Abhinam Yoga Center presents a holistic vision of yoga which addresses the body, mind, and the innermost being.
Yoga Retreats (6)
Sw.Yogananda Namito (Rakesh Ranjan) started studying yoga at the age of seven under Swami Satyananda, the founder of Bihar School of yoga and a direct disciple of Swami Shivananda. Later in his life, he studied with great masters of yoga and spirituality such as B.K.S Iyengar and J.Krishnamurti. It was Krishnamurti who inspired him to travel to Iyengar Institute Pune, India and meet Mr. Iyengar in order to learn yoga on deeper level and learn more about the effect of yoga on human body, mind, and being.
Shunyo has been learning and practicing yoga for many years in its various forms like Ashtanga, Iyengar, Hatha, and Shivananda. She studied theology at the Doshisha University in Japan. She has a strong foundation of practice in Ashtanga Vinyasa flow. During her yoga study at Iyengar Institute Pune, India, she developed a strong feeling that yoga is for all types and age groups of people.
Anniina’s path with yoga started through dance. Working as a dancer and dance teacher she enjoyed yoga as a self practice and a way to tune in. Over the years she explored various styles of yoga but as a dancer was always drawn to vinyasa flow. The passion towards the art of yoga kept growing and she decided to attend teacher training at Abhinam. Her course with Abhinam yoga opened her eyes to see the beauty of the alignment in Ashtanga Vinyasa as she experienced the benefit one gains in the correct use of props. This understanding has brought a new depth to her practice.
from Germany, February 2019
I was looking for a course to deepen my yoga practice and the Ashtanga 200h TTC was definitely the right choice. We had 4 teachers with different focus (alignment, anatomy, philosophy, meditation) and I was impressed with the quality of the teaching: very precise, careful and kind. It was hard work, the best way possible: the early morning practice is very intense, and it's indescribable to do sun salutations watching the sun come up, while you're focused on the alignment of your breath, body and mind. It's like suddenly everything makes sense.
I have some years of yoga experience and felt it was quite demanding, but there were also students with no prior experience and everyone was able to evolve so much in their abilities. I had some hard lessons from pushing myself too much, so my advice is to listen to your body, and have patience. The philosophy lessons and meditation techniques made the experience complete, and it's beautiful to be in a routine where all of these aspects of yoga come together. I learnt so much more than I expected, this was truly a life changing experience to me.
Accommodations were simple, clean and spacious. The food is nutritious, tasty and repetitive (there are plenty of restaurants around in case you need a change). Location was great, 5min from the beach (beach meditations!), Morjim area is very peaceful, not crowded. The staff was great, and a special thank you to Abi, Deepika, Taru and Ankita, amazing teachers from whom I learnt so much.
from Germany, November 2018
I was in the Goa location. The location is 5 minutes’ walk from the beach (if you are in the main building, that it is single rooms. If you are in the Mango Villa, shared rooms and outdoor Yoga-Shala, it is 15 minutes walk from the beach). Arambol is about 10 Km. Renting a Scooter cost 300 rupees per day. The food can be quite repetitive, and I eat outside (as the other students) time to time. Eating outside cost around 300 rupees. As it is India, you have to be prepared for shortcuts, etc. The instructors (Abi, Deepika) are great! They corrected everything in my asanas. I find the teachers and the methodology the best of my stay. The methodology is a combination of Ashtanga Yoga with alignment from Iyengar Yoga. I will recommend the school to all that really want to learn Hatha Yoga. If I comeback to India for Yoga, I will choose this school again (maybe in Dharamshala to change the location).
Felix Siljebäck Larsen
from Sweden, January 2018
Namito was a true bliss to have met. He was kind caring and so helpful
Elias Daniel Rompani
from Argentina, July 2017
Obtuve la orientación que estaba buscando, no solo como practicante del yoga, sino también métodos para la enseñanza en lo físico y lo filosófico. Todos los conocimientos tienen ahora un respaldo teórico y la metodología una finura que me ayudara muchísimo profesor.
