Thursday, March 19, 2015

Karma Yoga at Wise Living Yoga Academy

(*) Please note that only students who have attended a course or program with Wise Living Yoga Academy are eligible to apply for the Karma Yoga Program.

Karma Yoga is the Yoga of Action, or the practice of selfless service.  It teaches us how to give our best and work with mindfulness and joy.  In the Karma Yoga Program at WLYA, you will have a unique opportunity to live and work in an ashram.  You will work closely with the teachers, ashram staff, and 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training students, and help promote a sense of community.  It is a wonderful way of self-discovery and adventure!
Through this experience you can reinforce the yogic lifestyle and philosophies you have studied, which is why it is only offered to former WLYA students*. 
Selfless service means you should not expect anything in return for your work.  You will, however, benefit in many ways if you decide to come for Karma Yoga.
·         Deepen your practice and understanding of yoga
·         Get to know a new group of people from all over
·         Participate in morning meditation and asana sessions
·         Strengthen your teaching and leadership skills
·         Gain a better sense of service and commitment
·         Have delicious meals and fresh tea daily
·         Explore your interests and apply them to benefit to whole community

As with the yoga teacher training program, everyone will have a different experience doing karma yoga.  Be prepared to work hard.  We all bring different strengths and skills to the table.  The important thing is that you are ready to serve others joyously. 
·         Orienting and guiding new students, coordinating with Jeenal and Daniel
·         Teaching support
·         Social media updates
·         Gardening
·         Light housekeeping work, sometimes helping in the kitchen
·         Administrative tasks
·         Creative projects tailored to your strengths and interests

Practical information
·         Duration: 1 month— the Karma Yoga Program will run in conjunction with the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training Program (one Sadhaka/student per program)
·         Accommodation: You will be provided with the same accommodation as the students.  In the case the course is full, you will be in a homestay just in front of the center.
·         Cost:  We will offer this Program for free to one student per month. If more than 1 student is interested, then you can join by paying USD 200/week. Please write to us for availability and other details.

If you wish to join us and contribute in a meaningful way, please complete the Karma Yoga Application Form.

We will review each application individually and acceptance depends on overall availability in the Ashram.

Thoughts on Karma Yoga

Selfless service represents an unlimited source of spiritual growth, joy and happiness; never neglecting the circles of duty starting with the duty towards ourselves. Selfless service means not only sharing material goods such as food, clothes, shelter or money with people in need, but sharing love, compassion, knowledge and experiences with everybody who is open to it. All knowledge is already present inside of us and our mind is an infinite mine of information if we are able to connect to it. The process of sharing and caring leads to liberation of the spirit, supports purification of the mind, helps burning the Klesha (structural defects of the human mind) and provides self- evolution.

We have to be aware that every action taken results in consequences for which we have to take responsibility, as all our actions fall back on us throughout life. Moreover, with the actions we perform we have the huge power to determine who we are since they influence and imprint our character. All actions performed with the right attitude, cleverness and as a science bring out the power of the mind, which is already there within us, supporting the awakening of our spirit. Let-go and trust in your actions cause nature will give you everything you need exactly when you need it the most. The yogi knows that everything that happens happens for a good reason and for your own good.
*What if you are very interested in doing Karma Yoga here but have not been here yet?  No problem, you can register here for any of our upcoming Yoga Teacher Training Courses in Thailand. You will learn about the Ashram’s philosophies and once you are ready, you can come to do Karma Yoga.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Top 7 Reasons to Do a Yoga Teacher Training at WLYA in Thailand

Picking a place for your Yoga Teacher Training can be challenging.  You start asking around, researching online, comparing prices, and poring over the details.  Hundreds of aspiring practitioners have ventured to Wise Living Yoga Academy in Doi Saket, Thailand for their Yoga Teacher Training Course..  Let’s take a look at why!

