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.
Little did I know that in those moments, a decision would be made that would transform my life forever!
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!
One video, two videos, three videos, ten videos! From binge watching Leo, I incessantly went to binge watching Sadhguru!
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!
His way of articulating was so clear, it often made complicated ideas seem foolishly obvious!
“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.
Long story short, I signed up at the beginning of 2019 (talk about a new year’s resolution!), and from then the countdown was on!
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.
While it’s important to talk about my experiences of the actual 4-day inner engineering program, I think it’s just as important to talk about my experiences of the Shambhavi practice and how that’s progressed & evolved over the last 6 months.
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.
It’s so refreshing to see an entire program run by volunteers!
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!
Being in the presence of human beings who are willing to freely offer themselves for the betterment of someone else’s well being is truly beautiful!
#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!
When I say dedicated to your well being, I mean every little detail is considered by the volunteers.
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.
Small things like this are what made me feel as though the entire experience is about my own well being and growth!
#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!
For one, it was incredibly fresh and prepared the same day with fresh ingredients, and two it wasn’t spicy or strange tasting. If anything it tasted awesome and was super easy to digest!
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.
When I did the Shambhavi practice for the first couple times, it almost felt devoid of any experience. That’s contrary to Isha Kriya in which I definitely felt something every time!
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.
For example, I would go to bed at 11:30 PM and i’d be up naturally (without an alarm!) by 5:30 or 6:00 AM.
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:
Doing Shambhavi in the morning is liking drinking 10 espresso shots without the caffeine crash!
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!
My Mondays are now a polar opposite. I wake up fresh, I do my practices and I feel even more energized and ready to go!
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.
It used to take me hours upon hours to complete a menial task, simply because I’d get distracted by 50 different things (the sound of birds chirping, the next door neighbor playing the piano, the news on the TV etc.)
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.
The same things that used to irritate and annoy the heck outta me 6 months ago, don’t anymore!
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.
The more I practice and the deeper my practice becomes, I feel a sense of connection to everything!
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 you’ve been an utter fool all your life is one of the most liberating feelings one can experience!
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”.
I hope you too can feel like a complete fool at some point in your life. I’d rather be a blissful fool than a depressed literate!
#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.
Because of this I feel happy, blissful and at a constant state of peace!
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!
Shambhavi Mahamudra is a key to the shackles of my mind!
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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16 thoughts on “A Comprehensive Review Of Isha Foundation’s Inner Engineering Program!”
Hi Eve! My Name is Reshma. I stumbled upon your blog after registering for Inner Engineering Total which is going to take place in Jan 2020 in Austin, TX. Reading about your experiences with Inner Engineering has definitely increased my anticipation and level of excitement. Thank you for sharing your experience with rest of the world. I have been living in a very illusional world that are of course created by my thoughts to the most part and hopefully Inner Engineering will help me transform the way my thoughts and emotions work.
Reshma, I can’t tell you how happy I am to learn that you have registered for IET early next year. If you let it, it can transform your life in ways you can’t begin to imagine. I was hesitant to share my experiences because I didn’t want anyone to have any biases when doing their own practices. Always remember an experience is only an experience! That being said, I do hope IET is everything you hope it is. Let me know if you have any questions and do keep in touch!
Thanks for this. My experience and characrter type are very similar to yours, however i am doing the online version. I was supposed to do the completion part a couple of weeks ago and had an car accident with leg fractures. So i need to postpone learning the Shambhavi Mahamudra until end of Feb. I also did and still do Isha Kriya nearly all days.
I am very curios what the Shambhavi Mahamudra involves!?! Is it asanas and meditation? how different is it when compared to Isha Kriya?
Hi Alex. Thanks so much for dropping a comment. I’m so sorry to hear about your accident. I do hope you’re able to fully recover in time for IE Total/Completion. That being said, it’s awesome to hear that you’re still consistently doing the Isha Kriya practice! You see maximum benefits only when you maintain the practices consistently. To answer your question about what the Shambhavi involves….I’d love to tell you but I think it’s something you must experience yourself without having anyone spoil it for you. Kinda like watching a movie without the spoilers!
