The Integral Yoga Ministry was formed in 1980 by H.H. Sri Swami Satchidananda Maharaj. The ministry officially began on July 27, 1980, when Sri Gurudev personally ordained 16 householders in a Gurupoornima Day ceremony at Yogaville East in Pomfret Center, Connecticut, USA. This ceremony, coupled with a West Coast service, ordained the first group of Integral Yoga ministers.
All ministers first go through the Integral Yoga Seminary as part of their course of study for the Ministry. The Ministry is twofold: First, new ministers take a vow of commitment to the personal daily practice of the Integral Yoga path as taught by Sri Gurudev Swami Satchidananda. Secondly, ministers are encouraged, as their time and circumstances allow, to serve the greater community through teaching the six branches of Integral Yoga; lecturing; giving workshops; offering spiritual mentoring; participating in and/or leading interfaith services; performing weddings, memorial services, and house and baby blessings; offering life challenges support; and representing Integral Yoga at Interfaith gatherings.
About Seminarian Admission and Training
Seminarians must have already been following the Integral Yoga® teachings of Sri Swami Satchidananda for several years before they can apply for the seminary. Applicants will be considered if they received Integral Yoga mantra initiation at least two years before applying and have served five years at the Ashram, at an Integral Yoga Institute, or at Integral Yoga Center, or if they have been teaching regular Integral Yoga classes for at least five years.
Each seminarian is expected to adhere to the principles of Integral Yoga as set forth by Sri Swami Satchidananda—vegetarian diet, no smoking, no drinking of alcohol, no use of illegal drugs. Integral Yoga ministers and seminarians should make every effort to observe the ethical teachings of Yoga—Yama/ Niyama.
Seminarians gain a deeper understanding of all the Integral Yoga teachings, becoming competent and comfortable in offering a wide variety of services to the public. A Seminarian endeavors to embrace and integrate all aspects of Integral Yoga into their daily life and in so doing, become an Integral Yoga ambassador. Swami Satchidananda said that an Integral Yoga minister is the equivalent to being a “house-holder sannyasin”, so this role should be held with that same level of commitment.
Becoming an Integral Yoga minister is an outward sign to the community that the person is engaged in a deeper commitment to the Integral Yoga teachings and lifestyle and that they are (as they are able) ready and willing to offer ministry services to all who request them.
Applicants should understand that entering Seminary is a serious commitment to H.H. Swami Satchidananda and to the Integral Yoga teachings and lifestyle. One will be required to live, as is required for those who live at Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville, according to the Integral Yoga teachings and Integral Yoga Lifestyle Principles
Once seminarians are approved, they are matched with a mentor throughout the Seminary process—which includes study, reviews, and discussions with the mentor, with a focus on applying and integrating the great principles of Yoga into everyday life. There is no time limit to the Seminary course. Depending on the time and effort that one puts into this process, the time in the Seminary can be from one or two years or more years as needed.
Those who meet the prerequisites or who are interested in more detailed information about the Integral Yoga Seminary can contact the Integral Yoga Ministry board at email@example.com