Isha Yoga – Inner Engineering for Transformation

 

Can you be happy in hell? This is one of the questions that Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev addresses to seekers who come to him, looking for guidance on the path to enlightenment. Once we are free of our limitations, we can be happy anywhere, Sadhguru tells us.

Sadhguru, whose name means “dispeller of darkness within,” is a thoroughly modern mystic, revered in his homeland of India, who is gaining a following in the United States. To help people gain optimal physical, mental and emotional health, Sadhguru has developed a system called Isha Yoga.

Isha Yoga is comprised of a series of practices that help the dedicated practitioner live a more peaceful and fulfilling life and achieve deeper levels of spiritual awareness through yoga postures, meditation and other techniques. Practitioners of Isha Yoga are known as “meditators.”

Subra Narayanasamy, a meditator who lives in Charlotte, said, “The Isha programs I took have had a transformative effect on every aspect of my life and have provided an overall well-being. You feel as if you are awakened from a deep slumber, rejuvenated and now want to live each and every day to the fullest possible extent.”

But Isha Yoga is more than simply a means to individual fulfillment. The Isha Foundation, a non-profit, non-religious organization, provides educational, environmental and social service programs, which are run by more than 250,000 volunteers. According to the Foundation’s website, “The Foundation is a human service organization that recognizes the possibility of each person to empower another – restoring global community through inspiration and individual transformation.”

Cheryl Simoni, a business woman from Atlanta, has been practicing Isha Yoga for several years.  In her recently released book, Midnights with the Mystic (Hampton Roads, May, 2008), she writes about a series of conversations she had with Sadhguru. She also recounts dramatic changes in her own life as a result of Isha Yoga. Previous to learning the practices, she was taking prescription medications for hyperthyroidism, chronic fatigue and other ailments. Within months of beginning Isha, she was off the medications and feeling better than she had in years.

Rekha Radhakrishnan, another meditator who lives in Charlotte, said the practices helped rid her of allergies and helped her focus on studies better. 

“On the whole, my entire outlook of life has changed. Now after all these years, my practices have made me a more driven individual, with a lot more clarity in thought and action,” she said.

While many Westerners are drawn to Indian yogic practices, some don’t have the time, energy or perhaps the financial resources to go to India to learn at the feet of a master. For those people, Isha Yoga has established a presence in the United States. Courses in “Inner Engineering” have been offered by certified Isha teachers in cities such as Atlanta, Detroit, Tampa, Nashville, Ann Arbor and San Diego.

Several times a year Sadhguru himself comes to the United States to offer advanced programs at the Isha Institute of Inner Sciences near McMinnville, Tennessee. This year he is giving several talks in different cities in the United States, including one in Atlanta on May 21.

Now Charlotteans will have the opportunity to experience Isha Yoga as well. In June Isha teacher Sheela Rajdev will offer the seven-day Inner Engineering program at the Hindu Center. A Michigan native, Rajdev spent 3 years in India undergoing training to be an Isha Yoga Teacher.

“I have taught in India, the UK and Singapore for one year and now in the US for one year,” Rajdev said. She explained that Sadhguru’s introductory program, Inner Engineering, introduces Shambhavi Maha Mudra – “a simple but powerful inner energy process for deep inner transformation.”

The program takes place June 18-24 from 6:30-9:30pm weekdays and on Sat from 10am-1pm and Sun 8am-5pm. Find out more about the program and Isha Yoga at www.ishafoundation.org or email charlotte@ishafoundation.org.

Pat MacEnulty, of Charlotte, has been an Isha Yoga practitioner since September, 2007. Through her company Expert Writing Services, she provided consulting, coaching and editing for Cheryl Simoni’s book, Midnights with the Mystic – A Little Guide to Freedom and Bliss.

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