Beyond Teacher Training: How technology can help us teach kundalini yoga, by Ram Nam Singh

Ram Nam Mauro Corso

Ram Nam Singh practising with the Beyond Teacher Training webinar

Being a kundalini yoga teacher can be challenging. Even with our own yoga and meditation practice to sustain us, at the end of the day (or at the very beginning, in the case of leading a sadhana), it all boils down to being a teacher in a classroom. Of course, we very often have the company of fellow teachers, maybe even a mentor, for support, but there are situations, especially in smaller cities or villages, where there is only one kundalini yoga teacher.

If this is your case, most of the time you only have yourself to rely on. Although no teacher is really alone as we attune ourselves to the golden chain through the Adi Mantra – ‘Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo’ – every time we practice, and so enter into an active relationship with every past, present, and future teacher. And then there’s technology: read social media, Skype, online forums and webinars.

Yogi Bhajan very often addressed this technology during his lectures, stressing its opportunities, but also its risks. During the Winter Solstice of 1993, he said: ‘It is a good thing that information will be available. It will be a terrible thing; what to do with that information. And that is going to affect every mind. It looks great! Oh, in the press of the button, I can know anything. That’s fine. But on the other hand, it will press all your buttons. And how you will deal with this, it is subject of your own self-indulgence, how much self you control.’

Technology – and the ‘cold depression‘ that comes with it – is now something we are very familiar with. Still, those who can exert some form of self control can use technology to help, and even uplift themselves. Technology can be a powerful tool to be together in a community, to exchange challenges and blessings, and become One.

Beyond Level 1 WebinarAlong with technological links to the global sangat, us kundalini yoga teachers also have IKYTA (International Kundalini Yoga Teacher Association), with its central and regional branches. To be honest, I’ve always felt IKYTA and the Italian KYTA as something very far removed from me. Then in July 2017 something changed. IKYTA organised the Beyond Teacher Training Level 1 Webinar. While it was obviously targeted at new teachers, it was free and open to anyone, even to those who were not members of IKYTA (hey, let’s talk about openness and union!).

The webinar was divided into three parts and aired once a week. Each night (uh, well for me, since I watched it at 2am) there was a theme: 1. Finding Your Own Uniqueness, 2. Student/Teacher Relationships and 3. Fully Enjoy And Embrace Being A Teacher. During each night, there was a space for meditations (really a survival kit for teachers!), and the last 10 minutes or so were devoted to Q&A.

There were several things I loved about these webinars, no matter how exhausted I was (hey, it was 2am after all). First of all I had the opportunity to ‘meet’ senior teacher Sat Siri Kaur, who is a wonderful trainer: expert, compassionate, humble, down to earth and with a great knowledge of the challenges a teacher faces in their daily tasks. Her words were soothing and uplifting, like a balm for my soul. I loved the idea that teachers from all over the world (about 50 of them) were meditating together through this portal opened in New Mexico (a friend of mine once described Española to me as ‘the most spiritual place on Earth’). Also, I loved that every question asked was relevant to each one of us teachers, beyond our different nationalities and locations. All this really made me feel a sense of union, which was both refreshing and invigorating.

I really hope this is just the beginning. Such webinars are now more relevant than ever. Thank you Sat Siri Kaur. I sincerely hope that IKYTA will take to heart the production of more ‘seasons’. Just a quick count: there were about 50 teachers present during the live sessions (and many more watching the replay). We’ll keep to a cautious 150 total. Let’s say that every teacher has an average of nine students. This means that a webinar such as this might have an impact on 1,500 people, and that doesn’t stop even here. Since kundalini yoga uplifts every person and their environment, we could multiply this number even more, branching into a much larger connectivity. Isn’t that beautiful?

The replay for the webinar is at https://www.ikyta.org/coaching-program-archives

Mauro Corso Ram Nam SinghFollow Ram Nam’s Centro Ardas Bahi on Facebook and find more at http://maurocorso.wixsite.com/ardas. Mauro Corso wrote the novel Lo Sguardo Inatteso (The Unexpected Glance) with some plot help from his wife. Learn more about Ram Nam Singh at: http://www.yogigems.com/mauro-corso/#sthash.xItfO4a7.dpuf