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RYS 200, 300, 500 in Rishikesh

Yoga teacher training scholarships in India offered by yoga school Rishikesh Yog Peeth (RYS 200, 500) -

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Rishikesh Yog Peeth 101


One year ago today, I graduated from one of the world's most prestigious graduate programs in international economics. For two years before, I had studied international relations and the human struggle to obtain "more" - free-market capitalism. As I studied economic growth and development, I became increasingly frustrated, realizing the inevitable over-utilization of the world's resources, and an increasingly dissatisfied and unhappy population of utility-maximizing creatures. As I started to look for employment, I felt overwhelmed and dissatisfied by my own options. Should I work in the government, in the private sector, in a think tank, or for a non-profit organization? Although I received many invitations for interviews, I wore my skepticism on my sleeve, and subsequently was not offered any permanent positions. I felt like every business and organization I interviewed with was essentially trying to play the system to obtain and achieve "more." When asked what I wanted to do with my life, the most honest answer seemed too cheesy to say, "spread peace, love, and happiness."


As the days moved on, the time came for me to move away from Washington. With rent exorbitantly high, and school loans hanging heavily over my head, it seemed that my only option was a defeatist one - to move home.  It was frightening to move away from the place that I had viewed as the land of opportunities - the place where originally I felt I might contribute to "hope" and "change" in the world. However, in the last year, I had applied to over 300 jobs, and spent an incredibly large amount of energy in this endeavor, with little in return. So, I began to let go of what I should do, and began pondering what I want to do. As I began to shed comforts and attachments in Washington, things began to become miraculously easier, clearer, and free. Inspired by a friend, I made a list of 101 goals and decided to live with intention. If I could not find the perfect job, at least I could develop the perfect life. My goals included everything from coloring a coloring book, to traveling to Australia and New Zealand, to my #1 – becoming a yoga instructor.


As I began to live intentionally, things began to seemingly fall into place. In February of this year, I was invited to interview with a consulting firm in Malaysia. I accepted the offer, and began to research possibilities of studying yoga, and getting a Yoga Alliance certification, in India. I searched for the most economical options for study, and available grants/scholarships, and quickly found Rishikesh Yog Peeth. Taking into account that I already had a ticket to the general region (it is much cheaper to fly to India from Southeast Asia than from the United States), I pulled out my MasterCard and decided to put down the $200 deposit for the course. As time passed, I began to realize that travel would indeed require more funds than I previously had thought, and began to search for additional funding. It was then that I found Rishikesh Yog Peeth's scholarship and decided to pursue the opportunity.


I immediately started contemplating myself, and my path, so that I might be able to express why I wanted to attend the yoga teacher training, and how I might contribute what I would learn with the world. Suddenly, to "spread peace, love, and happiness" seemed like the perfect answer. Upon contact, representatives of Rishikesh Yog Peeth suggested I get in touch with previous students in the program to provide recommendations for the scholarship. So, I developed a personal statement and began to contact previous students (through Face book groups). I have always tried to be humble, but this process proved to be a practice of ultimate humility. As I contacted each student to request assistance, I realized both the power of letting go and the magnificence of the human consciousness. Each of the previous students responded first with glowing reviews of Rishikesh Yog Peeth. Several of the students then wished me luck in seeking assistance either through a scholarship or other resources. It was immediately apparent that many of the students saved, and even borrowed funds, so they might attend the course - still, each of them expressed that the experience was well worth the effort and investment, in fact, life changing. 


After contacting a multitude of students in reference to my story, I received perhaps the most beautiful letter I have ever read about a person, in this case, me. A woman, who I had never previously met, but who felt akin to my life story, understood the importance of this opportunity in my life and wrote an eloquent request for a scholarship in my case. Immediately, I knew I would be forever grateful, whether I received the scholarship, or not. Her letter inspired me even further to seek out opportunities and live intentionally. She had faith in me. I felt suddenly that this program, or one similar, was eventually going to be a part of my journey, my fate. After a short while, I was contacted by Rishikesh Yog Peeth in congratulation. I suddenly felt at peace knowing my #1 was soon to be realized.


It was I believe in our second session, that our instructor spoke of the ultimate goal of all humans: peace, love and happiness. I felt myself overwhelmed with joy, as I realized how skeptical two years of study in economics had made me. I suddenly absorbed a new faith in humanity, as I realized our communal search for freedom and these three simplicities. I remembered my original desire to study economics, that is, the study of household stewardship and well-being (in lieu of chrematistics - the study of money-making, or the science of wealth). Every day, for six weeks, I explored these concepts individually and with the group. We meditated and practiced yoga in the early morning and late afternoon, gathered for philosophy and anatomy classes during the day, and often met informally to swim in the river in the afternoon or simply gaze upon the stars at night. Just as refreshing as a dip in the Ganges River, it was refreshing to spend time with such an open group of students, from around the world. Just as I now feel forever tied with the Ganges River, I feel forever tied to this group of 50 yoga students, now teachers, who studied at Rishikesh Yog Peeth from April to May 2012. We were indeed purified together and made significant strides forward.