The reason I don’t want to share anything is because it might form a bias in your mind which I don’t want. Just go for the session, be 100% completely involved, have an open mind and see what it does to you! Alex, please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any other questions I may be able to help with. Do keep in touch and let me know how it all goes!
Thank you for writing this post ! I just finished the Inner Engineering book and I was shook to my core. I cried for two days because I felt so overwhelmed its like discovering there’s a better way to live. I wanted to move on to do the course but it was $150 so I wanted to make sure it was worth the investment! I’m going to see Sadhguru in San Fran this 2020 ! Thank you !
Thanks for leaving a comment Bandee. Touched to hear that the book had such a tremendous impact on you! I personally haven’t read it….yet! One thing I can tell you is that you’ve made the right decision to sign up for IE, and that too with Sadhguru! Keep your curiosity strong as you’re only a few months away. I hope it’s a transformative and blissful experience. Let me know if there’s any questions you have!
Thank you for writing this post. Were there ever days you felt like you had to force yourself to do the Kriya? I was a part of IEO with its completion being in Dallas, TX Nov 2019. I stopped doing the kriya 30 days later because I didn’t see the results I wanted to see and I was getting to the out of bed and to the practice every day later and later. Anyway, thanks again for sharing!
Cole, thanks for leaving a comment. I responded to you by email and I will relay a similar message here for everyone’s benefit. See it works like this…..when you were a child did you stop trying to get up and walk every time you fell down? When it came to learning the alphabets did you say it’s too many to know and call it quits? No you persevered!
Shambhavi Mahamudra is no different. If learning the alphabets takes effort to learn, what makes you think that knowing the nature of your existence will happen in 30 days? Your story is like mine in many ways, so I can relate! The spark inside of us requires some effort to ignite, that’s all.
My friend I can tell you that once this spark ignites within you, your world will set ablaze!
I’ve been doing my practices for the last 12 months and it’s become one of the most important things in my life. I don’t start my day without doing Shambhavi and when I come back from work in the evening, I do it again. I don’t even know why I do it, it just feels amazing! Ultimately that’s all that matters really.
It seems to me that all you need Cole is a little bit of a spark. Please do me this favour: please attend next Satsang in your center. Sit there as you sat in IE completion. Just sit there and imbibe! Don’t formulate any ideas, simply sit. Unfortunately with COVID-19, the in person Satsang’s have been cancelled in most centres. However, I just recently attended a virtual online Satsang. It’s well worth your while attending the next one! Email me if you require more information. Hope you can rekindle the spark!
Great article. I enjoyed reading every line of it. I have just finished inner engineering book and as well as inner engineering course during this pandemic lockdown. I can already see the effectiveness of the course in me. I am able to a better person and take care of my family and work without stress. Could you please tell me what should be best to practice on a daily basis in the morning? Meditations and Yoga mentioned in the Isha app/web? Could you tell me what did you practice everyday?
Thanks for your time. Stay Blissed!
So nice to hear! Thank you for stopping by and dropping a comment. Did you finish Inner Engineering Online? How was it? I’d love to know! To answer your question about what to practice in the mornings.
Assuming you have not been initiated into Shambhavi, I suggest you practice Isha Kriya as well as Simha Kriya daily (both of these can be found on YouTube – Sadhguru channel). Before I took IE Total (an in person program), I used to practice Isha Kriya twice a day (once morning, once evening).
It’s an incredible tool, and often times people underestimate how powerful/impactful it can be! My recommendation therefore to you is to start doing Isha Kriya regularly. You can also couple that with Simha Kriya which is a simple tool to improve your immunity and lung capacity. Once you do get initiated into Shambhavi (post lockdown whenever in person programs start again), then you can do Shambhavi from that point on. I hope this answers your question. If not, please feel free to write to me!
Many thanks for your quick response.
