My experiment with Isha Yoga

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 5, 6 and 7

Well... it has taken me a long time to actually complete this post. Ideally I should have done this a couple of weeks ago, but some how I kept deferring it until today. I am going to get this done in one shot and so day 5, 6 and 7 are list out here together...

Day 5
Morning of Day 5 was at Besant Nagar Beach. Every participant had made it on time and it was wonderful to be there at sun rise. I had gone there with an expectation of doing the asanas and meditation during sunrise, but what followed was full of surprises. I don't have the heart to break it to you right now. I would love to have every participant to have that element of surprise which would make this session a great experience. So, if you are an aspiring participant, then you will have to wait for Day 5 to know what it is...

Following this, we were allowed to go home but were asked to assemble at our regular classroom around 10 AM IST. It was "The Day" were all of us were given Diksha. A series of pooja followed by all asanas and then we were all given Diksha.

We were provided with lunch by the volunteers of Isha Yoga and we were told that the food provided was cooked without lighting a single match stick, i.e., all food served that day was made by combining raw vegetables and fresh fruits. My honest opinion... it tasted awesome and it was a treat to the taste buds. If you go with an open mind, you will enjoy the food.

This was followed by discourses and this is all for Day 5.

Day 6
Today, it was back to regular class hours, and we practiced all asanas along with Shambavi. The regular discourse followed this. We were told that Day 7 would again be a combined class. of the morning and evening batch.

I bought myself a music CD today, something that I can play while driving.

Day 7
It was a combined class and we were all a little cramped for space. We managed to complete the asanas and Shambavi with a little effort. We were then debriefed on the various activities of Isha Foundation. We were all asked to share our experiences from the 7 days to all and many had great thoughts to share.

The class ended today again with a Pooja but I remember thinking... this is not just an end... it is indeed a beginning for a new life...

I hope that those who read these posts are benefited by my experience.

Please remember that my posts are my opinion and belief based on the experience I had during this session. Some one who attended the same session with me could have had a completely different tale to tell.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 4 at Isha Yoga

Its Day 4 today and I am pretty much getting used to this 5 AM wakening. Honestly, I am starting to enjoy the early start.

Today, the trainer took us through the regular routine of all the prelim exercises. After this, we were trained on certain activities that need to be done during Shambavi. I am not going to give in details of this portion too because I feel that it should be done only under the guidance of a Guru. It was a good experience in understanding how these things work and how to sustain them.

Post to this, we again had a long session of lectures from the trainer and Sadguru. Today, the trainer was also speaking on Rudrakshas. I was pretty much drawn to this subject owing to the basic fasination I have towards anything spiritual. Just to give you a brief on this topic; Rudraksha is the seed of a tree type predominantly found in the foot hills of Himalayas and in Nepal. There are different types of Rudrakshas, based on the number of lines it has on its surface (Mukas or face). It ranges from one face to 21 faces with the 5 face Panchamukhi being the most common one. Each type of Rudraksha seems to have a unique benefit associated with it. The size of the Rudraksha also varies and the smaller the sizer, costlier it is to buy. We were told that Rudrakshas are very brittle in nature and in order to harden them, one needs to keep them immersed in Ghee for 24 hours followed by milk for another 24 hours. After a little pondering, I decided that I should buy a Panchamuki Mala for me to wear.

We were earlier told that Day 5 is The Day in this training program where in every participant receives "Diksha" from the Guru for Shambavi Maha Mudra. Day 5 being a Sunday would be a full day program starting at 6 AM. We were asked to assemble at the Besant Nagar beach at sharp six in order to start off day 5. We were also informed that we can bring in friends and relatives in the morning and they can be a part of it.

So, I am signing off now with all anticipation for Day 5. It looks like it would be a fun day with a lot of learning.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 3 at Isha Yoga

For a person who was a chronic defaulter with respect to homework at school, this program was no different. I had not completed my homework for the day when I entered the center on Day 3. But I had about 15 odd mins before the start of class and so I ended up listing out the series of learning’s and experiences I had yesterday based on the topic of Day 2.

Day 3 was no different from Day 2. We had a complete session on the exercises we learnt the previous day along with the required corrections given to us as needed. This was followed by a new exercise (asana 5), a breathing exercise which again was another prelim for Shambavi. By now, I was highly charged up to know what this Shambavi Maha Mudra was, simply because it required so much of preliminary exercises.

