Our Team from Art of Living Blogs, recently had an opportunity to interact with the Chinese contingent who had come to Bangalore Ashram for their Yoga Teachers training program from Sri Sri School of Yoga.
Yoga has become quite the rage in China, with yoga studios opening up in every nook and cranny. “It has generated quite a buzz in our media, and has become a part of mainstream urban lives from the last 10 years. But Yoga is popularly understood merely to be a form of exercise to make your body flexible, and this is the perception I’m going to change,” says Ping He, a fashion designer with her own brand of clothes in China, who has just graduated from the Advanced Yoga Teachers Training Programme at Sri Sri School of Yoga. She chants Patanjali Yog Sutras with ease and can quote from several ancient Indian scriptures including the Bhagavad-Gita and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika.
Ping He is just one of the 27 participants from China in the first batch of 121, with students from 25 countries around the world, who are going to go back home and share the wealth of yogic knowledge with their people. The teacher training programme introduced its participants to the Vedas and Yoga Sutras by Patanjali, apart from human anatomy and physiology, postures, pranayam (breathing exercises), meditation and teaching skills. They will also receive certification as qualified Yoga instructors from the Quality Council of India.
Kenneth, speaking about the reason he started yoga, said, “Everyone keeps talking about living in the present moment. I wanted to know what it was all about! I want to know what life is all about. I want to understand why we live so differently. That’s why I started on the path of Yoga, looking for answers. I have many scattered experiences, but I was looking for something to tie it all together. This course did it for me. The quality of the teachers was the most significant part of the program for me. Even if some of them had come to speak to us for five minutes, what they said changed my life!”
Tong has been associated with the Art of Living for two years now, and says there’s a dramatic difference in her temperament. “I run my own firm, and it is a very stressful job. I have three naughty teenagers at home too! I tried many self-help books to get them to change their behaviour but nothing worked. It was when I started doing Yoga, and they saw the drastic difference in my temperament that they also wanted to start practising Yoga. They’ve come with me to the ashram and participated in several programs. They’re so different now. In fact, looking at the change in them, other parents in China want to bring their kids here! This is why I decided to become a teacher. I will be able to transform many lives,” she says.
“This course has made me realise that Yoga is not about difficult postures. It’s about ease, effortlessness and awareness. Asanas combined with pranayam, meditation and knowledge from the Gita and other Indian scriptures have given me a holistic understanding and experience of Yoga,” says Shuping Tong who has been running a Landscape Design firm for the last 20 years, and wants to spread the knowledge of Yoga to all her clients!
Ming Liao who was already a Yoga teacher, and saw that his students were charged up with energy and had better sleep patterns within just a few sessions of Yoga, says he came to the course to experience the vastness of the knowledge in the Indian Yogic Tradition. “I have studied several commentaries on Yoga by myself, but learning from teachers who really know this, has given me a proper understanding.” He can lucidly talk about the different paths of Yoga, and wants to explore further.
Yingjian Wang however says, she has learnt to be content, and finds happiness in the little things of life. “Despite the course being very demanding, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process. I received lots of love from my teachers and peers. Time flew so quickly! I don’t want to leave,” she exclaims, echoing the sentiments of everyone present there.