Heartfulness proposes meditation on the heart with an aim of attaining subtler levels of consciousness. The heart is not merely a pump for blood circulation – its role goes far beyond that. References in ancient Indian literature on Yoga, especially that from Sages like Patanjali,…
Yogavani completes one year of its existence, and, as we look back at the year that was, it truly feels that the yoga community has so much more relevance in the world that we live in today.
The Indian Yoga Association’s mandate was to bring together all the Yoga Parampara (the lineages of Yoga) for giving direction to the teaching and propagation of authentic yoga by creating a culture of inclusion and integration.
To this end, we invited experts from various parts of the country, various traditions and schools of Yoga for a meeting organised by the Standard Academics and Accreditation Committee of IYA (SAAC), with an objective of framing a common minimum standard for certification of yoga programs in a non-formal education system.
Developing a syllabus is always tricky, and this one was not easy either. While inclusiveness was the top priority, not compromising on the purity was equally central to the design. The focus had to be kept on making sure everyone was heard, accepted and represented, while keeping the authenticity of Yoga intact. On the other hand the Yoga Certification Board had already started certification schemes and many leading Schools were already offering these courses. So, a big question was why should IYA create a parallel framework?
My answer would be simple; because we are the only organisation in the world that have, as its members, almost every leading Yoga parampara that is born to the holy land of India. Because, we enjoy the advantage of being a non-governmental, self-regulatory body with an undoubtedly a perpetual existence which is independent and free from political influences and biases. Therefore, we strongly feel that being the representative of the Yoga institutes, IYA has to lead the efforts of accreditation and certification.
The team brought along some learnings from the design and implementation of the Certification of Yoga Professionals Scheme by the Quality Council of India. The lack of any freedom had displeased many a yoga school. Standardization of this sort could destroy the uniqueness of each parampara. Therefore it was important this time to allow some freedom to the schools along with a certain minimum standards or commonality arrived at, by none other than the Yoga schools themselves. This would ensure the uniqueness of each institution for its teaching is catered to, while adhering to a basic framework.
The techniques and methods developed and taught by our revered Yoga Gurus who are drshtas or seers are unique. We must ensure these traditions are continued and not lost in the name of standardisation. The expert committee decided to allow 30% of the syllabus be designed by the institution itself with topics preferred in their parampara.
We also understood that much like the Guru Shishya Parampara, in many of our Yoga schools, it’s the Guru who qualifies the student rather than a formal certificate or a degree. There are many wonderful Yoga teachers and Acharyas who have for many years learnt under their Guru and may not necessarily hold a degree in Yoga. Keeping this in mind our team of experts decided to allow the schools to self-declare their own unique process of recruitment, training and qualification of master trainers rather than suggesting any set standards. In the long run it was felt that, in wanting to lay down standards, we may unknowingly damage this beautiful Guru-shishya parampara.
Today, I am extremely happy to share that IYA accreditation has been welcomed and embraced by many member institutions and we are growing each day into a bigger and bigger family of Yoga professionals trained from the leading Yoga institutes of our country!
I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate the entire team of Yogavani and the Director of the Standing PR and Publications Committee for completing one year of spreading wisdom of Yoga and pulling so many lives out of despair and hopelessness during the past year of unrest. I hope you all enjoy reading this annual issue of Yogavani!
Smt. Kamlesh Barwal(Secretary General, Indian Yoga Association)