Local Mandali Programs
Local Mandali Programs help teachers support and expand their communities through “grassroots marketing.” This is how most people find their way to Svaroopa® yoga, through friends and recommendations.
By creating these programs for your students, you support their relationship with you. Also very important, you build their relationships with each other as well as deepen their understanding of what their yoga means to them.
You are welcome to mix up the months if you prefer, or even to use a program from a prior year. It's all about what works for you and your students.
Thank you to Lissa (Yogyananda) Fountain, Cayla (Mangala) Allen and Caroline (Nitya) Kutil for creating these wonderful plans in collaboration with Gurudevi Nirmalananda!
2022 Local Mandali Events
January: Daily Practice Month
Start the New Year with a Yoga Boost! Inspire your students to commit to a daily yoga practice. Explain that it’s what they do every day that affects their life the most. They already know how yoga class makes them feel. Have them imagine the benefits of setting some time aside to do yoga, every day.
It could be as simple as doing the Magic Four, a 20-minute Ujjayi Pranayama practice, or even 15 minutes of Shavasana with a guided awareness. Doing even a little yoga every day gives them the right to truly call themselves a yogi.
Each week, ask how daily practice is working for your students. Do they notice any changes? How does daily practice help them find Self in life and relationships? You can even quote Gurudevi, “Do More Yoga!”
February: Yoga & Your Mind
They know that doing yoga provides amazing benefits for both body and mind. In addition, the things they read and listen to also affect their mind.
At the beginning of the month, show your students how to access the freebies page on svaroopa.org. They may prefer to use their phone or tablet. It’s easy to read or listen to a 10-minute audio of the month’s contemplation article. In this way, they nourish their mind with Consciousness, so their mind shines with that light and they take it with them into the world!
Ask your students to share their findings. They might want to print out a different teachings article each week and underline what’s meaningful to them. Each class, check in with them in the welcoming time before class and ask them to share their discoveries.
March: Sharing the Gift of Yoga
“You can’t keep it unless you give it away” is a well-known saying. Generosity is a basic part of our nature. As a teacher, you have been inspired to share the gift of yoga. Now inspire your students. They clearly value what they get from yoga, so ask them to share it with a friend or neighbor.
Have your students think of whom they want to share the gift of yoga with. Ask students to contact them and invite them to a free class with them, whether you are teaching On-Site or Online. The free class is valid for new students only.
Give a gift to whomever brings the most students to class during the month. In addition to having more yogis in their life, they also get a gift from you. It can be two free classes, a private session or a rose in a vase — give whatever you choose to give away. Get creative!
April: Vegetarian Recipe Exchange
Help your students live healthier by asking them to share a vegetarian recipe and cook a vegetarian meal. Say a few words about the health benefits of a vegetarian diet. You can also mention the benefits of eating vegetarian meals for our planet, the reduction of greenhouse gases and requiring less natural resources, like land and water.
Ask students to send you one or two of their favorite vegetarian recipes early in the month. By mid-month, send all the recipes you’ve collected to everyone and ask them to pick one to prepare later in the month. Even if they are not a vegetarian, they can still savor the variety, flavor, and health benefits of a vegetarian dish whenever they like!
May: Tadasana in Every Day
Challenge your students to stand in Tadasana, the “Pose of That,” whenever they are standing. Remind them, “By standing in your bones and softening your spine, you stand rooted in the support of your Self and carry that feeling into every situation.”
Tadasana is also called Mountain Pose. To help your students remember to stand in Tadasana, have them tape a picture of a beautiful mountain on their refrigerator and by their bathroom sink. Whenever they see that mountain, it will remind them to line up their feet and become solid and grounded. Encourage them to stand in Tadasana while standing in line, pumping gas or in conversation.
Tadasana is simple and powerful, yet easy to forget to do! Ask students to report on how standing in Tadasana is working for them. Where did they remember to do it? How do they feel when they remember? In each class ask them to share their experience of standing in Tadasana as a way of taking yoga into life.
June: The Joy of Giving
When you feel full inside, you naturally want to share with others. Use the month of June to help your students explore the selfless act of donating to a charity.
Invite them to take a few moments each day to reflect on the blessings in their life. Ask them to have a special container to place some change or a dollar or two into it each day. At the end of the month have them donate what they have collected and give it to the charity or organization that makes a difference in the world.
They may want to support the Ashram or choose another organization. They may want to add to their coins and dollar bills to give more generously. Each impulse toward generosity begets another. By the end of the month, they could have discovered how blissful it is to give.
