Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Good Health and Stress Management Workshops at IIM, Bangalore

 The stress management workshop was an interesting end to 2013 and the good health workshop is an exciting beginning to 2014. It was more so because this was the first time I had the opportunity to do the workshops at this wonderful institute. Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) is consistently rated and voted among the top three business schools of India. Being in Bangalore, the capital of technology and new business initiatives, it attracts top students, best of faculty and interesting visitors. The temperate climate of Bangalore, the Garden City of India, hosts many prestigious institutions with lovely campuses.  IIMB is one of the prettiest. Very green and well maintained, one feels serenity in the ambience this campus and experience the energy of breathing oxygen charged air. The stone cut buildings with ivy covered walls and creepers blend well with the greenery, making the campus very beautiful and captivating. So much so, a Bollywood movie with a story set in an engineering campus was actually filmed here.

The workshops were possible, thanks to Prof L.S. Murty, PGP Chair at IIMB and Prof. Srinivas , IIMI. I had the pleasure of meeting Prof. Srinivas for the first IDL programof IIMI at Nainital and was fortunate that this association developed into a very enjoyable and interesting friendship. Prof Srinivas has become my friend, philosopher and guide n improving my workshops at IIMI. It is extremely kind of him to introduce me and my work to Prof L.S. Murty. It takes a lot of sustained interest, perseverance and doing whatever it takes to start new workshops like good health in an autonomous post graduate institute of management. It is my good fortune that Prof. Murty did all of these despite his many commitments and gave me the opportunity to make a beginning. I am happy and grateful to Prof. L.S. Murty.

The Good Health workshop is very similar to the many workshops I have done at IIMI as well as other places. However, it was a challenge to compress the 10 session Stress Management workshop to 6 sessions. I tried to retain all the topics and as a result the time for exercises and practice was insufficient. This is learning for me and dropping one or two topics may be a better choice so that the participants experience the tools and techniques that are introduced to a deeper level. This would help them to actually practice it in their life, which is the main goal of the workshop. 

The other unique aspect of this workshop is the innovation introduced by Prof LS Murthy by making the workshops ‘no-credit’ events. I am sure that this is an excellent strategy to help the students in enjoying good health and stress free life. The process may be slower because the students would evaluate the ROI on the time they have to devote for the workshop. The paradox is that they do not know enough about the workshop and they would be in a position to make an ‘informed choice’ only after they practice what they learn in the workshop. But, this may be a more effective strategy, if we consider the long term perspective. It would be great that if this strategy is persevered with and we do what it takes for the sapling to take root, blossom and bear fruit in its own time. I enjoyed the workshops very much because the students with real interest were participating and their participation as a group was much more encouraging and satisfying for me.
2013 was a fantastic year in which I experienced growth in facilitating workshops in 5 new countries and many of them with the new dimension of translation. The loss of passport in Budapest taught me how to ‘thrive’ when faced with challenging situations that we consider ‘bad and stressful’. The Good Health workshop was a fitting ‘good bye’ to 2013.
The Stress Management workshop was a fabulous beginning to the New Year. I am doubly blessed that these events happened in IIMB, a new venue for me and what a venue! I am grateful to Prof L.S. Murty for giving this opportunity and Prof Srinivas for his kind help. I am grateful to Mr. Chandrasekhar and his team for organizing the events so well.  Finally, the workshops were coordinated very well by Mallikarjun Reddy and Vinoth. It was great to have their partnership. I am grateful to each and every one of the participants for their interest and participation. I do hope that they would remember the bottom line – “results are a function of practice” and would practice the tools and techniques and reap benefits in their life.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Wellbeing workshop at Savitri Bhavan

 This is the last workshop of 2013 in Auroville. It would have been great to do the Health and Happiness workshop but I needed time and space to meet my other commitments.
One of the interesting aspects of this workshop is that it is the most repeated workshop amongst the events I have been facilitating in Auroville. In fact, this was Wellbeing workshop #60. I feel very satisfied and fulfilled that I have the opportunity to offer 60 workshops in 6 years of my stay at Auroville. I am happy and thankful to all those who made this possible, supported me, encouraged me and all those who participated in the events.
A very inspiring aspect of this event that I would always remember is meeting J, who wishes to be anonymous. I got a call from J in the first week of December and if I remember right, we met on 8th December. He had a paralytic stroke and he was using a walker. He wanted to do Pranayama also in his commitment to heal himself. By the time the workshop was finished on 16th, he was almost walking normally! I feel inspired by J for the will power, commitment to wellbeing and doing whatever it takes to recover. I will cherish the moments I shared with him and wish him all the very best of health and happiness. In my understanding, it is not the medicine or practice or anything else that heals a person but it is the consciousness with which one uses them that heals. The Mother said “Ultimately, it is the faith that heals”.  

I want to acknowledge  Suresh, who works at Savitri Bhavan. He is born in the nearby village, is studying while working and he is attending the English pronunciation coaching classes by Patricia(I am his co-student in these classes). He helps in arranging the space for the workshops. His intrinsic aspiration to grow and the excellence of his work, done with so much devotion and meticulousness, are awe-inspiring. It is a privilege to get to know him and have his support and help in offering the workshops.
Raphael from Munster, Germany is in Auroville, writing a book and it was great to have her in the workshop to review it. I enjoyed her generous hospitality and a lovely day in Munster during the last summer. Syamala participated in all the sessions and was a source of quiet encouragement, as always. Varadharajan makes it a point to come for at least one session and I am fortunate to have his presence.