I went to Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwanthari Ashram in Kerala this past June. It’s in Neyyar Dam in India. Thus, I finally stepped into the ashram experience I had been awaiting impatiently for years.
In fact, the Ashram is open all year round and one can join at any point of their 2-week majoring programs, with minimum of 3 days stay. I spent about 10 days there. Our schedule was quite busy. Everyday we would wake up at 5:20am for meditation and 'chanting', then we’d have a break. On Wednesdays and Sundays, a ‘silent walk’ would replace meditation; indeed this was also a way of meditation, as long as you keep your awareness on it - like everything else.
During the day there were 2 yoga sessions, each of which is 2 hours long. The studio was kind of outdoors, that’s why you’d feel the vibe of the green vine in every way during the session. The theory part was another separate session within the program. We were eating in between (2 meals a day), relax and do ‘karma yoga’ (everyone serves for this community with detachment from the rewards). In the evening there was one more ‘satsang’ (group meditation, chanting and chat) and then it was already time to go to sleep. The lights turn off by 10:30pm. Participation in the events is not optional, all guests expected to follow the whole schedule. By coincidence, the dates I was there was corresponding to June 21, that’s why I also had the chance to celebrate “international yoga day” of 2017 in India.
I had been in New Mexico, USA in April 2015 in order to attend to ‘’Specialized TT in Breaking The Behavioral Habits of Addictions ’’. I was finally in Espanola, where the program was being held, after the one and a half hour travel with accompany of a hot dry air of the season, unique vegetal cover and clear sunny blue sky.
We were a group of 32 people from Turkey, Argentina, Canada, Serbia, England, Colombia and different states of North America. Each of us had their unique story of addiction. When we advance through the program, I have been so happy to see the environment was so enjoyable non-judicial, close, warm, kind for us sharing our story with courage and openly.
SuperHealth is the last technology answering to the needs of our times in the breaking of habits and behavior that create addictions. This Yogic Therapeutic Technology has been combining the wisdom of Yogic Science and the last innovations of Western Science. This system has been emphasizing anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome and the addictions of alcohol, nicotine, drugs, foods, relationships, work, computer and so forth…
This Program that was being inited and over time developed by Yogi Bhajan, the master of Kundalini Yoga, in 1971 consists of Kundalini Yoga Asanas, Meditations, Special Breathing Technologies, Healing and Therapeutic Nutrition, the Special Therapeutic Juices, Food Supplements, Consultancy and the Science of Humonology (the implemented psychology from the Kundalini Yogic Point of View).
This program has been accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations and received its highest commendation being rated in top 10% of residential programs in the United States. SuperHealth® is approved by the National Certification Commission as an Educational & Training Provider and awards CEUs for addiction professionals and counselors through NAADAC.
Gülnihal Özdener has completed the 800 hour 'Life of a Yogi' Program, known as the highest program Sri Dharmaji offers to this day, where he conveys the ancient techniques of Yoga onto his practitioners. Having completed the 500 hour 'Life of a Yogi' Advanced Majoring Program with guidance of the legendary Yoga master Sri Dharma Mittra at Dharma Yoga Center New York last fall, becoming the first 500 hour Dharma Yoga Registered expert in Turkey; this August, Gülnihal Özdener has completed the 800 hour 'Life of a Yogi' Program, known as the highest program Sri Dharmaji offers to this day, where he conveys the ancient techniques of Yoga onto his practitioners. Being the only expert in Turkey having majored in Dharma Yoga, she offers Hatha Yoga sessions in accordance with Dharma Yoga lineage for four days-a-week at YogaŞala Bağdat Caddesi studio, sharing the yogic teachings and techniques she has learned from Sri Dharmaji with the attendees.
Our Ashtanga Yoga Expert Canan Özalp has received her authorization from R. Sharat Jois.
I have started to practice regularly Asana part of Ashtanga Yoga in 2008 with Peter Bertero in YogaŞala Nişantaşı. I had been in Mysore for the first time in 2010 and had a chance to practice with R. Sharath Jois who is grandson of Pattabhi Jois (Guruji). Later, I have been in Mysore for the second time in 2012. This year (2015) my visit to Mysore proved me that how valuable to work with R. Sharath Jois whom I consider as my Guru. Especially giving a chance to exprience this process with devotion and leading us for Asana practice is only a tool for mental serenity by performing yamas and niyamas which are the basis of Ashtanga. I came back to İstanbul with my Authorization Certificate which enables to lead Ashtanga sessions. I am happy and I want to share my happines with you, besides I thank to all who supported me in this way, especially to founders, staff and students of YogaŞala, to all my mentors till this day, to friends who I practice with and to my friends who I shared my journey to Mysore.