The Yoga Institute, Santacruz (East), Mumbai, India was founded in 1918 by Shri Yogendraji and is the oldest organized centre of yoga in the world. With a broader vision of becoming a householder to propagate the message of yoga, Shri Yogendraji believed that the benefits of yoga should be shared to all instead of keeping it as a secret for very few. Thus Shri Yogendra became known as the Father of Modern Yoga Renaissance.
Since many people came to learn yoga only as a solution for their health problems, the founder emphasized on teaching yoga as a way of life and to remove obstacles in one’s personality for a better way of living. The Yoga Institute was thus designed more as a ‘Life School’ where one learnt to live. The simplicity, sincerity and non-commercial angle of The Yoga Institute caters to householders and offers guidelines of how to manage self and keep up one’s sanity as well as balance in today’s competitive, tension ridden world.
Spearheading the “Yoga for the Householder” movement in the world, the Institute serves thousand people daily for training, health benefits and consultations. It also offers Yoga teacher-training courses as well as publishes books on yoga therapy, asanas, pranayam, couples counseling, traditional scriptures, ethics for everyday life, and a variety of other subjects on yoga education.
Shri Yogendraji’s son, Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra, who is the President of The Yoga Institute, continues to carry on the Founder’s legacy in a sincere way. World famous Yog Guru, Smt. Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra is the Director of The Yoga Institute and also serves as President of The International Board of Yoga.
Is there a life-school where one learns how to live? The objective of such a life-school of course will not be in helping acquire money, power, or pleasure, but rather in sharing and teaching the art of a healthy way of life at physical, mental and spiritual levels. Caring, mindfulness and discipline will be its hallmark rather than it possessing tall buildings and expansive campus.
All activities that go on here including interpersonal relationships in classrooms and administrative offices will lead to a spiritual awareness. Emotional tensions will get resolved against a larger understanding of the incomprehensible and irresistible twists and turns of life. Whether it is learning of Asanas or learning of yoga sutras, the learning will go on adding to the Satvik experience. The need for specific techniques will diminish in face of a change in values, motivations, attitudes and habits. Yogic living will re-establish the homeostatic balance and treatment of diseases will be a by-product of a yogic life.
The faith in a higher reality will instil a positive approach of life and will definitely lead to a reduction in floating states of anxiety responsible for many psychosomatic and neurotic conditions. One would learn to participate fully in any and all day. This would lead to a joy in living and meaningfulness of life. The life school would prepare men and women to live well in the world again. They will not only learn this but will be able teach it to others as well, through sharing. Can we dream of such centers of learning in the country? It does not matter if we call this life-school “The Yoga Institute” or we call it by other names. There is an overwhelming need today for such life-schools in the society. What we seem to be lacking is not various skills involved in our work or massive information related to it but actual living models and living experiences for the fullness of life.