In its early years, Yogalife started by organizing intensive one-month long Teacher Training Courses in India and Switzerland. Because the Yogalife founders often spent 30 days in an isolated place in India, they were able to spend time with all students individually and understand what the things were that created most impact on them. Through continuous feedback and self-education Yogalife refined its sincere Yoga education for the last 20 years. The Yogalife teachers noticed that in their one-month formula, the main participants were individuals on a sabbatical or were in-between jobs or relationships. Many of those people were exploring options in a search to change their lives and Yoga was just one of those options.
However, many other people from all over the globe wanted to join the courses too, but these people often had a job, children or a very active life and were not able to take one month off to attend the TTC. That is when Yogalife decided to divide the content of the one-month TTC into 9 weekends, an update that was made 10 years ago and first tested in Belgium. It proved to be a very successful formula and has since been followed by many other Yoga organizations . Through this change Yogalife noticed a big shift in their clientele, where the participants now are often much more into Yoga and really want to adjust their lives according to the Yoga philosophy in which they are immersed during the Teacher Training Course.
Our 200 hours Teacher Training Course -whether you undergo it in one month or in 9 weekends- is focused on delivering the basic content a yogi needs to start his or her journey of teaching Yoga.
In recent years we have also extended our teachings by adding new courses: We now have a course focused solely on Yoga Nidra (where we create a state of meditative consciousness) and we created 3 advanced Teacher Training Courses focused on Body, Mind & Soul. All of these courses are recognized by Yoga Alliance and give a student the option to become a 500 hrs. certified Teacher. These Teacher Training Courses are currently happening in Belgium, Germany, Switzerland and India.
We are a service oriented organization. Many people are continuously hungry for more information and guidance in their life journey. We noticed that many of our teachers wanted to support each other in this search for information, because the education possibilities do not die down as soon as the course is finished.
That is why Yogalife Festival came into existence, here teachers come to help each other and introduce new people to the lavish world of Yoga. This started as a gathering for Belgian Yogalife teachers, but soon we noticed that students from Switzerland and Germany were also excited to be a part of the experience so it became an international encounter. There are lots of people looking for a lifeline when going through many different challenges in life. The essence of those challenges is coming from within, whether they are coming up in a relationship, a job or finding direction in life. That is why we extended our curriculum with programs which are based on Yoga Philosophy. These programs are not academically (like the Teacher Trainings) but we really focus on working together in finding a path. Two of those programs are Antastha Yatra (a 10 day yoga process in India) and Puruchartas (a 2 day workshop).
We invest most of our resources into our teachers. We keep each other on the path with an open feedback culture. That is also why we are a strong community. Everybody is always helping other people to grow.
Since we are doing this for two decades already, we have a lot of students who became core teachers in our team and bring in experience from all over the world. Did you know that by now, there are more then a thousand Yogalife teachers out there from 30 different countries? And they all bring in their own field of expertise, some are doctors, others are engineers, some are waiters and others are philosophers. So together we have an enormous resource of knowledge that we share in our teachings.
Yogalife is now a world-wide community: In our programs in India, we welcome people from all over the world (Australia, New-Zealand, America,…) and in our European courses we meet a lot of local people. Most of our trainers are based in Europe, and by working together we have become more effective. Looking at this community attitude, lots of new people got attracted to us: Julia Roberts took Yoga classes from us during her stay in India preparing for the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. Sanjeev’s work with the people from Solar Impulse to help them achieve extreme challenges with the help of Yoga is a very interesting example of how yoga helps you in life. We also guide many corporate leaders that use the Yogic way of life to deal with the enormous responsibilities that they hold.
Yogalife Founder, Belgium
To say that Manoj was driven and guided by the universe to teach yoga would not be an overstatement. However, that does not mean he took the shortcut on the path towards yoga teaching. The seed of yoga was planted very early on by being born into a yoga family, gaining insight into the scriptures, interacting with great teachers and renowned writers, all this in the setting of an underdeveloped small village where it was barely possible to even buy a normal book. Manoj’s rebellious nature was not ready to surrender without questioning and that lead him onto the path of the material world. This questioning always continued and after experiencing life through his fairly good career as a software engineer, art curator, event and marketing manager as a seemingly happy man, he decide to question again and check all the components of existence within him. Doing so, he found his true meaning in teaching yoga. This time it was not a mere philosophy flying in the air but tools with relevance and in direct connection with real life.
