It’s Monday morning. Delhi-based lawyer Daphne Menezes is getting ready to start her day with a Tandav Mudras and Postures class, a yogic practice taught by Dhyan Foundation. Her teachers are 16-year-old Nishtha Ravel and 19-year-old Kunjal Ravel (based out of Kochi), who learnt the practice from Ashwini Guruji of Dhyan Ashram, the inspiration behind Dhyan Foundation (a spiritual and charitable NGO formally launched in 2002). Menezes, 32, feels fitter now; with her high-stress job and managing a young infant, this is a welcome addition to her life. “The one-hour class in the morning is the only pick-me-up I need, it’s invigorating and spiritual practice at the same time. Plus, you can log into the session from the comfort of your own home,” she says.
Dhyan Foundation headquartered in Delhi has centres across the globe and teaches various yogic practices completely free of cost, the way it was taught in ancient gurukuls. Also, it is the only organisation that is housing 100 per cent of BSF rescued cattle from the Bangladesh border, awarded the 2021 Jeev Daya award by AWBI for their exemplary work in the field, among others.
During the pandemic, they moved their classes online with teachers, young in age, but not in experience, taking the sessions. Besides Tandav Mudras and Postures, they also started conducting special yog and dhyan sessions for relief from COVID anxiety, stotra singing, Sanatan Kriya (as laid down by Sage Patanjali) for balancing the body, exclusive yog sessions for children, dhyan classes, specific yog asans on strengthening back and spine.
For Gurgaon-based 64-year-old, retired professional Nandini Ghose, stotra singing, part of ancient yogic practices, is what she looks forward to. Her teacher, 21-year-old, Hyderabad-based Aishwariya Vijaywargi (a disciple of Ashwini Guruji) is helping her not only hit the right notes, but also feel more connected to divine energies, a welcome change during the gloomy lockdown.
Thanks to the power of the internet, the yoga sessions not only see attendance from a global audience but also allow Karima Khan, London-based microbiology teacher with a leading university and a volunteer with Dhyan Foundation, take participants through COVID anxiety relief through yoga and meditation sessions. “We start with the breath and take the participants through special practices that make you feel lighter and de-stress the body and mind,” says Khan, who saw a surge in attendance during the second wave. Equally popular are the Sanatan Kriya sessions conducted by Chennai-based, IT professional Roshni Mohan, another Dhyan Foundation volunteer. “Sanatan Kriya brings the body into a beautiful balance, which is something people are looking for. Our online sessions see people from all ages join in regularly,” she says.
The Foundation plans to continue its sessions online for the foreseeable future. Visit www.dhyanfoundation.com to know more about the various Yog practices.