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I attended a yoga therapeutics class last May 2012. I had fallen 6 months before on my R shoulder, it eventually became frozen, and difficult to move or use. Dr. Sherat and staff performed "closed surgery" on my shoulder and it completely healed. It is a year later now and I am attending Dr. Sherat's continuing course, May 2, 2013. I leave in a few weeks to return to Los Angeles, and my yoga continues to improve ( it takes a lifetime, and I am ready).
Many thanks and Namaste
This letter is for those who intend to come for practice, for those who wish to undertake sadhana for a long term, for those who wish to transform themselves, so if you are a tourist who want to come for few weeks this letter is not for you to read, stop here. About Sharat, I have to say that he is a good man, a noble person, a good teacher. Sometimes he is in his heart Sometimes he is in his head Sometimes he is fully present Sometimes he is a dreamer But one thing is sure "100 % warranty" he knows about Asana practice as no one else do. Trough Asana practice he taught me to try to be present, he taught me to explore and to enquire my self, and with that he show me the path that lead to YOGA. He gave a place to be when I was lost in a world of confusion, he gave a place to practice, to do intense practice, physically, intellectual and spiritual, he was pointing me a direction when everything else was moving for me. He was everything for me, he was my teacher, my friend, my brother and my father, and as well he was my worst enemy, he was my most faithful mirror, the reflection of myself. He was working in me in many ways that still I don't understand, he knew me better than myself. Were many years of agony and ectasy, I hated him from my very guts, I loved him with all my heart, I was angry with him, I was doubting about him, I was going away from him and then moving closer to him. But I trusted him because he was trying to help me but I couldn't understand. Then one day I realized that was not about him, that everything was about me, about myself. That everything is about me changing, me being and not becoming About being present and being in my heart. All my love and respect to my YOGA teacher: Sharat Arora.
It is almost ten years ago that I first walked into Sharat's center in Arambol, Goa. I was 24 at the time and was suffering from quite severe back pain for over a year. I had knee surgery a few years earlier and some problems in my neck. My back was making me miserable, I was in constant pain - sitting, walking, even in bed. I had no control over the pain, no understanding of how it happens and what to do to make it go away. I had tried physical therapy, Ayurveda, naturopathy, massage, Tai-Chi, some made me worse, some made me feel a little better for a while but then the pain would come back and I was helpless against it.
I remember when I finished the first 5-day course, I was surprised my back wasn't any worse. I was glad that I could do things, I could twist and bend and move without hurting myself. So I stayed for another course. Then another. Within a few weeks, I started noticing changes. I learned what to do when the pain starts, how to make it go away. I learned what not to do, how to not destroy the progress I was making. Sharat showed me how to modify the poses so that I can derive maximal benefit from them without taking any chances with my back.
Thus the months passed and became years. There are no magic cures, 24 years of conditioning don't get washed away overnight. But I kept making progress, slow but steady and it gave me all the motivation I needed. These days, my back is fine. Among my friends, I used to be the one with the bad back. We all got older, now they are the ones who suffer from back pain and I am the one who doesn't. So if my back is fine now, why do I still practice? From a ten year perspective it is crystal clear how many benefits the practice gives me. Not just physical benefits (though these are many), but also emotional and spiritual ones.
PhD. student in theoretical physics and avid yoga practitioner.
I had 4 weeks of intense practice including a Therapy Course. The main reason to come here was because I had a chronic knee pain and I haven't had my period for 6 years, and within a week with Sharat I've got it which is amazing. The hole awareness about my body and mind, my standing postures and understanding what yoga is about just changed my life. Thank you!
Anne Heckel, Germany
I came to the HIYC 5 weeks ago, I was not expecting to be here for so long. I came here with a pretty broken heart, feeling really sad a little bit lost and wanting to come back to my yoga, wich I didn't do for a few month. So I started a 5 day course and immediately started to lift my spirit and let me get out of my mind and get back to my body, and started to ground me. So after I took the subsequence 5 days course and a Therapy course, which was intensive and challenging and It started to hill some things that I carry for a long time. The Centre is beautiful, full of flowers and has really lovely surroundings. And Sharat, the teacher, is quite a guru, he is not only a teacher. He is a master and spiritual guide for me, I am very grateful to him for having created the centre. And also, the teacher trainees are amazing people with a lot to share with you and guide you. It is an amazing place, if I could stay for other 3 or 4 month I think I would. I will come back.