Over years of practice he has developed a deep intuition that goes beyond his knowledge of anatomy and psychology. Sanjeev possesses the innate ability to see deep within a person, opening hearts to the powerful potential of Antastha Yoga, his signature style of yoga, which is practised blindfolded. Sanjeev teaches that when we remove our sense sight, we become open to experience a different kind of vision, an intense self-awareness that ultimately leads to life-changing growth and discovery. He combines yogic spirituality with his scientific background in physiology and naturopathy. Sanjeev embarked on his yoga path as a young boy, who befriended the sadhus (traveling yogi’s) around the corner from his school in Dungargarh, India. His interest in yoga and spirituality was driven by a natural curiosity about the human body and mind. He started teaching yoga over 25 years ago, in 1992 and established Yogalife in 1999. Since then he has trained more than 1000 teachers from 30 countries around the world and has lead workshops on three continents.
Yogi, Festival Organizer
Shweta is a yogateacher, teaching at her home in Melle (between Gent, Merelbeke and Wetteren). The classes at “Yoga Met Shweta” are small and personal because we allow maximum 6 people to join one class. The personal attention can be great, especially for those just starting out on their yoga journey. With a smaller class size, you can benefit from a more relaxed environment in which you feel able to ask questions. Shweta grew up in India, where yoga was part of her every-day life. She is the youngest of 5. children, of which 4 are yoga teachers. As such she has followed regular yoga discourses, led by guru’s from all over India. As a young adult she was initiated in to yoga by her Guru Swami Niranjanananda almost 10 years ago. In 2011 Shweta Bhanot has done her teachers training course (TTC) from Yogalife in the inspiring surrounding of Dharamsala. Since then she has been teaching classes in New Delhi and Belgium. Recently Shweta was assistant- teacher at the Yogalife TTC in Ghent. Shweta is an inspiration to many happy yogis, who are always glad to return to her uplifting classes. Shweta is specialized in teaching Hatha yoga.
Elize comes from Riga, Latvia, and landed in Mechelen, Belgium in 2012. She has been practicing Hatha yoga since 2004. Moving to Belgium brought Elize back to the path of yoga, that she has been sharing as a teacher since 2013. She completed her yoga teacher training with Yogalife and continued the path with an advanced training in Goa, India in 2015. Since 2016, Elize has been assisting Yogalife Belgium yoga teacher training courses, working closely together with her teachers, Manoj Bhanot and Sanjeev Bhanot. “I love to take time for each asana to sink deeper and explore it ‘inside out’. The silence and stillness of the body and mind are as important as the movement. Yoga is my way to come closer to myself,” says Elize In her weekly classes in Mechelen, Elize offers a balanced mix of Hatha, Yin and Antastha yoga.
Mironel’s life dedication lies in cultivating connections on several levels, with the mission of being empowered and empowering others to share our greatest inner gift with the world. Through Yoga, Nonviolent Communication and filmmaking, Mironel shares his experiences in personal and spiritual growth and healing. His focus is on creating space to be authentic and free so that people can make choices and live in a way that is aligned with their deepest values, doing so creating a more harmonious world for all. Mironel grew up between cultures and countries with a very present sense of the greatness of our planet. Born in the Netherlands and then raised by his activist and philosopher parents in Canada and the UK, Mironel emerged from childhood with a conviction to help others and an eager curiousness about what is to be found beyond the material life. Being exposed to a mentality of open spirituality, by the age of 13 Mironel was studying Buddhism and knew that a spiritual path would be a big part of his life. He had profound experiences with the native shamans of Canada as a teenager, and in 2001 went to India to look for the depths of Yoga at the Mahasiddha school, an esoteric tantric school. Within this lineage, he began studying Kashmir Shaivism in 2003, and that same year made his first film ‘Entering the Lotus’.
