HIMALAYAN YOGA AND MEDITATION CAMP, 12TH – 19TH APRIL 2009
at SWAMI RAMA SADHAKA GRAMA, RISHIKESH, INDIA
At the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, in the green and peaceful environment of Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram, Rishikesh, a group of around 50 participants from different parts of India came together to learn, practice, and experience the spiritual teachings of the Himalayan yogis as taught by the Rev. Shri Swami Rama of the Himalayas and carried forward by his close disciple, Pujya Gurudev Shri Swami Veda Bharati.
The goal of the Science of Yoga is mastery of the self. Integrating the ancient teachings of the East with the modern approaches of the West, the Himalayan Tradition of Yoga Meditation as taught by Swami Rama, teaches specific scientific, systematic and internal methods of training the human mind towards such self mastery.
Being taught by different disciples of Swami Rama and by Sri Swami Veda himself throughout the world, the teachings are also imparted by Swami Veda Bharati in a traditional Gurukulam system in the ashram he established in Rishikesh, India, called Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram. The Himalayan Tradition Yoga and Meditation camp held here in the month of April 2009 was organized and conducted by the effervescent efforts of the senior Gurukulam students after attaining training in the teachings and practices of the Tradition over a period of time under the loving guidance and inspiration of Pujya Gurudev.
In the duration of this 7-day residential camp, the teachings of the Tradition were organized to introduce and give a direct experience of the different basic practices of yoga meditation to the participants. Swami Rama says there are only three things required on the path of yoga – Practice, Practice, Practice. Following this principle, the day schedule mainly consisted of instruction in basic practices of hatha-yoga as meditation, preparations for meditation, various breathing and relaxation procedures as well as an introduction to shat kriyas. Along with relevant lectures by experienced guest lecturers, pertaining to ayurveda, yoga therapy, emotional purification and meditation, the participants also reveled in satsanga, devotional bhajans and kirtans. The sharing was kept interactive through group discussions and sharing of thoughts among all the participants as well as instructors.
In a normally international environment of culturally diverse people at SRSG, this camp, however, was held exclusively for Indian devotees and sadhakas. All the teachings were conducted primarily in Hindi. Moreover, to render an ambience reflective of traditional Indian Ashram system, other aspects like serving of food was also done in the traditional way, in the spirit of the old adage observed by every Indian home : “atithi devo bhava”.
Participation in activities was regular and zestful, thus bringing forth the desired goal of the camp – emotional relaxation and purification, an insight into the spiritual aspect of self, as well as creating a motivation in the sadhakas for regular personal practice of yoga meditation in their daily lives. As the meaning of satsang conveys, being in connection with like-minded people on the spiritual path, a platform for continued collaboration amongst different sadhakas and teachers was also laid down by the means of this camp.
It was a delight to witness people of all ages, and from all walks of life, coming together and uniting as one yogic family, under the love and presence of our Gurudev Swami Veda. The highlight of the camp was the unhindered flow of guidance and inspiration flowing through the guided meditations and lectures by Swamiji himself. The love and grace of Guru united all hearts and set them on the path of yoga, the effect of which was felt in the exuberant and joyous countenance of all the participants when they were leaving the ashram at the end of the camp. This yoga meditation camp was an initiative to carve a path for more and more like-minded devotees to join in learning the art of joyful living as taught by Shri Swami Rama of the Himalayas and walk together on the path of self transformation and mastery of the self.
Surrendering all the actions to the Guru and the Guru lineage.
Editor's Note: For more about Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, please see