The following review is by Doris La Frenais:
For picky eaters there’s nothing better than a nice buffet: there’s bound to be something you can relish. And so for yoga fans, there’s no place like Isha Yoga Center in Coimbatore, India, where you can find a spiritual platter with the whole gamut of what yoga has to offer.
What we generally know as yoga are physical postures, called asanas. But the mystical land of India has a whole world of yoga that you cannot imagine. And Isha Yoga Center is an ideal place to get a taste of it. What’s unique about this ashram is that you get to see and practice the four kinds of yoga which lead you to your ultimate realization: gnana yoga – the yoga of intelligence, bhakti yoga – the yoga of devotion, kriya yoga – the yoga of transforming your energy, and karma yoga – the yoga of selfless action.
Founded two decades ago by the profound yogi and mystic Sadhguru, the Isha Yoga Center is located at the foothills of the revered Velliangiri Mountains, in the vicinity of a lush rainforest. It enjoys a pleasant tropical climate year-round. Many ancient sages and seers have walked the Velliangiris, and their vibrant energies can still be felt there today. The peaks form a fantastic backdrop to the ashram.
SADHGURU & ISHA FOUNDATION
The mind and inspiration behind the Center is Sadhguru. Through his inner mastery over the yogic sciences, he has devised various yoga programs for realizing one’s ultimate potential. Over 3 million people around the world have benefited from these programs.
Sadhguru is internationally recognized and he is widely sought after by prestigious global forums to address issues as diverse as human rights, business values, and social, environmental and existential issues. He has been a delegate to the United Nations Millennium World Peace Summit, amember of the World Council of Religious and Spiritual Leaders and Alliance for New Humanity, a speaker at TED, a special invitee to the Australian Leadership Retreat, Tallberg Forum, Indian Economic Summit 2005-2008, as well as a regular speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos.
He is also the founder of Isha Foundation (headquartered at Isha Yoga Center), a non-profit organization dedicated to human wellbeing. With over 2 million volunteers worldwide, and nearly 1000 fulltime volunteers, the Isha Foundation spearheads a variety of activities. The social, educational and environmental wings of the foundation involve a stunning array of projects and initiatives that have touched the lives of millions.
The residents of Isha Yoga Center are fulltime volunteers who have dedicated their lives to their own spiritual pursuits and helping others to pursue theirs.While the ashram gives you an abundance of quiet meditative time, it’s also teeming with dynamic activity. You can complement your serene reflective moments with lively evening games which include volleyball,cricket, soccer and more. For animal lovers, make sure to visit the little cowshed and play with and feed the calves.These lovely creatures add to the peaceful ambience.Two different kinds of schools are based in the center, with around 500 children who add an extra zest of life to the space. The Isha Home School provides a home-like environment and kindles a child’s innate longing to learn. IshaSamskritis based on the ancient yogic system of education, helping children to live at their full potential. Residents at the ashram take two wholesome vegetarian meals a day (brunch and dinner) in the dining hall. Apart from this, you can fill your stomach at the Peppervine Eatery – fresh fruit, juices, pastries and coffee. If you want to brave Indian spice, check out the MoondramPirai Restaurant just off the road next to the ashram.A common computer/printing and internet facility is available.
YOGA & REJUVENATION
Learn IshaKriya, a 12-minute meditation that is ideal way to relax from our stressful, fast-paced lives. Get initiated into the powerful mantra AUM and derive many physiological and psychological benefits. Other advanced programs take place at the Center regularly. Find out more at ishayoga.org. Also, check out the Rejuvenation Center for a variety of therapeutic massages, aura cleansing, Siddha and Ayurveda medicinal treatments to revitalize you!
The best time to come to the Center is in Feb/March. At this time, Sadhguru offers a unique program called “Inner Way” where he initiates you into a powerful and ancient energy process called “ShambhaviMahamudra.” This kriya helps one to align their energies and reach their ultimate potential. The program is rich and festive, with sumptuous dishes, Indian handicrafts, and special cultural and musical performances that showcase India’s finest classical arts. Immediately following ‘Inner Way’ is Mahashivarathri, or the Night of Shiva. The planetary positions on this unique night create a natural upsurge of energy in the human system. So on this night, in the Indian tradition there is a sacred festival where people stay awake all night to make use of the phenomenal spiritual possibilities. A huge celebration with hundreds of thousands of visitors is held at the Isha Yoga Center, with lively musical concerts and vibrant guided meditations by Sadhguru.
The ashram is a throbbing hub of energy as it is full of consecrated spaces and forms. As Sadhguru says, “If you transform mud into food, we call this agriculture. If you make food into flesh and bone, we call this digestion. If you make flesh into mud, we call this cremation. If you can make this flesh, or even a stone, or even an empty space into a divine possibility, that is called consecration.”
The powerhouse of the ashram is the Dhyanalinga, a towering linga (ellipsoidal structure) which is the distilled essence of yogic sciences. It is housed in 250,000 brick dome, an architectural marvel. All the seven chakras are manifest in the Dhyanalingaand sitting in its sphere is like being the presence of a living Master who guides you every step of your spiritual journey. There’s no worship or prayer here – you just have to sit and bask in Dhyanalinga’s reverberating energies.Meditation is effortless as you sink into deeper levels of consciousness.
Before you enter the Dhyanalinga, there are two massive tanks of energized water called Theerthakunds. The Suryakund is for men and the Chandrakund for women. For a token fee, you can put on modest orange robes and take a dip in these cool waters. This straightens out any energy imbalances in your body and rejuvenates the spirit.Near the Dhyanalinga premises is the LingaBhairavi, a fierce yet compassionate form of the Divine Feminine. The Devi (goddess) helps you in fulfilling your deepest desires, and ensures a joyful, prosperous life. Various rituals and offerings can be made to the Devi, that assist in all stages of life: education for children, weddings, and rituals for the deceased.
The AdiyogiAlayam is a spacious, marble-floored hall, with a vaulted ceiling. A consecrated linga energizes the space which is specially designed for learning Hatha yoga. The 21-week Hatha Yoga teacher training program happens here every July – December.
“I went to Tibet with Sadhguru for a whole month and it was the most wonderful experience of my life. I came to know Sadhguru as one of the most spiritual men I have ever met. Not only that but also as a lovely man. I have stayed at the ashram and it is peaceful, harmonising and spiritual, it is a slice of heaven on earth and I can’t wait to go back next year.” – Jo Wood
WATCH VIDEOS BY SADHGURU
“Why Am I Stressed?”
“How to handle chronic ailments like diabetes, hypertension, etc?”
“How to Manage Your Diet”
“How Much Sleep Do I Need?”
“What is Meditation?”
“Love and Relationships”
“What Happens When You Die?”
Sadhguru speaks at TED
A recent review:
“My experience at the ISHA YOGA CENTER has been so magical.Sadhgurus loving nature and humor allowed me to learn so much about myself and have an incredible time during my short visit of two weeks. The ashram is very welcoming; Everywhere you look smiles and laughter fill the beautiful scenery. Everyone who comes to this amazing center is guaranteed a unique experience, and thanks to sadhguru and all of his kind and helpful volunteers, I will never forget mine.”
For more location information visit http://www.ishafoundation.org/ContactUs