Monday, May 28, 2012

Stress Management & Pranayama workshop at Durga Place, Virginia, USA

What can I say about an event that is so difficult to describe as this one? It is a magical dream that was real.  And the reality manifested with such ease and grace that I think it is just synchronicity!
It all began with  the intention to meet Jacob Abraham, my good old friend form my Navy days.  We were planning a trip to New Jersey and we felt that it was good idea to meet Jacob and also see Washington, DC. Jacob stays in VA, quite close to DC. The warmth with which he invited us was just fantastic and I thought that ‘This is what , friends are for’. The next thing he said was where the dream about my work begins. He said: “Ava, why don’t you do a workshop while you are here. I will speak to Jay who runs regular Yoga classes and I attend often”.  Jay Kalathil is the Yoga Coordinator  at Durga Temple  at 8400 Durga Place, Fairfax Station, VA 22039. Jay has an extraordinary passion for Yoga and he has been conducting Yoga classes every Saturday and Sunday, while working and attending to his household responsibilities. For me, this is an example of integral yoga in its spirit. Jacob attended a session conducted by me at the first Get Together of 1970 Navy batch at Lonawala in 2010. He talked to Jay and told me that Jay was very receptive and positive. We started a discussion by email and Jay suggested that I do two workshops on April 14th and 15th. I would love to do as many workshops as I can in my lifetime but on this occasions, , it was not feasible to fit into my schedule and other commitments that I already made. So, we decided to go ahead with a workshop on 15th April, Sunday.
It turned out to be the first workshop I did as a combination of Pranayama and Stress Management. I attempted this only in Integral Health workshops at Auroville, the retreats I did at the Ashrams in Nianital and Ramnagar  and the PGL courses at IIM Indore and RAK, Dubai. In these events, the contact time had more than 25-30 hours!  The very idea of combining the two into a workshop of three hours would have been just out of question but for the foundation Jay has laid over the many Yoga sessions he has been conducting over the years. Thus, the participant group was highly Yoga aware and this has enabled me to offer a primer on Yoga based stress management.
The Yoga hall was just fantastic and it was a pleasure and privilege to meet Jay and the participant group was just fantastic.  My experience of the event was wonderful and in my opinion, one of the best. They participation, questions and comments were very satisfying and encouraging to me and made the event very special. It was made even more special by the presence of not only Jacob and Susan Abraham but also another Navy friend TM Subramium. He was visiting his daughter in VA and came to the workshop along with Deepa and Prasanna (his daughter and son-in-law).
The closing prayer by Jay put a perfect finishing touch to this event that is so memorable to me. I am grateful to Jacob and Jay for this extraordinary opportunity. I am thrilled by Jay’s invitation to do a full day workshop next when I am visiting the east coast. I look froward to the summer of 2013 to be in this wonderful space and meet Jay and Jacob again and have the opportunity to do the next workshop.  

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