|Founder(s)||Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev|
|Area served||India, Lebanon, United States, UK, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore|
|Focus(es)||Yoga, social upliftment, ecological conservation|
|Method(s)||Yoga programs, meditation, tree planting, Rural upliftment|
|Motto||The silent revolution for Self-realization|
Isha Foundation is a non-profit, spiritual organization founded in 1992 by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. It is based at the Isha Yoga Center near Coimbatore, India and at the Isha Institute of Inner Sciences at McMinnville, Tennessee in the United States. The foundation offers yoga programs under the name Isha Yoga. It has over 2 million volunteers and works in tandem with international bodies like the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
Isha Yoga is the masthead under which the Isha Foundation offers yoga programs. The word isha means "the formless divine". Isha Yoga's introductory flagship program is 'Inner Engineering'. It includes initiation into meditation and pranayama and the Shambhavi Mahamudra. Yoga classes are also conducted for corporate leaders to introduce them to what Sadhguru calls "inclusive economics," to introduce a sense of compassion and inclusiveness into today's economic scenario. A yoga course for the Indian national hockey team was conducted in 1996. Isha Foundation began conducting yoga programs in the United States in 1997 and, in 1998, yoga classes for life-term prisoners in Tamil Nadu prisons were initiated.
Isha Foundation regularly organises Mahasathsangs with Sadhguru in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka where he gives discourses, conducts meditations and answers the audience's questions. These Mahasathsangs are used as platforms to encourage tree-planting activities. Isha Foundation organises annual yatras to Mount Kailash and the Himalayas under the banners Kailash Manasarovar Sojourn and Himalayan Dhyan Yatra. The Kailash Sojourn led by Sadhguru is among the largest groups to make the trip to Kailash with 514 pilgrims making the journey in 2010.
The foundation has established two ashrams: the Isha Yoga Center at the Velliangiri Mountains near Coimbatore and at the Isha Institute of Inner Sciences at McMinnville, Tennessee. The Isha Yoga Center houses the Dhyanalinga yogic temple, a space for meditation that does not ascribe to any particular faith or belief system. It was consecrated by Sadhguru in 1999. The dome that houses the actual linga — which is 13 feet 9 inches (4.19 m) in height and made of very high density granite rock — is a pillarless ellipsoidal dome that is 76 feet (23 m) in diameter and 33 feet (10 m) high. It is constructed entirely of natural materials to ensure longevity. Burnt clay bricks were used with mud mortar and massive granite blocks without steel, cement or concrete. The Linga Bhairavi temple, a feminine deity, is housed beside the center. The center houses the Spanda Hall, a 64,000-square-foot (5,900 m2) meditation hall. The Isha Rejuvenation Center is at the ashram — an Ayurveda and Siddha spa that offers massages, treatments and programs.
The Isha Institute of Inner Sciences was established in 2006 on 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) of land on the Cumberland Plateau. It houses the Mahima Hall, a 39,000-square-foot (3,600 m2) meditation hall.
Social and environmental initiatives
Project GreenHands (PGH) is a grassroots ecological initiative established under the aegis of Isha Foundation by Sadhguru in 2004 that seeks to restore ecological balance and maintain proper environmental health in Tamil Nadu. Toward this end, PGH aims to increase the green cover in Tamil Nadu by 10% and has successfully overseen the planting of more than 8.2 million trees by over 2 million volunteers. PGH was felicitated by the government of India in June 2010 with the Indira Gandhi Paryavaran Puraskar: the highest award bestowed on organizations and individuals for their contribution to restoring and protecting the environment. In 2006, PGH organized the planting of 852,587 saplings which earned the project a place in the Guinness Book of World Records. PGH has been involved in rural and urban greening campaigns across South India and has over the years partnered with the government, corporations, schools, colleges and NGOs in environmental initiatives.
Action for Rural Rejuvenation
Action for Rural Rejuvenation (ARR) is a multi-phase program aimed toward improving the overall health and quality of life of the rural poor. ARR was established by Sadhguru in 2003 and seeks to benefit 70 million people in 54,000 villages across South India. As of 2010, ARR has reached over 4,200 villages and a population of over 7 million people.
Isha Vidhya, an education initiative, aims to raise the level of education and literacy in rural India by providing quality English-language-based, computer-aided education to rural children. Isha Vidhya provides full scholarships for its students based on their economic situation. There are seven schools in operation which educate around 3000 students.
Isha Home School
Isha Home School is a residential school founded in 2005 by Sadhguru, situated at the Isha Yoga Center. Students reside and learn in a home-like atmosphere which combines elements of the Montessori method of teaching with traditional classroom teaching. Children are encouraged to experiment and explore subjects and develop an interest in them with teachers and house parents playing the roles of guides and mentors.
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