Title

THE INTEGRAL YOGA SCHOOL IN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

Date of Completion

January 1980

Keywords

Education, General

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

The goal of this study was to document the development of the Integral Yoga School (IYS) at Satchidananda Ashram - Yogaville East (SAYE) in Pomfret Center, Connecticut, presenting information and analysis that can be used by the school as well as by others who might benefit from such a study (other educators, students of open education or yoga, and those desiring to start a school).^ To accomplish the study, original and primary sources of the IYS (1966 - 1980) were used, including interviews with personnel and school files. The school was observed in action from its opening (October 1978) through one-and-a-half years of program (January 1980). Historically related topics that were also researched were: a life study of Swami Satchidananda, founder of the school and the Integral Yoga Institutes; a survey of the branches of Integral Yoga (Hatha Yoga, Karma Yoga, Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnana Yoga, and Japa Yoga); yogic philosophy; Indian education (particularly as presented by Swami Sivananda, Swami Vivekananda, and Sri Aurobindo); ecumenism; and open education. These were viewed only as they related to the development of IYS and were not treated as separate topics. Efforts were made to validate resources for accuracy and reliability.^ The method of review was to develop five research questions: (1) What were the initiating factors to bring in a school? (2) What conditions must be met to develop a school? (3) How did the school philosophy and resultant curriculum evolve? (4) What are the results of the afore-mentioned procedures for IYS? (5) How does the IYS experience apply to others?^ Through these questions the study traced the development of IYS from the beginning stages of philosophy and objectives through actual practice. It found that: the goal of the school is to foster development of spiritual wisdom and Self-realization as well as acquisition of knowledge; the school conforms to all legal codes, regulations, and recommendations at the time of its establishment; the school holds a five-year state curriculum approval (maximum awarded); the school follows daily yogic practices and philosophy, has a sense of family unity, and applies the similar views of Swami Satchidananda and open educators R. S. Barth and V. Rogers on children's natural discovery of their own innate knowledge; the children have, in fact, learned through play; and there is evidence of learning, enjoyment, and physical and mental well-being in children and staff.^ The study concludes that followers of Swami Satchidananda were able to develop an ashram school for their own children (and others interested) incorporating the teachings of Integral Yoga into an open education curriculum, with a thematic approach to individualized programs for children and an ecumenical approach to spiritual development. It concludes that the school is functioning successfully and can serve as a working model for the above program or for any of the particular aspects of the program. The study further concludes that the study itself can be used as a suitable resource in establishing a school.^ The study also includes recommendations for further study in these areas as well as a survey of future plans for IYS. ^