About Yoga

Why study with Agama?
What is Yoga?
Why do Yoga?
Why are there so many types of Yoga?
What is the Agama First Level Intensive?
What is Tantra?
What is initiation and why is it important?
What is Kundalini Shakti?
Is Yoga dangerous?

About Agama Yoga and Our Classes

What is Agama Yoga?
Is Agama associated with or partnered with any other Yoga schools?
What makes Agama Yoga unique?
What does the daily program look like?
Do I need experience to join the First Level Intensive?
Do I need to reserve in advance to join the First Level Intensive?
How much does the First Level Intensive cost?
What do you offer after the First Level Intensive?
Is it possible to attend the First Level Course on a drop-in basis?
I am already a Yoga teacher – can I start in advanced classes?
What is included in the cost of the course?

Why study with Agama?
Agama returns to the primary sources of Yoga, restoring the original meaning to the Yoga system: the complete development of the being for the aim of attaining spiritual liberation. Through systematic teachings based on curricula that become more and more advanced, progress is assured to all sincere practitioners. For many people, Agama is the fulfillment of a long-awaited dream. People of rational orientation have always waited for a scientific presentation of metaphysical and spiritual truths, which do not lose their mysterious, magical, and sacred flavor and yet remain common sense-based and grounded. Many seekers have sought a system of practice and evolution that is clear and coherent, but also truly transcendent and compassionate. We feel that this is precisely what we can offer to the modern world.

Agama has had thousands of international students since its inception in 1998. Our Integral Yoga courses have been our most popular offerings; they begin with an intensive one-month introduction to Kundalini, Laya, and Tantra Yoga, and evolve into a multi-year program entailing the deep and gradual revelation of these teachings. Agama is unique in the world. We teach some of the most esoteric and potent forms of Yoga that India and Tibet have given to world spirituality. Our system reveals the actual mechanisms behind Yoga; wonderful results have been obtained, leading to a wider fame for the courses, mostly by word of mouth. By using previously little-known techniques that have been adapted for the 21st century, the student has a very special opportunity to learn and experience all that 5,000 years of Yoga tradition can offer.

Together with regular practical classes, workshops, lectures, and group meditations, we ensure that an understanding of a genuine spiritual path can be gained here. We offer a synthesis between the rational thinking of the West and the mystical traditions of the East, incorporating many spiritual methods and systems of personal development. Our teachings generally concern spiritual evolution and Self-realization, although we also gladly touch on subjects as down-to-earth as healing, physical development, and quality of life. We use Yoga as a very strong instrument, among many other genuine spiritual techniques, to create a powerful and comprehensive program.

What is Yoga?
Yoga is a system of techniques developed in ancient India and designed to lead the dedicated practitioner to full enlightenment as to the nature of reality and the Supreme.

Why do Yoga?
The practice of Yoga allows the practitioner to reach his or her highest potential and reveals the greatest mysteries of the Universe. It also has more worldly applications that promote healing, improvement in the quality of life, and the realization of paranormal phenomena.

Why are there so many types of Yoga?
The many types of Yoga suit the many different types of practitioners. Hatha Yoga (sun-moon Yoga) involves the physical body and leads to the balance of the solar and lunar energies. Most popular forms of Yoga, e.g., Iyengar, Sivananda, Ashtanga (not to be confused with Patanjali’s traditional eight-fold Ashtanga Yoga), Vinyasa, Kundalini (not to be confused with traditional Kundalini Yoga), etc., are styles of Hatha Yoga. There are four classic types of Yoga: Jnana Yoga (the Yoga of direct knowledge), Bhakti Yoga (the Yoga of devotion), Karma Yoga (the Yoga of action), and Raja Yoga (the royal Yoga which includes Hatha, Tantra, Laya, Kundalini, and other forms of Yoga). The Agama courses give teachings on all these forms, with an emphasis on Raja Yoga and its various sub-forms.

What is the Agama First Level Intensive?
The First Level Intensive Course is our most popular course offering worldwide. At our Thailand headquarters and at our primary branch centers (Rishikesh, Dharamsala , Mexico and now Colombia) this course is taught in an intensive daily format over four weeks, approximately six hours per day. The experience is an excellent and comprehensive introduction to the fundamentals of Yoga combined with two Hatha Yoga sessions per day, forming a retreat-like atmosphere. Our students also very much enjoy the experience of community that we cultivate at Agama. We sponsor nightly rare documentaries and Yoga-related films, bhajans and kirtan, special meditations as announced, evening lectures and Q&A with Swami Vivekananda or occasionally guest presenters, monthly parties, etc. Unlike in the West, where students merely drop in to classes and leave, it is one of our aims to promote a yogi community that resembles the strength of connections found in ashram life.

