In 2009, Vineeta (Wendy Vermeulen) participated in Ashram Yoga’s 500-hour training programme at the Ohui Retreat Centre. We asked her to speak about her experience and let us know what impact it had on her life.
(Vineeta is in the back row, second from right)
Vineeta says Intensive 2 definitely changed her life and that overall it was an awesome experience. It was so interesting, fun and transformative that she wishes she could do the course again.
Being able to live in an ashram really made it a powerful experience. She says that the ashram environment allowed her to let go of her worldly responsibilities like commitments to work, family and friends. Because she didn’t have a cell phone constantly distracting her she was able to commit 100% of her attention to the course.
Just this break from her normal life benefited her a lot though she says it wasn’t a holiday. Intensive 2 is a focused course designed to help you move through your personal boundaries. In the beginning she found this new routine challenging, but in a short while she began to settle in and appreciate the new diet and daily schedule.
Vineeta says about the course in the ashram environment, “We were living it, eating it, breathing it all the time and discussing it with everybody else.” She thinks this is a great way to learn yoga and that this level of intensity would not be found on the part-time course.
The fulltime course gave them the space to investigate more subtle aspects like Swara Yoga (an esoteric breathing practice).
Vineeta really enjoyed doing Level 2 and Level 3 together saying that the first prepared them for the second. She says that it was a really good progression – moving through deeper and deeper layers with each new layer building on the last.
Level 2 was full of practical material, but Level 3 was at another level – it really was a step up in intensity. She says that settling in during the first twenty days prepared her for the jump to Level 3.
Level 3 made up the last ten days of the course. During this time they got up earlier and were expected to live like spiritual aspirants. They studied the more esoteric aspects of yoga. Vineeta says that this time was the highlight of the course.
She says the course was a lot of fun, but there were challenging parts as well.
Vineeta says that the discipline of the course really changed her life. She had a daily yoga practice before the course, but afterwards it was a lot more structured. She also totally changed her diet. The food had a very positive impact on her and made her feel amazing, so she decided to continue with it.
Vineeta was already teaching yoga before the course, but afterwards she says she is definitely more confident and able to teach from a place of much deeper understanding.
Advice to Others
Vineeta definitely gives this course a 100% recommendation. She wishes that she could somehow unlearn it all so she could go through the whole experience again!
She adds that Intensive 2 is very good value for money.