Mahayoga Practitioner Training
March 17 - August 18 2024
Our 6 Month Mahayoga Practitioner Training is the crown jewel of all of our offerings for committed seekers. Harshada has been offering long-form trainings since 2006. This year's training is something he has been wanting to do for many years.
For years and years people would ask me "What kind of yoga do you teach?". I would never know what to say. What I teach is Mahayoga. That's what I learned in the ashram, that's what my gurus taught me, that's what I learned in India. This is what I want to share this year. I think people are ready.
Mahayoga is term that refers to the ancient spiritual yoga practiced and taught by the awakened masters or siddhas. It's not one technique. It's not a "brand" of yoga. It is an ancient approach that combines many traditions, many teachings, and many practices to support the unfolding of our innate, divine, human magnificence. This year our six-month training program is an opportunity to dive into deep practice and learn the fundamentals of Mahayoga and become empowered to offer Mahayoga to others.
Let's make yoga mystical again!
The ancient roots of yoga were not about exercise. We know that, but how do we make the yoga that we practice and the yoga that we teach a truly transformational experience?
Mahayoga masters didn't adhere to orthodox systems of wisdom or practice. They brought in whatever they needed to help the awakening and realization of their students.
Our six month training has six sections:
Month One: INITIATION
Mahayoga is based on the awakening of the Kundalini Shakti - our innate spiritual intelligence. The first month of teachings and practice is dedicated to establishment of relationship with our awakened Shakti (and to awaken it if it isn't already). You're learn about sadhana - the spiritual path - and will be initiated into the mantras of Mahayoga. You'll learn about the lineages of Mahayoga and where we fit in to the tradition as mahayogis in 2024. We will also be studying the ethical principles of yoga (Yama/Niyama) from a Tantric perspective and learning about what Harshada calls Anti-oppressionist Spirituality.
Month Two: MAHAYOGA SADHANA
Month two will be about really learning how to cultivate a hardcore and deeply enjoyable practice. In Mahayoga, the practices are all about supporting the spontaneous awakening and expansion of Kundalini. We don't need to do a crazy amount of practice, but we do need to do consistent, sincere, and deep practice. We'll learn about the yogic concepts of Abhyasa and Vairagya from a Tantric point of view and about Upaya; the concept of all practices being remedies. You'll learn about the practice of study and writing known as swadhyaya and learn how to do it in an effective, powerful way. You'll learn how to make all the practices your own, and help guide others to do the same.
Month Three: MYSTICAL ANATOMY
We will study and experience the various maps of our subtle, mystical anatomy. We'll get into the Four Bodies, the Fourfold Psychic Instrument, the Seven Chakras, Six Koshas, and of course, we will learn about Harshada's core teachings and practices related to the Three Hearts. You'll know all of these maps, be able to navigate your inner terrain, and guide others to navigate theirs.
Month Four: THE SADHANA OF TRANSFORMATION
Mahayoga is deeply transcendent and also deeply grounded in our humanity. Transformation on the path isn't just about connecting to the Divine, but also about refining our experience of being magnificent human beings. In Month Four, we will learn about Samskaras, Vasanas, the Three Types of Karma, the cultivation of virtues (from Bhagavad Gita), and powerful tools for the self-work that helps to ensure that we don't fall into "spiritual bypass" or become "spiritual ding-dongs".
Month Five: BHAKTI YOGA
Bhakti Yoga is a much misunderstood aspect of the path. It's the path of devotion, yes, but it's a profound path that is actually not so easy to tread. In Month Five, we will learn about Nirguna/Saguna Bhakti; how to be devoted to the Divine without defining or confining God into particular boxes or limitations. This is so important in this day and age. We will be initiated into the practices of Bhakti like Namasankirtana (chanting), and Seva (sacred service). We will delve into traditional teachings about Bhakti from the Bhakti, Baul, and Sufi poets as well as Sanskrit Texts like Bhagavad Gita and Narada Bhakti Sutra.
Month Six: LIVING MAHAYOGA
How do we bring our yoga into every aspect of our life? In our final month we learn Mahayoga teachings about Sahaja Samadhi - the absorption into the Divine we have in every moment of life. We learn authentic classical Tantric Yoga teachings and practices and how to embody what Harshada calls the path of the Mahayoga Bodhisattva. You will learn how to use your diet, your sleep patterns, your sexuality, and your relationship to movement and exercise to best support you on the spiritual path. During this month we will learn key teachings from classical tantric texts as well has important verses from the Bhagavad Gita.
