Every course I have attended with the Art of Living foundation so far, started with a disclaimer “all sessions are mandatory, miss one and you are out”. But here was one course that was a complete exception to the policy. This course had the policy, ”if you feel motivated and would like to come, please do. Else, not a problem (we already got your money :))”. At the same time here was the course that I was so motivated to attend and I wouldn’t mind waking up at 5:00AM on a Saturday just to be on time and not miss a single moment. Wondering what I am blabbering about, it was the Sri Sri Yoga with Dr. Sriram Sarvotham.
If you can, imagine a perfect blend of a yoga practitioner, an Engineer and a gifted teacher with an amazing sense of humor then you will probably get somewhere close to Sriram. A yoga practitioner who can bend and twist his body as though bones only exist for mere mortals, a genius who recites the yoga sutras of Patanjali and offers commentary on the same, a teacher who leads by example and can make you do asanas for nearly 2 hours and in the end you would wonder was it really that long?. I can keep talking about him but can’t do justice. I think Sriram should be called (Dr.)^2 Sriram Sarvotham, one for his PhD in electrical engineering and other for yoga studies.
Now to the course itself, I was apprehensive when I found it was a “yoga” course and split over 2 weekends. The impulsive reaction and the follow up action so far had been to avoid the same. This time around I acted differently and I am happy I did the same. The course was a complete package and had everything for all the layers of existence (want to know more, do a YESPLUS or an Art of Living course). The postures were not new but what was new was the sequence and what kept it fresh was the teacher. The discourses were very original and I was blown away by the way (Dr.)^2 was putting the knowledge across to us.
By the end of the course, I now have a clear understanding of the Gunas(Rajas, Tamas and Satva) and the Doshas(Vata, Pitta and Kapha). I now know a few more pranayamas I have also become very aware of the importance of rest period after an intense yoga session. I loved the way Sriram led the yoga sessions and how he would indicate that some poses as pre-requisite poses for the next level tough poses. The answers to the questions would come out spontaneously and the knowledge flowed effortlessly. On the last day, most of us had sore muscles but all of us had soaring spirits.
Here is a piece of free advice, next time when Sriram is in town and teaching the Sri Sri yoga course, don’t think twice, free up your weekends and just jump in.
On a lighter note, wonder when will the name of the course will change to “Art of Yoga”, hmm . . . we will wait and watch.
ps: if you thought yoga does not build body/muscle strength, next time when you are around babies/kids observe them carefully.