Friday, May 24, 2013

Pranayama Workshop at SAYFNA, New Jersey

Sri Aurobindo Yoga Foundation of North America, New Jersey was the venue of the workshop. The venue is rather unique - founded as a Spiritual Center or individual and collective Sadhana of Integral Yoga. It is located in the house built by the founder, Prof. Vyas. The Center has a meditation room, a nice library and a beautiful hall for talks and workshops. Vivek and his family live here and Julian introduced me to Vivek.
It was very interesting for me to meet so many people who came form near and far - as far as 70 miles.Many have come early to meditate or chat with the family of Vivek or meet others. This part of the program is aptly names 'meet and greet' and I was pleasantly surprised to meet so many people touched by the Integral Yoga of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.
The next part of the program was  group meditation. It is heartening to see so many children being part of the group meditation and being routed in this very important ancient practice.
The Pranayama workshop went very well with great and enthusiastic participation. The youngsters added to the positive energy of the event and I was very happy with the numerous questions and clarifications.
A simple but delicious   Indian dinner was the last part of the program. I could get to know more people and this community appears to have combined the best of East and West, committed to nurture their Indian roots.
I am grateful to Vivek and his family for hosting the event and for the opportunity to connect with this wonderful community and experience SAYFNA briefly. It would be great to come back here and do more workshops.

Pranayam and Stress Mnagment Workshops at Matagiri, USA

It is always wonderful to go back to a place to do a workshop again.  If it is Matagiri, the experience becomes euphoric.
I was here a year ago and immensely enjoyed meeting Julian, Wendy and Eric, the natural beauty of Woodstock and doing a workshop (see my post
The pristine beauty, sylvan surroundings, the cool breeze and the ozone charged air sort of took me over as I stayed overnight to enjoy the hospitality of Wendy and Julian. The natural beauty of this place must have been one of the major factors for holding the famous music festival hare. The walk in the woods added to heighten my enjoyment of my visit and Wendy is a gracious hostess and made my visit memorable with her kind hospitality.
We planned two workshops this year - Pranayama and Freedom from stress. the venue was the Library of Matagiri - a wonderful place with Divine vibrations and ambiance.What I most enjoyed about the events is the participation of the small group of people. It is unforgettable experience for me and a source of immense satisfaction in my mission to share and spread  principles and practices of well being.
Julian and Wendy were going to Auroville International meet in Spain and drove me back to NJ. Julian is a walking encyclopedia of the human network of the followers of the Mother and Sri Aurobindo.  It was a very enriching experience to listen to him and his narrative style is fabulous and I enjoyed listening to him. He introduced me and my work to Vivek in New Jersey and made the workshop at NJ possible. I feel so happy and grateful! 
 Apart from the memory of Matagiri, I take back an everlasting inspiration from Julian and Wendy. It is an experience to see the kind of energy they generate in their work, radiating that peace and inner calm in Her work. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wellbeing workshop at Durga Temple, Fairfax, Va, USA

It was a wonderful celebration to be back (after a year)at this beautiful venue in this green and serene city, thanks to Jay. The first workshop happened in April 2012, thanks to my friend Jacob Abraham, who took the initiative to enroll Jay into giving me an opportunity to conduct a workshop at the weekly yoga sessions.
This year, my friend Jacob is in India but he and Susan helped me in many ways to make the repeat event happen this year. In fact, but for them, I could not have come over to this beautiful town!
 Jay was very positive about the workshop this year and he, along with the Yoga Group Team worked for the past six months to organize the event. I got to know Jay a little bit more in this trip. He is a living example of the power and magic of Yoga. He was diabetic with hyper cholesterol and he is free form both these 'incurable' disease.  He devotes a lot of his time to organize and conduct the programs of the Yoga group. His passion and dedication to spread Yoga are inspiring to me.
 We planned a longer workshop this year and I had was apprehensive about people attending the workshop form 7AM to 10:30 AM without breakfast. The apprehensions were baseless and we had an excellent and enthusiastic group of participants.The group is mulch-cultural and  I am amazed at their interest, sincerity and enthusiastic participation as they are really committed to Yoga. The group Jay conducts many of the weekly sessions.  meets on every Saturday and Sunday an It is a privilege for me to share pranayama and the other a practices with a group like this.
I planned the first part of the workshop to introduce the daily practice that I share with explanation and practicals. I liked the questions, which were many and interesting for me to respond to. The group being quite Yoga aware, the questions were quite 'in-depth' and it was a matter of joy to share the time and space with this group.
After the break, based on some discussion, I decided to a short session on 'taking care of you back'. This is because back issues are becoming endemic with the kind of life-style that is prevalent nowadays. My sense is that it is well received.
 After the workshop, I went to the temple. It was so serene and well mainatined that I ermebered the syaing "Cleanliness is Godliness". The Goddess was resplendent and a group of about 30 devotees were chanting slokas. I wish every place of worship would spread  such Divine vibrations.
Thank you, dear Jay, Jacob, Susan and every one of you who were there on 11 May.  I look forward to more opportunities to be here.