The Integral Yoga Ministry was formed in 1980 by Sri Swami Satchidananda. The Ministry, which is a combination of commitment to personal growth and service, officially began the 27th of July, 1980, when Sri Gurudev personally initiated 16 householders in a Guru Poornima Day ceremony at Yogaville East in Pomfret Center, Connecticut, USA. This, coupled with a West Coast service, ordained the first group of Integral Yoga Ministers.
The Ministry is twofold: New ministers take a vow of commitment to the personal daily practice of the Integral Yoga path as taught by Sri Gurudev. Secondly, ministers can, as their time and circumstances allow, serve the greater community through teaching the six branches of Integral Yoga, lecturing, giving workshops, spiritual counseling, participation in interfaith services, weddings, memorial services and blessings.
Seminarian training usually takes one to two years. The seminarians will be expected to:
1. Answer questions that demonstrate a full understanding of the Integral Yoga path, both in theory and practice.
2. Read, study and write a report on the following books by and about Sri Swami Satchidanandaji:
Integral Yoga: the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
The Living Gita
To Know Your Self
The Golden Present
Integral Yoga Hatha
Apostle of Peace (the biography of Sri Swami Satchidananda)
and read Huston Smith’s book World Religions
3. Know how to perform:
Opening and closing chants
Hari Om kirtan
Arati with Jyoti chants
4. Speak on all six branches of Integral Yoga
5. Have taken classes in Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga and meditation and participated in an Integral Yoga retreat.
6. Keep a Spiritual Diary, recording regular sadhana practice.
7. Adhere to the principles of Integral Yoga as set forth by Sri Swami Satchidananda including the practice of Brahmacharya—observing wedding vows if married or celibacy if not married.
In addition, it is required that seminarians take Hatha Yoga and Raja Yoga teacher training and attend an Integral Yoga Ministry Conference at Satchidananda Ashram-Yogaville at least once during their seminarian training.
Upon acceptance to the Integral Yoga Seminary, a mentor will be assigned. This mentor will be either an Integral Yoga Minister or a Sannyasin (who are ordained to perform all Ministry functions). This mentor will guide the seminarian through his or her entire seminary training.
Upon completion of training, the mentor will recommend the seminarian to the Integral Yoga Ministry Board for final approval and Ordination. The Ministry Board will then schedule and conduct an Ordination service at Satchidananda-Ashram Yogaville Virginia.
In order to apply for seminarian training, you will need to request an application to fill out. In addition, you need a personal recommendation from three (3) senior disciples (sannyasin, minister, or a senior disciple with at least 10 years of direct service at an Integral Yoga Institute or Satchidananda Ashram).
For more information, please contact Rev. Bhagavan Metro.