My visit to India was unlike anything I have ever experienced. I had the good fortune to arrange time off at the church and was at an ashram for close to a month. The ashram is in a remote area of southern India surrounded by mountains and under the guidance of Sadhguru, an amazing, enlightened yogi who founded Isha yoga center over 25 years ago. I went to visit my friend Anandhi who has been a volunteer at a K-12 boarding school on the campus for the past 15 years.
I was impressed with the dedication, commitment and intensity of the people who are here. Many of them are young, and those who are yoga initiates shave their heads - both men and women - and spend their days doing their yoga practices, volunteering and meditating. I was also amazed at the size and scale of the operation. There are thousands of people from all over the world who come to deepen their spiritual connection through yoga practices and programs offered year round.
Most days began before dawn with a cold shower and walk over to the temple with Anandhi. Men and women do their practices separately, so, I would head over to the men's section to participate in rituals that began at 5:30am. I would do my yoga warmups and participate in a chanting session from 6-6:20am, complete my yoga practice and then head over to meet Anandhi so that we could head into the temple for 45 minutes of meditation. After breakfast I would head over to the boarding school and practice piano for a few hours, my salvation!
While there, Anandhi had arranged for me to offer various music activities to the children in the boarding school including master classes, accompanying a small choir and drama classes and a concert near the end of my stay. The concert was the highlight for me. I played 30 minutes of solo piano and accompanied several faculty members who were singers including Anandhi. We received a rousing ovation! Overall, it was a rich experience that has deepened my spiritual awareness and gratitude for life!
Love and blessings,
There are lots more pictures here and if people would like to learn more: