Saturday, 31 July 2010

Swami is well

Swami's daughter writes with a message:

I am delighted to inform everybody that Swami Ambikananda, my beautiful Mom, had her operation yesterday afternoon and it was a success. I spoke to her directly after the surgery and it was the strangest conversation I have ever had because she couldn't say anything back!

This morning, at about 8am, Mom phoned and she was able to talk to me Swamiji didn't say much because she has to rest but it was her voice, if a little croaky. I am very relieved to inform you all that the surgeon "got it" and now Swamiji can progress to full health again, with a period of time-out.

With Love,


Thursday, 29 July 2010

Get on to REPs - Step by step

Swami Ambikananda has written this:

Dear Yoginis and Yogins,

Here with the information about getting onto REPs. Once again, if you feel you may need it in the next few years, it’s best to get it now.



REPs require you to have £5million pounds insurance cover. As you know,the insurance we use (Three Counties) starts us at £3 million cover –which I have felt is more than adequate for many years. However, the very first thing you will need to do is increase your insurance cover to £5million. You can do this through Three Counties by simply phoning them.

OR you can buy a new insurance policy through the REPs brokers (JardineLloyd Thompson UK Ltd, to be found on their as part of your registration process.

OR you can investigate the brokers of IYN (Bordengate Insurance – see IYNwebsite

In this regard Uddhava and I found that while the REPs insurance throughJardine Lloyd Thompson is cheaper, it is not as comprehensive as the ThreeCounties insurance we already have, so we have opted to increase our insurance cover with Three Counties. Once we phoned and did that we got the certificate for the new cover the next day.

Once you have sorted out the insurance the rest becomes quite easy.


The TYA is a member as an organisation so you are now able to join as individual members. In order to do this you will need to:
• Go to their website and print out form YR 101 and complete it.
• Make a short Yoga-specific CV.
• Make a copy of your TYA Yoga Teachers certificate.

Send all this to the IYN. The cost of joining them is £25 and you will need to send this fee in with your application.

They will send you a welcome email with your IYN membership number – keep it safe.


Once you have your IYN number you are able to apply to REPs. This is done as follows:
a) Go to the REPS website, click on Join REPs and print out the form appropriately called REGISTRATION FORM (for which you need your IYN membership number). You will need to complete and return this form to them with the following:
• Your Yoga-specific CV (that you have already created for IYN)
• A photocopy of your £5 million insurance cover
• A photocopy of your TYA certificate
• A photocopy of your membership email from the IYN
• A letter (from a ‘responsible person’ i.e. your doctor OR Uddhava can give you such a letter for a nominal fee of £5) certifying that all these photocopies are authentic.

All these are sent to REPS with the £25 joining fee. (Thus the entire process will have cost you £50 + the added amount for the increased insurance). You will enter the REPs register at Level 3. This is not the end of this long journey for us as an organisation – we will continue to explore other avenues. However, it does mean that REPs membership is immediately available to all our individual teachers who want it.

In peace, Swami Ambikananda

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The great REPS debate

This is an unedited message from Swami Ambikananda to all TYA teachers:

Dear Yoginis and Yogins,

My salutations to you all.


As you know we have spent a great deal of time figuring out how to join an awarding body that makes it possible for our teachers to get onto REPS (the Register of Exercise Professionals).

We pursued first of all Skillsactive and then CYQ. It could be described as akin to diving into an Olympic-sized swimming pool filled with papers and being asked to getto the other side transformed! In the process we learned a lot about the ‘fitness/exercise’ industry: 1. It is by NO MEANS settled and determined. It was impossible to find anyone anywhere who could predict what the situation would be three months from now, let alone three years.

As we understand the current situation, REPS themselves are considering whether Yoga should actually be on at all (they don’t, for instance, have Karate or Kung Fu because they say the disciplines are too vast for them to determine effective practice). Added to this uncertainty, we have a new government cutting quangos of this type.

2. Given this, we were still being asked to hand over what would amount to thousands of pounds (costs which would have to be borne by increased membership fees!) for what looks like an uncertain future for Yoga in regard to this register.

3. The awarding bodies have no or very little knowledge of Yoga and yet wish to set and monitor standards of both philosophy and practice. The CYQ Curriculum was, to say the least, flawed. When I questioned it they responded saying we did not have to use their model answers. Between us, we wouldn’t even ask those questions!

4. Manisha and Uddhava spent a day in London working with CYQ and representatives of other Yoga schools on revising their curriculum – but the outcome of this process is uncertain.

5. The failure to produce a decent working model of Yoga - that would allow each school to determine its own philosophical position - is ‘balanced’ by an overwhelming amount of paperwork that each teacher would have to comply with for each and every class you give. It seems more like an attempt at imposing an overwhelming bureaucracy than trying to establish standards of excellence.

So we looked around for another way that would allow our teachers to get onto REPS without forsaking our independence AND WE FOUND IT. We have now as an association, applied for and been accepted as members ofIYN - Independent Yoga Network.

By doing this it means that YOU as TYA teachers become eligible to join IYN as individual teachers, and when youhave done so you can then apply to REPS to get onto their register. You are not automatically put onto REPS because the TYA has joined IYN, but our joining means you become eligible to get onto REPS.

EXACT DETAILS OF HOW TO DO THIS AND THE COST TO YOU WILL FOLLOW SHORTLY. However, please rest assured that this is by very far, the cheapest and quickest way of getting onto REPS for our teachers. In the meantime I ask that you consider seriously whether you need – in the foreseeable future – to go onto REPS. Even if Yoga falls off the register, if you are on it, you are on it. So if you work in any kind of fitness centre, health centre, gym, local authority, school, etc., my strongest advice is that you consider getting onto REPS as soon as we advise you of the process.

Please take a bit of time to think about it and details will follow. Of course, there will be the usual open discussion on the Ashram website about it.

In peace, Swami Ambikananda