Ask for Yogita; very tolerant, well paced course for the beginner. One consideration is no air... read more
Ask for Yogita; very tolerant, well paced course for the beginner. One consideration is no air... read more
One of the oldest, biggest and probably the best school of yoga in Ko Phangan. I returned after 8... read more
Recently I checked into Agama because I wanted to find out first hand if all the accusations about the leadership were right. Honestly people, how can anyone with an intelligent mind and life experience be subjected to such humiliating levels of degeneration all because these so called teachers hold the key to inner happiness or because they have studied with the best teachers in India? Wake up please. Agama is run by a bunch of halfwits with a good instinct for sucking money and energy out of unknowing and naive spiritual shoppers and it seems that they are protected locally because of huge bribes. How can a 'guru' pray on such weak people? A guru is supposed to be a person whose students can trust him or her for 100% because it is necessary to let all your guards down and be perceptive for the truth. A guru is supposed to be a beacon of light and a good example to their students. These 'teachers' still seem to be operating on lower levels of vibrations though. Thats the funny thing about it all. How are they getting away with it? There are so many genuine lovely teachers out there who will never do the slightest thing to upset your energy or even bring you out of balance. Instead these clowns who are driven by their infalted identity self-ego's do the opposite and seem to get away with it. I have decided to send in the karma police to wrap it all up. Sorry to you guys who have been able to seperate the yoga teachings from the bs and actually learn a lot from these people but as long as Agama is still praying on the weak the whole show needs to be dissolved. I've seen these kinds of people many times before in India and in the end Karma always bites them in the butt. It only took me 2 days to figure out that Agama is a waste of money and the people who run this circus like Swami(come on dude, how do you even have the nerve to call yourself a Swami. you are a disgrace to all teachers around the world) and Muktananda are having a big laugh on the expense of unknowing and naive soul searchers. If you are looking for an ego trip full of darkness or you want to become more attached to illusionary sexual feelings dressed up in spiritual jargon, by all means go to Agama but if you are looking for enlightenment or real happiness through yoga and meditation avoid this place like the plague! Shop around more, read forums, check places out better. Please don't be sucked into this Kali Yuga dark energy. It will absorb you like it has many and many before you.
I stayed at agama for 2 months last spring. I found myself being elated to finally 'have arrived' and felt blessed to gain such a level of knowledge about tantric yoga. I participated in the tantra workshop and met my lover there. I had a wonderful time. Muktananda seemed personally interested in me and I could'nt believe this, i felt flattered and confused.
I had some issues I needed to speak about so I went to Maha, then to Swami and then to Muktananda.
I had a serious issue and fell betrayed that swami looked at me like a was a piece of flesh disguised as a hot shakti that he could help heal. He didnt want to listen to me, he kept repeating that I needed sex 3 hours a day since I am Scorpio, that would heal men . Ofcourse he offered himself. He saw the look on my face and told me not to be prude, surely the sex in my life has been meaningless, but this kind is pure, since it is consecrated to shiva. I wanted to get back to the subject of my visit, but he would't have it. If I didnt want him, there where many other tantric men on the island who would be thriled to have a shakti like me..He hugged me and said all it took was 20 sec to know if you want a man inside you or not. I left angry and confused, and yes emotionally raped.
I heard the talk before, I heard about all the relationships breaking, I heart about the condemnation of monogamous couples and many yogis interfering in their ways by trying to seduce one of them, and plainly telling them 'this is not the way'. ( what Is the way ?)
Ofcourse when you are a spiritual searcher, by the time you get to the island, you are tired, like me. You sooooo need someone you can trust, who has the answer to your inner demons and a cure for your suffering. And they offer all that, and you are happy to accept. I do love the school's teachings, I am in awe for their extensive knowledge on the subject. But somewhere they srtayed. They honestly believe they are helping people getting rid of the pollution in their brains by church and society about monogamy by promoting sleeping around.( surely you see the mess and the tears it creates) They say they are sex counselors, and they had sex with thousands of women, all unprotected.
I had a talk to Muktananda about this, he is a grand speaker, very convincing. He nearly convinced me to leave my lover, see other men, set my lover free to be with other women, surely I was jealous if I didn't do it, he told me so. And how would I grow spiritually, how would I end my suffering if I stayed possessive towards my lover and not grant him another shakti? That was all I needed, I dont want to be a worthless woman So I went to see him the week after, and I left, I didnt sleep with him. And it was the best decision I ever made to turn these tantric clowns down. For some this is great, and just what they are looking for, but most females who end up in their ( and other) beds, will not feel so good as soon as they leave this island.
The position they have as teachers makes them get away with this. They highly insulted my intelligence. Sure, it has been nice to wear sexy clothes and to be transfigured into a goddess. But it is my power, not anyone else to take. When You feel you are being manipulated, good chance it is true. Be careful of yourself when you go out there, for it may not be what it seems.
I really enjoyed the physical practise of the yoga, and have found few classes as great as the first month intensive classes. This makes it really disappointing that I don't feel like I can give a better review. Senior teachers at Agama, specifically Swami and some others, routinely pressure and manipulate their female students into sleeping with them. This is fairly well known around the institution, and not many people seem to trust Swami, except for a few loyal teachers, but generally people just keep quiet about the whole thing and pretend it isn't happening. People might think that the women are consenting so it's all ok, but I've met women who have been traumatised by Swami not taking no for answer very well. Swami tells women that sex with him will bring them closer to enlightenment, and when you've invested so much in an institution it makes it hard for women to say no to someone who has an (unhealthy, in my opinion) amount of power and influence over the students.