1. Immersive experience

The Yoga Teacher Training Course at WLYA is all about yoga education and lifestyle.  You live in an ashram environment with teachers and other students sharing your interests. You live and breathe and observe the yogic lifestyle every day for the entire duration of your training.  The environment really allows you to develop a solid routine comprised of a good diet, exercise, and meditation, among other things.

2. Traditional yoga

So many people think of yoga only as a form of physical exercise, and so many yoga teacher training programs cater to that idea.  But what about its root and history?  The vast spiritual, mental, and emotional aspects of yoga?  Yoga as a lifestyle?

WLYA is perfect for those interested in understanding how yoga is as a way of life. You are introduced to yoga as one of the ancient Indian philosophies and study important scriptures. The comprehensive curriculum is led by experienced teachers from the world’s oldest organized yoga institution in India.  You practice asanas (physical postures) and other techniques at a deeper level and learn how they contribute to one’s spiritual development.  You will find yourself shaping into a wonderful practitioner, educator, and ambassador of traditional yoga!

Follow the link to know more about our Yoga Training curriculum.

3. Affordability

Yoga teacher training is a significant financial investment for most of us.  At WLYA, you will find that the facilities are pleasant and simplistic without sacrificing comfort.  It is a very down-to-earth place with no frills.  You do not see products and services being marketed at every turn.  Likewise, the program costs have been made more affordable, especially compared to yoga centers that push for brand names and luxury.

The ashram is located away from the tourist central, and it costs less to do things around here.  You can rent a bike for less than 1 USD a day, treat yourself to a coconut that tastes like a slice of heaven, and then get an authentic Thai massage at a rate that almost makes it feel insensible to deny yourself of a good rubdown!

4. Location

Students have described the ashram and the surrounding area as the perfect place to study traditional yoga.  The ashram is tucked away in the neighborhood of Doi Saket in northern Thailand.  With few distractions around, you will be able to really soak in the ashram environment!  At the same time, there are great temples and places within reach if you want to venture out.  It is also a great stepping stone for travels before and/or after the yoga teacher training program.

5. Food

Part of living the yogic lifestyle means eating a vegetarian/vegan diet.  You have three nutritious meals a day made from scratch, along with fresh fruits and natural tea.  The food at the ashram is so delicious that students don’t miss meat, cheese, or junk food!  The ingredients are 100% organic and come from either the ashram’s gardens or conscientious local farmers.  Through an interactive nutrition session, you learn about the benefits and uses of all the ingredients as well.

6. People, people, people

Trained at The Yoga Institute in India, the teachers Jeenal and Daniel are very active and passionate about imparting their practice of traditional yoga.  They help you discover your strengths and weaknesses as you go through your journey, and are very flexible and accommodating to individual needs.  The ashram workers are locals who are incredibly generous and positive.  You will find them around the ashram smiling and putting in hard work to make your stay an enjoyable one.

At WLYA, you will meet students from all over the world and from different walks of life.  They have in common their interest in traditional yoga and spiritual development.  This tends to draw very genuine people, and the teachings shape the group dynamic in very positive ways. By the end of first week, the group will already feel like a family! 

7. Alumni network and support

The connections made at the ashram are invaluable and so are the networking opportunities.  WLYA has an active alumni group where former students share news and inspirations from around the globe.  This way, you are not just walking away with a certificate in hand, but you have a strong support network to pursue your next steps.

Several students also return for Continuing Education programs which are offered in modules of 100 hours (2 weeks) or as the 300 hours Advanced Yoga Teacher Training course (6 weeks). 