I completed the inner engineering course online a month ago.
As recommended, I am starting my day with Isha Kriya, Simha Kriya and Upa Yoga. When I meditate my mind still wonders sometimes and I need to pull it back and focus on the core of meditation. I am not sure if this will get better as I continue to practice. During the inner engineering course and this everyday practice, I observed that my behaviour is pleasant. I was never addicted to coffee or tea but still, I can give it away and I don’t consume them as a compulsion.
I hope in the coming months I can alter my sleep duration. I can still wake up early for this but I feel sleepy later in the day. I am also a beginner for Surya Namaskar and finding it slightly difficult. I realised my body is not that flexible.
I am loving to start my day with Isha Kriya, Simha Kriya, Upa Yoga. I include Isha music for stretches.
Very nice to hear from you again! Hope things are going well during the pandemic.
About thoughts, thoughts are there just like the same way your heart is beating. Right now the mind is compulsive so thoughts are happening even when we don’t want them. It’s okay, let the thoughts come! They cannot harm us. Instead of trying to control the thoughts, try to see them for what they are….that is, harmless thoughts and mind chatter.
The more you practice, the more you will see your compulsions coming down. This was especially true for me with the Shambhavi practice. I cannot wait for you to be initiated into Shambhavi! I will love to hear your experience then.
About flexibility, don’t worry about it. I too feel I lack flexibility when doing hatha yoga. It’s okay it will come with time. That’s fantastic that you’re able to do all 3 practices in the morning. Keep the fire blazing and see where it takes you! As always, continue to keep me updated on your progress. Be well and be safe wherever you are.
Great article. I met a woman who I instantly had a connection with .. shes the love of my life.. and go figure shes 63 and Im 66 .. but we are both much younger physically and mentally. She has take the inner Engineering and the 21 day post. She loves me but she points out things about me – that I have negative thoughts and tend to judge. She loves me a lot and is so supportive. She wants me to take the course. Unfortunately in times of COVID .. online is my only option right now. She says we can raise our relationship so many levels it would bliss. How is this course going to solidify a relationship when I get the impression that LOVE between two people is in a way minimized?? Does the teachings tend to support open relationships? Love everyone around you not just your partner?
You have to forgive me but I am a literal person so it makes it a tad harder for me to fully understand.. can you have a normal loving supportive relationship even after inner engineering??? That’s my worry. She is always happy, smiling and full of energy .. I don’t want to disappoint but also not lose what we have.. any advice or comment is appreciated!
Let me first start off by saying that I am humbled by your openness and willingness to share. This alone is beautiful! I’m so happy you read my post and decided to get in touch. There are lots of questions so I will try to answer each from the best of my experience/knowledge.
Should you take inner engineering online? Yes you absolutely must! With the pandemic, most in person sessions are cancelled unfortunately. However, IEO is by itself an incredibly powerful tool for one’s inner wellbeing. I know people who have taken inner engineering in person and then retaken it online a few years later, and they were shocked at how transforming it was. You must take it, and there’s a discount happening now!
How will inner engineering solidify your relationship? This one is hard to answer because I myself am not in a relationship so I can only speculate. I think after IE people tend to move more from compulsiveness to consciousness, and if you look at it from that standpoint, what’s better to be in: a compulsive relationship or a conscious one? Obviously a conscious one where both parties are not constantly seeking/extracting something from the other.
Can you have a normal loving, supportive relationship after inner engineering? Absolutely you can! In fact, relationships can blossom into a beautiful possibility where 2 people are together striving toward the same thing.
I hope this helps. If you have more questions, please let me know. Thanks Hendrik!
“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.”
Who told you that you can get away doing it at least once a day. I cant find this info anywhere, not even said by Sadhguru. Just trying to confirm I can do it once a day and that still is beneficial for me thanks.
Kenny, this is based on my experience from the program. I suggest you contact Isha directly to clarify. I think this will be best. Let me know how it goes and thanks again for leaving a comment!