Post to this training session, we had a discussion on the experiences we had the previous day by forming groups of seven. A leader was chosen from each seven and they walked up to the mike to give a gist of the experience of the group. Following this, like yesterday, we had a topic of lecture by the trainer and a discourse of Sadguru in line with this topic. Again, this was another simple topic which we all know but it definitely kindled a lot of thought because it was looked at in a new angle. We were again given homework of listing out our experiences based on the topic for the day. Exactly at 9 Am, three hours after the start of the class, we all dispersed on day 3.

Will be back with Day 4...

Day 2 at Isha Yoga

I reached the training center at about 5:50 AM, ten minutes before the start of the class. The classroom was nicely lit with soft music from Isha in the background. Name tags were laid on the floor for participants to find their seating arrangements. I sat in the fourth row today eagerly anticipating the learning that I can gain from today’s session. Exactly at 6 Am, the trainer started off with the class asking us to do the yoga exercises taught to us the previous day. We were corrected by the trainer on the flaws that we held and it went on for about 20-25 minutes.

We were then told that we would be taught a new exercise (asana 4) today. This exercise comprises of a series of stretches of the limbs and torso. We were told that this is another prelim exercise which precedes the Shambavi. After rigorous training for about 30 to 45 mins, we all settled for a speech from the trainer and later another video clipping of Sadguru's discourse. The topic that was covered in the speech and discourse was a very interesting one. There were a lot of questioning and understanding after which we were asked to come back the next day with a list of experiences we had based on this topic.

Today was another marathon run of three hours with no breaks. I guess they do not want to waste a lot of time on breaks as the schedule is limited but the topics to be covered are vast.

The volunteers of Isha had set up a stall which had sales of books, video and audio cds of Isha Foundation. The prices seem to be reasonable and so I promised myself some buy before the end of the program.

Well.... that’s it in Day 2. Will get back to you with Day 3 in a short while.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Day 1 at Isha Yoga Program

This is Day 1 at Isha Yoga Program.

This was an evening session which was slated to start at 6:00 PM IST. I was asked to come in a little earlier, incase I am looking at registering at the venue. My wife and I were a little late and reached the hall only at about 6:05 PM. We were ushured in and were asked to switch off our mobile phones. The free intro talk on Isha Yoga had already begun and the trainer was giving insights on what Isha Yoga was all about, what to expect and not expect. It was clear by the end of the one and a half hour talk that the classes will predominantly comprise of discourses detailing into various aspects of life. Like I said in my other post (My experiment with Isha Yoga), the trainer sounded a little off beat for us and we were not too impressed. After the talk, we were asked to register if we were interested and I convinced my wife to take up the course as I felt it would be a much needed stress reliever for her.

The second half of the day's session was another lengthy discourse but this time it was a video recording in which Sadguru addresses a similar crowd assembled for Isha Yoga Program. Sadguru spoke on various aspects of Yoga and moved onto explain three basic asanas which were preliminary or warm up routine before Sambhavi Maha Mudra.

In my initial posts, I had listed out the names of the three asanas without revealing much of the details, however upon the request from my trainer, I have removed the names. She requested that since people might misunderstand the asanas and could practive it incorrectly without proper guidance it would be appropriate not to reveal even the names of the asanas. Her request seemed to be a valid one and so I have altered my original posting. In my other postings, I would continue to refer to them as Asana 1, Asana 2 and so on.

It was very relaxing to do these asanas and it definitely felt as a good move to take up the program. The session ended for the day after this and we were informed that we had to be on time from the next session and those who are late would not be allowed to enter the class. We had opted for morning 6 to 9 Am batch which meant that the alarm had to be set for 5 AM. It is going to be a real challenge simply because it has been ages since I woke up that early. But at times, one has to lose some to gain some and so I decided that this was a good opportunity to get myself back to become a early starter.

Catch you later when I come back with my experience and learning’s of Day 2

PS: My wife however had to withdraw from the class due personal and work related reasons. So it will be all me giving you the experience single handed :)

Why this Blog

After months of deliberations and postponments, I have finally associated myself with Isha Yoga Program. I have joined the program conducted at West Mambalam Chennai from the 25th of Feb 2009.

The evening after my first day, I logged onto the net to try and find out more on what to expect in this 7 day program. To my suprise, there were not many sites or blogs giving me the details and so this idea of blogging the day to day activites of this program poped up.

I am sure there are a few people who like me are searching for some insights on this program and I hope this blog helps them in their quest. If you would to kow

If you would like to know as to why I choose Isha Yoga, then please visit the following Blog,
My Experiment with Isha Yoga.