To sum it up, WLYA is an incredible place for those seeking a meaningful yoga teacher training experience.  Be prepared to work hard and learn so much about yourself and the world, and you will be richly rewarded.  Please check out our upcoming Yoga Teacher Training Courses in Thailand and reserve your place.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Our Neighborhood in Doi Saket - Thailand

For most students looking into yoga teacher training programs, location is among their top priorities. People are naturally curious about where the Wise Living Yoga Academy (WLYA) is situated, and internet search alone may not satisfy all the questions they have: What is life like around WLYA?  Is it very secluded? How will you get around?  Will you be using squatting toilets?  Read on to find out!
WLYA is tucked away in a peaceful, unpolluted neighborhood comprised mainly of rice fields and low rolling mountains in northern Thailand.  It is an ashram dedicated to students in the yoga teacher training programs.  It has beautiful Eastern designs integrated into Western facilities and amenities, so students can focus on their studies in comfort and peace.  
It is very safe to walk around the surrounding area.  Don’t expect the locals to speak any English, but you can bet they are very friendly, even by Thai standards!  The commercial area of the neighborhood is small, but you will have no trouble finding  basic necessities.  If you must, the largest city in northern Thailand-- Chiang Mai-- is less than an hour away.  Otherwise, many students use their time at the ashram as an opportunity to let go of their attachments and addictions, small or big.  
What you can find around the ashram
Within 15 minutes’ walk
  • Local shops selling basic toiletries and snacks
  • Vegetarian restaurant and juice bar
  • Temple


Within 30 minutes’ walk/5-10 minutes’ bike ride
  • Small supermarkets
  • Two resorts with pools and services
  • ATMs
  • Bike and motorcycle rental
  • Local massage places
  • Copy and print shop
  • Hospital
  • Dam with a view
  • Secondary school

Within 30 minutes’ bike ride
  • Doi Saket Market
  • Many temples
  • Many cafes and bakeries run by both Thai people and foreigners
Within 30-60 minutes’ taxi ride
  • Chiang Mai
  • Airport
  • Waterfalls
  • Countless tourist activities!
Getting around
You will very rarely see tuk tuks or minivans around the ashram.  Songtail (truck taxi) is the transportation of choice.  It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get here from Chiang Mai.  
Bikes are a great, inexpensive way to explore the neighborhood.  There is a bike rental shop in town where you can rent a bike daily, weekly, or monthly.  You can also rent motorcycles for a negotiated price.  

Local SIM cards are best purchased at airports or in cities before you head up to the ashram, but a small selection may be available at the supermarkets in town.
WIFI is available at the ashram daily during designated times.  Several places in town (e.g. Jamjuree Restaurant and Tao Garden) have free WIFI for guests.  
Printing, Xerox copying, and desktop computers are available for a small fee at a shop in town.  
Past students have described the Ashram environment as one of their favorite things about their teacher training experience.  Please check out our Facebook page for photos of the ashram and yoga teacher training courses in Thailand!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Yoga Relaxation in Everyday Life

Imagine yourself in a peaceful Ashram environment— deepening your yoga practice day by day, surrounded by positive energy and beauty, eating three delicious, organic meals a day, and finding balance within yourself.  Feel your mind and body start to relax.  Relaxation helps release tension in the muscular and nervous systems, quieten the mind, and increase concentration.  Many of our problems stem from our inability to relax fully.  People typically wait until vacations and weekends to try to relax.  But what about in our day-to-day lives?  How do we relax in a highly stressful and emotionally charged world?

There are various forms of relaxation techniques in yoga, many of which are simple yet incredibly powerful.  Visualization, as you sampled at the start of this post, is one of them and can be very effective.  In the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Course in Thailand at the Wise Living Yoga Academy, students learn to lead relaxation yoga sessions.


During the relaxation session, students perform a sequence of asanas.  The main ones are Nishpandabhava (No Movement Feeling), Dradhasana (Firm Pose), and Shavasana (Corpse Pose).  In Nishpandabhava, students recline against a wall with feet comfortably apart and hands loose on their thighs.  They then direct their attention to sounds around them but without any reaction or judgment.  They remain passive and motionless, thereby promoting introspection and countering anxiety and the need to control their surroundings.

