Shanti Yoga Center for Harmony

THE SHANTI MARGA PROGRAM

By Vyasa

 

 Shanti Marga means the road to peace. The Shanti Marga course is designed for those interested in learning and practicing yoga as a “way of life.” It will show how to develop our potential for attaining a state of inner peace that brings about the joy of living.

 Peace exists deep within us, deep in the core of our being.  To experience peace, we need to cross through peaks and valleys of the internal road.  In the same way that we use a map or directions to reach a destination, the methods and techniques of yoga are used as guides on the path of self-discovery.  To walk this road to the end for attainment of a permanent state of inner peace requires bold determination, courage, will power, humility, patience, and forbearance to overcome our fear and ignorance of our spiritual nature.  The Shanti Marga course offers the gentle but firm preparation required for this deep personal work.

The Shanti Marga course is valuable for those interested in personal development.  The process involved provides an opportunity to develop—not through the intellect but through experience—helping to attain fearlessness via self-knowledge and self-discipline and to discover inner strength and the core of our being—who we really are.

 Shanti Kshatriya:  This program is available for those who want to continue on this path after completing Shanti Marga.  A Shanti Kshatriya, meaning “warrior of peace,” describes a person who has attained a commitment to pursue the path of spiritual development as the most important endeavor of his life.  All other circumstances of life are accommodated around this commitment.  As the word warrior implies, one must be armed with weapons of the soul, above all with total surrender to God’s will.  These are necessary to overcome our lower nature and to adequately prepare for reclaiming our Divine nature. (Enrollment in this program may be discussed with the instructor.)

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE PROGRAM

The complete Shanti Marga course includes nine segments.  The various segments will be offered regularly so that students may practice at their own pace.  This course may be pursued with or without previous experience in yoga; the only prerequisite is our six hour Foundation of Yoga course covering the basic concepts of Yoga and Hatha Yoga postures.  The curriculum develops over the nine segments so that students, even a neophyte, may develop a yoga practice and a thorough understanding of yoga as a way of life. 

 The format is suitable for residents of the area who work or study full-time with a commitment of a minimum of one 1½ hour evening class per week plus additional time for homework and attendance in at least one Hatha Yoga class per week based on the indications given for each level.  The yoga class is optional if the student can report a regular personal practice.

 An important component of the course, homework includes reading, research, and written reports along with the regular practice.  In between segments there will be mandatory and optional books to be read. Attendance to 80% of the classes is required.  The remaining 20% can be made up during the course on other days. 

 The curriculum is currently undergoing some revision, however, the outline below gives an overview of the program Shanti Marga offers.

 

BEGINNERS I

  12 weeks                                   1 class/week                      1.5 - 2.5 hour class

 In this course, students will become more proficient in the basic Yoga routine, as taught in the Foundation of Yoga course, which will be practiced throughout the twelve weeks. Students will be encouraged to participate in another class each week and to practice at home. 

During the 12 weeks, discussions will be held on the five principles of Yoga and how to implement them in daily life.  The practice of the five principles: proper breathing, diet, exercise, relaxation, and positive thinking/meditation will be encouraged.  Articles about the principles (included in the handbook provided) along with additional reading assignments should be read in their entirety. White clothes, to be used only for Yoga practice in class and at home, will be required.

 

BEGINNER’S II

  12 weeks                                1 class/week                      1.5-3.0 hour class

 In this level the asana routine includes basic practices of pranayama, which extends the session one and a half hours.  Students who cannot attend the practical segment of this class will be required to do it at home with the audiotape that will be provided.  In this segment emphasis is placed on the importance of pranayama, the preparation for a better diet, and the basic notions of Ayurveda that are important contributors to the selection of a proper diet.

 

BEGINNER’S III

 12 weeks                           1 class/week                1.5-3.0 hour class

 In this level, students will learn a completely different routine based on one developed by Bikram Choudhury, who was a disciple of Bishnu Ghosh.  Bishnu Ghosh was the younger brother of Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi.

 In this segment, we will cover the basic teachings of the practice of Hatha Yoga, how yogis use water as a healing instrument, and we will look into a basic format for a regular spiritual practice (sadhana.)

 

INTERMEDIATE I

12 weeks                           1 class/week                 1.5 – 2.5 hour class

 A new routine will be introduced in this segment. The level of proficiency attained in the Beginner’s level will be assessed here. In this segment, we will cover 14 lessons of Yoga Philosophy as presented by Yogi Ramacharaka.

 

INTERMEDIATE II

 12 weeks                           1 class/week                 1.5 – 2.5 hour class

 In this segment we will return to revise and re-evaluate the regular spiritual practice that started in the Beginner’s III segment. We will include practical application of yogic cleansing techniques (shat kriyas).  We will look at more esoteric views of the universe and the internal perception of it.  We will also have a closer look at the fundamentals of Ayurveda (Science of Life.)

 

INTERMEDIATE III

 12 weeks                           1 class/week                 1.5 – 2.5 hour class

 An intermediate level of asanas will be presented in this segment.  The student is expected to be firmly established in a regular practice of asanas at this point.  The advanced course of Yoga Philosophy as presented by Yogi Ramacharaka will be the textbook for this segment.

 

ADVANCED I

 26 weeks                             1 class/week                    1.5 hours

 In this segment we introduce the symbiotic effect of Yoga and Ayurveda, to care for the body (temple of the spirit) so as to make it fit for a regular spiritual practice.  We will also look deeply into the operation of the mind and the means to put it under control.

 

ADVANCED II

 26 weeks                                    1 class/week                    1.5 hours

 In this segment having attained an understanding of the different planes at which the unity, body-mind-spirit operates, we will deepen our approach to the physiological aspects of the basic principles with their esoteric correspondences.  We will also have an overview of the second sister science of Yoga, that is Tantra.

 

ADVANCED III

 26 weeks                                     1 class/week                        1.5 hour class

 In this segment we will cover the seven schools of philosophy derived from the Vedas.  We will study the different forms of the practice of yoga and approach to meditation.

 

 Given the significant transformations that take place as a result of the study of yoga and that it is considered the most effective form of psychotherapy that affects the person at a physical, mental, emotional, psychological and spiritual levels, this course has been broken down into comfortable segments of 3 months each with time between each segment to allow these changes be assimilated. Some students even take greater breaks between segments then join a subsequent group.

 Students register at the beginning of each segment.  Payment in full should be made at registration; other arrangements can be made on an individual basis.

12 week segmentt: $150                                    26 week segments $300