Internal Practices and Meditation

Advancing your personal journey of spiritual evolution

Module III of 500-Hour Curriculum: January 5, and 17-26, 2020

Himalayan range, 13,000 feet. Photo by Randy Newman.

Himalayan range, 13,000 feet. Photo by Randy Newman.

In this 100-hour coursework based on Non-dual Shaivism and Tibetan Buddhism, participants will learn most aspects of higher limbs of Raja Yoga. This 10-day curriculum will consist of one weekend session at Yoga for Life studio in North Portland, and 9 days of lectures, practices and personal observances at a residential retreat center, approximately 2 hours of driving distance from Portland, OR. To see rapid immersion in the tranquility of your meditation practices, you will need to disconnect from routine, distractions, demands, and normalcy of personal life. The speed with which you will tap into your innate abilities, when you follow these skillful means, may surprise you! This immersion will give you specific tools and practices that you can carry for the rest of your life to cultivate peace within, spiritual growth, personal inspiration, and faith in your innate abilities. You will get ample time putting theories to practice because ‘internal practice’ is exactly that … practice. Ultimately what you learn will help you break down your Samskaras (patterns of likes and dislikes) and bonds of Karma, which is why Himalayan Yogis have been fine-tuning such disciplines for centuries.

What you will learn:

  • Practices specific to last five limbs of Raja Yoga: Pranayamas (kriyas of breath), Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), Dharana (single-pointed focus), Dhyana (returning attention to the source of attention), and Samadhi (the various stages and processes of self-realization through Upayas).

  • Advanced techniques of Pranayam and custom sequence to cleanse Nadis (energetic channels) and remove of Granthis (energetic blocks)

  • Advanced techniques of Bandhas and custom sequence to awaken subtle energy channels and centers of your body

  • Cultivation of single-pointed focus internally, using kriyas of the second and third Mayakoshas (shells of human awareness), which includes energetic shell (bandhas and pranayams), and psychic-emotional shell (chakra and rasa)

  • Methods of invoking symbols and colors of all major and some minor chakra

  • Techniques of Kundalini awakening, and understanding of six layers of liberation

  • Techniques for removing worries, tension, and stress in a very short period of time through persistent practice; motivations/patterns for successful long-term personal practice

  • Concepts and controls of union, death, rebirth, relationships

  • Safe practices and usage of Neti pot, Basti (enema), guided fasting, and observances of silence

  • Invoking dormant energy through the process of fasting, practicing silence, and methods of Brahmacharya for household men and women

  • Innate and learned abilities of masculine and feminine individuals

Program Structure:

November 10, 2019: Noon to 2 PM: Informational session on how to prepare your mind and body; q&a on what to expect. There will be the option for dialing in for out-of-town participants.

January 5, 2020: Noon to 4 PM: at Yoga for Life, Portland studio. Start of the program; instructions and practices to start cleansing your mind and body before you arrive at the retreat center.

January 17 - 26, 2020: There is no option for daily commute from your house, as our everyday will start at 7 AM and will finish as late as 9 PM. Day will consist of morning practice (sun salutations and asanas as mudras), breakfast, meditation session, lunch, lecture, internal practice, dinner, meditation/study/self-observances. Ample rest and a quiet mind is critical.

Retreat center check-in on Friday 1/10 before 1 PM. Program will start at 2 PM. Retreat center check-out on Sunday 1/19 by Noon.

Who will benefit from this program?

If you are reading this curriculum, chances are you have the curiosity and mindset to participate in this program. This is an intense and effective program that will shift your perception of yourself, and try to alter your limiting belief systems in the energetic and spiritual realms. Most of what you will learn can be traced back to the source of Yoga in Himalayan regions and India before the British Rule, and is unadulterated by the influences of New Age spiritual ideas.

You have time to prepare. You should be comfortable sitting on the floor with some/minimal support if physically necessary for at least 1 hour. You should have a steady (2-3 times per week) yoga asana practice. You must have an open mind and curiosity to explore beyond what you think is possible; most of metaphysics and energetic events cannot be readily witnessed through our five senses under normal conditions. You must have respect for eastern traditions of Yoga, and teacher-student interactions. Lastly, you need to be healthy in your mind and body, and consult your medical provider. You will be performing vigorous breath-work, fasting periodically (minimum of 1 day, maximum of 3 days, at your own discretion), eating vegetarian food, and encouraged/taught to perform such Kriyas as Neti-pot and Basti (enema). Hundreds, if not thousands of humans of all ages and race practice these types of activities safely every year throughout the world, including the West. You can too!