The teachers of Rishikesh Yog Peeth provided a similarly uplifting experience. I feel particularly thankful to our philosophy, anatomy, and yoga/pranayama instructor, Roshan. There are a few people in my life who I can truly attribute life-altering influence - including my mother, father, and grandparents. I have felt an intuitive connection to various teachers along the way, particularly in the field of spiritual study, and will be forever grateful towards these influencers, including Roshan. There is something about India that is enchanting, particularly to the outsider. There are moments, particularly when traveling down the street, somewhere between greeting monkeys and cows and avoiding rickshaws and motorcycles, which leave one feeling vulnerable and utterly miniscule. This populated land, with its polluted air and streets, meets you harshly in the face and requires, well, surrender. It is somewhere within this state of surrender that one can become entirely open and free. It was somewhere at this point that I began to consider the philosophies of Yoga, as described by Roshan. For each new piece of information, he suggested, we look at it, hold onto it, think about it, and then take it with us or leave it behind as we go. Refreshingly open-minded, Roshan himself seeks not to answer questions, but to instead incite questioning itself. For the first time since childhood, I began to really ask, "Who am I?"


The practice of yoga at Rishikesh Yog Peeth was also wonderful. We practiced pranayama and asana each morning and afternoon (except Sundays). It was not overly intensive, but materialized into a strong overview of the hatha style of yoga. Additionally, Rishikesh Yog Peeth organized trips, inclusive in the program, including a visit to a waterfall, temple in the mountains, and rafting down the Ganges River – which turned out to all be incredible experiences. All in all, I can say that this program was infinitely more than what I expected. I knew I would be grateful for my certification to teach yoga, but had no idea that the experience would lead me in an entirely new path - to truly seek out peace, love, and happiness.


I was enjoying the present, but it was about half way through the program that I started to contemplate my plans for the future. As I began to feel my head become more clarified through meditation practice, I began to consider all the options, options that might lead me towards self-realization. In this process, I had a sudden desire, or actually what I would prefer now to consider awakening, to move to Australia. I had a friend across the hall who suggested the idea after spending a year there on a work and holiday visa, and suddenly the idea began to seemingly realize itself. Strangely, I could change my airline ticket for free. I applied for the visa and was immediately approved. So, I am taking some time for myself in India, and then moving on – to the continued adventure.  


When I arrived for the interview in Malaysia, a man with a smile welcomed me at the airport. I suddenly felt a bit confused, wondering what had brought me to this far away land. Why was I interested in consulting? What did I want to do? This man picked me up every morning and afternoon for the week to chauffeur me to various meetings/interviews with people at the office. He sparked up conversation every time and I can remember looking forward to these commutes each day. On the last evening, he asked, "Alicia, to you, what is the meaning of life?" Immediately, I felt out of my skin, as I felt something within me want to answer, and something within me so confused.  What's the right answer? How should I answer? Is he going to tell the CEO? What will get me the job? I've only spent eight weeks in India - eight weeks studying yoga, life, and myself. Still, I feel a world of difference. Instead of responding with anxiety to this question, I would simply, smile. For the first time in a long time, I am truly living. I have realized that I have 100% free will and the capability to help others to realize the same. I am enjoying the present, and look forward to each new day and adventure. I need not search anymore for the meaning of life – it is, simply, here and now.


On May 7, 2012, I taught my first yoga class, and therefore became a yoga instructor. In return, I received a puja blessing and a small envelope with 101 Indian rupees inside. While this money was given as payment and as a token of appreciation, to me, it was so much more – it was a symbol of the abundance that comes through intentional living. I feel that I have received a blessing to achieve my remaining 100 goals, and all else that this human being shall achieve by being human. Whether you have the opportunity to attend Rishikesh Yog Peeth's course, or feel compelled to another place and time - I wish you the openness of heart to experience the joys in this life, the joys of silence, self-realization, and the journey of unifying with the Divine. No matter the worldly stresses that might come, we are only limited by our creativity in moving forward. Creativity is creation, and we are all here to create. There are no problems, just solutions to be found. I have discovered that as I live more and more intentionally, things are becoming easier, and I am becoming more at ease. Each new day is as refreshing as a dip in the Ganges - as I never give up, and always let go. If it is written, it will happen - what will be will be. Namaste.



Thank you for the inspiration!

I hope I can follow in your footsteps this summer.


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