhaps because it challenges your prior learning, perceptions, cultural values or views) don’t create a conflict in your mind or dwell on it, just think ‘I don’t yet understand this’. Live in the present and stay open-minded. A Yogi has a 360 degree perspective, far greater insight and sees the subtleties of reality that we miss. If a lesson is being taught it has a purpose and a context, it is our job to understand the purpose of the lesson.
5. Be patient / Sahana and Samyama: If you don’t understand something be patient because learning deeply is like slow cooking, the results are nutritious and tasty. Don’t look for fast food. If you have specific theoretical questions try to wait, you may find they are answered in another class or you may realise that they are no longer important or necessary. Stay calm and quiet and reflect on whether it is really a worthwhile practical question or just a conceptual one. If it is a valid question you can ask a course volunteer, or if you just want to reach out and connect with a volunteer for a chat that’s fine too.
6. Have humility/Aham Brahmasi: Traditional yoga is a charity: The teaching and the entire course is being given freely and generously by Dr Kumar, supported by volunteers, and what is being given is immeasurable. Please do not ask for more or extra than what is freely given. Please value the time of the volunteers and remember that you are a student not a customer. Please bear with any technical glitches or other course issues that arise, everyone is working very hard to ensure things go smoothly but this can never be 100% guaranteed.
7. Practice with awareness/ Sati/Sadhana /Abhyasa. Please approach your practice with awareness of your individual physical limits and go at a pace that is appropriate for you. Practice meditation as per the course guidelines and if you need help let a volunteer know. If you experience any insomnia let a volunteer know immediately.
CODE OF CONDUCT
The first step of Patanjali’s Noble Eightfold Path is Yama and represents the resolution to give up any action that causes harm to others or ourselves by body, speech or mind. It is the foundation that enables progress in the soul journey. Be aware not only of the action but also the quality of mind, volition and thought behind the action.
The Five Yama are observances outlined by Patanjali:
· Ahimsa – non violence, to remove anger or hatred from the mind.
· Asteya – non stealing to remove greed from the mind.
· Satya – truthfulness, right speech and abstaining from gossip/ back biting to remove fear from the mind.
· Brahmacharya – non sexual misconduct to remove lust from the mind, maintaining commitment and respect in physical relationships.
· Apaarigraha – non addiction to prevent slavery of the mind, refrain from intoxicants including alcohol and tobacco.
Patanjali’s Niyamas underpin all of Dr Kumar’s teachings and are implicit in the course ethos and code of conduct. He guides us how to cultivate a purified, positive and surrendered mind in order to live the path and practice. The Niyamas culminate in Eeshwara Pranidhana- surrender to an enlightened Guru.
Every student enrolled on the course must follow these guidelines. Non-compliance would be grounds for withdrawal.
· Please do not make any personal downloads or recordings of the videos. Please do not share any course materials with anyone else without permission, including YouTube video links and notes.
· Notes can be downloaded and printed for your personal reference but should not be shared, circulated or published in any way.
· As a teacher if you wish to use any of the materials in your classes such as practice session videos, please do this by playing it in your class live, but the video links should not be shared. Videos that are already public on Youtube can be shared, but not the video clips or links from any of the RYT courses unless they are also otherwise enrolled students of TY.
· Likewise you may play the course videos to your friends and family members who wish to listen or practice along with you, but please do not share links with them unless they are enrolled on the course.
· Please do not write blog posts, articles or books based on information from the course without first taking permission. Teachings should be absorbed, understood, assimilated and then passed on to students through your classes. Asteya is part of Yama.
· You are not permitted to attend any other courses in yoga or meditation/ spirituality during this training program. Mixing of two traditions in parallel is dangerous, hence it is not allowed.
· You are expected to exclusively follow the teachings being given on the course and must put aside previous meditation practices learned in other traditions.
· If you have trained in a particular style of Yoga previously, the intent should be to assimilate, evolve and gradually change your practice and teaching in response to what is being taught.
· It is a requirement for all participants on the course to maintain communication with course volunteers and respond to messages. You will have a course mentor with whom you must be in regular contact via Whatsapp and must respond to when invited to have a phone call. One should not be a passive participant, but actively engaged and in communication. Not acknowledging or responding to messages is considered as not respecting the tradition and will lead to withdrawal from the course.
· Each regional volunteer will set up a Course Notifications Whatsapp Broadcast List to keep you up to date with course matters and it is expected that you check this daily. If for any reason you need to be contacted by email instead, or need to be offline for a while please inform the volunteer. This is not an interactive group, your replies will only go to the volunteer.
· There is also a separate gratitude message broadcast list to which you send your expressions of gratitude for the teachings and reflections on your learning and practice as guided by Dr Kumar and your mentor. Participation is expected. Messages you send to the volunteer are sent to Dr Kumar and then circulated anonymously. This group is also non-interactive, however it is a space where you can see messages from the other students on the course.
· Please do not engage in any negative on-line comments, negative feedback, gossip or social media posts, about this course or anything else online. It is negative karma and amounts to breaking of Yama to become a part of promoting negativity in society whatever it is about.
· If you experience any insomnia during the course, please contact your mentor immediately as this affects meditation practice and should be corrected immediately to avoid problems.
· Please continue with any prescription medication during the course. The Yoga Healing Foundation is not a medical care provider and cannot give individual health advice.
· If you feel you would benefit from a mentoring conversation with a volunteer at any point in the course please feel free to contact us.
· The guideline is to watch the class the same day as broadcast. If for any reason you miss a class or can’t complete it please try to finish it on a non-class day, however please do not try to watch sequentially at the cost of watching them the same day of broadcast. Start each day fresh and watch that days class-i.e. stay in the present.
· Please ‘mark the unit complete’ under the class video. Be committed and do your best to watch all the classes. If you miss occasional classes due to life contingencies don’t worry, but if you are continuously struggling to keep up please reach out to a volunteer.
· If for some reason you decide to disengage from the course please inform a volunteer that you wish to withdraw. This should be done at the earliest opportunity. It is not appropriate to stay enrolled on the course if it is no longer your intention to participate or watch on an ongoing basis. If multiple communication attempts with you fail and you are not watching the classes, access to the course will be removed.
· Above and beyond course assignments, at certain points on the course the Guru may request particular responses from all students, not just those taking certification. This will be an opportunity to respond spontaneously and all course participants are expected to do so, or otherwise must contact a volunteer.
About Vedic Nutraceuticals
The great Saint Patanjali who authored the Yoga Sutras, taught the science of working with the mind for enlightenment, and also gave the science of Ayurveda for absolute health. In the same tradition Dr Kumar serves society both by teaching the technologies of enlightenment and providing the nutrition needed by our DNA for total health and purification of mind and body.
Vedic Nutraceuticals is an independent company run by volunteers, established on the principle of by the people, of the people and for the people. The funds raised through the sale of products sustains the charity and enables the courses to be offered for free. Traditional ashrams are self-sustaining through agriculture or other cottage industries. Similarly the online ashram is sustained through a wholesome and ethical company that funds the activities of the charity and greatly improves the health and lives of the students and their families in the process.