What is Tantra?
The word Tantra is often translated as “warp,” as in the base of threads on a loom. This symbolizes the idea that all aspects of the Universe are connected like a web. Tantra is the Yoga that uses the diverse elements of manifestation – such as the body (Hatha Yoga), colors, sounds (mantra), shapes (yantra), dreams, and sexuality – to elevate the consciousness and reach spiritual realization. The word Tantra also refers specifically to the Yoga of sexuality, but technically this is too narrow a use of the term.

What is initiation and why is it important?
Agama is a Tantric Yoga school dedicated to traditional methods of teaching spirituality via the process of initiation. Knowledge passed on from teacher to pupil during initiation involves the direct transfer of a specific form of energy that imparts a subtle influence. This process can only be achieved in person – it cannot be acquired from books. Initiation greatly accelerates spiritual progress and ensures accurate practice, opening the gates for true personal evolution. Through teaching by initiation we provide you with abundant practical tools for better health, the balance of emotions, improvement in mental capacity, greater happiness, and insight into the deeper meanings of existence.

What is Kundalini Shakti?
Kundalini Shakti (the coiled energy) is the strongest potential force in the human being whose arousal is essential to any spiritual evolution. In the average person, it lies dormant at the base of the spine. Kundalini Yoga is the Yoga of directly awakening Kundalini Shakti and directing it up the spine to the crown center (sahasrara, above the top of the head).

Is Yoga dangerous?
Some advanced techniques of Yoga can be dangerous if practiced without proper preparation and the guidance of a qualified teacher. Fortunately, such techniques are generally inaccessible to unprepared students. For this reason, it is very important to respect the process of initiation and transmission of Yogic teachings.

What is Agama Yoga?
For many people, Agama is the fulfillment of a long-awaited dream. People of rational orientation have always waited for a scientific presentation of metaphysical and spiritual truths, which do not lose their mysterious, magical, and sacred flavor and yet remain common sense-based and grounded. Many seekers have sought a system of practice and evolution that is clear and coherent, but also truly transcendent and compassionate. We feel that this is precisely what we can offer to the modern world. Agama has had thousands of international students since its inception in 1998. Our Integral Yoga courses have been our most popular offerings; they begin with an intensive one-month introduction to Kundalini, Laya, and Tantra Yoga, and evolve into a multi-year program entailing the deep and gradual revelation of these teachings.

Agama is unique in the world. We teach some of the most esoteric and potent forms of Yoga that India and Tibet have given to world spirituality. Our system reveals the actual mechanisms behind Yoga; wonderful results have been obtained, leading to a wider fame for the courses, mostly by word of mouth. By using previously little-known techniques that have been adapted for the 21st century, the student has a very special opportunity to learn and experience all that 5,000 years of Yoga tradition can offer. Together with regular practical classes, workshops, lectures, and group meditations, we ensure that an understanding of a genuine spiritual path can be gained here.

We offer a synthesis between the rational thinking of the West and the mystical traditions of the East, incorporating many spiritual methods and systems of personal development. Our teachings generally concern spiritual evolution and Self-realization, although we also gladly touch on subjects as down-to-earth as healing, physical development, and quality of life. We use Yoga as a very strong instrument, among many other genuine spiritual techniques, to create a powerful and comprehensive program.
You can find additional information on Agama Yoga’s unique approach to Yoga and Spirituality here, and a brief overview of our history here.

Is Agama associated with or partnered with any other Yoga schools?
Agama Yoga is an independent network of Yoga schools and ashrams committed to the study and dissemination of the authentic traditions of Indian Tantric Yoga. Agama has no lateral equivalent anywhere in the world, excepting its own branches and subsidiaries. It is not possible to “transfer into the curriculum” based on previous studies elsewhere within different systems or schools under other names.

What makes Agama Yoga unique?
When Swami Vivekananda Saraswati decided to reveal the Agama style, he did a broad survey of Yoga on several continents: what was being offered, how it was being taught, what the spiritual objectives appeared to be (or not be), etc. The answers to these questions painted a bleak picture of the state of this extraordinary system in today’s world. Crucial aspects of Yoga were being diluted, omitted, or distorted in the teaching process. Western students especially were being offered a marketed form of Yoga that had more in common with gymnastics and fitness classes than the ancient art and science of cultivating union with God.

