Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN Newsletter, Issue - September 2012  

Himalayan Yoga and Meditation Shibir

by Dr. Shirin Venkat

September 2012. Pune, India.
It is with great delight and humility that this report is submitted at the lotus feet of Swami Rama who gets it all done Himself and we suffer the illusion of doership! So here we are, all excited and thrilled to share the wonderful experience of the three days 14, 15 and 16 September 2012!

We had 35 registrations – we had aimed at 40 and we realized that we could hold no more and with the faculty we were 39! The Venue was Pratap Hall at Alpa Bachat Bhavan, Pune, India. 

14 th September 2012, 5 am saw us ( Shri Raghavendraji, one of the Mantra Initiators of our tradition; Shri RamPrakash, yoga instructor; Dr. V. Venkat; and Dr. Shirin Venkat) ringing the bell at the venue. The staff opened the gates wide and took us in. We set up the Hall with Swami Rama s photo placed on the Table and a silver lamp with 7 wicks in front and some fruits placed as Prasad.

The participants were requested to come by 5:30 am. Twenty nine participants arrived, and we welcomed them. We started with Shri Raghavendraji lighting the lamp and Guruvandana by Shri Ramprakash. This was followed by Shri Ramprakash taking the joints and glands class which lasted 1 hour 10 minutes. We took a fifteen minute break at 7:15 am for a welcome cup of tea.

Shri Ramprakash then instructed us on the practice of 3 simple pranayama exercises- Bhramari, Ujjayi and Naadishodhanam; he taught clearly and simply. Shri Raghavendraji in his soft, somber and deeply meditative voice led us through Soham meditation. It gave the participants an introduction to our Dhyana based tradition. This session lasted 1 hour 30 minutes and at 9:15 am we had a delicious breakfast of puffed rice and bananas. By 9:45 am we were back into the hall practicing digestive breathing - it was really quite an enlightening experience for at the end of it we felt we had not eaten at all!!

By 10:30 am, Dr. Shirin had set up the LCD projector and laptop to give her presentation on “Why we are here.” She also explained the relationship of the physical/semi-immortal/immortal bodies as taught by Swami Rama- the classic diagram seemed to say it all.

At 11:10, participants joyfully asked questions which were answered by Shri Raghavendraji and Dr. Shirin. Earlier they had been asked to return the feedback forms on day 1 so that their suggestions could be incorporated, in the program. This was helpful to all.

15th September 2012 - The program frame work was the same. However, since Nadi shodhanam was better understood, Shri Raghavendraji led us into alternate nostril breathing without the use of blocking either nostril towards Sushumna breathing, and quite a few participants were wonderstruck when they could actually experience it, as it is such a subtle practice. They attributed it to his gentle presence which was truly appreciated by one and all.

16th September, Sunday - Less than half the participants attended- maybe due to a late night on Saturday, maybe they felt now they knew it all. Yet the pattern was followed till breakfast time after which we had an informal “family” question-answer session during which Shri Raghavendraji and Dr. Shirin shared their personal experiences of the Guru, and this kindled a strange awe, love and curiosity about the science and art as expounded by Swami Rama of the Himalayas. Mr. Govind THakkar was chosen as Guest of Honor for the concluding ceremony as he was the first to arrive,  even on Sunday!  He spoke of his impressions of the workshop which had benefitted him and expressed a keen desire for an ongoing teaching schedule. He said “Don’t let the momentum created die down.” Dr. V. Venkat thanked first of all our Guru lineage and the participants. He expressed profound appreciation of Mr. Yohan Poonawalla for having sponsored the Hall and breakfast. Dr.Venkat then thanked Dr. Devendra Bhosale/ Dr. Suyog and Dr. Varun Shinde, all interns under Dr. Shirin, who not only registered for the course but did all the running around required. Mr. Amit Kaushik studiously compiled the accounts.

Any benefit that might accrue from this effort, we surrender for the alleviation of suffering of all beings as for ourselves we ask only THY WILL BE DONE.

The ongoing activities of the group will be daily practice at home, weekly group practice at a common venue and a refreshers course every 3 months. We humbly place this resolve at the feet of the GURU, SWAMI RAMA and SWAMI VEDA BHARATI and crave THEIR blessings.

Dr. Shirin Venkat


Pune, India

Editor’s Note:

Raghavendra Adiga, a mantra initiator in our tradition,  is the center leader of the Himalayan Centre for Yoga Meditation, Tumkur, Karnataka, India, and is also a member of the AHYMSIN Adhyatma Samiti, or Spiritual Committee.

Ram Prakash is a resident and teacher at Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama (SRSG) in Rishikesh, India.

For more information about the Pune Center of Himalayan Yoga and Meditation, please read: