By Sean Read
The period from January to the end of March 2014 was a busy one for Yantra Yoga in Dzamling Gar, seeing many new happenings and changes that will affect the way that we move forward with the development and spread of Yantra Yoga internationally.
The Saga began with level one supervision of four candidates on January 11th. It was not easy for the author of this piece, arriving straight from Beijing, to commence that afternoon level one supervision with Laura Evangelisti and Fabio Andrico. Twenty – six hours in airports and planes with eight hours of time difference to boot is in itself tiring enough without the added pressure of supervision. The group of supervisees, however, were very collaborative and a week later we were done. Although not all of us completed to the full satisfaction of Fabio and Laura, it was an invaluable learning process for all involved and, probably most of all for those of us who did not completely satisfy expectations, a strong incentive to continue to develop as teachers and practitioners for the sake of ourselves and our future students.
Without a moments rest, we continued with the first ever level two couple supervision taking place in a hall near Dzamling Gar to accommodate the local weather situation (it was windy). A challenge of a different sort as we witnessed two already experienced teachers being honed and refined. During this process they were challenged to expand their capacities communicate more deeply the subtleties of the coordination of breathing and movement with presence that is fundamental to the practice of Yantra Yoga. For those of us who had just undergone a similar process the week before, it was a welcome respite to be taken out of the limelight. This time the result was unanimously successful and our first Yantra level two supervision couple was allowed to present to Rinpoche for examination.
After the two weeks of respite, in which the supervisees were able to recover and recuperate in our own individual ways, the saga continued with the first ever Yantra Yoga teachers training level three part one. Here the variations of the first and second group, as well as the seven lotuses were explored as a means to deepen the understanding of and capacity for the five holdings of the breath around which the groups of yantras are built. In addition to this, the subtleties of then various pranayamas were explored in more depth. The three doors of all participants were challenged to work towards greater levels of integration and coordination through this deep exploration of these most precious teachings.
Following close on the heels of the level three teachers training was the Yantra teachers meeting, organised as a prelude to the Dagther conference. Here again all involved were challenged but in a very different way. Here the challenge was to address the way that Yantra will be developed from an organisational perspective going in to the future. Despite some small hiccups in the process, much ground was made in terms of clarity of organisational structure as well as the supervision process for new candidates. Many useful ideas and projects arose or progressed as a result of the meetings, two notable examples being the development of an online platform for communication and information sharing exclusively for Yantra teachers and the project of scientific research in to the medical benefits of Yantra Yoga.
The teachers meeting was followed by the examination of fifteen new Yantra instructors by Rinpoche including five level two and ten level 1. The choreography for this was rigorously perfected over a five day period, and the end result was that Rinpoche seemed very happy with what we presented to him. In addition to this, the Kumar Kumari instructors from amongst the Yantra teacher community also presented a demonstration at the same time. This was the first time Kumar Kumari was presented to Rinpoche by instructors.
The final event in the saga was the Dagther conference with Rinpoche, in which Rinpoche emphasised the importance for teachers to be able to adjust the way that we teach and present for the audience to which we are presenting. To this end teachers were selected at random to get up and improvise a five minute presentation for a specified audience, a nerve wracking experience for all chosen, but an incredibly useful learning experience for speakers and listeners alike. Finally we presented to Rinpoche an overview of our current situations with the development of Yantra, and on the basis of this Rinpoche has said that he will put together for us guidelines as to how to proceed with the development of Yantra in to the future.
The period from January to March was a time of much growth for Yantra Yoga. Everyone who was involved in the activities in Dzamling Gar between January and April will undoubtedly take away much to work on as both practitioners and teachers. On top of this and most importantly, the community of Yantra teachers as an organisation has been allowed to mature and grow considerably as a result of the processes undergone.