Since May 25, the Isha Yoga Center has been a bit of a multinational center, with people from 39 countries coming together for the hatha yoga program. From Saudi Arabia to Sri Lanka, from Canada to China, the center is seeing a confluence of many cultures and languages!

A group of ten Russians were also part of the program. Though only a few of them could understand English – barely – they went through the program comfortably, thanks to the live translation into Russian – one of many languages available.

For some, it was their first experience with yoga, and their flexibility, strength and energy levels have improved dramatically over the course of the short program.

The ten-member group arrived at the ashram more like tourists, having heard very little about Isha, Sadhguru or Dhyanalinga. They were generally quite unaware as to what an ashram is. Their only interest when they first arrived was to learn some yoga.

The program was quite hectic, with intense practices and a carefully-selected diet. For some in the group, who had come in a tourist frame of mind, the schedule was quite a shock. However, they showed enormous dedication and involvement through the whole process. Waking up at around 4:30am and coming to the classes on time, they did not miss any of the sessions. For some, it was their first experience with yoga, and their flexibility, strength and energy levels have improved dramatically over the course of the short program.

They also had the unique opportunity of being with Sadhguru twice, during satsangs. Each of them had a different experience of the satsang. Some were impressed by Sadhguru’s wisdom and sense of humor, some felt a completely new and different kind of energy, but none of them were untouched.

Talking about the ashram volunteers, one of them said, “I feel like in heaven here. Everybody is so kind and happy, and they smile all the time…”

The day the hatha yoga program finished, the group went into their next program, the 4-day Inner Engineering Retreat. The retreat wasn’t as hectic, so the group had more free time to explore the ashram, its vibrant nature and energy spaces.

During the retreat they also had a chance to experience the Pancha Bhuta Aradhana at the Dhyanalinga. One of them shared: “It was just unbelievable, so beautiful and unique. The brahmacharis dance, music, chants – everything – was so overwhelming…” Another had a flashback, “I felt like in an Indiana Jones movie!” A third member of the group said, “I was sitting, and tears just flowed over my face, I didn’t know why? I felt much more peaceful and joyful after the process.”

The group thoroughly enjoyed the ashram ambience. Talking about the ashram volunteers, one of them said, “I feel like in heaven here. Everybody is so kind and happy, and they smile all the time. In Saint-Petersburg in Russia where I live, people are in a hurry all the time. They do not show simple love or smile at random people. Here, nobody knows me, but I feel so much love and care from them.”

The group refers to their trip now as the “big adventure”. It began quite accidently for them, but the experience of life, and knowledge of yoga that they have imbibed in this short period of time has been quite overwhelming, they say. Is this the beginning of a new revolution in Russia – a silent revolution of self-realization?

Editor’s Note: Check out the “5-minute Yoga Tools for Transformation” – simple upa-yoga practices for joy, peace, wellbeing, success and more. You can also download the app, or join or host a workshop on International Yoga Day, or train to become a facilitator for the practices.