Shiva Yoga Peeth Review - A Balanced Perspective


#1

In November 2017 I attended Shiva Yoga Peeth for their 200-hour teacher-training program and would give the experience a 3.5 out of 5, and here’s why.

Accommodation
The rooms are basic but adequate. If you attend in the colder months (Nov – Feb) be aware that as soon as the sun sets it gets quite cool – around 10 degrees. Bring warm clothes and request a room facing the Ganga River since the other rooms do not get any direct sun and are very cold. At least half of the class came down with a cold. The people managing the ashram were super people. The Manager, Rupesh, was particularly helpful.

Food
First rate. Some of the best vegetarian Indian food I’ve had. It was consistently good.

Location
SYP is central which is great for shopping, taking in the local life or grabbing a meal. However, it is extremely noisy. Music blares, horns are continuously being honked, monkeys run on the roof, there is ongoing chanting from the nearby temples and dogs bark throughout the night. If you are a light sleeper and/or trying to find a peaceful retreat, Shiva Yoga Peeth is not for you.

Courses
Meditation
Because of the noise meditation was literally impossible. In an effort to combat the noise they tried playing meditation podcasts with high-powered speakers from an iPhone. Frankly, the result was chaos and not conducive to meditation whatsoever. If meditation is of high importance to you I would look for an alternative to Shiva Yoga Peeth.

Yoga
SYP provides Ashtanga and Hatha yoga. They both run for :90 minutes. I’ve been spoiled in Toronto (where I live) where I’m an Iyengar student with teachers who are highly qualified so I do have a comparison. I would rank the quality of teaching as below average at Shiva Yoga Peeth. The Hatha teacher was very dry and very “programmed”. He would doggedly follow a curriculum and was not interactive at all. His comments were rare and he was not engaging. He liked to lecture us.
Our Ashtanga teacher was fired near the end of the course. He was better than the Hatha teacher but now he is gone so I have no idea how the new teacher is.

In addition, their cushions are filthy and other props super old. It appears at one time they did teach Iyengar Yoga and then gave up on it and now use valuable wall space to hang a huge poster with a self-promoting picture of their Swami.

Pranayam / Philosophy / Anatomy
I enjoyed the majority of these classes and learned quite a bit. The teacher for these courses was quite good. I found sitting on the floor very challenging.

Schedule
Our days ran from 6am to 8pm yet we only had 7.5 hours of classes. The days were needlessly long. The schedule is optimal for SYP rather than the student. After the 14-hour day we would have dinner and trying to sleep on a full stomach and getting up at 5:30 was a challenge. The breaks between classes were not long enough to do much.

Environment
As they would like to remind us “cameras are everywhere”. They take attendance at classes and have eyes on you in the yoga studios that felt kind of weird. At times you would sit for up to an hour and a half and be told how to be a yogi. Lots of chanting and praying and oms that became a bit excessive in my opinion. I found, as did others, sitting on the hard tile floor became super uncomfortable.

Marketing Machine
Shiva Yoga Peeth is an excellent marketing machine. They’ve found a formula that generates lots of money. They stage an outing to a beach on the Ganga where the Swami has photos taken with students and selected students are interviewed for their facebook site. In addition, at the end of the course we are all gathered together for more FB photos and video. If anything negative is posted to their FB page they take it down. With only positive reviews being posted I felt it was important to get this more balanced review out.

Summary
Overall I thought SYP provided a very mediocre and average experience. The highlight was definitely meeting the other students – some of whom I will stay in touch with forever.


#2

I am a recent student who just completed my 200 hr TTC at Shiva Yoga Peeth and I can’t thank the school and the teachers enough for the experience I have had here. Shiva Yoga Peeth is more than a school where you not only get a certification but abundance of love, care and life transforming lessons. This school offers what rare schools have to offer as a matter of transmitting this ancient science in its purest form, with a program, a quality of teachers and an environment that makes this TTC an amazing life transforming experience. All the teachers are a perfect example of what they preach and their lives that is unfolding in front of our own eyes, each and everyday, is for me the most precious part of any teaching.

  1. They are constantly trying to improve their facilities and that is why they take feedback from all students and on the basis of those reviews they make changes every month. Similarly, they recently made changes in accommodations as well.

  2. Location: As said earlier the location of accommodation is shifted so its much more quieter than before and nothing like staying in front of Ganga and waking up to the view of mother Ganga.

  3. The location of halls are also shifted so now the question of mediation in noise does not arise at all.

  4. The teachers are incredible and its almost in appropriate to compare the teachers in West to the teachers in East. After all, Yoga originated in India and so anytime the ancient form of education or the traditional yoga what anyone can learn is only here in India. Don’t we come to India for that reason? So it’s baseless to be in India and comparing to the teachers in West. Better you should have taken your TTC there then. My time in Shiva Yoga Peeth and my teachers here especially Ravi was phenomenal with precise adjustments and alignments. For me, the Hatha class was incredible. The teacher’s methodology is clear, precise, informative and could not have been any better. The Ashtanga teacher whom we have now is terrific and his classes are amazing.

  5. The school has Iyengar yoga training as well and they have not stopped teaching the same. The poster has been removed and the walls now have belts and other Iyengar related props.

  6. You will find the fundamental difference in the understanding of the yogic path at Shiva Yoga Peeth. So the traditional teachings will differ from that of the West. Herein, the school follows ancient yoga approach in ashram so the TTC is designed in such a way that the ethical practices are ingrained automatically in students. They follow the ancient Gurukul system as per which the students sit on the floor and gain knowledge. I don’t see anything wrong in that, because you have come to India to learn authentic yoga the traditional way, then might as well develop the approach of sitting on the floor too. If not, chose any other country but then you won’t find the real favour of Indian Yoga. Choice is YOURS. If you want the best then you have to give up on leisure and study sincerely incorporating all the principles of ancient science. The real magic happens outside the comfort zone after all. The structure and content of the classes, the rhythm and style of transmission is giving the students the self confidence to teach what they have learnt, leaving with a more harmonised and balanced body and mind, an amazing strong foundation for future self development and awareness, regardless of the initial level. This “magical formula” and success have not appeared by chance or luck, but with extremely hard, clever and heartily work for the students to achieve the most out of their yogic journey, on all aspects.

  7. Well regarding marketing I would say that if spreading love, peace and humanity is something that you see as a bad thing then I must say you need a reality check. What is wrong in helping the world know great things about yoga through videos or reviews? I think that it is the best thing the school is doing in spreading the message to every nook and corner of the world so that more and more people are able to avail this beautiful gift of yoga in this already stressed out world. I would find it sad to deprive yogis or future yogis from this experience and would find it sad for many dedicated beautiful and pure souls if they don’t visit this school.

  8. They don’t have any marketing team. Their work speaks for them. Also if you don’t know about facebook I would like to inform you since you are not aware that Facebook page reviews can visible or unvisible but can not be deletable. So they have all reviews irrespective of good or bad.

Hence, I would say that trust your instinct and take a plunge into this beautiful yoga journey by making Shiva Yoga Peeth as the choice of your destination for study. I myself have recommended the school to all my loved ones, relatives, friends and shall continue to do so even in future.
Om Shanti