Ask them to describe their experience of giving in a picture, a poem, music or other form. Collect these and share them at the beginning of class. Or you could compile and send the collection to your students midway through the month, which will inspire them to do more sharing for you to send out at the end of the month.
July: Remember Your Abs!
This month, encourage your students to add the magic of Abdominal Activators to their daily practice and everyday activities. Add an Abdominal Activator pose to each of your lesson plans for the month. It works especially well with backbends, standing poses, even daily practice.
Another simple way to remember to use your abs is to bring your navel in half-strength while you are:
- lifting something
- standing in line
- washing the dishes
- feeling neck tension or when your low back feels achy
Have them notice if they are also seeing improvement in their digestion, clarity, decision making or overall energy. Ask for their report at the beginning of each class. Their sharing will support one another. Abdominals are easy to forget, and easy to avoid! So be sure to encourage them with enthusiasm.
August: Yogify Your Driving Experience
In Gurudevi Nirmalananda’s book, A Yogic Lifestyle, she recommends driving the speed limit as a way of bringing yoga into your everyday life:
“Make your drive a yoga practice: conscious, deliberate, intentional, careful and well-aligned, with easy breathing.”
Obeying the speed limit reduces your anxiety level and improves your experience of the trip. Instead of pushing forward, you lean back into yourself, becoming present. Your tailbone lengthens, allowing your head to ease back into line with your spine. You might even be able to use your headrest.
This month ask your students to try driving the speed limit or less, and to notice how they feel when they do. Have them share their yogic experience of driving this way. They may even have helpful tips for each other, like pausing for a breath or two before turning on the ignition.
September: Plant the Seeds of Yoga
In the 19th century, trailblazer Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman) planted apple trees from New England to Ohio. Who knows if we’d be able to enjoy this amazing fruit today, without his efforts?
Your students can also be trailblazers, planting the seeds of yoga in their community. They know how good yoga makes them feel. Encourage them to share the experience of yoga with others.
This month, ask your students to offer an apple to a friend, along with a free yoga class coupon. Or have them email a photo of an apple with an invitation for a free class, along with their teacher’s website or contact info.
They can invite others to follow the yoga trail, all the way to your On-Site classes or Online. It’s as satisfying as that first bite into a crisp fall apple!
October: Make a Gratitude List
When you practice yoga, your gratitude grows naturally. Gurudevi says:
“Just let go! Let yourself be overwhelmed by the beauty of the moment. Give over to the majesty of the space between the ticks of the clock. Gratitude is one of the best ways to do this. Begin with saying ‘Thank you’ to your own body.”
— from“Gratitude” November 1996 Teachings Article.
Each week, make a short gratitude list, beginning with your own body. Thank your body for all it does for you. You can even think of a pose that most supports your body. Then add two more things you are grateful for. Notice how you feel after making your list.
At the beginning of each class this month, invite your students to share their gratitude list and their discoveries.
November: How Can I Serve?
Service is a time-honored tradition. Yoga has given you so much. How can you give back? Even a small act of giving makes you feel lighter and happier. Offer your students some ideas on how to serve:
- In an On-Site classroom, help a neighbor with their blankets, or ask your teacher if you could help with setting up the room
- Do something kind or helpful for someone and enjoy their appreciation
- Send a care package to someone in need
- Send a “thinking of you card” to someone you haven’t spoken to or thought of in a while
- Participate in a group service project with a community organization
- Prepare a meal for someone
- Offer to walk your neighbor’s dog, or to run an errand for them
There are countless ways to serve. The yogic secret is to give without expecting anything in return. Have your students share how they chose to serve and what they learned from this practice, at the beginning of class.
December: Be the Light
In this season of celebration and light, invite your students to begin their day by lighting a candle. They can sit with it and settle inside for a few breaths. They may have a favorite prayer they want to say or a quote to contemplate.
The light that must be found is inside your Self. You do not merely find that light within, you are that light. Finding it is not just a survival tool for the holidays, it is a life skill that will be needed in the New Year and every day.
— Gurudevi Nirmalananda, “Light,” December 1999 Teachings Article
If they sit longer, it could become a sweet meditation. Or they could do their meditation as a way to offer blessings for the world. Their flame might even turn into a yogic flame ceremony, which you could teach them how to do if they are interested.
Light a flame before each class and sit for a few breaths yourself. With the flame visible to them, invite them to share about their morning experiences.
While working with your body, Svaroopa® yoga opens up the full spectrum of your being. Spiritual insights and profound healings happen without any sweat. Slower yoga, consciously aligned and leveraged for multi-dimensional openings, means you get it all.