Reflections on my 800hr LOAY Teacher Training Experience

There aren’t enough words to describe the experience of taking part in the LOAY 800 hr Teacher Training (TT) program at the Dharma Yoga Center!  To say that it was phenomenal does not do it justice!  I recall having similar feelings a few years back, during the 500 hr TT; however, this program proved to be even more critical to my growth.

The window of opportunity opened up for me at exactly the right time, as it always seems to.  I am certain that it was no coincidence that I arrived at this juncture in my yogic path, along with the other sadhakas.  Destiny brought us all together to share in this amazing experience, and I feel extremely blessed to have met so many like-minded beings.  Each participant contributed a special energy to the group, resulting in a super-charged environment and a deep collective consciousness.  I cherish every minute I spent in the company of these highly devout and motivated individuals.

To the directors, mentors and other contributors to the LOAY 800 Hr TT program, we owe an enormous debt of thanks and respect.  They all went well beyond the call of duty to ensure the best possible experience for the trainees, on every level.  I felt that the schedule that they set for us, although demanding, provided a good balance between contact teaching hours, practicing of techniques, and personal time.  Their guidance was invaluable; in a very true sense, they carried us right through to the end of the training.  I cannot imagine having better role models than our teaching mentors; it was a genuine honour to learn from them!

I greatly appreciated the specialized classes – such as Dharma Yoga Wheel and Partner Yoga – to add some diversity to the curriculum.  I was also happy to have, once again, the opportunity to learn, observe, and practice teaching the three yogic techniques in small groups.    This model served as a good reminder to be receptive to different perspectives, teaching styles, to draw from one another’s strengths, and to offer constructive feedback.

Finally, I must acknowledge our beloved guru, the one who has been so deservedly named the Teacher of Teachers!  In all training opportunities that I have had with Sri Dharma Mittra, I cannot remember a time when he was more vibrant, engaged and fun-loving…which is truly saying a great deal.  Perhaps he had a strong sense of our commitment to pursue higher knowledge.  It was an incredible gift to get his guidance on all aspects of the practice, which, in previous training programs, were handled mostly by the mentors.  To that effect, however, I gained tremendously from having each of the mentors lead us through pranayama, psychic development, Dharma IV and yoga nidra;  there is so much value and beauty added through diversity!

Sri Dharma Mittra has armed us with some extremely powerful tools to help us in our quest for self-realization.  I am now halfway through the three-month practice portion of the internship, and each day, I reflect upon this amazing gift of knowledge that he has bestowed upon me.  I am continually struck with gratitude for having learned these very special techniques, and have already seen clear evidence of their power manifesting in my daily life…it is almost unsettling to think about how much of an impact they have made, in such a short time span.  Notwithstanding, I am highly motivated to continue  my journey of learning and practicing, and to eventually share this extremely powerful knowledge with some of the most devoted and receptive yoga practitioners within my entourage.  Now, more than ever, I feel a strong pull to the Dharma hot yoga, my spiritual family, and am eager to join them in propagating divine teachings that have been handed down to me from Sri Dharma Mittra…for I know that in accepting this mission, I can help to cultivate more bliss in the lives of those around me.  After all, aren’t we all in pursuit of the end to our pain and suffering?