SSY- Never Too Late to Earn Money
It is never too late to get into the game and earn money.
Lets take a look at another product offered by the AOL corporation.
The AOL corporation was rather late getting in to the yoga business. A business that has an immense potential;
2008 Yoga In America Study, Yoga Journal, March 2008, Pages: 93
The 2008 “Yoga in America” study shows that Americans spend $5.7 billion a year on yoga classes and products, including equipment, clothing, vacations and media (DVDs, videos, books and magazines). This figure represents an increase of 87 percent compared to the previous study in 2004 — almost double of what was previously spent
Sure some light yoga was always done on courses (routines mostly copied from TM) but there was no yoga course available. This always surprised me since yoga has such well documented beneficial aspects.
The AOL corporation realized very soon that they had an incomplete product pallet, there was a gap devotees were spending their money for yoga classes else where. They had to keep these revenue’s from flowing outside to competitors.
Thus enters Krishan Verma who has put yoga on the map for AOL.
Senior Art of Living Teacher – Yoga Alliance Registered Experienced Yoga Teacher;
‘Yogacharya’; ‘Yoga Shiromani’ .
Director, Yoga Research and Training, VVM India
Director, International Sri Sri Yoga Teacher Training
President, VVM International, Canada.
Not sure where he got all the titles from, but he is knowledgeable on the subject.
But he got caught up in the web as well, in the end when your livelihood depends on it the purity seems to fade some where down the line. I wonder how much Yoga research and training there is and has been done in the AOL company. I have not seen any publications recently.
And so Sri Sri Yoga was created. Not sure if he had a say in naming the course. But CEO Ravi uses an interesting branding strategy in all his products,……..his first made up initials. I wonder where he got that branding idea from, “Sri Sri Yoga”. I know of another organization that does the same they offer Maharishi Ayurveda, Maharishi Joythish ect. What a striking resemblance, the son has learned well.
So as a good devotee I signed up as soon as the course came into town. As with any course the quality of the teacher is very important but to me it seemed like in yoga it is crucial. In my first course the traditional pranayama’s were taught in such a superficial way, the teacher made mistakes and people started to feel sick. Oooh it is just the body purifying it self we were told, and of course we believed it. Why would you think otherwise the master has designed the course and his grace is watching over us and guiding the teacher. It could not have been the incompetence of the teacher instructing us.
Pranayama’s are very powerful there are many Yoga master’s (like B.K.S. Iyengar) who warn against teaching them to those who have not extensively prepared their body and mind. But in AOL it is no problem the Guru knows better.
The postures were badly demonstrated, come to find out afterwards this person only had a month of yoga experience yet was a TEACHER of Sri Sri Yoga. As a good devotee I signed up for another SSY course cause that is what you are taught to do take as many course as possible this time with a different teacher. Slightly better experience.
So then I took a beginners class at a yoga center with an Iyengar teacher. Needless to say I was surprised at the attention to detail and correct alignment in postures which were very clearly explained. So I asked how long it took her to become a teacher she said 2 years. Interesting……….. it really showed in her teaching.
So I wondered about the Sri Sri Yoga Teacher training and was shocked to learn that it was only 10 days. In just ten days one could become a Yoga teacher, sorry a Sri Sri yoga teacher……
So I took a look at the SSY requirements,:
Criteria for applying Sri Sri Yoga TTC (latest ones)
a. Minimum 6 months after doing PART 1 Course.
b. Courses done: Sri Sri Yoga, 1 AMC, 1 DSN,
c. Candidate should organize and assist at least 2 Sri Sri Yoga Courses
d. Candidate should listen to Gurudev’s talks on Patanjali Yogsutra, Yogasara Upanishad
These were required but seems like they are not anymore…..wonder why.
1. Get a book on Human Anatomy, study it to get a good understanding of: (memorize as much as you can)
– the skeletal system, joints, major bones, major muscles.
– major parts and function of Circulatory system, Respiratory system and Endocrine system.
2. Memorize Sanskrit names of 15 asanas.
Looking at requirements it is obvious as with any teacher training the AOL company offers, that it will take advantage to sell their own products and courses. I guess it is called easy money.
What a nice way to sell an expensive set of talks and to deepen one’s dependency on the guru through courses, but at the time it made perfect sense. But something else was missing as well, the history of yoga. The influence which Krishnamacharya (the father of modern yoga) had and how yoga flourished through two of his students Iyengar and Pattabihi Jois around the world.
The AOL marketing department is very good at manipulation people into letting them think that Ravi is the one who created everything. That the AOL company is bringing out new knowledge which is cognized by the Guru to save humanity that he has the GIFT.
