Inner Engineering

First, a few things about Inner Engineering (IE). It would be better to browse through Isha’s IE website to get a clear picture of the course. The online IE course is not available in India. Indians can take IE at their local Isha centers. The rates are different for different countries and geographical areas, so don’t do the dollar-to-rupee conversion (:P) from the .com given above. Find the local centers here and call up the respective numbers in the program listing for any queries that you may have.
The IE course is arranged such that it begins on a Wednesday and ends the following Tuesday. On six of the seven days, the classes are conducted in two batches: 6:00 AM – 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Each batch is not more than 50 people. This time they are planning to introduce a 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM session (at least for Bannerghatta Road, don’t know about other centers at the moment) with around 35-40 people in each batch. The Sunday is a full day, from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM and this is the day that the actual initiation happens. Needless to say, both batches are clubbed together into one batch on this day. One is supposed to attend all 7 days and be on time, everyday. If you are not on time, you are not allowed to enter the classroom. More than punctuality, this is because the practices are subtle in nature and anyone coming late would only interrupt the other practitioners. The first hour of the first class (in all 3 batches) is an intro session where the teacher will give an introduction about the course. This intro is free and, if interested, the participants can pay and register after this session for the rest of the course. 
 
I had opted for the evening batch for obvious reasons. My IE location was MARC School of Business which was a 10-minute walk from my home. Everything had fallen into place so beautifully but my only fear was that Ashwin would somehow come home late. Secondly, it was the first time in a long time that I would be away from Fearless for more than 1.5 hours. I began reminding Ashwin multiple times from Monday itself that he should be home by 5:30 PM Wednesday onwards. He said he would but like always I was apprehensive. On Wednesday morning when I reminded him to come early that evening, he was like, “It’s at 6, right?” OMG! OMG! OMG!!! That meant he was going to start shutting down his laptop in office at 6:00 :-O !! I told him I was going to start calling him up from 4:30 onward. He just gave a smug smile and left. This was not a good sign. I called up in the evening as promised and he said he was leaving in 5 minutes. Again, not a good sign. Five minutes in Ashwin-speak is 40 minutes. I was so jittery and nervous. From 5:25 to 5:30 I called him several times and not once did he pick it up. My anger was threatening to explode. I went to have a drink of water to cool down and that’s when he entered. I was about to start a full blown rant when he said, “It’s 5:30 in my watch now. I’m on time!” Darn it, I had forgotten the home clock was set 5 minutes faster. For the first time in his life, he came on time!!! Anger vanished and saying a quick thank you (not in words, 😉 ) I left for my first IE class. 
 
When I entered MARC, the first thing that I heard was the music. The strains of “Desh” put me instantly at ease. Some people had already arrived and I could see, for the first time in my life, that the chappals were kept so neatly and in a straight line. That simple sight made me so happy. Isha volunteers stood at the door greeting “Namaskaram” to everyone. After checking the necessary registration details, I was given a registration form which they would be collecting later during the class. The room itself where the class would be conducted, was clean and covered in Isha carpets (jamkaan). A portrait of Sadhguru in a meditative stance was kept in front of the class on a chair covered with white cloth. A lit lamp stood beside the chair with a glass dome protecting the lamp from blowing out. A few flowers were arranged around the lamp. A white curtain covered the entire length and breadth of the wall behind. A projector and screen were arranged in front of the class. On one side the sound system connected to the microphone, and was currently playing “Desh”. The room smelled of incense and the combined effect of incense and Desh immediately put me in a very different state of mind. Home was forgotten and I was totally inside the class. An Isha swami was sitting at the back dressed in white kurta-pajamas and an orange shawl, meditating, while I sat swaying to the rhythm, having finished filling up the registration form. At exactly 6:00 PM, swami came to the front of the class and began addressing us. The door to the class was closed and we began by reciting “sahanavavatu..” We were roughly 40 people. The intro class was for an hour, after which the attendees could pay and register to continue with the actual class. Ten minutes were allowed for this. Promptly at 7:10 PM, the IE course began. To maintain confidentiality of the program, I am going to have to stop here :D. Do check out where the classes are going on at your location using this page. All I have to say is, I’m glad to have taken it. I whole-heartedly wish everyone gets an opportunity to explore this. 

Sharing a group photo with my IE batch mates…
With IE batch mates

With IE batch mates

 
A few more things about the class: 
1. Although there is no specification on what to wear, it would be suitable to wear loose fitting salwar kameez (avoid deep neck designs) and/or trousers/track pants and tees. Jeans are not comfortable. 
2. Since the practice is done sitting down, there may be initially some pain. Carry a couple for bed sheets or cushions to keep under your thighs for extra support. Stick with the practice and over time, these cushions/bed sheets will not be required.
3. Please, please, please switch off your mobile or at least put it in airplane mode and be inside the class.
4. Carry water if needed but NO snacks/eatables. 
5. Please go to the class without any expectations. Just be there and participate. 
 
More about IE and my experiences in the next post