COURSE CODE OF CONDUCT
This course, unlike many other training programs, follows the strict ethos of the lineages and traditions of the noble ones, the Yogis. This is in order to uphold the sanctity, purity and undiluted teachings of those Yogis who selflessly sacrificed their secrets. This is the highest science of complete fitness given by absolute Yogis, not just by seekers or unaccomplished yoga practitioner/ teachers still at the stage of exploring mind and body.
This document outlines in more detail the code of conduct and course ethos that is maintained by all students on the course. Even though we are learning remotely in our own homes, in essence it is the equivalent of joining an ashram under the observation of Dr. Kumar. We are responsible for our own self-discipline.
The first step of Patanjali’s Noble Eightfold Path is Yama and represents the resolution to give up any action that causes harm to others or ourselves by body, speech or mind. It is the foundation that enables progress in meditation. Be aware not only of the action but also the quality of mind, volition and thought behind the action.
The Five Yama are observances outlined by Patanjali:
● Ahimsa – non violence, to remove anger or hatred from the mind
● Asteya – non stealing to remove greed from the mind
● Satya – truthfulness, right speech and abstaining from gossip/ back biting to remove fear from the mind
● Brahmacharya – non sexual misconduct to remove lust from the mind, maintaining commitment and respect in physical relationships.
● Apaarigraha – non addiction to prevent slavery of the mind, refrain from intoxicants including alcohol and tobacco.
o Please do not engage in any negative on-line comments, or feedback or social media posts, about this course or anything else online. We should never become a part of promoting negativity or evil in society, that becomes a serious karma.
o Please do not make any personal recordings or copies of course materials, videos, notes etc without permission.
o Please do not share any course materials with anyone else without permission, including YouTube video links and notes. These are given purely for your reference and not to circulate unless you are specifically given permission.
o If you are at home and family members want to informally watch the videos with you without taking certification that is fine but we request you to make a donation of 5000 INR or equivalent (approx. £50).
o Please do not write blog posts, articles or books based on information from the course without first taking permission. Teachings should be absorbed, understood, assimilated and then passed on to students through your classes. Asteya is part of Yama.
Important guidelines for course participation:
o It is a requirement for all participants on the course to maintain communication with course volunteers and respond to messages. Each regional volunteer will set up a Whatsapp broadcast list to keep you up to date with course matters and it is expected that you check this daily. If for any reason you need to be contacted by email instead, or need to be offline for a while please inform the volunteer. 24/7 availability of students for communication is like staying in an Ashram. Every message sent by the TY group coordinator must be acknowledged. In case you are out of coverage area or contact for an extended period please inform us. Not acknowledging or responding to messages is considered as not respecting the tradition and will lead to withdrawal from the course. If it is possible to send an immediate acknowledgment that is preferred, otherwise at your earliest convenience please.
o The guideline is to watch the class the same day as broadcast. If for any reason you miss a class or can’t complete it please do not try to catch up by watching the class you missed and thereby remaining continuously behind. The next day start fresh and watch that days class-i.e. stay in the present. If or when you get time to catch up you can go back and watch the ones you missed. Do not try to watch sequentially at the cost of watching them the same day of broadcast.
o Be committed and do your best to watch all the classes, but do not feel under pressure. If you miss occasional classes due to life contingencies don’t worry, but if you are continuously struggling to keep up please reach out to a volunteer.
o If for some reason you decide to disengage from the course please inform a volunteer that you wish to withdraw. It is not appropriate to stay enrolled on the course if it is no longer your intention to participate or watch on an ongoing basis. If this is due to a personal problem or illness, let us know. If multiple communication attempts with you fail and you are not watching the classes, you will be given a final warning and then access to the course will be removed.
o Please try to exclusively follow the teachings being given on the course and we advise that you put aside previous meditation practices learned in other traditions, if you are unsure about this please discuss with a volunteer. This does not mean you need to immediately discontinue teaching as per your previous methodology, but the intent should be to assimilate, evolve or change your practice and teaching in response to what is being taught.
o Above and beyond course assignments, at certain points on the course the Guru may request particular responses from all students, not just those taking certification. This will be an opportunity to respond spontaneously and all course participants are expected to do so, or otherwise must contact a volunteer.
o At the end of the course will be a Samarohana graduation ceremony. It is customary at this stage to express gratitude in the form of anumodhana (a written appreciative response to the teachings) and Guru Dakshina (a monetary donation of £25 or equivalent) This is not part of certification but is part of the culture and tradition in which students are expected to engage. Anyone who is not able to pay this amount should inform a volunteer so that they can be sponsored by a fellow student/ volunteer.
If you feel you would benefit from a mentoring conversation with a volunteer at any point in the course just to connect and talk things through please feel free to contact us. We will do our best to support you.
The teachings of Yoga do not exist without enlightened teachers to convey them and the student -teacher relationship is everything. Even though the course is online this is still very relevant as consciousness has no barriers. The attitude of a student is of paramount importance when taking a course of this nature. This is for your own benefit and in respect for the Guru and great lineage of enlightened teachers who have preserved these teachings.
