Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Indian inspiration

Revisiting Chennai (previously called Madras) and meeting up again with Professor Jeyachandran after two decades was a sheer delight. I can honestly say this second visit was even more satisfying than my first. He took me to several places and introduced me to various colleagues, parents and children at university - specialising in disability and yoga - two special schools, two teacher training colleges, special olympics sports and a national institute for multiply disabled people. To everyone he praised me for developing the YOU & ME Yoga system, which after all was mainly inspired by him during my first visit. (You may have read about this in The Origin of the YOU & ME Yoga System, chapter 9 The Highlight of my Fellowship.) Making contact with such people was so meaningful. I witnessed excellent management of model centres with remarkable services provided by all concerned for the children that was exceptional! I was so pleased to see how dedicated the yoga is still being taught to special educator trainees and in the schools everyday for 20 - 30 minutes to groups of children from 3 years onwards accompanied by their parent/carer.

Generally, the education for children with special needs is very thorough and family orientated. Of course there is a lot of IT development, equal to here in the West. Children are also taught appropriate skills to help with their particular family line of work, e.g. cooking, farming, sewing, machining, laundry etc. Such vocational training is in addition to the national curriculum. However, the Professor told me that if he had his way, the children would mainly be taught yoga rather than the curriculum because he has seen how helpful yoga can be for their special needs. My return visit was most heartwarming and reassuring.
While in Chennai, Jeychandran also took me with his PA, Kuluusha to visit two ancient Hindu temples. The first was The Venkateshwara Temple at Tirumala to make cosmic union with Vishnu and make one’s wishes come true. This temple is open all day. It is the most attended temple in India. There is never less than 5,000 visitors at anyone time and up to 100,000 on weekends and holiday periods. It’s annual income of 5 billion rupees is ploughed back into hundreds of choutries and charities. It holds a staff of 6,000, including 500 barbers who continually shave off heads of hair of the young and older Hindus - called tonsuring - to act as an offering to Vishnu, the protector. I think I was the only white person there and one of the minority left unshaven! Jeyachandran’s contacts meant we only had to queue for 2 hours (rather than at least 4) to arrive to see the image of Vishnu. When all at once, I was standing in front of a bright light experiencing the overwhelming divine force inviting me to make a wish come true. I made my wish for YOU & ME Yoga practice to benefit as many people as possible.

Two days later we visited Mahabalipuram with his 20 teacher trainees, which was such fun. Here we saw gigantic monolithic and granite temples, caves and statues, built 600 A.D., depicting the Hindu Gods, myths and legends. My early study of the Bhavagad Gita became an awesome reality!

After an incredible time with Professor Jeyachandran experiencing his compelling work and Indian culture. I decide to share my YOU & ME Yoga system with others who wish to benefit from it in whatever way they need. And I am ready to share my system with everyone I can because YOU & ME Yoga is as versatile as those who use it.

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