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Join Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center for a month of inner transformation and deep immersion in a peaceful yogic lifestyle, all with the guidance and support of seasoned practitioners. Enliven and deepen your yoga practice, ground yourself in a classical yoga tradition, learn to teach yoga to others with confidence and grace. Immerse yourself in a well-rounded yogic lifestyle, participate in daily asanas (yoga poses), pranayama (breathing exercises), Karma yoga (selfless service), vegetarian diet, meditation, and chanting.
Dorm rooms include a single bed and storage space for personal belongings. Lots of light and air. Same-sex shared bathroom down the hall. Linens provided. Sitting area down the hall.
This month-long residential training follows the ancient Gurukula system, where students live, study, practice, and serve alongside their teachers and fellow aspirants. Students will practice the classical yoga curriculum, which opens opportunities for deep personal transformation.
The spiritual essence of yoga will be learned through in-depth lessons shared from heart to heart by senior disciples and experienced teachers. This will help awaken self-awareness, leadership, and guide the student to cultivate health and vitality. In addition, the course will prepare students to transmit the knowledge of yoga to others.
An important component of the yoga teacher training is that for one month, you will study the lessons of the four paths of yoga. By learning with the Gurukula system, you will transform detailed theory into practical understanding.
The practice of selfless service helps to reduce selfishness and egoism and keeps you fit, healthy, and joyful. You will learn how to transform karma into dharma.
Bhakti yoga is the yoga of devotion and teaches us how to open the heart and sublimate the emotions. You will enjoy the practice of kirtan (chanting of classical Sanskrit mantras), learn about Indian mythology, and other traditional Indian rituals.
Raja yoga is a system of eight limbs of yoga (also known as Ashtanga yoga), starting with guidelines in ethical behavior and ending with meditation. Students will understand the interconnectedness of the different aspects of yoga techniques, all leading to better control of the body and understanding of the mind. In fact, yoga is meditation and meditation is yoga. Additionally, you will learn yoga psychology, positive thinking, and concentration theory and practice.
Jnana yoga or yoga of knowledge is the study and practice of Vedanta philosophy. Practically, it is the practice of self-inquiry and the understanding of the three bodies, five layers, and karma. Also, one would learn to detach from the illusory understanding of self and others and realize oneness.
Each day, you will study and practice yoga poses as the senior teachers guide you on how to teach asanas and pranayama. The daily practice with individual corrections includes:
Pranayama, the science of prana control, consists of breathing exercises to enhance the health of the body and mind. You will learn Kapalabhati and Anuloma Viloma (alternate nostril breathing) daily. Also, you will be introduced to advanced pranayama. In summary, pranayama will give you the following benefits:
Meditation is an integral part of the practice of yoga. During this course, you will learn the practical steps of meditation, what meditation is, and what meditation is not. In addition, you will learn that meditation is a spiritual journey to the realization of oneness.
During the course, there will be a focus on japa meditation, or mantra repetition. You will learn how a Sanskrit mantra is a mystical energy encased in a sound structure. Furthermore, through repetition, you will create a positive thought pattern.
Yogic cleansing exercises, known as 'kriyas' assist nature in removing waste products from our bodies. Practicing cleansing is important as the yogi regards their bodies as a vehicle in which to evolve toward higher consciousness. Therefore, you will learn and practice, with guidance, yoga kriya exercises.
This study helps you to improve the understanding of your body during your own yoga practice, and to apply it in your teaching practice. You will learn:
Yoga philosophy will give you insights into our mistaken beliefs of who we are and what reality really is. A deeper understanding of yourself will help you to detach and release stress, which will bring your mind and body in harmony with your life purpose. You will learn about karma and will understand the causes of your obstacles and challenges.
The philosophy classes are considered the main teaching and will benefit you for a long time as the seeds of knowledge are being transmitted. The study of classical yoga texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita and the writings of Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center's own yoga masters will also take place to enrich you.
Kirtan is singing the divine name, or the mantra, with devotion, love, and faith. Through this practice, you will learn how kirtan helps to purify the heart and calm the mind.
Food is responsible for building our physical body. The foods we eat and the manner we eat, also affect our mind, senses, energy, capacity of thinking, intellect, and environment.
Course topics include:
Students will enjoy special cultural programs, ceremonies, concerts, and lectures offered by special guest teachers in allied Vedic sciences, such as Ayurveda and Jyotish.
There is one weekly day off. During the day off, students are only required to attend morning and evening satsangs and to perform their Karma yoga. Attendance at all activities is mandatory and there will be a final exam at the end.
The yoga teacher training course requires a high degree of discipline and commitment, however, prior mastery of yoga practices is not necessary. Instead, yoga is about inner growth. Of course, the prior practice of asanas and meditation is preferable. In order to best prepare for the intensive yoga teacher training schedule, you are recommended to take a course at the ashram prior to the training.
Here is some recommended reading for at-home study:
We may visit the nearby Peace Awareness Labyrinth.
Swami Sivasankariananda, C-IAYT, director of the Los Angeles Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center, served as director of the San Francisco Center from February of 2015 to September 2019. She returns to LA where she lived for 20+ years. She completed her TTC at the Yoga Farm in 1997 and ATTC there in 2008. Swamiji has been on yatra in north and south India and Mount Kailas. She loves to teach and is particularly fond of the Bhakti Yoga practices. She took sannyas in 2017 and is a certified yoga therapist.
Swami Dharmananda has been the assistant director of the Yoga Farm for many years and is in charge of the Karma yoga program. He is a faculty of the Sivananda Institute of Health (SIHY) and is one of the main teachers of yoga philosophy and meditation at the ashram. He took sannyas vows in 2013 and is keenly interested in yoga psychology and philosophy, presenting the classical teaching in a practical and accessible way to people of all faiths and backgrounds.
Swami Adi Parashaktiananda is a dedicated Sadhak and Hatha yoga practitioner and teacher. He took the first monastic vow from Sivananda lineage in 2011 and has been traveling yearly to Vietnam as Swami Sitaramananda’s assistant since then. Swamiji has been teaching the Hatha yoga classes for the Teachers Training Course (TTC) and has also been traveling to Chengdu, China to help teach the TTC there. He teaches a seven-day Hatha yoga sadhana course and the 14-day Sivananda sadhana intensive course, whose emphasis is on the individual practice of pranayama. Swamiji took sannyas vows in 2017.
Nestled in a historic neighborhood of Los Angeles, the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center is grand, intimate, inviting and extremely peaceful. Lots of space to just be. Though it is located near downtown, USC, and the Exposition Park museums, you will be better-served by the course to remain onsite and absorb the teachings - in more ways than you might realize at the time.
Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats
Throughout your training, you will be served with vegetarian meals, twice a day.
Meat, fish, eggs, black tea, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs are all prohibited during the course, and at the center.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to cater to all personal dietary preferences. Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center offers a lacto-vegetarian and almost fully organic menu, and also dairy-free and wheat-free dishes. With this, most people are happy, healthy, and feel well-fed. Side dishes, desserts, and snacks may contain gluten and dairy.
You are also invited to:
Read from the extensive collection of yoga books in the library.
Visit Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center boutique which sells yoga books, CDs, snacks, yoga clothing, and yoga accessories.
Book a rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage.
The following Ayurvedic offerings are available by appointment at the Center for an additional fee:
Los Angeles International Airport
Transfer not provided
Please book your flight to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
Take Uber or Lyft from the airport.
Please note that month-long parking is not available onsite. Contact them for help arranging parking.
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