The teachers are forbidden from approaching students of less than three months practise for sex, so I think you're safe if you're not looking to get invested. But the fact that this rule exists at all should tell you about the atmosphere. In no other student-teacher situation would this abuse of power be legitimate or acceptable, which is why I'm so disappointed that it happens at Agama, a school I otherwise feel very warmly about and where I have met a lot of amazing people. If it wasn't for the abuse of power I would be giving the school 4 or 5 stars.
Would like to add in addition - I heard lectures from Swami and other teachers where it was said that masculine women have something wrong with them, that gender roles are legit, and skirted around the subject of homosexuality but basically implied that it went against the natural spiritual path. So bear in mind that if you feel strongly about sexism and homophobia some stuff you hear might be a bit upsetting.
If I was rating on just the Intensive Yoga Level 1, I would give it a 4 or 4.5 out of 5. Yet Agama is not solely about Level One, so I had to factor in the other levels, the Tantric element, and the Swami.
Level One Intensive is great. It is the most detailed informative yoga instruction I have taken so far. Swami has clearly taken different methods of instruction – much of if from India and Sivananda Ashram in particular, and made a comprehensive Western version by telling us the who, what, why and how that you may not get in the Indian version of the instruction. The classes go into detail about what to focus on during each asana and even what chakra they influence and how you can heal ailments from incorporating certain poses.
I also found the lectures really informative with great information on maintaining natural well being including diet and cleanses. I found the instructors great and dedicated and really helpful when you had questions. Though I do find the yoga instructions rather robotic as they are all trained to say the exact same thing and that seems a bit clone like to me and lacking personal identity and character which they all clearly have.
I did not care for the instructors and helpers coming up to me and touching me without asking first. I am deep in my practice, often with my eyes closed and also very aware of my own energy and working with the healing aspects of it so I found it rather invasive to have someone touch me while I am in this state and sometimes the touch was in a sensual manner. I brought this to their attention and they take in these critiques and often make changes.
I wish there was an Intensive Level 2 and 3 that they offer with the same format yet they do not offer this. I talked with other students and they wished for the same thing so I proposed that to the school since many of us return to Level 1 again yet don’t continue with other Levels.
Instead Level 2 has three classes a week. Much of the lecture is via video with Swami speaking. Swami’s speeches were my least favorite part of the teachings, so to have his speeches and via video was hard for me to consider for a month duration as well as future Levels. I preferred instruction from the other teachers who were also there in the flesh.
The Swami is a very knowledgeable man and I am grateful for the information he put together for the Intensive 1 class, yet I do not care for his speeches and have walked out on a few because I felt his information during his story telling was not always accurate and I felt it unethical at times.
Tantric teachings are also part of the information taught at the school – this is slowly introduced to students once they start Level one. I took Tantra 1 and liked the information presented and in this case it was presented by the Swami and I appreciate his instruction during this class. I cannot say what the other levels or related tantric classes are like since I have not taken them.
Being that there is Tantric teachings, it draws a variety of people. Some come there looking for spirituality, others for sexual experiences, others both. Beware that unsafe sex also seems to be a practice with some. Some ‘Shakti’ sessions seemed to lean towards women being submissive towards their partners and surrendering to them. It makes me wonder what is brought up in the ‘Shiva’ (male) sessions. I would like to hear a male’s perspective of the ‘Shiva’ sessions.
Swami is known for having sex with his students. He claims he is helping them learn Tantric skills by doing this. He is also a practitioner in hypnosis and has books in his library on charisma. I question his integrity and ethics in some of the way he discloses information and conducts himself. This was also a prevailing discussion among many students and sometimes instructors while I was there on both occasions.
I have a guru who exudes love and beautiful energy and I never question her ethics. I believe she is enlightened and is free of ego. I do not feel these same qualities from the Swami. However I appreciate the yoga information he offers at Agama and am grateful for what I learned there. I am also grateful for some of the cool people I met who were students at Agama, some I have remained friends with.
The center is known as having a bit of a cult flavor along with using their own jargon (ie referencing each other as ‘Shivas’ and ‘Shaktis’) yet you can be in it as much as you like and leave whenever you wish. Some, including instructors, use the term ‘being in a bubble’ at the Agama Center, yet you can still pop your way out of there when you choose. There is nothing to keep you there except your desire to stay. You can also take with you any great information you learn and leave what does not work for you.
You could become part of the flock yet I was not. I questioned things and the answers from the Swami were sometimes like what I might hear from a politician or a lawyer defending himself. Yet I never heard my own guru defending herself – because there was nothing to defend.
I recommend Level 1 teachings, I think they are amazing and the instructors are great. I have taken it twice yet find I have no desire to continue with the course set up for the next levels as they are currently structured.
Students from Agama received emails from Agama requesting that they write to Trip Advisor about their experiences at Agama. After two such requests, here is my honest synopsis. I hope it is helpful.
first level course is very good and helps all who attend...
so do the next 2 levels... after that the extra-curricular activites start
to interfere with the whole process...
I recommend to move on to somewhere else, eg. Ubud (Bali) or Chiang Mai...
for further spiritual development...
I have also watched the lives of many Agama students after they leave and have seen some major issues with this 'Cult' like environment.
Other yoga schools around the Gulf of Thailand and elsewhere benefit from post-Agama students who are often traumatised and in need of some serious rehab... the Agama method breaks down peoples values and rebuilds them into the people they want you to be...
so if you want to be a pee drinking, vegan, who eats twice a day and bless everyone you meet...
my advice: pass through, see it, and then leave... if you want the real thing head to an ashram in Southern India, after Agama's intro you'll be ready.
it was very spesial expiriense for me, i meet mistery and alot strange there.... i got nice body and good health... and continue knowing yoga as spiritual akt.
with my respekt.