Living in Community — What the Yoga Development Course Offers
A mirror on the spiritual path
The Yoga Development Course is like no other. The Ashram’s approach is to support every person find their own unique way in life. There is no dogma, no easy answers provided – the mirror was always turned back on me. No other course I have taken allowed me to have such a deep look at myself, where I am at in my life, and where I want to go. It was a challenging and intense experience, one that has accelerated my growth and informed how I live my life ever since. I am deeply grateful for having had this life changing experience.
Going Deep, Finding Who You Are
The YDC was a life changer for me. I arrived sight unseen in January 2016 and left with deep roots to the teachings, practices and the Ashram community. It was only after I returned home, that I realized I had found my spiritual home on earth. Moving through the YDC opened me to my blind spots and my gifts and gave me tools for deconstructing what’s not in my own best interest or the wider community’s interest.
Additionally, the YDC book reflections further immersed me in the truth of the teachings and strengthened my commitment to delve the depths of who I am through the lens of the Yasodhara teachings. What a gift Swami Radha & Radhananda gave those who find their way to the YDC!
These roots nourished me deeply during the COVID pandemic and allowed me to remain open to new understandings, learnings and to not react in fear. In fact, I deepened my ties to the “sibling hood” of the Light through online Yasodhara classes, Mantra circles, weekly Satsangs with students of Swami Radha all over the world.
Such sweet salve it was to immerse myself in the teachings, supported by the community, held by the beauty of the Ashram and inspired by fellow classmates. Deeply restorative yet also genuinely challenging, the Yoga Development Course allowed me to reconnect with parts of myself that I lost sight of, being ever busy and always looking outward.
What a great gift it is to pause, reflect, share, gain new perspectives and deep connection through direct experience. The positive changes our world so desperately needs begin within each one of us, on the mat, in meditation or reflection, and in selfless service to one another.
Give yourself a spiritual forever gift.
The YDC is a life changer. In 1987 and again in 2004 I participated in these life-changing events. The Teachings of Swami Radha are timeless and from the beginning I recognized deep within me how much I resonated with them. I accepted the hard work of surrender as old images faded and were replaced by Divine Light and I recognized that I truly had the power of choice how I create my life. I am now a senior (82) and I know that these Teachings are who I am.
To be part of the YDC is a great opportunity to expand your mind, make new friends, do your inner work and follow your heart.
A Foundation for My Path
Joining the YDC in 2007, I was a confused 24 year old with little direction in life. I happened to find out about Yasodhara doing an online search and a voice inside told me I needed to go. Not only did Yasodhara not meet my expectations (I thought we were going to do hot yoga!?), it opened me up to parts of myself that had long been silenced and repressed. I hadn’t cried in years, hadn’t danced since I was a young boy, certainly did not sing in front of anyone. The ashram provided me with space to lovingly confront the beliefs and expectations that no longer served me. It set me on a path of reclaiming my freedom and empowerment.
It was also where I experienced my first men’s group. 15 years later, I am running men’s groups and working as a men’s therapist, bringing the same compassion and loving clarity I found in Swami Radha’s teachings.
I am grateful to the ashram and the long term residents for their commitment to the work, for sharing it with the world, and being a beacon on Light.
Listening and Sharing
Some of my deepest moments of learning have come in group reflection. Listening to people share their thoughts, emotions and challenges, I’m continually reminded that I’m not alone on this path to understand pain and explore my purpose. My best self isn’t brought out in solitude, but in service and connection with others.
Through the process of going inward, I have gained intimate knowledge of many parts of myself, and in sharing my experience with others in this supportive community, I’ve recognized the universality of our human experience. The practices, teachers, and community have allowed me to courageously connect with myself and others in ways that are freeing, authentic, and compassionate. My heart and mind have deepened in understanding, and as a result my world has expanded.
One of the most valuable experiences I have had in my life. I have never taken so much time to invest in myself and it has paid off. Physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, I feel that I have grown.
Participating in the YDC I feel I was given the opportunity to learn the true meaning of self-acceptance in an environment where I felt completely safe and supported. This encouraged me to be open and work with the most vulnerable parts of myself.