I’ve Held Myself From Writing This Review For Months Now!
2018 Summer/Fall: I was on holiday in Lisbon, Portugal and it was one of those rare moments when I wasn’t out and about exploring. The fatigue of having walked and explored for the last several days had taken its toll on me, so I decided it’s best to retire at the hotel for a couple hours, recuperate and then make my way out during the night.
During those restful hours, I lay in bed binge watching Leo Gura of Actualized.org. For those of you who don’t know, Leo is in his own way a guru when it comes to the world of self realization. His YouTube channel features a ton of awesome content that’s well worth checking out! (Credit: Actualized.org)
Anyways, as I was watching this video about Spiral Dynamics, Leo mentioned a name: Sadhguru. Leo was talking about the various stages of the spiral and in this particular stage, he was mentioning examples of individuals who are in that stage. “Who is this Sadhguru?” I pondered. The way Leo was describing him, made me want to check him out even more! And so I did!
As all good things, my vacation came to an end in a few days and I traveled back to Canada to return to work and the routine of life. But the more videos I watched of this man, the more enthralled I became! In all my life, I had yet to come across a person who spoke with as much clarity and precision as Sadhguru did. I was flabbergasted and I absolutely loved it!
“How can anyone not want to listen to what this man has to say!?” I thought. If you’re looking to get real, Sadhguru is about as close to real as you can get. And I say that with zero hesitation! He tells it to you the way you need to hear it, and if you’re lucky you might just get some humor and wit for extra! (Credit: Sadhguru – The Grace)
I could go on about the profound wisdom of this man, but that might require me to write a book. Anyways, during one of my binge watch sessions I stumbled upon a video of Sadhguru talking about this thing called Inner Engineering. The more I listened, the more I knew that this Inner Engineering is exactly what I needed at this point in my life.
What Is Inner Engineering Anyways?
Simply said, inner engineering is a technology for one’s well being. In the 4 day inner engineering program you learn a yogic practice (Shambhavi Mahamudra kriya) that’s designed to improve your overall well being. The video below explains it much better than I can (Credit: Sadhguru).
Important to note that there are different kinds of Inner Engineering programs:
There’s also an inner engineering retreat program, where you spend about a week in the yoga center to go through the class. If I had more than 4 days to spare, I’d have definitely considered taking the retreat! As I only had limited availability on the weekdays, I took the 4 day inner engineering total program. You can read more about the different programs here!
My Expectations Before Taking The Program!
I’ve never done yoga or taken any spiritual or well being type programs before, so in that sense I didn’t know what I’d be going into. Even still, I had incredibly high expectations for the program for 2 reasons:
- Firstly, I was already practicing Isha Kriya (a free guided meditation offered by Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation), and quickly realizing how immensely it was transforming me!
- Secondly, inner engineering had a ton of positive testimonials online and all over YouTube & the internet in general. Not to mention, celebrities were also noticing transformational changes!
It’s not an understatement to say I was expecting to be blown away!
To make this review post as valuable as it can be to you the reader, I feel it needs to be structured in a certain way.
That’s mainly the reason I held myself from writing this post until now; I wanted to complete at least 6 months of practice before talking about my experiences. That’s not to say there aren’t any short term experiences, in fact you might be surprised! Choosing to wait was just my own personal decision.
The next part of this post will be divided into 2 parts: part 1 will talk about my experiences during the actual inner engineering program; part 2 will talk about my experiences of the kriya itself over the last 6 months.
Part 1: Inner Engineering Actual Program Experiences!
I don’t think it’s fair to share what exactly the program consists of because that’s something you all must find out yourselves. So instead of telling you about what we did in days 1-4, I’d rather share my experiences of the overall program and what my thoughts were!
#1 It Gets Physically Intense!
Either that or I’m just in horrible shape! Jokes aside, as part of learning the Shambhavi practice, we were required to first learn certain postures or asanas. If you’ve never done yoga before, this can be a little challenging. However, I can’t say anyone really failed to do these. Mostly all of us were able to do the asanas after practicing them a few times and learning from our mistakes.
The “physically intense” came more from having to repeat the asanas several times. Looking back at it now, I certainly see the value of having done this! As far as yoga postures go, practice definitely makes perfect!
#2 It’s All About The Volunteers!
For those of you who don’t know, Isha is a foundation run by volunteers. To be specific, more than 9 million volunteers worldwide! If you think about it, these 9 million people must’ve all gotten some value in order to be investing their time and energies towards this foundation.
Inner engineering is exactly that. It’s the volunteers that cook for you, it’s the volunteers that greet and welcome you, it’s the volunteers that offer practice corrections, and it’s the volunteers who do the actual setup!
Note: As per my knowledge, the trained teacher is also a volunteer. Everyone in essence is there by their own freewill!
#3 It’s All About You!
The program is structured around you the participant. It sounds a little bizarre because aren’t all programs structured around the participants!? No that’s not what I mean. What I mean is the entire 4 days are 100% dedicated to your well being!
For example, volunteers will be super quiet when opening/shutting the doors so as to not disrupt participants during the session. In my session, an older lady had an issue with coughing continuously, so one of the volunteers was kind enough to bring her a glass of water.
#4 The Food Was On Another Level!
We were served lunch on 2 days: Saturday and Sunday. Both lunches were 100% vegan based, and as a non vegan who enjoys a juicy steak, I gotta say the food served to us was on another level!
Although I gotta admit, food was the last thing on my mind. When we were in the thick of things on Saturday/Sunday, you’re not really thinking about food, nor does your body crave for it. Your energy levels are just so naturally high, that you don’t require any nutrition!
