I attended Himilayan Yoga Academy from October to December in 2014. I chose this institution due to positive reviews that I found on the internet and because of its location in the infamous destination of Rishikesh, India. I can give nothing but further positive review for this wonderful group of professionals who have put together a program that so far exceeded my expectations, I can easily say that it reoriented the foundation of how I live.
The teachers and organizers of the program are trained, educated, spiritually in-tune people. They are full of life and give all of their efforts to following the tenants of yoga and living with awareness to the inter workings of the mind and the society around them. I met and came to respect numerous people as figures who could teach me many things I had never discovered about myself. Himalayan Yoga Academy is a place of humor and calm, study and meditation, relaxed and focused conversation. In my opinion, they have developed a perfect atmosphere for learning yoga.
The program itself is diverse in subject matter and well-organized. It is a complete foundation for teaching yoga.
The 200-hour certification I went through was actually 240 grueling (difficult yet rewarding) hours of classes, with primary focus on Hatha Yoga. Structural alignment is one of the most important classes in the program, teaching the ins and outs of how to align the muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons in order to perfect each posture. Immensely helpful. Asana (asana practice with less focus on theory of alignment) classes with Yogacharya Ashish are also integral to the program, and they are also demanding in nature, with verbal and physical adjustments given throughout each session. Meditation is another key course and becomes part of day to day life. We were encouraged to meditate before meals, before sleep, as much as we could. And of course we were given an assortment of meditative techniques during meditation instruction, along with many lengthy stints of group meditation.
Two other primary subjects are Pranayama (science of breathing) with Pandeyji and Shatkarma (health practices of yogic lifestyle) with Kamal. Both of these subjects are wonderful and taught with expertise. We also had courses in teaching theory, philosophy, and anatomy.
The program also offered many elective courses such as Kundalini, Zazen meditation, Zen massage, and Acro Yoga. We had the chance to receive instruction from many masters. For instance, meditation class went through four well-known and respected masters.
Excursions on Sundays are delightful and the destinations are breathtaking. It is incredible to spend a full week studying diligently and then reach Sunday and know that the experience is going to be one of a kind. Cannot express how awesome Sundays are. Waterfalls, rafting, sacred caves, time with friends.
I can go on and on about Himalayan Yoga Academy. I still haven't mentioned how good the food is, the many concerts to attend for free, or the unique setting that is Swarg Ashram. You can research the city itself to find out why it has become the Yoga capital of India.
I'll end with saying that going to Himalayan Yoga Academy brought me into the most positive, inspiring friendships of my life. People from all different nations coming together to be dedicated to studying the eight limbs of Yoga. Every other student attending was kind, open, modest, and ready to learn. Journey of a lifetime...
Thank you for reading!