You will return home with a magical state of your mind and body, see the world through a different lens of optimism, and be lesser effected by the pessimism of the modern world.

Program Tuition, Room and Meals:

Chef prepared vegetarian and non-veg meals, made from high quality local organic produces, can accommodate most dietary restrictions.

Chef prepared vegetarian and non-veg meals, made from high quality local organic produces, can accommodate most dietary restrictions.

Program is priced à la carte.

Tuition is $1475 and non-inclusive of room and meals, because there are various options and price-points for room and board that are better left to your own decisions and coordination.

Meals: Total cost for your meals is determined by the number of meals you eat, depending on your motivation during meditation, and duration of fasting (if you partake).

Room: It is recommended that you reserve one of five Upper Smith Creek Cabins, with three beds in each, for as low as $89/cabin/night. There are several other options at higher prices. You can expect to pay as low as $725 for room and meals for nine nights, assuming you are fasting two days. You’ll reserve rooms with a designated coordinator of the Lodge.

DEADLINE FOR PROGRAM REGISTRATION: November 15, 2019 ($500 non-refundable deposit). You will receive book list and other preparatory information.

TUITION PAYMENT DUE: December 15, 2019 - balance of $975. All payments made to Yoga for Life will be refunded in full if program is canceled for any reason.

Retreat Center: Silver Falls Lodge

20022 Silver Falls Hwy SE, Sublimity, Oregon 97385
(866) 575-8875

Raj Patra

Faculty: Raj Patra (YFL Co-Founder)

Raj’s yoga journey started in Kolkata, India at the age of seven at Ghosh’s Yoga College which was established in 1923 by Bishnu Ghosh, younger brother of Sri Paramhansa Yogananda, the author of “Autobiography of a Yogi”. Incidentally, Raj grew up on the same street, blocks away from the birthplace and house of Swami Vivekananda, the personality single-handedly responsible for introducing Yoga and Hinduism to the United States in 1893. For Raj, yoga involved not only physical exercises, pranayama, and meditation, but a prescription of lifestyle, in close association with Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and helped cure ailments and improve quality of mental and physical connections.

Over the the past four decades Raj has studied in the lineages and inspirations of Yogananda, Sri Anandamayi Ma, Swami Vivekananda, Bishnu Ghosh, Dr. A. G. Mohan, Zhander Remete, 17th Gyalwa Karmapa of Kagyu Lineage, venerable Chöje Lama Phuntsok Rinpoche, and most importantly, Guruji Andrey Lappa, founder of Universal Yoga and teacher of Tantrika. Raj is well-versed in systems of Hatha yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga and its western derivations, Bikram yoga, Power yoga, Yin yoga, Shadow yoga, and the extensive system of Universal Yoga and Shiva Nata (Dance of Shiva), and has spent time in Ramakrishna Mission, Dakshineshwar Temple, Balur Matth Vivekananda Institute in Kolkata, and Karma Lekshey Ling monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal. Raj is a Reiki Master, and initiated in the Modern Mystery School.

With degrees in Physics and in Mathematics, and high profile corporate and hi-tech jobs since 1998 in start-ups and Fortune companies, Raj’s yoga practice and yoga teaching is grounded by the fundamental belief that stress through the rat-race of material success is the biggest contributor to the unhappiness and increasing health issues in the world, and that raising human consciousness is the means of attaining peace. “Yoga helps in not only re-balancing our lives, but also in raising an intellectual awareness that we are all connected beings living off of the same quantum mechanical resources.”

Raj’s mission is to educate yoga practitioners and teachers about Yoga in its authentic and universal way, enriched by centuries of lineage.  His activities and energy these days revolve around teaching ancient philosophies in modern and scientific contexts, inspiring people to live life in conscious and meaningful ways, and relentlessly studying with and from yoga masters. Learn more.