Sunday, March 27, 2011

Concluding Three Months at the Sivananda Ashram in Madurai

I can barely believe that I just spend three months in one single yoga ashram, the Sivananda Ashram in Madurai. Time went so quick.  It feels like I just arrived yesterday and now I'm already preparing to leave.  Just a few more days. I had such an amazing time and so many different experiences.

Now I'm just sitting on one of my favorite benches in front of the women's permanent dorm, writing on my netbook for my blog facing the beautiful landscape and having mix feelings.

Happy because I completed the yoga courses that I had planned for so long.  Happy because of all the great people that I met.

A bit sad because my friends have returned to their places or continued their journeys, and because it is also time for me to move on.  But excited because of whatever it's about to come and for the new great people that I will meet soon.

My "Sivananda" experience started at the Sivananda Ashram in Neyyar Dam, near Trivandrum.

First I spend a few days as a Yoga Vacationer and later I came back in November 2010 to start the 200 Hours Yoga Teacher Training Course which ended mid-December 2010.

Then January the 4th, 2011 I came to the ashram in Madurai to start the two weeks Sadhana Intensive Course and right after the Sadhana Intensive I stayed for the one-month 300 hours Advanced Yoga Teacher Training Course.

And then, since I liked so much the Ashram in Madurai, I decided to stay one more month as a staff member to do some Karma Yoga (selfless work) and also to have the opportunity to start teaching. 

That was an excellent idea! I experienced the Sivananda Ashram life as a Yoga Vacationer, as a student for the intensive yoga courses and as a staff member. I enjoy them all.

Staying as a staff has been like a complimentary training for me.

I started step by step. The first four classes that I joined I only assisted the main teacher but by the fifth class, I decided to teach the whole class by myself.

By now I have already taught five classes and although I still don't feel completely at ease I feel like I'm improving day by day and luckily so far I have received a lot of positive feedback from the students and from the staff.

Actually, I learned a lot from my "staff colleagues" who encouraged me and share their experiences and many tips with me.  I feel very lucky.

So finally I can say that I really became a yoga teacher, not just on paper but in practice as well, though of course I still have a long way to go.  So much to learn still.

Overall I can say that following the different courses at the Sivananda Ashram has definitively being a worthy experience.

I don't regret it at all.  I did have many doubts before and along the way, but by now I feel that it was an excellent opportunity. There are still things that I don't like, especially from the Ashram in Neyyar Dam, but I rather focus on the good that on the bad.

But now is time to move on. Next stop: Goa. Let's see what Goa can offer me.

If you want to read about other ashrams that I've visited my list of the best ashrams in India.


  1. thanks for sharing your experience, and for your extensive and comprehensive information!!!

  2. it was a really good and pleasant read for me!!!!!!! Im very glad you shared your experience. I'll try to use all off your info on my little yoga path:)
    thanks a lot,

  3. Thank you, I'm happy that you enjoy reading this. Please don't hesitate to share it with others that might be interested

  4. Marco, you were a wonderful teacher for us, I can attest to that. And besides being a wonderful teacher, you are a wonderful friend :)

  5. I started practising in the last 3 months. I am passionate about it. Can you please tell if I will be able to do the poses and cope up with the class?

  6. @Anasuiya: Thank you Aditi! you are also a wonderful friend my fellow sadhaka :-)

    @Anonymous: If you are passionate about it then I'm sure you'll be able to cope with anything, just remember to not strain yourself and don't try to go beyond your capacity. Be gentle with yourself. There is always a beginners and an intermediate class at the Sivananda Ashram so it shouldn't be a problem.