He set forth an authentic system, based in the genuine Indian and Tibetan tantric Yoga traditions, incorporating the proper methodology of Yoga transmission – initiation – and using a structure that highly values clarity and efficiency of the teachings, as well as proper atmosphere.
For most people who discover us, Agama is a revelation and a pleasant surprise. We have tried to summarize below some of the reasons which make this school so special, and unlike most spiritual organizations you may have experienced. While nothing can replace direct experience, these ideas will give you a hint of what to expect, and together with the indispensable reading of the other pages about Agama and our courses, it is a good start in knowing us.

Atmosphere When joining regular Yoga courses, many people expect to find either some blurry New Age environment or a group of rubber-bodied fitness fanatics with a distinct physical fixation. As a result, those who do not fit into these groups naturally don’t feel inclined to join such courses. We believe that neither of these approaches accurately expresses the spirit of the spiritual search, or Yoga. Neither fantasy nor gymnastics can provide that remarkable degree of self-awareness and lucidity that constitutes the backbone of spiritual life and realization. At the Agama courses one feels a spiritual fervor in the air from determined seekers who take responsibility for their lives and destinies, and who are willing to give up self-pity and ignorance for a courageous, knowledgeable approach full of humor, vitality, and common sense.

Clarity Many people who have skimmed the surface of “spiritual” circles have been turned off not only by the degree of imagination often propagated in such environments, but also by the hazy, fuzzy way in which essential problems are approached and explained. Subjects that are outside the circle’s dogma or outside of the teacher’s competence cannot be tackled, or they will be answered in arty, baffling, psychoanalytical, or fruitless manners.If you ask a fundamentalist Christian teacher about the meanings of the worship of tantric goddesses, or go to a classical Patanjali Yoga teacher from India and ask him to explain the sacrifice of Christ on the cross, most often you will get a dismissive, confusing answer that reflects ignorance.

While we believe that no one knows everything, and that there is an inherent mysterious, poetic, and abyssal nature of this manifestation, we still consider that we must reach a basic, accurate knowledge of the world in which we live. As soon as some fundamental information is scientifically and rationally understood, clear answers to most problems of our world become possible, and we are able to solve them in a spiritual manner.

At times, we encounter people who, although involved for a long time with a “spiritual path,” lack an elementary compass for the vast ocean of this existence; they are unable to realize where they are placed in the big picture, what the meaning and purpose of their life is, what the next step to take is, what to expect from the great surrounding cosmos, and what their integration in the process of personal and global evolution is. We believe that all spiritual seekers must be given the opportunity to rise above such confusion. Therefore, the Agama teachings address these questions earnestly, giving a clear exposition of the subtle energies at work on the spiritual path, which includes lucid explanations of the mechanisms of diverse spiritual paths.

Quality – Defining the Agama Approach We believe in high quality, and therefore permanently strive to keep our teaching at top-notch levels. The Agama teachings are comparable to a university-level education with a full curriculum stretching over five years, divided into consecutive blocks of study, and reaching almost all aspects of Yoga, natural self-healing, and spiritual life. The teachings build over the years to lead dedicated students to profound depths of spiritual awareness. In addition, we also often organize workshops and events with specific themes. Comprehensive course notes, designed to ensure that students assimilate all the information, always accompany the teachings. To give you an idea, the First Level Intensive Course includes a 150-page book covering the studied topics.

At Agama, we never forget the big picture and the vertical dimension of the spiritual process. On the other hand, you don’t have to worry that things may get “too serious” or that you won’t find a place for simple, down-to-earth concerns, such as managing your diet, for example. What is important is to have a clear picture of life, and of the role you are performing by your actions; sometimes big things actually depend on some very small and trite factors.

Initiation – the Method of Yoga Transmission Initiation is essential in teaching spirituality and Yoga, and this element is quite different from “teaching” in the Western sense. Initiation is a “subtle influence” whereby a specific form of energy is transferred from teacher to pupil. This is a personal experience, and cannot be acquired from books. It greatly accelerates spiritual progress, ensures accurate practice, and opens the gates for true human communion. Through teaching by initiation we provide you with practical tools for better health, balance of emotions, improvement of mental capacity, greater happiness, and insight into the deeper meanings of existence.

Efficiency Western people tend to have a pragmatic, goal-oriented style of living; they often transfer this approach to the spiritual quest, and expect concrete results from spiritual practice. Consequently we often encounter sincere, but confused, seekers who are using ineffective methods, and therefore only travel in fantasy lands: while dreaming about all kinds of parallel worlds and subtle energies of the Universe, they are unable to control their mind and emotions for everyday purposes. While imagining that they feel mysterious energies and that they can guide them at will, they are for example unable to obtain the most simple, down-to-earth, or healing effects in daily life.

