Yoga, an elixir that works its way on almost every new-age predicament related to the mental, physical and emotional well-being of people, is not just a solution for grown-ups, but also has unscalable benefits to young minds. It offers children a better lifestyle as they grow up, with benefits such as reduced stress and anxiety, improving memory and attention span, improving flexibility balance and posture, promote mindfulness, teaches correct breathing techniques, improving self-control, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
An exemplar in providing the age-old wisdom of Yoga through Sikh spiritual practices mixed in with contemporary pedagogies and a big emphasis on academic rigour, is the eminent and renowned Amritsar, Punjab-based Miri Piri Academy.
Miri Piri Academy (MPA) was founded in 1997 by the Siri Singh Sahib, Yogi Bhajan. It was founded to give students an experience of Miri-Piri, the balance of temporal and spiritual power. The MPA program is deeply rooted in Sikh spiritual practices and values to give the students an experience of their infinity, while instilling a love of service.
Miri Piri Academy is home to students from 20+ countries, including India. Through communal living and shared experiences, the students develop bonds with each other and feel at home anywhere on earth. They have a multi-cultural experience while living at MPA, while experiencing the beauty of depth of India.
MPA is committed to teaching its students virtues and values that will serve them throughout their lives. Through a disciplined program, MPA provides its students the opportunity to learn self-awareness, grit, group consciousness and an attitude of gratitude.
Miri Piri Academy is committed to creating an environment for students and staff that fosters mastery of the mind and elevation of the spirit, which allows the student to experience the depth and power of their being. Through the practice of a Dharmic lifestyle, the technology of Kundalini yoga, and the prominent academic program, the institute nurtures a love for learning and provides its students the foundation of self-confidence and skills to face any challenge life presents to them. Miri Piri Academy inspires generations to live as courageous, kind, and conscious human beings who, through their service, help create strong international communities and elevate the spirit of all.
Redefining the Learning Experience
Nestled in the lush green fields of Amritsar, Miri Piri Academy is an international boarding school for students from grades 9-12. The vast expanse of its 16-acre campus houses a gurdwara, along with academic and residential campuses. Facilities are temperature controlled with appropriate levels of air-conditioning and heating, where boys and girls are housed in separate residences. MPA is proud of its state-of-the-art basketball courts, soccer fields, kabaddi and gatka grounds, and a walking track. As conscious eco-friendly citizens, the academy administration has ensured that more than 70 per cent of its campus remains construction-free.
The primary goal of the MPA academic program is to meet the needs of all students through a challenging and nurturing environment where parents, students, and teachers embrace the institute’s core values to ensure excellence and success now and in the future. MPA’s academic program is unique and distinctive, and all students gain an international perspective and the ability to function cross-culturally and globally.
Meaningful learning is a transformative process in which understanding, application and thoughtful reflection on information leads to changes in a person’s behaviour or perception of the world around them; this is a core belief of MPA.
Project-based learning and interdisciplinary studies are the foundational pillars of Miri Piri Academy’s academic program. While students are offered individual classes in math and sciences, English, and social sciences are woven together in the interdisciplinary program. Other disciplines such as world languages, information technology, and the arts are supported through online and on-campus teaching. The institute offers its students a wide range of electives through carefully selected online platforms.
MPA’s academic program is as diverse as its students. First-year Miri Piri Academy students are offered a course in ‘India Studies’ to acquaint themselves with their host country, while students of grade 11 and 12 are encouraged to take on yearlong personal projects. Conversational Punjabi in grades 9 and 10 familiarizes students with the language of the land, and Sikh studies familiarize them with the predominant religion of the land.
- All MPA grade 12 students are accredited Level 1and Level 2 Kundalini Yoga Teachers.
- MPA is a candidate school for New England Association of Schools and Colleges, USA accreditation.
The Sikh Lifestyle
Miri Piri Academy is a vegetarian campus that offers students the opportunity to experience the Sikh lifestyle, while being a global community that is open to students from diverse faiths. Students come to Miri Piri Academy from all regions of the world and all backgrounds, and they leave with a feeling like the whole world is their home.
Miri Piri Academy is dedicated to creating students balanced in both the earthly and spiritual realms. The program starts each day with a spiritual sadhana composed of banis, yoga, or seva, before the students start their academic classes. After lunch, students participate in music or art classes, Kundalini yoga, sports, gatka, and kabaddi. These activities are included to develop students’ physical strength and courage, focus, and subtlety. Weekends include intramural competitions, early morning trips to the Harimandir Sahib gurdwara as well as some recreational time.
MPA has faced many of the usual challenges of new institutions. It took years, and the dedication of many, to build the campus into the beautiful place that it is today. With the help of students, the institute’s program has been developed and fine-tuned over many years to create an unforgettable experience. The annual 40-day parkarma sevaat the Harimandir Sahib was initiated by students and continues to be the highlight of the year. MPA continues to listen to its students and adjust to the needs of the times, as it works diligently to create an academic program that is stimulating and diverse and that will meet the needs of tomorrow.
To support its students’ post-secondary aspirations, Miri Piri Academy works with a full-time, certified career counsellor (global career counsellor certification from Univariety and UCLA extension). Individual meetings with the career counsellor are scheduled throughout the year, which enables students to understand processes in a safe and personalized environment. During these meetings, students’ post-secondary goals are discussed which form the basis of further conversations. From identifying colleges/universities, completing college essays to enrolling for college courses, the counsellor guides the students through this journey. If students are required to take standardized tests, the counsellor assists in enrolling them for classes and organizing their test-taking dates/venues, while also guiding them to the best possible options for taking preparatory courses.
With a focus on preparing students’ knowledge, skills and dispositions for post-secondary education Miri Piri Academy offers a ‘Getting Ready for College’ program in grades 11 and 12. This program focuses on common effective practices that ensure students succeed in college, including self-management skills, goal setting, managing personal finances, improving study skills, etc.
Miri Piri Academy is unlike any other boarding school on earth. Its unique program challenges students, while allowing them to build confidence, stamina, and grit. Nestled near the Harimandir Sahib, MPA’s students have the opportunity to serve at the Harimandir Sahib, participate in Nagar Kirtans, experience Holla Mahalla at Anandpur Sahib as well as visiting other sacred sites. The institute recognizes that all humans are spiritual beings and provide programming that acknowledges and encourages their sacredness. Its students graduate as teachers of Kundalini yoga who know how to create balance in their life and can share their knowledge with others. No matter what path they choose after MPA, they have the tools and knowledge to live a life of dignity and grace.
Miri Piri Academy will continue being an example of an educational institution dedicated to teaching values and virtues. In the next few years, this unparalleled institute is looking to expand into the area of higher education and become a beacon of dharmic studies globally.