And then one starts to put the Guru (CEO) on a pedestal. But the truth is, it is all rehashed, reverse engineered repackaged and sold to the masses.
The Art of Living Corporation realized that to be taken seriously they had to fake it till they make it. Since the business aspect of yoga is so lucrative the marketing department of the Art of Living corporation made it clear that the company could easily charge standard yoga teacher training fee’s since most of the people applying would be people within the AOL family. Thus easy targets easy money.
And yes I took the plunge and signed up for a SSY TTC. I did my home work studied my anatomy, read and watched the patanjali sutras had to buy them they are not cheap…. Traveled to a far of country. And when I got there the group was very large 100 plus people who came from all over the globe. And I was told this is a small SSY TTC.
I did a very quick calculation and concluded that the AOL company would take in very substantial amount of money. But that was ok, I was here for the knowledge ready to become a yoga teacher. Oooh by the way a lot of people paid cash….. no bank transfer necessary very convenient.
This TTC was indeed different less damaging psychological games, yet there was brainwashing none the less. It is always brought in light of how great the Master is and the Guru stories. How HE revived the pure essence of yoga and how he brought life to the Patanjali sutras though his in depth commentaries. This was mostly done during evening and late satsangs when one was totally exhausted. Yes sleep deprivation seems to be a recurring theme in most of AOL programs, and I wonder why……
The thing that was most amazing was that lots of participants did not prepare themselves. There were those who did excel. But they had a yoga back ground.
Anatomy is an important aspect in ones role as a yoga teacher, one needs to be familiar with the body. They way anatomy was covered over a period of ten days was abysmal. Way to superficial just not enough time spend on the whole subject. This would become very apparent in the practical teaching sessions.
The same counts for the pranayama’s which are part of the program. They were shown and explained, some detail was given and the effect they will have on our body. Because of the size of the group we could not get proper instructions or be checked if we were doing it correctly. There were just not enough assistants, those with more experience were helping out. I wondered if this was also the case with the SSY teacher I took the course with.
When it came to the Asanas (postures) and teaching them it was very chaotic at times. They were shown to us and we had to sit with they manual and prepare our selves to teach. We had to teach in groups but it felt like the blind leading the blind, if you were in a group where nobody had any experience. So detail to alignment which is important in yoga was not stressed. Nor did anyone worry to much about it divine grace is always at your side when teaching……….or so they say. I have since talked to various ex SSY teachers who took other Yoga teacher training courses, the consensus was that there are SSY teachers who have no clue what they are doing, and are actually hurting people in the long run because of their lack of understanding the anatomical fundamentals of yoga and adjusting people accordingly.
Yet one thing which was stressed was to talk about the part 1 course. Give them a short intro talk and sign people up and also talk about the advance course (part 2). Again this makes a lot of business sense, you already have their attention. So why not slip in a quick sell……….
Attention was given to marketing as well of course. The course has the same characteristic as all the others. Easy to market, have Ravi and the AOL corporation be a focus and keep it superficial the grace will be their to guide you. It was so funny we were discouraged to go into discussing with teachers from other organizations like Iyengar. Now I know why………lack of yoga knowledge.
Along the way (and there were only 10 days mind you) I started to wonder how can the majority of us say we are yoga teachers when this course is done.
They say SSY is now registered with Yoga Alliance as a 200 hrs yoga course. I wonder how, in ten days your are not able to full fill the 200 hours that would mean 20 hrs a day. That would not be possible since there is daily seva and satsangs to attend too. It would be interesting to see what the required break down per subject would be. And match those up with what is covered in the TTC. But then again has the AOL corporation ever been transparent…….
So after ten days and a weak written exam, yes there was one. We were declared SSY teachers. There was one thing before you got your certificate you had to teach two courses and report back how many participants we had in each course. Someone at the corporate head office was already counting the money earned, why did this not surprise me.
SSY TTC is just another way of hooking people into the Art of Living corporation, at best one gets an introduction into yoga. There are EX-SSY and SSY teachers who are excellent but they realized that they had a passion for yoga and sought training else where. Hopefully you will be able to take a course with a good SSY teacher but do you want to leave it to luck or be guaranteed that a teacher because of his or her training will give you correct and safe instructions during the course.
Making quality yoga teachers is NOT an objective of the AOL corporation making revenue is. Creating a watered down yoga teacher training and charging full standard fees and market this to the AOL devotees is a golden opportunity for the corporation to make sure that their financial goals are met.
And tell me again why AOL is not a corporation.
The little giant has awakened.