A Spiritual Haven amidst Nature: My Experience at Sadhguru's Isha Yoga Center
Having listened to numerous podcasts and videos of Sadhguru, I finally visited the Isha Foundation in Coimbatore. I have been longing to come here since 2 years, and particularly during the Maha Shivratri, but couldn't plan it. So my family trip to Ooty brought me here. I'll make a separate post on it which was my second visit in an year. While returning back from Ooty to Coimbatore, to take my flight for Pune (which is my current residence and hopefully future too!), I had the entire day in Coimbatore. Needless to say, one part of it had to be with Adiyogi! For all those who do not know, Isha foundation was started by Sadhguru, who is a renowned personality and guru in the field of spirituality. His following spans across the globe and especially westerners. The Isha Yoga Center is situated in the foothills of Velliangiri mountains, some 25kms outside the city of Coimbatore. It is spread across a vast 150 acres of land with beautiful trees. Cabs or personal transport are the best ways to reach here, however, I am sure that local buses must also be running. I had my vehicle and must say that I was pleasantly amazed to see the route to Isha. It was through the forests with beautiful coconut and pine trees. I couldn't control myself and started recording through my GoPro! On reaching Isha, the one thing that you notice is the grand entry and the sheer size of the place. Right from the main gate to the parking lot, one can find broad roads, beautifully lined up trees which leads to the pathway to Adiyogi, Shiva! Hope the quick sneak peak made you wanting to travel here! Adiyogi Shiva statue is a wonder of its own. I do have a small replica of it in my house, but on seeing it right infront of me amidst the hills and green lands, I was literally mesmerized. Being a working day, the crowd was less, which all the more filled me with awe. My wife and I took off our shoes and went near the statue. There was a small enclosed space before it where many volunteers were present. They made the people sit down on the floor who wanted to meditate. The popular chanting of Sadhguru about Shiva (Shambhu, Shambhu..) was playing on the speakers that has the potential to immerse you in meditation. Since we had less time and my personal aim was to meditate in the Dhyanlingam, we went near the statue and clicked some pics. The next destination was the Dhyanlingam which was some 1.2 kms far, all within the Isha Yoga Center compound. Throughout the walking path, there were banners that explained about various entities like Vanashree, Linga Bhairavi, Patanjali, Dhyanalinga Dome, etc. Isha is not just about spirituality. You will find a number of eateries inside the compound that are priced reasonably. You can have all sorts of vegetarian foods available like Chats, Dosas, North Indian delicacies, etc. To quench your thirst you have everything from juices to cold drinks to coconut water to ice creams! Before entering the Dhyanlingam premises (which also has other spiritually enabled places), one has to deposit mobile phones and cameras. Of course, these things do not have any significance neither any use inside an area that teaches you to focus on yourself. The counters are available to deposit them without any worry and the volunteers would help you with everything - all with a beautiful smile on their faces, just like the way Sadhguru teaches in his videos and lessons. The entrance to the premises looks like this: There is a small banner that also describes the importance of snakes in Hindu culture! The premises has a large water pond that is said to be spiritually energized. There are separate ponds for men and women where people take dips in order to imbibe positive energies. You will also find many people simply sitting on the floor and doing yogic asanas, breathing exercises or meditating. These are people from across the globe. The volunteers also offer free Yoga exercises for 30 minutes for the sole purpose of promoting this well-being science. As we walked ahead, we saw the entrance to the Dhyanlingam. Dhyanlingam is a dome that houses a large Shivaling. The Shivaling is a consecrated one and hence imparts positivity. People are sent in groups inside the dome for a 10 minute period. These 10 minutes are purely for meditation. Volunteers stand before the entrance holding placards and requesting everyone's silence. It is even announced that people are requested to maintain silence and do not speak so that there is no disturbance to fellow beings. The Shivaling is housed under a large dome which gives the feel of a different mystical world. Doesn't matter if one is used to meditation or not, the mere sight of the Shivalingam and the atmosphere would make you immerse in meditation and you will actually feel that the distraction of the mind is relatively lot lesser. At least I was able to feel the same. We sat there for 10 minutes till a bell rang indicating that those who want to step out can now do so. We wished to stay longer but did not have much time, as there was a flight to catch. We stepped out of the Dhyanlingam premises and collected our belongings. It was now time to say goodbye to this magical serene place with a promise to return. This time the return would not be of few hours but days where I can actually practice the day to day routine of the Yogic life.