Isha Foundation’s activities serve as a thriving model for human empowerment and community revitalization throughout the world. Supported by 2 million volunteers worldwide, the foundation has initiated several large-scale social projects, most notably Action for Rural Rejuvenation, Isha Vidhya and Project GreenHands.
The foundation’s activities have touched over 7 million people, and reach out to individuals irrespective of their economic, cultural or religious background. The foundation’s social outreach projects are designed to be easily replicable and scalable, and serve as a thriving model for human empowerment and community revitalization throughout the world.
The foothills of the Velliangiri mountains, forty kilometers from the city of Coimbatore in South India, serve as home for the Isha Yoga Center. Situated on 150 acres of lush land, it is surrounded by the thick forests of the Nilgiri Biosphere, a reserve forest with abundant wildlife. The Center is the residence for an active international community of Brahmacharis, full-time volunteers and visitors. Established by Sadhguru as a powerful sthana (a center for inner growth), it is unique in its offering of all the four paths of yoga – gnana (knowledge), karma (action), kriya (energy), and bhakti (devotion). Every week, thousands of people converge at the center to seek out inner peace and wellbeing.
The focal point of the center is the Dhyanalinga. Dhyanalinga is a powerful and unique energy form which creates the possibility for every human being who comes within its sphere to experience life in its totality. In the metaphysical sense, Dhyanalinga is a Guru, and a doorway to liberation. Housed within a pillarless 250,000-brick dome structure, Dhyanalinga is a profound meditative space and stands as a living promise to nurture innate spirituality.
The Theerthakunds are a part of the Outer Parikrama of the Dhyanalinga Complex. With powerfully consecrated rasalingas, they serve as a preparatory tool to enter the Dhyanalinga. A dip in these waters has an uplifting effect on physical health and wellbeing and is an ideal preparation to receive the divine energies of the Dhyanalinga.
Adiyogi Alayam and Spanda Hall are large program halls which are the venues for many residential programs at the ashram. Adiyogi Alayam is an 82,000 sq. ft. columnless hall with unique and path-breaking architecture, which can accommodate thousands of people at a time. The distinctive Spanda Hall is a 64,000 sq. ft. meditation hall and program facility that is the venue for several advanced Isha Yoga programs.
Also located at the ashram are the Isha Rejuvenation Center and the Isha Home School. Isha Rejuvenation is an opportunity to experience inner peace and the joy of a healthy body. The center, under the guidance of Sadhguru, offers many dynamic programs aimed at bringing vibrancy and proper balance to life energies, crucial for uprooting or preventing chronic ailments. Scientifically structured, the programs uniquely combine allopathic, ayurvedic & siddha therapies with the sublime wisdom of ancient Indian sciences and spirituality.
Isha Home School is a residential school which aims at providing high quality education in a home-like setting. The school’s emphasis is on integrating all aspects of life into the educational process. In addition to conventional academic requirements, emphasis is placed on exploring and pursuing various co-curricular activities, such as art, music and drama. The school is staffed by talented international faculty who recognize that the true value of education does not lie in rote learning, but rather in the inculcation of life skills and in the wholesome development of the child.
The Birth of Isha Yoga Center
Sadhguru: When we started looking for a place to establish Dhyanalinga, they showed me any number of places all over Tamil Nadu. Whatever they showed me, I went on saying, “This is not it,” “This is not it,” “This is not it.” Everyone was driven to a point of frustration – “What is it that you are looking for?”
Then, one day, we just happened to drive down to the place where the ashram is located today, late in the evening around 6:45. As we were driving down a bend, I saw the Seventh Hill. I just stood there for a few moments and I knew where I was supposed to go. At the time there was no road to enter this space where the ashram is. It was completely closed. We cut our way through the forest and when we reached the place I said, “This is it. We want this place.”
The people around me said, “We don’t even know who owns it, we don’t know whether it is for sale.” I told them it didn’t matter and asked them to find out who the owners were.
The land was owned by a wealthy family in Coimbatore who had no need to sell land. Everyone around me was convinced there was no way they would sell the land, but I told them to just go and ask. On the eleventh day after we stepped on this land, the land was registered in Isha Foundation’s name.
Isha Institute Inner-sciences
Nestled on a breathtaking mountain top in the beautiful Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee, USA, Isha Institute of Inner-sciences is established as an infrastructure for raising human consciousness – fostering global harmony through individual transformation. The Institute, spread over 1300 acres, offers a variety of programs that provide methods for anyone to attain physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. It is a unique space created for human beings to deepen their experience of life, and to reach their ultimate potential. In that sense, the center will also be unique in offering spiritual methods in North America that have been developed over thousands of years among the yogic circles in India. Sadhguru has said, “This is a step to create a space that will witness mystical dimensions that have never been witnessed in this part of the world.”
Isha Institute of Inner-sciences will remain an essential resource for seekers wishing to explore the ancient science of yoga in all its depth and dimensions for many generations to come. The Institute is open 365 days a year and welcomes visitors from all walks of life. At the institute is Mahima, a 39,000 square-foot free-spanning meditation hall consecrated by Sadhguru to effectively be able to serve a seeking population of millions in the Western world.
On Mother’s Day, May 12, 2013, Sadhguru and around 300 Isha meditators from the US and Canada gathered at San Juan Bautista, California to plant 1008 olive trees on the hills of the newly founded Isha Center – a 62-acre parcel of land donated by an Isha volunteer a few years ago. Each of the trees was given a name by the person who planted it. The first tree was planted by Sadhguru, and he named his tree Bhooma. After a morning of tree planting, a scrumptious brunch was laid out by local volunteers. Later, everyone gathered near the wide canopy of the buckeye tree, under which Sadhguru conducted a sathsang. He remembered how the yoga center in India took root many years ago, how it has grown since, and how he wishes to see the same in California. He announced that by September 15, 2015, there would be a consecrated space and infrastructure at the California center. The volunteers are all fired up to make it happen!