Tracy, Capetown - South Africa
The Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre is my home now. I live next to it, work there and have a great group of friends with who I share the practice and my free time. After my second or third 5 Days Course I knew I had to get into this technique. My humor, my energy and the awareness of my own body start to change very fast and a big smile took my face. The opportunity of receiving classes in exchange of my work is a dream come true. Now I am helping with the contents of the web site, taking pictures and assisting the teacher in the classes.
It is also about the place. The yoga hall is amazing, full equipped for a real good practice, and Dharamkot and its surroundings is a place where every yogi wants to live. The mountains, the silence, the air and the practice, everything comes together here. It is just about following the heart; life has wonderful surprises for everyone.
Mariana - Argentina
Classes are excellent. Pedro is a wonderful teacher; I wish him a successful life. Thanks to guruji Sharat. He is a real yogi. I love him and all the staff. Thank you!
Swami Sudhir, (Rishikesh)
I have always done sports in my life, but with Iyengar I really learned to listen to the sings the body is giving me. On the other hand, a lot of hidden feelings were coming up to the surface the more I pacticed, the more stable I got. I have also learned to be more aware about what I am doing in the present.
My 3 weeks here was the best yoga experience I've ever had. Each week the class got better and I now have a foundation to start my own practice. Thanks HIYC!
"This was my second year doing yoga at Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre; last year in Goa and this year in Dharmakot. I have a history of a congenital back problem which surfaced when I was 12 and resulted in a body cast and subsequent corset with metal stays which I wore into my 20's. Yoga saved me until my 50's when I began to get some back issues again and I have done many forms of yoga since then, finding, and staying with Himalayan Iyengar Yoga.
What Sharat and the Himalayan Centre offers is a concentrated, exceedingly professional and knowledgeable platform on which they address individual needs and concerns, no matter what your age. Last year my Intensive Course included people young to old (into their 70's), most of whom had some physical problem. This year I returned with two friends, each of whom has physical issues as well. Sharat instills trust with his knowledge, expertise and focused concentration. His students appreciate and learn his methodology through his close attention and from learning to trust themselves as well.
One need not be lithe, slim, or a yogini to appreciate this experience; only to be serious about learning and caring about the process.
It is a gift to oneself."
After 5-days course I'm so impressed! It was great! My body (my temple) reacts feeling good finally! No back pain even after 20hours journey back home! I'm calm, peaceful, greatful...my soul is relieved. You show me also that yoga is not at all compared with sadness - its full of joy! Thank You for showing me the path in my life. Thank You for the smile every time. May God bless You.
The intensive course was very special as it made me understand deeper the relation between body and mind, clearly understand how expanding the awareness in our body brings us to light and with the special corrections and touch of Sharat unblocked the unaware parts. Precise asana techniques were every day melted with deep spiritual knowledge. Thank you Sharat!
Some yoga teachers, they can bend their legs behind their head. This is not what this yoga is about. Sharat finds other ways to make you work hard, he teaches asanas in such a way that everyone can do them safely, whilst taking you deep into the poses.
Dave 28, London, UK
In the 5-Day Course I learned to not make action with the mental body. There is a meditative focus to the asanas. I now feel more power in the feet and with it an ease of the body.
Thank you for the humour, it keeps the yoga from getting too serious.
This course was more than I expected, just amazing. The most valuable thing that I learned was the conection between my feet, my body and my breathing. I notice that I got better posture walking and standing after the course and as well no more pain in my right hip thanks to posture. Such a good teachings, I will be back. Thanks.
Richard Rolland, France.
I have done yoga since 20 years and I really learnt a lot in those 3 weeks here. I feel a real change in my body alignment and awareness. The courses go into deep details and you can see the healing part of yoga.
Sylvie Bader. Spain.
I never been done yoga and now I feel I have a really good grounding and foundation. I notice some changes in my body at least, certain muscles seem less tense, more relaxed. The teachers were very helpful, they come to help me and their corrections were always good.
This course was better than I thought, the teachers were very professional. After a week my back got better, thank you very much!
I wanted to be more technical adjustments, which I got in this course. The most valuable I have learned it is the importance of using the feet. I notice better hips alignment and good sleep, specially after halasana. I recommend this course warming.
Before I came to HIYC I did yoga classes in India, Nepal and Germany. It was another kind of exercise in addition to the dancing, aerobics and cycling I love to do. But when I met Sharat, I found out for the first time that yoga is a spiritual experience. I became quiet in my mind, which for me was a new quality in my life. By the way, my body is * and more alive than it was ever before. I’m really grateful for what I got here. One of the main reasons to spend five months in Arambol every year is to continue yoga with Sharat.
