Isha Foundation

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Isha Foundation
Isha logo.JPG
Founded 1992
Founder Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Type Charitable trust
Focus Yoga, social upliftment, ecological conservation
Area served
India, Lebanon, United States, UK, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore
Method Yoga programs, meditation, tree planting, Rural upliftment
5 million
Slogan The silent revolution for Self-realization
Website Isha foundation

Isha Foundation is a non-profit, spiritual organization founded in 1992 by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.[1] 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 5 million volunteers[2] and works in tandem with international bodies like the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.[3]

Isha Yoga[edit]

Sadhguru conducting an Inner Engineering class at BSE Mumbai.

Isha Yoga is the masthead under which the Isha Foundation offers yoga programs. The word isha means "the formless divine".[4] Isha Yoga's introductory flagship program is 'Inner Engineering'. It includes initiation into meditation and pranayama and the Shambhavi Mahamudra.[5] 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.[6][7] A yoga course for the Indian national hockey team was conducted in 1996.[8] Isha Foundation began conducting yoga programs in the United States in 1997[9][10] and, in 1998, yoga classes for life-term prisoners in Tamil Nadu prisons were initiated.[11]

Isha Foundation regularly organises Mahasathsangs with Sadhguru in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka where he gives discourses, conducts meditations and answers the audience's questions.[12] 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.[13][14]


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[citation needed] — 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.[15] 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.[16]

The Isha Institute of Inner Sciences was established in 2006 on 1,200 acres (4.9 km2) of land on the Cumberland Plateau in McMinnville, Tennessee. It houses Mahima Hall, a 39,000-square-foot (3,600 m2) meditation hall.[17]

Social and environmental initiatives[edit]

Project GreenHands[edit]

Saplings being readied for transportation at a PGH nursery.

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 28.9 million trees by over 2 million volunteers.[2] 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.[18] 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. On April 5th 2012, PGH was awarded the “Environmental Award – 2010” by the Department of Environment, Government of Tamil Nadu.[1]

Action for Rural Rejuvenation[edit]

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.[19][20]

Isha Vidhya[edit]

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.[21]

Isha Home School[edit]

Isha Home School premises.

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.


Kiran Bedi, Indian social activist and former Director General of Police, has said about the organization and its founder: "True destiny visiting Isha Foundation & meeting Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev! Amazing teacher of inner engineering".[22]  Suhel Seth has referred to Inner Engineering as "something so well told with such insight!"[23]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The most powerful Indians in 2009: 80–84". Indian Express. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Award for Project Green Hands, The Hindu, June 8, 2010, retrieved on June 8, 2010
  3. ^ "‘Special Consultative Status’ for Isha Foundation". The Hindu. September 12, 2007. Retrieved January 23, 2011. 
  4. ^ "Jaggi Vasudev – Exploring the unlimited". Life Positive. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  5. ^ "In pursuit of peace of mind". Daily News and Analysis. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  6. ^ "The route to 'dharmacracy'". Business Today. 27 November 2008. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "Inclusive Economics: Enabling the World'". Huffington Post. 17 May 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Morale-Booster says Bhaskaran". Indian Express. November 26, 1996. 
  9. ^ "Yoga guru touts peace, not religion". The Tennessean. October 15, 1997. 
  10. ^ "It doesn't take a guru to know which way the stress flows". Dayton Daily News. March 17, 1998. 
  11. ^ "Yoga Brings 'Freedom' to Prisoners". The Hindu. February 16, 1999. 
  12. ^ "Isha's Green Salem goes on stream". The Hindu. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  13. ^ "Isha shows the way". Indian Express. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  14. ^ "‘Mansarovar is beyond words’". Daily News and Analysis. 1 September 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2011. 
  15. ^ "Universality in a Space" (PDF). Inbox 1305. November 2010. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  16. ^ "Spiritual Awakening" (PDF). Society Interiors. September 2006. Retrieved 31 January 2011. 
  17. ^
  18. ^ Corporates partners with Isha foundation to support Project GreenHands, Business Standard, June 6, 2010, retrieved on June 6, 2010
  19. ^ "Isha Foundation launches Centre-funded project". The Hindu. October 13, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Jaggi Vasudev in city on May 7". The Times of India. April 21, 2010. Retrieved October 30, 2010. 
  21. ^ "LIC gives grant to Isha". The Hindu. April 7, 2010. Retrieved February 2, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Kiran Bedi on Twitter". Twitter. February 6, 2014. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  23. ^ "SUHEL SETH on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-04-11.

External links[edit]