Friday, February 1, 2013

Pranayama for intenrational student group

The beginning of this workshop happened a couple of years ago when I met this wonderful young couple Bade and Satheesh. Bade is Turkish and Satheesh is Indian and their views , approach to education and openness struck me as extraordinary. They attained one of my pranayama workshops and we met a couple of times, though very briefly , after that. I was delighted to receive a mail form Bade in the end of December 2012. The mail was an invitation to share pranayam with a group of international students that they were bringing to Auroville for 4 day learning experience. We could work out the dates  that wee mutually convenient and I had the wonderful opportunity to conduct two sessions of pranayama for the group.

The constitution of the group is very interesting - eight students form Turkey, 4 form Delhi and 4 from the village of Ediyancahavadi, next to Auroville. Bade and Sateesh volunteered at Tamarai educational center when they were in Auroville and the connection with the youth of  Ediyanchavdi is rooted in this earlier work of theirs. The students form the village were not attending the paranayama sessions as they were not residing at the Mango Hill Resort. The report is a beautiful set of esthetically designed, eco-friendly structures, very close to Auroville. The space for the sessions was excellent and eminently sited to pranayama as you can see form the pictures. It was rather cold in the early mornings and even the Delhi-ites were warmly clad to ward off  the chill. The mornings were misty, with the sun streaming through the trees and mist and I enjoyed the drive to venue on both the days.
I enjoyed working with this group even more. They are a group of  teen aged youngsters, a bit upset to be shaken out of bed at an ungodly hour to attend sessions on something they could not even pronounce, let alone have a sens of. But the power of pranayama slowly but surely engulfed them and entered into their being. It was a joy for me to be part of this group and participate in this wonderful program. Some of them told me that they look forward to the next session.
We had a marvelous session for the small group on the next day and it was great to have breakfast with Bade, Sateesh, Ms. Aslan, the teacher in charge of the group from Turkey and Ms. Indira the teacher in charge of the group from Delhi.
I was very happy to receive the lovely gift of Sateesh's recent book "Leading without License' . 
This post must include something about the wonderful person, Mr. Mani.  He is a gentle person, whose professionalism and values command respect from anyone who interacts with him. An elderly but energetic, the proud owner-driver of an Indigo car he hires to earn his living. The unforgettable incident for me was that he was to pick me up at 6AM for 15 minute ride to the venue. He reported ta my place of residence at 5:30AM and his car was cloned that morning, he had bath and did his puja (prayers) for himself and the car! I was stunned to with the glimpse of the value system behind this incident and bowed my head in respect and admiration! I was fortunate to chat with him for few minutes and get to know him a little.
An unexpected bonus of the event - Ms. Aslan invited me to do a workshop for the teachers in her school in Turkey, when I will be in Europe during the summer. I never visited Turkey and look forward to my visit and the event.

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