Isha Trains 11,000 Indian Army Soldiers in Classical Hatha Yoga

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The closing ceremony of the “Yoga for Stress Management and Holistic Wellness” program for serving Indian Army soldiers was conducted in collaboration with Isha, was held on February 16 in Pune, on Friday evening.

The ceremony, which took place at the Milkha Singh Sports Complex, was graced by Sadhguru, Founder of the Isha Foundation, and Lt Gen Ajai Kumar Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, General Officer-Commanding-in-Chief (GOC-in-C) Southern Command, Indian Army along with 10,000 Army personnel and family members. The event was also live-streamed across the Southern Command units, with 40,000 soldiers virtually joining the event.

As part of the collaboration with the Southern Command, over 11,000 serving soldiers underwent a week-long Classical Hatha Yoga training by Isha Hatha Yoga teachers in 23 locations across 9 states falling under the jurisdiction of the command.

In addressing the massive gathering, Sadhguru emphasized, “It is my privilege, and the privilege of all our teachers, to have in some way been useful to the forces.”

Further, Lt Gen Ajai Kumar Singh, PVSM, AVSM, YSM, SM, VSM, GOC-in-C, Southern Command, expressed his appreciation for achieving the desired objective of the training over 10,000 soldiers in Hatha Yoga and elucidated the benefits of Yoga.

Isha launched the program last year in collaboration with the Southern Command of the Indian Army on the occasion of the 77th Independence Day. The collaboration aims to bring holistic wellness to the soldiers, who otherwise undergo a lot of stress under testing conditions.

Subsequently, 56 Isha Hatha Yoga teachers, having completed an intensive 21-week teacher training program at the Isha Yoga Center in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, taught classical Hatha Yoga practices such as Surya Kriya and Angamardana to the soldiers. The training was conducted in nine Indian states through 127 batches in 22 cities, including Jaisalmer, Jhansi, Gwalior, Jamnagar, Pune, Secunderabad, Bengaluru, Coimbatore, and Kannur facilitated through hundreds of Isha volunteers.

The addition of Yoga to their daily routine has helped many soldiers become calmer, more joyful, stress-free, and focused in just seven days of training. This was reflected by one of the soldiers who expressed, “I am very happy with this program because, on the first day, my flexibility was very low, but now I feel a change in my body, and it is very effective in a soldier's routine life. The yoga offered by Isha is also very useful to reduce stress. I hope I will do it daily in my life as a routine. Thank you for conducting these programs for us.”

HDFC Bank Parivartan partnered with Isha to offer the tools of well-being to the soldiers. “Through HDFC’s Parivartan initiatives, our aim has been to have a meaningful impact on society. I have personally benefited from Isha yoga programs and by being a contributor towards the well-being of our brave soldiers has been extremely fulfilling,” said Abhishek Deshmukh, Branch Banking Head, HDFC Bank Maharashtra.

 In response to the overwhelming reception of the tools of self-transformation by the soldiers, the Indian army requested Isha to conduct similar training programs for other Commands. Currently, Isha has started conducting programs at locations under the Central Command, HQ’d Lucknow and Eastern Command, HQ’d Kolkata and will further train over 2,000 soldiers by March 2024.


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