For children, holiday season usually signals that sweet time of the year that is neither soured by the sweltering heat of summer nor dampened by lashing rains of the monsoons. The break from school lessons offers an opportunity to play, run and explore all on their own. Few children, however, choose to channel this great burst of energy into activities that both expand their horizons and blend fun with responsibility. 

This holiday break, a lively group of 96 Isha Vidhya school students took up just such an activity, using their summer vacation in a beneficial way for themselves and for others!

Starting on April 25, these exuberant students of Isha Vidhya schools from various parts of Tamil Nadu volunteered at the Isha Yoga Center for a month to teach Upa-Yoga to the thousands of daily visitors. 

Upa-Yoga is a simple yet powerful system of 10 practices that activate the joints, muscles, and energy system. Based on a sophisticated understanding of the body’s mechanics, Upa-Yoga dispels inertia in the body’s energy and brings ease to the whole system.

Blending Playfulness with Responsibility

While playfulness and responsibility going hand-in-hand may seem unconventional to many, this combination is just a way of life for Isha Vidhya students, and their actions proved this to all observers. Their spirited approach to teaching yoga proved just as infectious as the games and play they engaged in outside of sessions.

The students began their day at 6 AM with Guru Pooja, yoga practices and meditation at Dhyanalinga. After that, the children split into multiple groups and offered Upa-Yoga training from 9 AM till 4 PM. 


Get weekly updates on the latest blogs via newsletters right in your mailbox.

While one group of children welcomed the visitors, briefed them about Upa-Yoga and registered them for free classes, the other group taught Upa-Yoga to registered participants in 30 minute slots, using Sadhguru’s guided videos to demonstrate the practices.

Captivated by their charming and focused approach, throngs of eager visitors were soon queuing up and gleefully following the instructions of the young teachers.

A Participant Shares

I just came to visit Isha Yoga Center. I got such a wonderful opportunity to learn Upa-Yoga here, unexpectedly! These children are very lucky that they were able to learn these useful practices at such a young age. Not only that, they also teach it to others too, so that it is useful for everyone.

Even though the temperamental weather swung like a pendulum between scorching heat and lashing rains, it could not do much to shake the resolve of these emboldened young yoga teachers. They could always be seen sporting a warm smile and unconditionally offering their best to the ashram visitors.

Throughout their stay, the children also basked in the ashram’s lively atmosphere by spending time with friendly cows in the Maattu Mane, taking dips in the Suryakund and Chandrakund, visiting the 112-foot Adiyogi and enjoying a swim in the pool, Kalyani.

Awakening the Teacher Within

Over their one-month journey, the children felt a transformative shift in their lives in many ways. Many shy students willingly ventured out of their comfort zone and were deeply touched by the reverence and receptivity of the people who stepped forward to learn from them.

It was a one-of-a-kind role reversal for these students to awaken the teacher within them and learn about various personalities and how to approach them.

Imbibing the Spirit of Volunteering

Even though the students did not undergo any rigorous formal training to conduct the classes, by following a simple set of instructions and participating in a few practice sessions, they were prepared to offer these profound life sciences with utmost integrity and sensitivity for the well-being of people. 

This experience of volunteering gave students a refreshing perspective on the value of sharing knowledge and fearlessly dissolving their limitations to do what is necessary.

Students Share their Treasured Experiences

It is totally a new experience to teach to people who are elder than us. This is very different. Thank you Isha for giving me this opportunity!

- Sadhana, Isha Vidya, Coimbatore

A variety of people are coming here. I'm happy to help people through yoga even when I’m in school. The atmosphere here makes me feel peaceful. I would like to come here and teach yoga the next year also. I think of this as an opportunity for us to become courageous and talk to people without hesitation.

- Srimati, Isha Vidhya student

We are teaching Upa-Yoga free of cost to everyone as a part of International Yoga Day on June 21. This helps in reaching at least a drop of spirituality to everyone. Since these practices take only 5 minutes, they are very simple for anyone to do. This doesn’t need any change in their lifestyle. Doing Upa-Yoga relaxes their body and rejuvenates their mind. By spending 5 minutes a day for Upa-Yoga, it shows a way for their life.

- Yashwant, Isha Vidhya student

When we meet a variety of people here, not only do we teach them something valuable, we also learn something valuable from them.  Doing Upa-Yoga relieves one from chronic ailments and removes stress. The practice can be learnt in a very short time.

- Kanishka, Isha Vidhya student

An Isha Vidhya Teacher Shares His Experience

We see a big difference in the children who do and teach Upa-Yoga to others. When the children come to school after volunteering at Isha, the very way they speak and behave has changed in a good way. We see the children speaking and answering to the questions of public without any hesitation. They also get an opportunity to mingle with children from other schools.

- Manoj, Isha Vidhya school teacher

Editor's Note: Become a Yoga Veera by taking a pledge to teach Yoga Namaskar to at least one person. Yoga Namaskar is a simple and powerful system which activates the lumbar region of the spine and strengthens the muscles along the spine, preventing the spine’s collapse due to aging. Yoga Namaskar is available on Sadhguru App. Download Sadhguru App now, if you haven't already!