Yoga Bharati San Francisco Bay Area Chapter conducted its annual Yoga Teacher Training aka Yoga Instructor Course (YIC) inauguration on Sunday March 25, 2012 in India Community Center (ICC), Milpitas.
About 120 people, which included Yoga Bharati volunteers, the new students for 2012 YIC batch and the graduating students of previous batches assembled with their families for a spirited and fun filled Sunday afternoon at about 2:00 PM PDT.
It was a special occasion indeed as we commence the next batch of YIC for 2012!
The Event was inaugurated by the lamp lighting as is the Indian custom, by the chief guests –Swami Prasannatmananda of Vedanta Society, Berkeley and Acharya Shunya Pratichi Mathur of Vedika Global, Berkeley and Anil Surpur, President of Yoga Bharati, SF Chapter.
A traditional invocation of Lord Ganesha was done by a Bharatanatyam dance – Maha Ganapatim, by the disciples of Guru Vishal Ramani. The audience watched with baited breath as the girls danced in their joyous Mudras. It was a wonderful spiritual ecstasy as they ended their dance with a formation of Ganesha with his trunk, his four hands, and his blessing Mudras, all posed by little girls using their hand and body gestures. It was Yoga in motion.
This was followed by Welcome speech by Anil Surpur. The chief guests were introduced by the MC, Binta Patel, followed by the felicitation of the guests by Savitha Nanjangud and Savita Joshi. The audience then got to enjoy satsang and powerful speeches given by both the chief guests.
Swami Prasannatmananda explained what yoga is (Union or ‘Addition of’, Concentration or Control) and brought about the idea of four streams of yoga namely Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga and Raja Yoga. He also spoke about the contributions of Swami Vivekananda to Raja Yoga.
Shunyaji applauded Yoga Bharati for all it’s achievements and the great service done to the community. She advised the outgoing students to take up Karma yoga and continue their passion. She reminded the students that this is just a beginning of spiritual journey. She said each and everyone who is looking for truth has to come to yoga and its philosophy to find it. She congratulated all for taking the right step in the right direction.
Student graduates from 2011 took center stage as they collected their certificates and received blessings from the chief guests, amidst cheers from friends and family.
A wonderful note addressed to the chief guests by Yoga Bharati Chairman Raghuramji was shared by Ashwini with the audience.
Logistics for the upcoming classes were shared by Shailesh Basani, YIC Training Coordinator, with the new entrants and they were requested to communicate without any hesitation for anything they might need, followed by introduction of YIC faculty.
The last 30 minutes were dedicated to the cultural programs. This segment was completely dominated by the kids! Chinmay Surpur and Vedant Thyagarajan performed a Hindustani Jugal Bandhi in Raag Yaman Kalyan that simply resonated in the halls of ICC. Swamiji showered his blessings on all the kids and specially recognized both the singers.
This was followed by a Yoga dance by the children of Yoga Bharati kids classes. The music and choreography was set by Madhavi Jain and Chinmay Surpur. The parents and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the various postures and formations by the children who were totally committed to their practice and gave it their best!
Bhakti Yoga was the topic chosen by three youth. While Ashwin Nimmal spoke on Bhakta Prahlada, Saylee Padgaonkar chose to speak on Meera Bai. Ankita Jain’s passionate speech on Vivekananda energized one and all. She enacted Swami Vivekananda’s speech at the parliament of religions in Chicago in 1893. Her passionate rendering of the speech of Vivekananda brought tears of joy to many in the room.
The event had a beautiful conclusion – Vande Mataram sung by adult volunteers and the kids. The audience joined in and the grand finale wrapped up a great evening of sharing, fun, energy, love, happiness and quest for learning in the most befitting way over a light, hearty Satvik meal!