Recently a group of 11 students and 2 teachers from the Greenwood College School visited the Isha Yoga Center amidst a busy schedule of volunteering at a nearby rural school.
Swami Kallola who was the group’s guide during their visit tells us about their visit.
Recently a group of 11 students and 2 teachers from the Greenwood College School visited the Isha Yoga Center amidst a busy schedule of volunteering at a nearby rural school. The students, aged 16 and 17, initially came with very skeptical eyes, but as time went on, their comfort grew and by the time they left many of them were asking for more information about Isha, about the ashram, about Sadhguru, and about yoga. They had the opportunity to tour the temple area, to participate in Nadha Aradhana, to take dips in the respective Theerthakunds (I think this was the part they enjoyed the most, as they came out absolutely bright-eyed!) and to be initiated into Isha Kriya. As we parted, the teachers were sharing that next year, they would surely allocate a larger piece of time to visit the Yoga Center. On our part, we hope that this is the beginning of a relationship that will continue for years ahead.
Sophia Weinrib from Greenwood College School had a lot of wonderful things to say about her visit in a blog post on the Greenwood blog.
Today we took a trip to an oasis that was located in the foothills of the mountains surrounding Coimbatore. Deep within the jungle of palm trees is the Isha ashram. Surrounded by deep jungle it looked as though it was right out of a dream with the peaceful buildings and temples that were built out of stone. The backdrop was jaw-dropping with the majestic mountains looming above, as the rainclouds flowed over the ridge and spilled into the valley beneath. The surrounding scenery set the tone for the enlightening experience that we had at the ashram.
As we stepped inside the grounds and removed our shoes there was a new energy that filled the air. The energy aura filled the grounds with peace and tranquility that affected everyone who stepped inside. We started our journey by paying a visit to the feminine deity which is called Linga Bhairavi. As we entered we were engulfed with the sounds of chanting in Sanskrit. We got our first glimpse of what meditation was like and how just sitting in a room can change your state of mind and cause one to be more relaxed and at peace. Before exiting we paid our respect to the deity by putting our hands above a fire and placing them on our face. We then placed red chalk in between our eye brows and as a gift from the deity we received a neem leaf and jasmine flower. Our first experience was incredible and I think that everyone could feel the change of energies in the air that made everyone more at peace.
Our next stop was at the Theerthakund. This is a bath inside a temple that is filled with holy water that is meant for purifying the body. In the middle of the tub there was an energy statue that was filled with solidified mercury. The girls entered the female bath temple. We got put in special robes and walked down to the pool that was underground in the temple. The water was cool but once again filled us with a certain energy that was overwhelming. We placed our hands on the structure that was in the middle and let the energy enter us. Ms. McBeth and I did a daring move by submerging our whole heads in the cold water. The experience was once-in-a-lifetime and the feeling of being in the water was so exhilarating that I think we will never feel that way again.
We quickly finished up at the bath temple because our next stop was going to the main deity located in the middle of the ashram encircled in a large dome. We sat cross-legged with our hands open upwards in meditation in front of the deity. We participated in the meditation that involved singing bowls, singers, and drums. The experience was peaceful and put one in a state of mind that enabled the mind to be fully relaxed and in the moment. The experience was enlightening. Even when I do an hour of yoga I have never been in a state of mind like I was while meditating in front of the deity. This continued when we went to our private meditation where we participated in removing ourselves from suffering. We attempted to achieve this by participating in the meditation where we were taught that “we are not our body and we are not even our mind.” This removes us from feeling the two types of suffering which are physical and mental. The overall experience was amazing and I don’t think anything will ever compare. I left with the feeling of extreme relaxation and peace. I think that everyone was grateful to have a chance to experience an ashram with its deep history and to experience another part of the Indian culture.