Testimonials of Life in Yoga Participants
Do you have a personal story of how yoga benefited you? If you would like to share
it by posting on this website, please email to
Mahesh Ramachandran of University of Maryland College Park writes:
I have benefited immensely, both mentally and physically, from yoga and meditation
practice for the past two years. I came to the USA in 2003 as a graduate student,
right after my bachelors in India. The pressure of grad life soon after college
got over me. It came to a point where I had to visit a doctor. I was diagnosed with
clinical ‘Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD)’ (which disrupts concentration) and
was advised to take stimulant medication daily.
Around the same time, I heard about meditation classes in UMD offered by Dr. Narayanan,
and I decided to try it out. The meditation and yoga brought about a big difference
to my life. I started to follow a regular routine of daily activities with 30 minutes
of meditation in the morning everyday. The regularity brought a sense of order to
my life and made me much less stressed. Realizing the long term benefits of this
wonderful practice, I stuck to a regular routine of yoga and meditation practice.
I started going to SSVT on saturdays for the comprehensive yoga session, and stuck
to some of the practices like Kapalabhaati, CRE etc on the rest of the days. Over
time, I realized that I was getting more calm and composed. I was able to face the
world with an unbiased outlook, and with the attitude of an observer. In addition,
I was able to manage the symptoms of ADHD much better.
Since that time, I have been practicing various forms of yoga and I have been able
to integrate a regular regimen of all five forms of yoga into my life: physical,
breath, sound, observation and thought through various practices.
Having experienced the benefits of yoga first hand, I would like to do my part in
making this practice accessible to others to whom it will make a difference.
Dr. Anandu Vernekar, Professor Emeritus of Atmosphere and Oceanic Science from
University of Maryland, College Park, writes
I knew about physical and mental benefits of yoga, but I did not believe that I
was able to attend a yoga class, especially hatha yoga at my age. I was in my mid-seventies
and had several chronic heath problems. In the spring of 2006, I came across a website,
www.desiumd.org, where I found that Dr. Narayanan was teaching breath yoga and meditation
on the University of Maryland campus. I decided to join his class. I attended classes
on the campus, some at his home and also at the SSVT only for breath yoga and meditation.
Dr. Narayanan encouraged me to try hatha yoga. Initially I was hesitant but then
I decided to attend it. In the beginning I had problems with some of the asanas
and I still do, but I kept up with it. I have been doing hatha yoga, breath yoga
and meditation regularly ever since, except when I am out of town. Now, my physical
and mental health has improved significantly. Number of visits to doctor and chiropractor
has reduced considerably compared to that couple of years ago. I feel almost ten
years younger with more energy and less stress.
Ashim Dey, an IIT Graduate and IT Professional from Ellicott City, Maryland writes:
Yoga as practiced by Life in Yoga Foundation has enabled me to get rid of my spinal
chord problem that I had caused by unconsciously trying to do yoga by reading books.
For about 10 years, there was not a single day when I did not feel any back pain.
I could not stand for more than 30 min. Within couple of months after I started
Yoga with the Life in Yoga approach, all my back issues were gone for good. My lifestyle
changed. My behavior changed. My interaction with people changed, and above all,
my attitude towards my own life changed. I started enjoying my life again.
Further, I have started to understand and feel my body, each and every organ, external
and internal. This allows for control of seasonal afflictions like sinus, cold,
viral, flu, acidity etc. -- at least manage their intensity if not completely preventing
them. So I avoid visiting the doctor most of the time.
I have been practicing Yoga Asana since my childhood. I started practicing Asana
everyday since 1994 after I got my lower back hurt while lifting a heavy load. After
being bed ridden for 2 months, I recovered through Asana and naturopathic treatment.
Since then I had been doing asana everyday. But without further guidance and training
or association with any Yoga group, my Asana got distorted slowly. Without my knowledge
I damaged my spinal chord at various positions in 10 years.