Jessica, 43, Berlin
Studying with Sharat is incredibly valuable, no matter how much, or what style of yoga you have practiced. His rigorous approach to the fundamentals of asana practice allows every student to develop and improve safely whilst increasing their understanding of the basic structure of each pose. One course at The Himalayan Iyengar Centre will change your approach to yoga.
Alex Reid, Edinburgh, Scotland
I’ve been practicing yoga regularly for over a year now, and I can say that I do it with more awareness. I can see a clear difference from my first course with Sharat in April 2009, I can do the asanas better, my body is much more flexible and I can relax more in the poses. I have a shoulder and arm problem, and Sharat’s therapy classes were very helpful.
Olga Lyskova, Khazakstan
I met Sharat 22 years ago in Colva Beach and Dharamkot, where I participated in a number of one week courses as well as a one month course. I learned a lot and kept practising the asanas regularly.
As I had no other Iyengar yogateacher, I lost a lot of the precise practise after so many years. When I came to Arambol, I joined the beginners class and I enjoyed the instructions. It was good for me to build up the alignment from the beginning again and I started to build up the asanas from my foundation again. Especially in the chest area I feel a lot more open now.
As I travelled on my own, I enjoyed staying in my hut in the quiet, peacefull and green yogacentre where I had a very relaxed and joyfull time.
The contact to my yoga colleges was intense, inspiring and full of peace.
Thank you to Sharat, Laila and the whole staff of the Himalaya Iyengar Yogacentre - you do a wonderfull job.
Kirsten from Eckernfoerde (Germany)
I felt a change in my body after the first day of the Five-day Beginners’ Course. I felt more openness, clarity, and firmness on the ground. After the 5-Day, I really feel my foundation. I also felt the alignment in my body with the poses. I’ve discovered something fundamental in this course- that yoga is NOT suffering! And it can be fun. I’m very grateful for all that I’ve learned, this course has stimulated me to continue practicing yoga. Thank you.
Nicolas Arbondo, Spain
This course has been very helpful to gain an understanding of the body and how to align it. I loved the standing sequence, it was very detailed. It has changed the way I stand and walk! After the course I felt a lightness in the upper body and a nice feeling of being relaxed, calm and at ease.
I recommend this course to everybody, not only beginners but also advanced practitioners of other styles or sports.
Sebastian Arbondo, Spain
The most valuable thing I learned on this course was to go inward, and to connect with the Earth.
Stefan Steinmann, Switzerland
I learned more about alignment of my feet, spine and posture with this course. I feel much more awareness in my yoga practice. The teacher and assistants were very helpful, they adjusted many students with a lovely attitude. I can’t wait to do more courses!
I really enjoyed the 5 day Beginner Course. The teaching was very clear and at a good pace. Now I understand the importance of the feet and will be aware of this in the future. I feel more aware of my body and taller! I hope to continue in the future. Thanks a lot!
Michelle Younger, 27, UK
I liked the course, especially the fact that everyone was able to do almost everything without being an athlete.
Maria Johnsson, 24, Sweden
Before coming to the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre I had never learned yoga. It was an entirely fresh experience for me, and one that I'm glad I had. At the HIYC, yoga is an art which infuses a new vitality in you. Every time you come out from a class, even though your stomach is probably growling, you feel like you have the energy to run a hundred miles and then some. You're fresh, happy, and full of life. It would not be enough to say that Sharat teaches you a few yoga asanas here. Personally, I have come away with a new will--to persevere, to believe that if I want, I can do anything in the world. He teaches us to respect our body, to understand the importance of taking care of our health. My experience here has opened new avenues of exploration for me, health-wise and spirituality-wise and I have learnt that it is not enough to introspect, but to truly let go and experience the world as more than just a physical entity. After just a one course, I have felt great changes in the way I face my everyday. I am more confident, I enjoy my life more, and people around me can also feel all these changes. I whole heartedly recommend that anyone who can to go ahead take out some time from their busy lives--even if it is just the week--to come and get a taste of this lovely experience yourself. I'm sure you'll love it just as much as I did!
I also have to say "Thank you", because the Iyengar Yoga solved my problems in the knee and made it possible to walk on firm in my life. I had knee problems since more than a year and withhin one week course the pain vanished and never returned since then. I try to do more in these days here in cold austria... but the best is, that I also try to implement the streching of the toes in my daily life routine.