Note: This is not an asana instructor training. Asana (physical postural yoga practice) will be one of the practices you will be encouraged to do, and you will also do regular Body Temple Dance class as part of the training. But it is VERY different from a common "yoga teacher training". Our aim is to fill a gap in the modern yoga world and teach all of the "other" aspects, in particular the inner, mysical aspects of yoga.
The Nuts and Bolts
This year Harshada is collaborating with Body Temple Founder Adriana Rizzolo (Matangi Devi Dasi) to create a whole new container for the advanced training.
Trainees will meet for online classes with Harshada three Sundays a month and be initiated into different practices for our bodies, minds and subtle awareness. Each month of the training will include reading and the classes will be based around key verses from source texts such as Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Bhagavad Gita, Shiva Sutra, Guru Gita, Ashtavakra Samhita, and others.
The classes will be interactive and will all have ample time for questions and discussion.
Once every month Adriana will meet with trainees to go deep into the ins and outs of offering Mahayoga to others.
Depending on the level of enrollment, trainees will have also opportunity for private sessions with Harshada and Adriana to deepen their learning.
In August the trainees will come together in person for a retreat with Harshada and Adriana in Ojai California.
For the first time, Harshada will be initiating trainees into 12 Specific Upayas or practices of Mahayoga. Some will be ones you can potentially share with others. Most will be just for you, for your personal awakening. These include mantra practices, awareness practices, energy practices and breath oriented practices.
Let's make Yoga Mystical Again!
In addition to the vast knowledge, experience and personal transformation from being in this training, you will also be trained certified to offer a selection of the Mahayoga practices and teachings in your classes and various offerings.
If this content appeals to you and you are a somewhat experienced practitioner, teacher, healer, or student of yoga, fill out the application us an email and tell us about yourself and your interest in the training and we will put you on the list. Harshada will need to interview everyone. Past Indian Pilgrimage participants will get first dibs.
The goal: A Soul Centered Life. The training will train your to connect deeply with your own inner truth, clearly with the Divine (as you understand it) and get free from whatever is holding you back from being deeply happy, free, and ready to serve in the highest way.
Many of the trainees are teachers or want to be teachers, but it's not a "teacher training" as such. The training sets you up to be a carrier of wisdom and servant of love in any situation. This is how Harshada describes the Mahayoga Bodhisattva.
Harshada has been working with the classical wisdom teachings from the Indian Mystical Tradition for more than 30 years and has trained countless practitioners. Trainees in this year's training will be carefully selected according to their readiness and willingness to commit to their own development. The other criteria is vision: what is the vision for how you will share what you learn. It doesn't mean you're going to be a dharma teacher. Maybe you're a visionary parent or a entrepreneur. Maybe you're in recovery and have a vision for a wisdom-driven life. Only you know.
Six Months of Supervised Sadhana
Harshada will select a small group of trainees and engage with them for 6 months of life and practice and spiritual unfolding. Harshada will offer three group sessions per month and be available for office hours once a month. You'll do private sessions with Harshada also. These sessions are very powerful. On your own time, you will be required to do daily practice, complete reading and other practice assignments, participate in group dialogs and attend at least one in-person retreat with Harshada during the 6 months. You can expect to dedicate between 30 and 60 minutes on average, per day.
The Nectar of Commitment
We will have weeks off and you can take days off, but the true power of this training is the sustained commitment. It takes a particular kind of strength to stay with a process for 6 months. When you do, it will pay off.
The training includes the 12 group sessions, plus six private sessions (one per month). Trainees get free access to all of Harshada's online courses during the six months of the Mahayoga Training, and also get $1000 discount on tuition for the January India Pilgrimage Retreat. For the Sadhaka level the tuition is $9000 Paid in full, or 6 payments of $1500.
*A very limited number of partial scholarships will be granted for the training on a basis of need. Discounts also available for qualified LGBTQR+ and BIPOC candidates.
How to Join
Take a moment to fill out the simple application below.
Advanced Training Application
The questions are designed to help you get clear, and give us a sense of who you are and where you're coming from. After reviewing the application, someone will get back to you and let you know the next steps. Harshada will want to have a conversation with you, and there are some prerequisites that apply. If you have questions for Harshada, please indicate them in the field below.