If you are wondering why some people post that it is a complete scam while others say it was a life changing experience I decided to write a detailed report how I experienced the TTC at Abhinam.
Writing this review was a strange experience as an inherent characteristic of the yogi lifestyle is not to judge. I tried to report my subjective impressions as true as I can. The framework data: I did 300 hours at abhinam yoga while previously doing my 200 hrs at another institute. Now I can give a review which I believe is informed as I have experienced two different institutions. I split the review in different sections addressing regular events happenings and circumstances.
Course registration and preparation
When I signed up for the course I got send a preparatory email with recommended reading and the original video of the primary series led by Patabhi Jois with the advice to practice the series. Thus I was a little scared. Even though I did yoga for a long time there are Asanas and vinyassas that I have not mastered still. However, the fear turned out to be redundant. Yet, I have to admit that I was rather stressed during the time before going to goa as I felt the pressure to be more advanced.
When I first arrived there I was amazed by the silence and lovely beach and palm trees. It is a holiday place where mostly russians reside. The shala is clean and very nice. However, the rooms are not very clean but can be cleaned more on demand. The noise level was alright apart from the construction site right next to the shala where a house was built when I did the course. However, this was a special case. Generally the area is very quiet for India.
The food was simple but tasty. Vegetables fruit eggs rice dal and salad were on the menu. The food was rather plain and every day more or less the same but mostly well prepared and nutritious. Yet there were worms on the brokkoli, which after realizing it and reporting it to the kitchen staff was not happening anymore.
The morning started with inversions to warm up followed by kryias which are practiced according to osho rather than to the classical yoga style where they are practiced as pranayams. Short: It was a lot of jumping and going wild, which can be very relieving. After the cleansing through the kryias, the ashtanga class started which was sometimes led and sometimes mysore style. Already from the second week onwards the complete morning classes including warm up and kryias were taught by students. Props were used such as blocks and straps which facilitated Asanas and intensified some vinyassas (chaturanga). Yet, little preparatory Asanas were given unless students asked specifically. After the practice, extensive feedback was given for the students who taught the class.
Deepika made the yoga sutras accessible by putting a lot of effort and explanatory stories to make us understand. Philosophy lessons as well as the study materials were excellent to the extent that all students could discuss about yoga in Sanskrit terminology after the four week program. Also Namito taught some philosophy, not according to the Pradipika or the Sutras, but rather as a free speech in which he would address things like a healthy lifestyle, the path to enlightenment and anecdotes and jokes. He is a very strong personality and does not like people asking a lot of questions. The biggest challenge for me was to keep my curiosity and questions aside and listen. So if you look for this challenge, which is the classical Gurukul approach, this is the place to try.
Given that Namito has a medical background the anatomy lessons were disappointing. In total there were three afternoons when he addressed the major muscle groups, tendons and ligaments. Mostly the class consisted of reading out from the manual. Some examples of malfunction of muscle groups were given to make us understand the function of specific muscle groups. Namito stressed the concept of applied anatomy, which was incorporated in the alignment classes in the first week in the afternoons. Here indicated the major muscle groups used in some Asanas. Injuries, injury prevention and ailments were not addressed specifically, but Namito referred to correct alignment. So given you understand the alignment you teach and practise injurie free yoga. This to my understanding is not quite true, because people can have different structures and the right alignment might be wrong for them. Additionally during vinyassas and flows a lot of injuries do happen, especially with beginners and little focus is placed on the alignment of transitions. Yet, it is unfair to expect this in a five weeks program. Personally, I would have liked to be taught about common injuries and how to prevent them. Overall, if you are looking for a real insight to anatomy and injury free yoga this is not a place to go. Yet, as compared to Mysore schools it is for sure the better choice when it comes to understanding and acknowledging the limits of your body.