In Dradhasana, students lie on one side using the arm on the same side as a pillow and draping the other arm on top of their bodies.  When done on the right hand side, this pose aids the natural flow of the digestive process and is especially great after a meal.  Students relax in this pose before rolling over onto their backs for Shavasana.  The leader guides them to focus on different parts of the body, starting with the toes and moving up to the crown of the head: “Give awareness to your toes, and relax them” and so on.

A 200-hour YTT student guiding others in Shavasana

Asanas for relaxation help practitioners let go physically, mentally, and emotionally.  They become aware of body parts that may be neglected or hold too much tension throughout the day and then consciously relax them.  Practitioners are encouraged to practice relaxation at home or even in workplaces, and start to notice positive changes in their energy levels and mood.

Stay tune for more information on Yoga philosophy and practices! Namaste!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Yoga Detox - Shatkarmas during 300 hours/500 hours Yoga Teacher Training in Thailand

Dear Yoga Enthusiasts,

During the Advanced 300 hours and 500 hours Yoga Teacher Training conducted in the Ashram of Wise Living Yoga Academy in Chiang Mai, Thailand the students performed Shatkarmas/ Yoga Cleanse techniques such as Vamana Dhauti, Sutra Neti and Shankhaprakshalasana (Varisara Dhauti).

Shankhaprakshalana is one of the Hatha Yoga practices of Dhauti kriya so therefore it is also known as Varisara Dhauti. Dhauti which in English means 'internal washing' and vari means 'water'. This Kriya is a master cleansing for the colon and it is followed by a strict diet. There are several physical, psychological and mental benefits of this practice that help the Yoga aspirant to rejuvenate, purify and strengthen the body and mind. These Kriyas make the practitioner fit for deeper spiritual practices.

Varisara Dhauti can only be perform once or twice in a year. The practices of Jala Neti, Sutra Neti and Vamana Dhauti are practiced more regularly during our course. See the photos below

For further information on our Yoga Teacher Training Course in Thailand you can visit our website and contact us by email or send us the application form online.


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Stress Management through Yoga - Part 1 (By Hansaji J. Yogendra)

Every situation which has bothered you, you are supposed to identify that situation, give an answer to that situation and see that it does not pile up.  This is the best management.  In the morning you had an argument with your boss and you could not shout back at him, so you kept quiet, however you did get hurt.  You returned home, argued with your wife or somehow released your tensions.  But you have not yet solved the problem. Now before going to bed maybe you could just close your eyes and analyze the situation.  Then you could philosophize and answer it.  Well, boss is justified for his behavior because maybe that is the only way that he can get the work done and this is his way of managing his employees.  So you could answer that, well, anybody who is behaving in anyway is justified.

The thing here is that 'you don’t label it as wrong', because you put yourself in the boss’s situation, and then try to understand it.  Somehow bring all that logic, reasoning, and understanding and answer it and label that situation as a normal situation which should happen as it happened and finish the matter.  If you could do like that every day, things would not pile up.  But somehow we don’t do that reflecting each day and things get piled up. Sometimes the situation is such that any amount of philosophy does not work.  You are really disturbed and someone comes and tells you, “You should not!”  You feel like slapping that person.  You feel like saying, “Now shut up! I know all about it, but now I am disturbed, that’s it! I don’t want your advice!”  So when this is the situation, what to do?

Now Yoga tries to see stress from a different angle.  As Dr. Jayadeva said, any situation is a right situation.  If the understanding is there, then there is nothing like stress.  This word stress is not a Yoga term at all.  According to Yoga, the moment balanced state is lost you are under stress.  The moment you are away from a happy state you are under stress.  I am talking about negative stress.  This stress is going to cause havoc in your personality. So never let this stress pile up.