I practiced Nichiren Daisonin's Buddhism from 1996 till 2006. But due to the physical
challenges, probably I could not get the full benefit. Raja Yoga provides complete
tuning of body, mind and spiritual thought. It provides eight steps of Yama, Niyama,
Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
In 2006, I started coming to Life in Yoga. I started practicing Yoga from a different
perspective. I worked on all aspects of Raja Yoga, which I had been dreaming about
throughout my life. I had read about Raja Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Jnyana Yoga and Karma
Yoga when I was in school. All of them came together in my practice with Life in
Yoga, and the consequent benefits are noted in the first two paragraphs.
Chandra Misra of Rockville, Maryland writes:
The Yoga practices of Life In Yoga Foundation has brought much positive and life
saving changes in my life.
I have had the privilege of attending classes at Life In Yoga since May of 2006.
My friend Ashok Parashuram introduced me to Life In Yoga.
Over the last several years I have explored several organizations to learn Yoga
and meditation however Life In Yoga was the first place where I felt like I had
found the right combination of techniques and care from the teachers to not only
teach me yoga, meditation and pranayam but also giving me individual attention so
I could work on eliminating my various ailments. After the first few classes I had
finally found what I was seeking. I realized that it was the combination of physical,
breath, and naada, mental and pure observation that resonates for me.
As I approached my 50s I was starting to get pains in my knees and back, also, in
2002 I was hospitalized due to difficulty in breathing. I was diagnosed as having
emphysema and sleep apnea. Following, this diagnosis I was using two inhalers and
a nebulizer. .
After attending and practicing various techniques in Life Of Yoga classes, I have
had a miraculous recovery. My breathing is normal, I sleep well and my knees are
free of pain. My back is strong, I feel energetic and well.
I am forever, indebted to Life In Yoga for the positive and life saving changes
that have taken place in my life. It is my intention to make a positive contribution
towards the work being done at Life In Yoga. I have been trained as a teacher and
will continue to give my time and energy to spread the mission of Life In Yoga.
Ravi Vulli, an IT Professional from Gaithersburg, Maryland writes:
I have customized a routine of exercises that work best for me based on the Life
in Yoga principles. They keep me physically and mentally healthy while also finding
peace within myself in the midst of the ups and downs of life.
I started Yoga around 2003, mostly hatha yoga and meditation. It helped me to some
extent to stay physically healthy and to reduce my stress. As my goal was not just
being physically healthy but much more – to become stress free, to find peace in
life, to realize the true nature of the self and existence – I was never completely
satisfied with my results, and I knew that I was missing something. After practicing
yoga for a few months with the approach of Life In Yoga Foundation, around 2005-6
it opened up a whole new world for me. It filled the gap I was looking for.
The Practices at Life In Yoga Foundation are unique and the best I have come across.
The five fold exercises of Life In Yoga – Physical, Breath, Sound, Thought, Observation
– uses grossest to subtlest techniques. As a result I experienced the deepest level
of cleansing. The approach of Life In Yoga is not just teaching the exercises alone
but also understanding on how they work, which enabled one to progress faster in
With regular practice of Life In Yoga Five-fold exercises for the last few years
I am able to see a gradual transformation within myself. My physical & mental health
improved tremendously. I am able to handle my emotions better and my attitude towards
life has changed. The group meditation practices & Teachers’ training helped me
tremendously in my progress. As a result I am able to feel and sense the blockages
within me and identify the right exercise to clear them.
Although I could able release any amount of stress through regular practice the
more challenging task for me is to free from stress altogether. I quickly understood
from Dr. Narayanan’s teachings that one can achieve that only if one can develop
attitude of acceptance of everything. Once we understand that we are just mere instruments
and do our duty without expecting anything in return for the purpose of divine,
the acceptance becomes much easier. Like most people I found this is very difficult
initially but with dedication, constant effort and regular practice the results
can be easily seen. This makes Life In Yoga a unique Organization where the Practitioner
not only benefited with the exercises but also attending the discussion and lectures
about Nature of Existence.
As every individual is different, the vast variety of exercises developed
by Life In Yoga research helps one to identify the exercise that works best for
the specific individual. I have customized a routine of the five-fold exercises
which works best for me. With ups and downs of life, the Life In Yoga practices
always keeps me physically and mentally healthy while also keeping the peace within