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Yoga Sutras- A Framework For Transformational Coaching

Source | LinkedIn : By Raghu Ananthanarayanan

I came into the study of Yoga at a time when I was searching for a direction in life, a meaning that was meaningful and inspiring. I was just out of college, very concerned about issues like Environmental Degradation; I had read “Limits to Growth” and was having intense conversations with my friends on Marx and Marcuse. We met a lot of the early 60’s generation of ‘conscientious objectors’ people who would later on be called Hippies, and who would be called the Woodstock generation.

 I was very fortunate in that I spent a decade learning inner work from Pulin K Garg and Yoga from Krishnamacharya simultaneously. The Yoga Sutra provided a daily practice and an intellectual rigour, it led me into the world of meditation and contemplation. Process work opened up internal spaces, helped to heal deep wounds and reclaim my emotional self.

 I have gone on to base all my work with individuals and organizations on these two pillars of my learning. However, I have been deeply concerned with the way in which Yoga is taught today and inner work is offered. I was thrilled when a few years back a group of young seekers in their thirties approached me with questions that were exactly the ones I had asked my self at a similar age. Not that I have found the answers, but I have grooved the questions. They were explicitly seeking a way of enquiring into these life questions through Yoga.

We have spent a couple of years on this “collective contemplative conversation”. We studied the Yoga Sutras in an experiential way. The group was ready for some experimentation so I dusted up my Rorshach Kit (I had learnt to use it from Pulin), and did what Pulin and I had wanted to do a long time ago: use the insights from Rorschach to design a meditative practice. The group has stayed with the enquiry for more that two years, experienced profound transformation and made clear choices in discovering alternative ways of living. The group has formalized itself, it is called Ritambhara, ( and the members see themselves as “spiritual activists”, my wife Sashi and I are Mentors for the group.

 I was thrilled when I got this mail from Sangeetha Sriram. It has given me the adhikaar to offer life coaching based on the Yoga Sutra.

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