This weekend saw a flurry of activity in Bangalore for Sadhguru… First on the list was a mall opening, followed by a three-day Inner Engineering program from 23rd to 25th March in the heart of the city.

The Gopalan Signature Mall is a new establishment which has come up recently in Bangalore. Normally not one to attend official openings of a commercial nature, Sadhguru never-the-less acquiesced to the owners invitation, as this shopping mall would soon house an exclusive Isha Shoppe outlet. Isha Shoppe is a venture that aims to bring a touch of Isha into the homes and environment of the community, and ultimately enrich people’s lives.

All profits from this venture will be used to serve the rural people of India, through Isha Foundation’s pioneering social outreach program, Action for Rural Rejuvenation project. Bringing comprehensive and ongoing rural rehabilitation services, such as medical relief using Mobile Health clinics, yoga programs, environmental awareness programs, and community games to the heart of the rural communities, creates the opportunity for the villagers, including women and children, to take responsibility for their own lives, and restore and reach their ultimate well-being.

On Friday evening, 23rd March, the Inner Engineering program started at the Chancery Pavilion hotel in Bangalore. A Sounds of Isha member shares their experience of being a part of the program:

The first evening, the Grand Ballroom at the Chancery Pavilion hotel, volunteers had lined the room with chairs and the talented Bangalore aesthetics team had pulled off a beautiful dais setup, a delightful arrangement of brass, tapestry, garlands and lighting. The hall filled up fast and soon 250 participants, plus volunteers and Sadhguru were listening to instrumental music from Sounds of Isha (SOI). I wondered how the participants would feel about the music – I heard that some of the country’s greatest musical artists were present, and of course CEOs of top-notch companies. Though we didn’t perform like some of the Yaksha artists that visited Isha Yoga Center, our simple tunes did seem to set the mood for the program.

The 3-hour evening session passed by quickly, with peals of laughter emitting from participants and Sadhguru. Smiling faces exited the hall, only to return again on the following morning.

The next day was a full-day program. While most of the sessions were going on, the SOI team spent much of our time practicing and figuring out what songs to play. Participants spoke in excited voices about the class, Sadhguru’s jokes, or with keen interest about the practices learned so far. Meanwhile, sitting on a small dais, playing and singing with full intensity, the SOI team witnessed the dynamic changes in them from before the session to after.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly, until a bombshell fell. It turned out that the day after the program got over, Sadhguru had an “In Conversation with a Mystic” event in Mumbai with K.V. Kamat for which SOI needed to go. This meant they would have to miss the last day of the Bangalore program to make it in time. So we had to split up our team. I stayed back along with two vocalists, while the rest of the team got onto the 25th morning train.

Now, we had to prepare. We picked out Maati Kahe for the morning session, some lively Kabir bhajans for lunch, a Hindi song for the afternoon, and an English one for the evening. To make do, we had to multi-task. One of the vocalists played drum and sang at the same time, while I switched over from flute to keyboard. Overall, it went pretty well. With Sadhguru there, things have a way of falling in place.

But these are all side stories. The real thing is that 250 participants were initiated into the ancient kriya, Shambhavi Mahamudra. Within a span of half-an-hour their faces were lit up with life, and they were empowered with a new possibility. I am blessed to have had the chance to see this, and have a small role in making it happen.

– SOI member

Editor’s Note: Find out more about Inner Engineering, including upcoming program dates and venues in Bengaluru.