Sport is a simple way of bringing this celebratory mood, to make a human being function beyond his limitations. Sport naturally makes a human being function in a certain exuberance of life.

Ever since the Isha Yoga Center came into being two decades ago, games have always been a mode of bringing people together. Every evening, the ground fills up with hundreds, young and old, men and women, playing games of all kinds. The more agile and physically inclined get together for an intense game of football or kabaddi. In other corners of the ground, people play seven stones, and children fly kites and make sand castles.

But by far, the most popular game is volleyball. Come 4.45pm, there’s a rush from all corners of the ashram. All three courts are full to the brim with 25 to 30 people in each court. The teams’ sizes maybe a bit large and not totally on par with volleyball rules, but who cares. The collective cries of joy and peals of laughter are proof enough that the game is being enjoyed. Though 95% of the ashram residents have never played volleyball before coming to the ashram, their sheer enthusiasm and the know-how of the remaining 5%, have created some extremely talented blockers, servers, attackers and setters.

In order to allow people to further hone their talents and to provide a means to bring everyone together, Isha Kreeda, the sports initiative of the Isha Yoga Center, organized a volleyball tournament last week, which took place in the evenings. Eight teams made up of volleyball enthusiasts of all age groups participated, this time properly following the regulations – they even had a referee! Probably the games were enjoyed by the spectators as much as the participants, or perhaps even more so, given the cheers and shouts emanating from the crowd.

The tournament was finally won by team Ayodhya, who had dominated most of the tournament, but had a few close calls during the final.

Sadhguru after his travel to Europe and Mauritius returned to the ashram on the day of the finals. And sure enough, he was there at the game, to cheer louder than everybody else (and provide coaching tips to the lagging team!).

Overall the experience is one that will linger, with the excitement of the match, the close saves (and shaves) and the lightning quick attacks being talked about for a long time to come.