As soon as you are away from a happy state, what happens scientifically?
Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra
Director at The Yoga Institute of Santracruz
Mumbai - India

- You all know the adrenaline, hormone is secreted into the blood stream, muscles become tight, arteries become narrow, blood pressure shoots up; you start breathing fast, your pulse rate goes up; all this happens;
- Also the purification of blood does not take place because you are really not taking a normal breath;
- Whatever food you have eaten, the body starts storing it because the body cannot assimilate it;
- Storage starts occurring, arthritis begins, arteriosclerosis starts.  It’s vicious circle;
- Above all your nervous system is much affected because nerves are no more in a normal state, a happy state.

Mind wants to be peaceful, relaxed and in a happy state. Everybody wants happiness.  But now what is happening here is that your nerves are not in happy state, so your concentration, memory and your reasoning power are poor.  Then if reasoning power is poor, then action/reaction begins and a person starts functioning at an animal level.  When he gets affected by others, action/reaction starts.  It is a vicious cycle.  So the Yogis say don’t allow this. But if it does happen then what do you do?

Keep in touch with our blog. We'll soon post the continuation for this article: 'Stress Management Through Yoga - Part 2'

About the author:
Smt. Hansaji Jayadeva is at present the Director of The Yoga Institute of Santacruz, Mumbai, India and the President of The International Board of Yoga. She is perhaps best known in India as the charming lady who was the Yoga expert in the popular television series 'Yoga for Better Living’, first televised in 1980 which was judged the best program of that time. But unlike many 'stars' she just does not act the part on the screen but lives what she preaches. She has also been selected 'Woman of the Year - 2000' by American Biographical Institute - USA, for her outstanding accomplishment and the noble example she has set for her peers and entire community.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Shavasana for Stress Management

Shavasana for Stress Management

A significant number of working professionals are showing adverse effects of stress on their physical and mental health that result in emotional disturbances, faulty eating habits and overall lifestyle disorders. Long term stress is also the cause of several diseases along with personal and family problems.

Yogic techniques for relaxation are very practical techniques to restore balance and rejuvenate the body and mind. Shavasana which is a conscious relaxation technique which is done by relaxing each and every body part, one by one, can be done in a time span of 20 to 40 minutes.

There are so many stressful moments that we have to face daily. Catching a flight, taking an important decision, managing the finance and with such other responsibility we often feel drained and dry. Along with these wrong eating habits, inadequate rest, faulty time management, lack of physical exercise can enhance the stress. In this way we start to accumulate negativity over a period of time. Therefore it is very important to release this negative energy on regular basis and replace it with positive energy. The reason we often feel depressed, lazy, confused and fatigue is that we haven’t learnt to relax.

The concept of relaxation is highly misunderstood. We may think that watching T.V or just lying in the couch is a form of relaxation, but it doesn’t really help you to ease and loosen your contracted muscles, neither it’s a form of a conscious relaxation that will calm down your breathing and cool down your mind. May be it can help you to some extent but when you relax with Shavasana you are actually messaging your mind to get inwards and consciously feel your body and release the stress from each and every body part.

With our own experience I can say that whenever we have given this technique to my students, it has shown tremendous results in their health and behaviour. Serious problems like insomnia, migraine, blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety and asthma have all got under control. Other complaints like headaches, muscular tension, and back pain have got cured. After Shavasana our students have reported that they feel healthy and completely fresh and full of life. I strongly recommend this technique for all the working professional on regular basis.

In the beginning the student will need the support of the teacher for at least one month. For the beginners it is essential that the trainer gives them complete instructions verbally during the practice every time they practice Shavasana. It is normal that initially a person would not be able to relax because of the accumulated stress, but with the practice the technique will get easier.
It also possible that the person may fall asleep during the instructions, which is not expected. This can happen a few times when the person has not completed his sleep. But with gradual practice, a person will start to feel more and more calm, confident, happier and relaxed. This will bring a positive change in the personality and increase memory, concentration, decision power and emotional stability. Erratic eating habits, anger, fear and other negative traits will also get under controlled.

You can also give a chance to your employees to experience these techniques. It can be easily done at office premises after lunch or at the end of the day.!