OFFBEAT Seven Canadian yoga teachers visit the city to learn more
In a spacious apartment down one of Besant Nagar’s quiet bylanes is Yoga Rakshanam where seven Canadian yoga teachers are busy taking notes. They’re here for five weeks and 260 hours of training, to capture the essence of therapeutic yoga and yoga philosophy. Fittingly, the whiteboard shows stick-figures drawings in different asanas .
Maggie Raegh, a certified yoga therapist from Vancouver has brought seven of her students to her teachers, D.V. Sridhar, Radha Sridhar and Viji Vasu, to offer training in Ïndia. “They are already certified teachers, having completed 500 hours of yoga over two years. Now, as part of another 500 hours, I decided to bring them to my teachers for this five-week intense session,” says Maggie.
The students will be looking at Raja Yoga based on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, philosophy, therapy and so on. Since Yoga Rakshanam focusses on one-on-one therapeutic yoga, the students will learn that too. “They will learn how to apply the tools of the classical system to different problems. They will also learn Ayurveda in the weekends. We’ve tried to make the curriculum holistic so that it looks at mind, body and speech healing.” Maggie elaborates, “They already have some training, but this will give them a strong foundation; they can go back and practise it. This is the first time they’ll see clients and how my teachers handle them. This therapeutic yoga model hasn’t yet begun in Canada, and it’s very new for them.”
They will also learn to effectively use asanas and pranayama for different problems. “We teach yoga on a one-on-one basis, and we’d like to share our experiences with them,” says Sridhar. “My experience here has been interesting so far,” says Camela Cowan, while Penny Noble adds, “I’m learning to change my habits, wake up early and so much has changed already.” Teresa Bouchard feels that yoga is part of culture here. “Whenever people fall ill, they come to the yoga practitioner here. But in Canada, if someone has a problem, they want it to go away immediately and not work for it.”