Life in Sadhanapada – For The Young And The Young At Heart
Here are some uninhibited and heartfelt sharings from energetic young participants about life before, during and after Sadhanapada. They talk about adventure, addiction, growing wiser, and of course – sadhana!
Over 800 participants from 32 countries come together to spend 7 months in the consecrated space of Isha Yoga Center for their inner growth.
Isha Yoga Center has always been a place for the young, regardless of age. Today’s youth can access opportunities that were undreamt of a decade ago. Empowered by technology and driven by the desire to lead a fulfilling life, many have entered workplaces and businesses for the first time, only to be disappointed. Finding themselves at a crossroads, many are flabbergasted as to what to do next. They want to grow, explore and discover new things. Maybe it’s time for a completely different kind of adventure? Maybe it’s time for Sadhanapada!
A racing driver once said, "If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough." How does Sadhanapada compare to what you were doing before?
“I would say I didn't really know the definition of an adventure until Sadhanapada. It took me a while to “go with it”, but once I saw that not knowing what was coming next was actually thrilling rather than terrifying, it became fantastic! I desperately wanted an adventure and I got it for sure!” - Jovana Balanovic, 31, Social Scientist, New Zealand
“I have become more dynamic. Earlier, before picking up anything in my life, I would be apprehensive as to whether I would be able to do it or not. This fear has gone because now I feel that today I am going to learn something new that I have never done before.” - Rekha Verma, 28, Software Engineer, Haryana
“I don’t intend on going back. It didn't make sense that billions of years of evolution would end up simply pushing papers for some money. If I had continued with my earlier job, it would have been alright, but, if I continued that job over being here, it would be a tragedy of colossal proportions.” -Abhinav Tiwari, 28, Corporate Lawyer, Maharashtra
“I feel more prepared to seek work and experience it with more joy and pleasantness within myself. Even more importantly for me, I feel motivated and inspired to follow dreams I have put on the back burner because of fear. I am excited to explore new avenues with the balance and clarity that has been instilled in me.” - Bianna Makogon, 27, Medical Receptionist, Australia
Sadhana - up to speed or dragging your feet?
“I find that I have become more focused while doing my sadhana. At home, I was doing it just as a practice and sometimes skipping in between. After coming here, I found a real difference between just doing something and really doing it full on.” - Rekha Verma, 28, Software Engineer, Haryana
“Sadhana has become a part of my life in a way that I don't have to do Sadhana, I want to do Sadhana!” - Jeeva L T Dharma, 30, Design Engineer, Tamil Nadu
“Without sadhana I won’t start my day. Even on days when I am unwell, I won’t miss my practices.” – Shankar, 28, Entrepreneur, Haryana
Was there an obsession, addiction or compulsion which you wanted to free yourself of while here?
“Being here has helped me loosen the grip on many things, especially my need for other people's approval. I was very involved with friends and family (not bad in itself), but in a way that it sustained many insecurities in me and kept me closed off from the rest of the world. Now, I feel comfortable, warm and inspired by virtually everyone I come across in the ashram. Slowly, I am starting to see what inclusiveness really means.” - Jovana Balanovic, 31, Social Scientist, New Zealand
“Pessimism and fear, not of anything in particular, had simply become who I was. It was crushing me. That is beginning to get destroyed. I feel and breathe better. I don't feel suffocated within myself.” – Abhinav Tiwari, 28, Corporate Lawyer, Maharashtra
“Yes, I came out from addiction on craving for restaurant food, mobile gaming and sleeping over 10 hrs a day. Sadhanapadha cleared the way to be out of addiction.” - Jeeva L T Dharma, 30, Design Engineer, Tamil Nadu
“I was the kind of person who spoke little and thought a lot. Nobody was aware of the drama going on in my head. It was like a movie constantly on. Now, I am becoming more conscious of the thoughts coming up – what is required and what is not. Stillness is coming within me.” - Rekha Verma, 28, Software Engineer, Haryana
“It hasn't been easy - and I've fantasized about my old life habits many times. But being here towards the end now, I simply don't have the words to describe how much has changed. It's transformed my life. I am so much more awake, aware, alive, joyful, active and willing. So my lifestyle now is really just about being involved with what is important to me rather than arranging things in such a way to protect me from what previously I would have seen as 'unpleasant’.” - Jovana Balanovic, 31, Social Scientist, New Zealand
In the last seven months, have you aged or grown wise? What has it been like to be among people of different age groups?
“I couldn't predict the age of most people here in Ashram based on their work and habits. It felt like in a classroom of the same age group. We shared similar thoughts and experiences. Willingness and acceptance to situations becomes a common theme for us.” - Jeeva L T Dharma, 30, Design Engineer, Tamil Nadu
“It sometimes feels that we are on a big college campus. Making friends, sharing in experiences and events, pushing our boundaries and doing all of it together guided by a fantastic team of volunteers. More impactful though for me has been interacting with people not in my age bracket but still experiencing them in the same way, a pleasant reminder that age is a number of cycles around the sun and not a reflection of a being.” - Bianna Makogon, 27, Medical Receptionist, Australia
“I am 31, so most people I have been living and working with are younger than me. But honestly, it hasn't really come up as a factor. In fact, if anything, it has made me see how individual and unique every person is. If I am present with them, their age, gender, nationality – they all disappear and I am just there with that person. I would say I have interacted with a lot more young people than outside and I think I'm now younger for it!” - Jovana Balanovic, 31, Social Scientist, New Zealand
“There is great synergy and I find it easy to mingle. Everyone is here for the same reason as I am, to grow in every possible way. Many of them are very accomplished with diverse skills. I see that is enriching me in many ways. They are fully on; from at least 4:30 AM to 10 PM with no stimulation, no weekends, no time off. No complaints either.” - Keerthi Vadlakonda, 28, International Tax Consultant, New York
Words of Wisdom to Possible Aspiring Sadhanapada Participants?
“I would advise anyone if they want to see their full potential then they must take this step. But personally I think people don't like to take advice so easily unless they see a live example in front of them! So I would like to take with me all the things I have learned here so that people can witness the difference in me – a live example.” - Rekha Verma, 28, Software Engineer, Haryana
“If you're planning to live, this is the time! Anyone who inculcates clarity, balance and steadiness within themself, then life becomes just a play.” - Jeeva L T Dharma, 30, Design Engineer, Tamil Nadu
“I would say whatever age you are, I would advise you to reflect sincerely (but not too seriously), with some vulnerability in your heart and see within yourself - is there anything in my life that, if I don't do it, I won't feel like I truly lived? If the answer is yes, and if you're not doing it, then Sadhanapada is a magical way to get you well on your way.” - Jovana Balanovic, 31, Social Scientist, New Zealand