An Interview with Sri Subodh Tiwari of Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute!

Most of you struggle with daily stress brought on by work, deadlines, everyday life and relationships. How about looking for peace and quietness that helps cure your stressed out existence and rejuvenates you through positive healing?

The great Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore once said, “The meaning of our self is not to be found in its separateness from God and others, but in the ceaseless realization of yoga, of union; not on the side of the canvas where it is blank, but on the side where the picture is being painted.” Dear fans, yoga is the sole answer to your problems! Yoga will help you achieve that well sought-for inner peace by channelizing your energy and restoring your thought process. Yoga gives you a sense of relaxation and in the process makes you experience that blissful process of healing.

In celebration of the first International Day of Yoga, let’s look back to this age old healing philosophy and understand how it controls the mind, and helps us attain a higher level of consciousness.

To commemorate the International Day of Yoga, Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institution in Lonavla (Maharashtra) carried out a series of wellness activities on June 21.  Kaivalyadhama  is one of India’s oldest and leading yoga training institutes since 1924. Spread over 170 acres, Kaivalyadhama doesn’t just teach, but carry out innovative studies into almost every aspect of Yoga’s practice. Workshops on Yoga were held in Delhi, Mumbai and Pune in association with renowned bodies such as Tata group of companies, Cricket Club of India, Indian Coast Guard, Central and Western Railways and on a worldwide scale in USA, Canada, Japan, Thailand, Korea, Brazil and many more nations.

Smt. Sushma Swaraj, the Minister of External Affairs & Overseas Indian Affairs congratulated the Institute on its contribution on this historic day.  “It gives me great pleasure to know that the Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute is planning multiple events both in India and across the world as part of the celebrations for the very first International Day of Yoga,” said the Minister.

Wish to know the driving force behind this institute?

Sri Subodh Tiwari!

Sri Tiwari, who at a young age got inspired by the yogic environs at Kaivalyadhama Lonavala, drew the spiritual initiation from Swami Digambarji, the Director and Spiritual Head of Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute.

It was in 1997 that Sri Tiwari decided to devote his life to the Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute. His consistent goal has been to enhance the life of an individual through yoga practice.

Here are the excerpts from the email interview held with Sri Subodh Tiwari on the occasion of the International Day of Yoga.

What is the significance of Yoga in the modern times?

Yoga is a holistic science of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. Modern times have got us external comforts. However, we need to ensure our intrinsic development which is the most important aspect. Yoga makes you travel inwards. It has the capacity to quieten the mind.

How effectively can Yoga deal with stress, diabetes, obesity, cancer and other problems?

Scientific research has proved the efficacy of Yoga in addressing lifestyle related disorders to a very great extent. The quality of life improves inherently, thereby creating more equanimity. Hypertension, diabetes, obesity etc. all get controlled with the practice of Yoga.

How does Yoga compare to the modern forms of exercises like Aerobics, Zumba, Pilates etc?

Yogasanas are postures that requires the practioner to be steady and maintain the ame position for some time. In essence, they are passive and work on the various systems such as the respiratory, digestive, nervous etc. Exercises like pilates, aerobics etc. are dynamic in nature and work largely on the musculo-skeletal system. Yoga has an element of mind in every aspect, whereas these other exercises are purely physical.

Yoga has morphed into various disciplines such as Bikram Yoga, Power Yoga, Iyengars, Kundalini, Tibetan Yoga etc? How does traditional yoga compare to them?

Any yoga which caters to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health is based on the traditional principle. Any form of Yoga whose primary focus or sole focus is physical is the contemporary trend.

Tell us about the contributing factors behind the sudden popularity of Yoga.

To my mind, use of media has accelerated the growth of Yoga. This has a snowball effect, more popularity, more teachers required, more students to cater to, more institutes opening up, more students being attracted.

Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute has been the oldest institute in research, training and therapy in Yoga. What have been its achievements so far?

The first research journal in the world, Yoga Mimamsa in 1924, the first college of Yoga in the world in 1951 , the first yogic hospital in the world in 1961, the first institute to be recognised by the Ministry of Education as national level institute of Yoga in the year 1962.

We have been able to contribute to the scientific research as in the effect of Yoga in obesity, diabetes, hypertension etc. and in understanding, translating, explaining the ancient texts of Yoga through philosophical literary research, training school teachers, police personnel and many others. The hospital and health care centre has been able to assist a lot of people.

How is Kaivalyadhama celebrating the International Day of Yoga 2015 on national and international scale?   

Kaivalyadham has launched www.yogyaan.com. We are organising sessions in 20 places in Mumbai, seven around Lonavla and nine across the world. However our main aim is to continue this hereafter; use this opportunity to enthuse people to start yoga in their centres.

What are you doing to make Yoga popular amongst the youth?

We are organising programmes with universities and schools. We train school teachers of Navodaya Vidyalaya and Kendriya Vidyalaya so that they can take it to the children. We are affiliated to both the University of Bombay and the University of Pune.

How does Kaivalyadhama plan to tap the audience who have not been reached as yet such as the bus drivers, juvenile homes, students, executives, general citizens, prisoners etc.?

Kaivalyadham has been working with rail engine drivers, bus drivers, special needs children, prisoners, etc. through its multiple research projects. We have partnered with the Central and Western railway and have begun Yoga training classes for their employees. We have a yogic hospital which caters to all kinds of people, from a farmer to an executive to judges.

Any plans to rope in celebrities to advocate and spread the cause of Yoga? 

It is done whenever necessary. In the program organised on 21st June, we had actors like Elli Avram and Madhoo joining us. In the past, we have had actors and  other prominent personalities promoting the cause of Yoga.

What do we learn from the International Day of Yoga? It’s high time for us to switch over to the healthy alternative in living, Yoga and make it an integral part of your life.

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