Yoga Marga : Review on Isha Rejuvenation program

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Based on a reader request, I am posting a review on the Yoga Marga program. I had mentioned briefly earlier in my Master cleanse post. Today I will share the experiences about this program which I collected from my mother. She attended this program in December 2013 for a period of 21 days at Isha yoga center  Coimbatore India.  My mom was 47 year old when she attended. Disclaimer : This program is customized for every individual , so do not expect your schedule would look like the one mentioned below.

Yoga Marga is a 21 day nature treatment program which focuses on rejuvenating your body. So if you are looking for weight loss programs, Yoga Marga is not just for weight loss. It is beyond that, but you would lose some weight as a side effect ( what a great side effect!). When I was looking for some preventive care for my mother, to ensure continuity of her good health, I came across Isha rejuvenation programs. In that Yoga Marga is the longest residential program (21 days) , with other short alternative programs like Ayur Sampoorna (7 days) , Ayur Rasayana Intensive (5 days) and Ayur Rasayana (2.5 days). Given my mother was not working at that time, I chose the 21 day option and reached out to Isha rejuvenation contact.

She was not immediately accepted for the program. A pre medical assessment is mandatory before accepting her application. She had to do a self assessment of her health which included our family health history as well.  Once she sent the self assessment, the medical coordinator at the center would reviewed it and asked for additional medical test reports. I had to take my mother for recent lipid profile, thyroid test etc.  After sharing those additional test reports, the team confirmed that she can actually attend the program.  My personal opinion – this is a good screening process to ensure the program can be tailored for individual needs instead of a standard one size fit all approach. Thankfully my mothers application was finally accepted and we booked individual accommodation for her. There is a choice for shared accommodation as well for a lesser price tag.  If you had attended Inner Engineering, or Shoonya earlier, and not doing your practices, you are required to start the practices immediately once your application is accepted.  The initial expectation set to her was to expect 21 days of rigorous schedule and she cannot leave the program mid way.

On her arrival at the center, she had some additional tests and checkup and a customized schedule  of her eating time and food items was prepared, which was not shared with her. She was not required to track by the schedule, but the doctors and organizers ensured that she was given food as per the plan. So if you attend the program, do not expect you might be eating a group meal everyday. Every individual will have a different schedule for food intake. What constitutes in that food will also be customized for every one depending on the nature of your body, and your health conditions. My mother was not even given any solid food for the first 10 days and she was given mostly water , some medicinal herbs, and lentil soups occasionally. Each food item she can take was decided and approved by a set of doctors. The complete rejuvenation program is designed by an amalgamation of Siddha, Naturopathy, Ayurveda and Allopathic treatments.   Hence this is a 21 day residential treatment.

For those 21 days, her schedule was fully occupied. I asked her how a typical day looked.  She had to wake up at 4.45 am. There could be some natural medicinal intake, for example she had to have neem balls. It could be different for you. Followed by guru pooja, Hata Yoga and other kriya practices. At about 6 am they were given oil bath and a visit to Dhyanalinga for an hour long meditation there. Around 11 they were served brunch, and my mother was in water diet and most of the time she was not eating any solid food.  Afternoon they had some break to take care of house keeping like washing clothes etc. Post noon, in the afternoon around 2-4 pm they might listen to some talks by Sadhguru or other videos. About 4pm back to her hour long yoga and kriya practices. Post that, she was required to do some physical volunteering work like cleaning, walking etc. for an hour. After 6pm it was evening food intake time followed by some talks and other practices. There were also some Shoonya practices 3 times in between all these activities.  She would go to sleep around 9.30 pm – 10.00 pm. She was also given natural medicines at different schedules every day which was customized for her, and she lost track of how many times she had and what she had. All she remembers now is that there were so many occasions she had some natural medicines like neem, turmeric , Aloe Vera etc. other than food.

After the 21 days my mothers energy level were considerably high, her health improved a lot which showed in her lipid profile, blood and thyroid tests and also her weight went down by about 15-16 pounds. She also purchased some medicines to have it later when she came home.  My mother liked this program but felt pretty intensive given the 21 day period. But it definitely help her improve overall health.

A cursory look at the details, this is similar to my argument in Master cleanse and anti-fragile post. Our body is great at self healing but we need to provide the right atmosphere and stressors to aid the process. In most faiths the concept of fasting was started for this whole purpose of adding that stressors to aid our digestion better and improve our health. That is now called as Intermittent fasting (IF). So a program like Yoga marga will force us to change our strongly formed habits and improve our health. If you are someone already very conscious about what you eat and maintain high energy levels, you might need a program like this. If you are someone who are looking for some support because of some chronic ailments then this program might help.  Do not approach this program just for weight loss, and there are many other things you can do for weight loss by eating right.  But this is for improving your overall health and wellness which includes treatments that blends contemporary and alternative methods like the Siddha, Ayurveda, naturopathy that restores and help regain vital life energies.