Yogi, Physical Therapist
Helping others to acquire knowledge, competences, values to go within and find their yin. Since 1979, Nadine Vanmanshoven is a Physical Therapist with a strong background in applied anatomy and a tremendous curiosity for the human body. She has been spending the last 6 years developing her skills as a teacher, linking yoga, anatomy, physical therapy and science. After obtaining her degree she continued her education by specializing and obtained further qualifications in Manual lymph drainage, Autogenic Bronchial drainage, Urinary Incontinency and Sexual dysfunctions, Manual Therapy, Creative Consciousness coaching, Shiatsu massage, Meditation, Palliative care and is currently studying Ortho Molecular Therapy. She was trained by YogaLife, continued her education with a Sankalp retreat in India with Manoj Bhanot and Savira Gupta, in France with Sarah Powers ( insight yoga) in Brussels with Jo Barnett (yin yoga 50 h) and in Ghent with Eva Kamala Rodenbergh (Iyengar fundamentals 96 h). Nadine has taught anatomy for Yogalife.be since 2014. At present she teaches yoga for the Sports Department of Zottegem. Her holistic style is based on years of experience and knowledge as a physical therapist, complemented by awareness from the rich Indian Yoga tradition, anatomy, pathology and life itself. A yoga class with Nadine is each time …. … like a breath of fresh air in a busy week … safe, calming, relaxing and up-lifting … simultaneous strenuous and relaxing at the same time, a blessing for body and mind … helping me to understand myself, I feel my body and mind harmonising …. as if she takes you on a trip, with clear instructions throughout the asanas and mental practice , driven with passion and enthusiasm “I love the interaction, applying yoga to all my patients and the ever-growing knowledge to my yoga and anatomy classes. Teaching is learning, growing, creating and providing conditions, to bring out the greatest assets in people. “
Poonam Stecher Sharma is a unique teacher who follows and spreads a Yoga tradition which effectively combines ancient wisdom and modern science. Her formal training started in 1996 at Yogalife and was further deepened with the Bihar School of Yoga in Munger, India. Poonam has been a well-loved professional teacher since 2001.Yoga classes with Poonam induce amongst the students a calm clarity and a positive connection to the body, spirituality and the surrounding world. Her gentle and inspiring coaching heighten an inner awareness that enables a true listening to the deepest voice of oneself. Poonam is able to read into the true needs of students and vividly encourages them to the highest level of their abilities, often far beyond expectation.
Yogi, Graphic Designer
She is a colourful, creative and motivating yogic soul. She is the kind of teacher who opens your heart to bring you back to your inner happiness. Fascinated by the power of consciousness, she loves sharing yoga as source of well-being. A bubble of effervescent energy, as Coordinator, Creative and Communication Director she is the smile of Yogalife. Mica has been on a path of soul-searching and self-discovery since she was very young. She grew up with the clear understanding that the journey is internal and that the universe lies within, seeing the body, mind and soul as one entity, an ancestral knowledge given to her by her Argentinian native Grandmother. Mica originally studied Art Direction and Visual Communication in Buenos Aires, and after spending many years working in major advertising agencies in Argentina and Germany, she decided to follow completely her passion for yoga. After her 200hrs Teacher Training with Yogalife, she accomplished the Advanced Teacher Training “The Spirit” on Antastha Yoga (100hrs) in India and the Advanced Teacher Training “The Body” on Anatomy and Physiology (100hrs) in Geneva, Switzerland as well. In her curiosity and devotion for her path, she accomplished a 10 day immersion on The School of the Work with Byron Katie inquiring “The Mind” in Bad Nauheim, Germany. She also attend a specifica Training for “Yoga for the Voice” with Inés Lolago in Spain. Besides her role at Yogalife as Coordination and Communication head, Mica is also co-trainer with Sanjeev in many of his Workshops and Retreats. She is one of the main teachers at the Antastha Yatra Retreat, which is held in India and she also teaches in the Bonn TTC as well as in further Yogalife TTCs.
Patrick is a psychologist with a focus on emotions and health. For many years he has been working with people who are effectively vulnerable using the model of The Psychology of Interdependence. In 2009 his lifework ‘De Ultieme Uitdaging’ (‘The Ultimate Challenge’) was published by Ankh-Hermes in The Netherlands, a book about his search for the healthy mind as the source of the life that is universal and sustainably worth living. This book was inspired by the Mind and Life Institute; a center for dialogue between the two great empirical traditions of East and West. In the summer of 2010 Mind and Life Institute started a Center for Investigating the Healthy Mind – the main theme of Patrick’s book. The book received good reviews and was selected by de Vlaamse Coaches (The Flemish Coaches) in 2010. Lately he has been working on his new manuscript ‘De Parel van Gandhi’ (‘The Pearl of Gandhi’); a book about the inner journey into the deep message of Yoga, which he also plans to translate in English.In 2008 he studied one year at The Graduate Institute of New York in Consciousness Studies. This Institute works in cooperation with The Global Shift University of Ervin Laszlo. As of now he wants to combine his lifelong experience in psychology and Yoga into Yoga Psychology Therapy. He is convinced that the ancient tools and insights of Yoga are a very powerful complement to the young scientific insights of the psychology tradition. His dream is contributing to a healthy, emotionally balanced, clear minded, openhearted society through the message of Yoga.