The alignment classes were given mostly by Maki who is an excellently precise teacher and very clear when giving instructions. She was explaining the alignment with passion and patience multiple times to us. Also the physical correction were taught in these classes which was a big plus for the school in general. The adjustments were stressed a lot and the amount of students with different body types made it very easy to learn about where to touch, how to touch and the correct pressure that should be applied. I am very grateful for these insights! Moreover we learned to use props, such as chairs, the wall, blocks and straps to improve our performance and help students who are not able to get into certain Asanas. This was the Iyengar part of the course, which was shortly but frequently touched upon. It was not extensive (which is due to time limitation) but still very insightful.
The meditations were mostly based on osho which were sometimes intimidating and very strong emotionally, as almost everyone went through a lot of emotional distress and also relief. We were crying and dancing, talking gibberish or just silently walking in moonlight or watching the sunset. It was very intense and not comparable to any meditation I had experienced before. However, I felt also very vulnerable due to these emotional outbreaks which were provoked by the intense meditations. Mostly I did not feel safe enough to be that vulnerable as a lot of the concepts which Namito talked about were strange to me and I did not want to incorporate them -neither in my my life nor in my toughts.
Chanting was a big part of the program as Namito decided that our TTC had a heart focus. We would sing every day multiple mantras which I did enjoy a lot. Also we were singing and hugging and dancing to the matras, so maybe not a classical yoga practise but indeed great, if not done every night. Music itself was mostly played from recorders apart from one night when a music group came to celebrate oshos memorial day.
Was not a big part of the education, even though we were introduced to most pranayams during the first week and taught them also during the second week after the ashtanga morning practise. There was no specific time slot for pranayama so in case the ashtanga class was long, the pranayama part was shortened. To me kryias (according to osho) were a bigger chunk of the program than pranayams.
From the second week onwards we had one hour to teach each other in small groups to get comfortable as a teacher (leading as well as adjusting). This is a big plus, as students become very confident in the choice of words and the development of their „yoga voice“, which is mostly different from the voice used in ervery day life. As mentioned before the adjustment part and working with different body types was great.
All in all I am very grateful for the time and everything I learned, especially the alignment and adjustments. Maki and Deepika are great teachers who do everything they can to pass on what they have learned and experienced in a very humble and professional way. Both to me are authentic, sincere and devoted to their yogic path and lifestyles. Yet, I am doubtful if the course which is marketed so well actually meets the promises it makes, while teaching a lot of things that were not mentioned previously, such as the whole osho meditations and speeches. Overall, I found Namito sometimes quite contradicting in what he did and what he said. One afternoon he specifically told us to take a rest as the class would be exhausting while giving a very gentle hip opening class afterwards. Maybe this is also part of his teaching style to prepare the yogis not to expect anything and not to be disappointed if things do not occur as expected.
Yet, it was difficult to me to be indifferent in this setting as I spent a lot of money, time and effort finding the school and being able to come to the program. Similarly one afternoon he asked us what we would like to do in the afternoon class, and we mutually agreed on a hatha flow class to which he never showed up. However, an hour later when he arrived we did intense push-ups and transitions in inversions. Subjectively, I did not perceive him as a humble or tolerant person. However, he is very friendly, cheerful and chatty towards his students. Even though I experienced that when I was looking for his advice or help (malfunction of hip) I was not given satisfactory advice. In fact he is a master of changing topics. I was very irritated when I realized that he, as a doctor, does not know that muscle tissue and connective tissue are indeed different types of tissues.
So if you are planing to go to Abhinam because you have a certain ailment or dysfunction and hope to get advice on how to do adjust your practice, I would definitely advise you not to go. I feel sorry for giving such a reference, but it is my honest subjective experience.
It was great!! I love it!! I have learned a lot in lovely atmosphere of great friendship!! Very good teachers, good equipment, beautiful surroundings and a good lifestyle (rooms, food). My rating is 12 points of out 10! :)