Each student should conduct themselves with great care and caution during the course. Here is some advice to help develop the right mind-set for a student of Yoga, the traditional qualifications required for a student are as follows:
1.Work hard without expectation/ Nishkaama karma yoga and Karmaphala sanyasa yoga: The fundamental yogic principle to stay happy is to have ZERO expectation, so that anything thus given gives complete satisfaction, happiness and gratitude. Do not come with any preconceived notions of what ‘should’ be taught. If what you expect is to be taught then why is a Guru or tradition required? This amounts to not learning. Dr. Kumar will teach what we need in order to become Yogis as per the traditions, not what we think we need or want. A Karma Yogi appreciates and has gratitude for everything they receive, and accepts challenges smilingly.
2. Live in the present with an open mind, accepting each moment of the teaching as it comes. This will enable you to get maximum benefit from the spontaneous and dynamic way in with Dr. Kumar teaches. A Guru is a clean water pipe through which the water of the teachings flow, Don’t look for a set package or timetable of teaching that would block that flow, just drink the water and trust that it will nourish and purify you. Yoga is to live in this moment, accept and adapt , instead of having any expectation about this moment. Because this moment is not created by you or for you but for everyone. Like any other species, instead of questioning what is given in this moment and becoming unhappy, the best way is to accept it.
3. Surrender to the Guru/ Bhakthi Yoga: Surrender is to keep yourself free from your perception which becomes a stumbling block for learning. Learn from the heart not from the head. Learn to listen without bringing the filter of subjective interpretation based on past conditioning. Just absorb without putting an intellectual filter of preconceptions and previously learned notions. In order to learn we must unlearn and relearn. As Shankaracharya says, once you have used right discernment to choose an enlightened teacher, then that is it. What the Guru teaches should not be questioned. The student is at the lotus feet of the Guru. If you trust your own perception more than the Guru’s teaching, then why go to a teacher in the first place? This is ingrained in the traditions. Respecting the authority of the Guru is central to this path and students are expected to follow his instructions 100%.
4. Inflammatory response is required for growth. Tarka/Vitarka: A true Guru is not a pleaser or pamperer and is prepared to shake us out of our conditioning even though it is very difficult. A much easier option for a Guru is to only say what we like and avoid saying thing that we don’t like, but with this approach we would never progress. Be prepared to go out of your comfort zone. The path to enlightenment takes courage, faith, resilience and dedication. If something being taught triggers a strong emotion in you, that is an opportunity to observe the reaction and learn more about your own unconscious mind. If something has triggered you (perhaps because it challenges your prior learning, perceptions, cultural values or views) don’t create a conflict in your mind or dwell on it, just think ‘I don’t yet understand this’. Live in the present and stay open-minded. A Yogi has a much broader perspective, greater insight and sees many subtleties of reality that we miss.
5. Be patient / Sahana and Samyama: If you don’t understand something be patient because learning deeply is like slow cooking, the results are nutritious and tasty. Don’t look for fast food. If you have specific theoretical questions try to wait, you may find they are answered in another class or you may realise that they are no longer important or necessary. Stay calm and quiet and reflect on whether it is really a worthwhile practical question or just a conceptual one. If it is a valid question you can ask a course volunteer, or if you just want to reach out and connect with a volunteer for a chat that’s fine too.
6. Have humility/Aham Brahmasi: Traditional yoga is a charity: The teaching and the entire course is being given freely and generously by volunteers at a very low charitable rate and what is being given is immeasurable. Please make your own notes. Please do not ask for more or extra. Any additional course materials or notes that are given by volunteers, should be considered as an added bonus, not to be expected. Please bear with any technical glitches or other course issues that arise, everyone is working very hard to ensure things go smoothly but this can never be 100% guaranteed.
7. Practice with awareness/ Sati/Sadhana /Abhyasa Please approach your Yoga practice with awareness of your individual physical limits and go at a pace that is appropriate for you. Participating in all postures is nor compulsory for certification. Similarly practice meditation as per the course guidelines and if you need help let a volunteer know.
(Please continue with any prescription medication during the course. The Yoga Healing Foundation is not a medical care provider so if necessary you should seek medical advice from your usual sources during the course.)
This information only applies if you do wish to achieve certification:
A Traditional Yoga 500 hr certificate will be issued for those who maintain the code of conduct as explained above and who complete all the required elements of the course as outlined below plus any additional points explained by Dr. Kumar in the classes.
Assignment 1 will be set roughly halfway through the course. This assignment includes two video submissions to demonstrate your learning. This should present your understanding of the teaching and its essence.
Assignment 2 will entail:
Data protection and consent
Yoga supports physical and mental wellbeing and can lead to wide ranging benefits. Yoga Healing Foundation is not a medical care provider however and cannot be responsible for diagnosing, examining, or treating individual medical conditions of any kind, or in determining the effect of any specific course activity on a medical condition. When you engage in yoga practice please do so with awareness of your individual physical fitness and participate at a level that is appropriate for you. When practicing yoga, you agree that you do so at your own risk, are voluntarily participating and assume all risk of injury to yourself. Please continue with any prescription medication during the course.