The Agama tantric style makes such loss of resources impossible: our courses put the emphasis on practice, with specific aims to get specific results. The techniques are efficient for purifying the body and mind, removing blockages and inhibitions, and improving life so that real advancement is easily within reach. Agama gives comprehensive, clear, and deep teachings on esoteric Yoga and the spiritual life.

Other Reasons Why You Might Like to Join Us

      • Have you ever thought about a natural system of healing in which information and methods from other alternative systems can be easily integrated?
      • Have you ever dreamed about a way of understanding the human psyche and mind?
      • Have you wished for a spirituality in which sexuality could be fully and truly integrated, and used practically for the attainment of higher states of consciousness?
      • Have you desired a spiritual path that is transcendent and metaphysical, but also able to solve day-to-day problems and focus on worldly issues?
      • Have you ever wondered about a spiritual path in which you could be disciplined and austere, but also where you can laugh and love, socialize, and have adventure?
      • Are you interested in telepathy, parallel universes and other forms of consciousness, hypnosis, time travel, mysterious energies of nature, paranormal capacities of the human mind, Kundalini and chakras, human auras, lucid dreaming, tantric meditation, astrology, or Shambhala?
      • Have you ever dreamed about the existence of a knowledge that liberally allows the practical understanding of other forms of spirituality, and which can become a “backbone” for your evolution; a system to which you can freely and constructively add many other practices from other teachings, without making a “salad” out of them or becoming ridiculous?

If you answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, Agama may be the place for you. We look forward to welcoming you soon at one of our centers, workshops, or lectures.

What does the daily program look like?
The daily program looks like this: 08:30-10:30 Morning theory, Hatha Yoga practice, and deep relaxation; 16:00-18:00 Afternoon sun salutations, Hatha Yoga practice, meditation, and deep relaxation; 18:00-19:30 Evening lecture on the fundamentals of Yoga; 20:00 Evening events as announced (optional and free). In addition, we schedule daily optional meditation sessions and many additional lectures, parties, and spiritual activities. These vary from location to location and according to season. See each center for schedule. Our calendar lists major events such as workshops, retreats, classes and synchronised meditations, however there are many more events that take place at each center.

Do I need experience to join the First Level Intensive?
No, this course is designed for absolute beginners.

Do I need to reserve in advance to join the First Level Intensive?
No. You are welcome to join us whenever you arrive; your first day is free! This course runs in a constant cycle, year-round, such that you can complete the course within the four weeks following the date on which you arrive.

How much does the First Level Intensive cost?
Your first day is free. Thereafter, please contact us and we will give you the right rate for the course you want to join. A student who has attended and paid for this course once may repeat it at no charge on any future occasion.

What do you offer after the First Level Intensive?
We offer our Level 2 course (meeting three times weekly, 3-4 hours per class, for four weeks), then our Level 3 course (also meeting three times weekly, 3-4 hours per class, for four weeks), then our Level 4 course, etc. This is a five-year curriculum, with all course levels offered a minimum of twice per year. Levels 2 and 3 are both offered constantly, year-round.

Is it possible to attend the First Level Course on a drop-in basis?
The First Level Intensive is a certificate course. To receive this certificate, a student needs to attend at least 75% of the course sessions (18 of 24 days in total). However, it is not necessary for you as a student to seek the certificate. Therefore, yes, the course is open on a drop-in basis. You may attend for one class, one day, one week, or the full month.

I am already a Yoga teacher – can I start in advanced classes?
Agama Yoga provides a unique Yoga system in the world and we ask that all students begin with our First Level Intensive – regardless of their experience studying or teaching other Yoga varieties. Agama adheres to the traditional Indian Yoga methodology of teaching by initiation and, therefore, we do not believe it is possible to learn Yoga properly through self-study of books. Additionally, since we cannot know the manner, accuracy, depth, or completeness of information, techniques, or methodology taught by any number of thousands worldwide who call themselves Yoga teachers, we need to verify that our students are “on the same page” with us, that they have received the proper foundations, that they understand the fundamental Yoga concepts, and that they are adequately prepared for their introduction and journey through this highly energetic Kundalini Yoga program. Kundalini Yoga must be approached with attention and care, and it would be irresponsible on our part to place students unknown to us at higher levels of the curriculum. For all of these reasons, everyone starts at the beginning.

What is included in the cost of the course?
Our course fees apply toward courses only. For accomodation prices click here. Regarding meals it is possible to get full board, half board or breakfast only. There is also a shared kitchen available for self caterers.