#5 It Wasn’t Quite What I’d Expected
After my incredibly intense experiences with Isha Kriya, I was expecting to be for lack of better words “blown away”! To my disappointment, it didn’t quite materialize that way. The 4 days were an incredible experience but overall I felt slightly disappointed that I wasn’t able to reach the peaks I did with Isha Kriya.
Sadhguru himself has said that the Shambhavi kriya is not geared towards an experience, so I guess this kinda does make sense (Credit: Mystics Of India).
As you’ll see later on in this post (when I talk about my 6 month experience of Shambhavi), a lot of my present experiences of the kriya are totally different than when I first took the program!
Something To Keep In Mind!
The above points are just experiences and nothing more! Don’t let it be the deciding factor for whether you take the program or not. If you’re truly concerned about your well being, then taking Inner Engineering will be a no-brainer!
Also, don’t dwell too much on your experiences. As you’ll see below, they can easily change over time!
Part 2: Shambhavi Mahamudra Kriya Experiences! (Post Inner Engineering)
It’s been close to 6 months since I took Inner Engineering, and I’ve not missed a single day of practice. The first 40 days I successfully managed to complete the practice twice a day (as recommended in the program).
This twice a day for 40 days is called a mandala (or cycle). After this you must continue doing the practice at least once a day. Proud to say I’ve managed to maintain my twice a day routine for most days! (i’ll miss doing it twice a day maybe once a week or so!)
#1 My Sleep Quota Has Dropped By A Few Hours!
Before doing Shambhavi I used to sleep on average 7.5-8 hours every night. On weekends that number would easily extend to 10 hours of sleep! Somewhere around the 2nd & 3rd months of practice, I noted a reduction in how many hours I sleep.
And I wake up feeling fresh and ready to start the day! Now I know it’s not as much of a sleep reduction as most people have experienced, but it’s enough to have an impact on my life!
One thing I realize is that my diet is still pretty average. I still eat red meat, chicken, and fish and my vegetable consumption should be more than it is. This is an area I’m looking to improve going forward!
#2 My Energy Levels Have Exploded!
This is especially true for me after doing my morning practice! Just the other day someone at work was asking me how the practice has impacted me on a physical level, and here’s what I had to say:
And it’s not an exaggeration one bit. The feeling of doing Shambhavi on a Monday morning at 6:00 AM is hard to describe. Monday mornings were always a drag for me, especially because my sleep schedule would be totally ruined on the weekend. Come Monday morning, I’d feel groggy, tired, and ready to end the day before it even started!
The best part is that this feeling lasts throughout the day. I come home after work and do my evening practice and at that point I’m fully recharged to go for another 6 hours!
#3 I Am Not Distracted Easily!
Another thing I’ve noticed is that i’m able to focus on a task and give my utmost attention to it without being distracted. Before this wasn’t the case.
If there was something that used to take me 4 hours to do before, now I only take 2 hours (and in some cases even 1 hour!). I’m able to concentrate more without constantly being distracted or preoccupied by what’s around me. The obvious benefit to this is that my work becomes much more easier and feels more manageable! That feeling of overwhelm has disappeared.
#4 I Hardly Ever Freak Out Anymore!
If you knew me 6 months ago, you’d have quickly realized that it doesn’t take much to get me agitated/frustrated. Yup, I used to get bent outta shape pretty quick! Fortunate to say that those days are well and truly behind me, at least for the most part.
It’s almost like i’m in a constant state of relaxation. When a stressful situation arises, I automatically respond instead of reacting. In a sense it almost feels as though a switch has turned on inside of me which prevents me from freaking out. That’s not to say I won’t ever freak out, it’s just that those instances are much less frequent!
#5 I Feel A Sense Of Compassion To Everything Around Me!
This one’s a little hard to articulate in words. Sometimes there are things that you just have to experience for yourself to truly understand. This is one of those things! In any case, let me see if I can explain this.
I feel a sense of connection to the tree, I feel a sense of connection to the blade of grass, I feel a sense of connection to the ant!
This sense of connection extends to pretty much all things life. And because I feel a sense of connection to everything, I feel the need to love and care for everything. It’s very weird describing this in words, but this is by far one of the most beautiful experiences of doing the kriya!
#6 I Feel Like A Complete Fool, And I Love It!
All this while I was conducting my life based on things I felt I needed. I thought I needed wealth, I thought I needed power, I thought I needed love, I thought I needed expensive material things. My practices have shown me that I need none of these things. If anything, it’s shown me that I am complete the way I am. If I am “everything”, why do I need “anything”!?
Realizing I’ve been conducting my life unconsciously all this while has been truly eye opening, so much so that I don’t even give my “logical mind” all that much attention anymore. If anything, I constantly challenge my logical mind because I know how deceptive it can be when it comes to realizing “truth”.
#7 I Feel Happy & Blissful!
Earlier in the post I spoke about how the Shambhavi Mahamudra kriya hadn’t exactly “blown” me away when I first took Inner Engineering. Passing the 6 month mark, I’m happy to report that this has changed! Nowadays my practices are much more deeper, more intimate, and more intense.
At present, nothing in my life needs to be different. Everything the way it is is perfect. Consciously accepting this has allowed me to grow to levels I wouldn’t dare to imagine possible!
Life Is A Beautiful But Short Journey!
Taking the Inner Engineering program has been transformative to say the least. In many ways it’s like waking up from a deep slumber; a slumber of 20+ years where I unconsciously stumbled through life simply because society and culture told me to do so!
The more I practice, the more I unlock and free myself from the illusion that are my thoughts and emotions. You must also one day wake up from this deep slumber. Life is too beautiful to not experience! Your movie has already started, don’t you wanna take control and direct it!? Because like all things, your movie will soon come to an end. Make it a beautiful movie! May your life be filled with bliss and joy!
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