Dayton Daily News

It doesn't take a guru to know which way the stress flows.

17 March, 1998

It's on the rise for those who juggle jobs, businesses, families and other responsibilities.

"A deep state of restfulness is missing from people's lives. You can see it," says yoga master Jaggi Vasudev, whose life in recent years has been dedicated to doing something about that vacuum.

He leads a yoga center in southern India, where he said more than 100,000 people, including the Indian national hockey team, have studied his ‘Sahaja Sthithi’ or "natural self" techniques.

For the second year in a row, Vasudev has come to the United States to teach at the invitation of former students who live here. Dr Suresh Gupta, a pain management specialist and partner at the Dayton Out-patient Center in Riverside, helped organize Vasudev's first 12 day program in Dayton, which will begin March 30 and is open to anyone 15 and older who will commit to attend all 12 three-hour sessionsmfrom 6 to 9 each night.

There will be a free introductory session at 6pm, March 29, at the center - 1010 Woodman Drive, where the classes and future follow up group sessions will meet. Gupta, who has enrolled, said he studied with Vasudev's teachers while growing up in India. "I treat all kinds of pain problems, and I have seen the value of this great art and science for those with asthma, hypertension, muscle tension headaches and many other problems."

The center, which Gupta said is exploring and adding holistic treatment approaches to its more traditional medicine, is sponsoring the program. Fee for the 12-day course is  $175 a person or $250 a couple, $50 for students and $100 for seniors. Vasudev, 41 a former civil engineer, decided to leave the rat race for more spiritual pursuits 17 years ago.

He said that when it comes to stress, Americans and Indians are pretty much the same. "There are cultural differences on the surface. Once you penetrate those, people are very much the same. This technique is not a religion or related to any religion. I do not not ask you to adopt a system of beliefs. This is a pure science. But it does require commitment during the program." The major components of the Sahaja Sthithi yoga are breathing techniques and meditation which makes it different from the Hatha Yoga that is more widely taught in the West.

"Most people in the West understand yoga as primarily a physical exercise for the body. I personally consider the physical effects to be a side effect. The main benefit is control of your Inner energy by achieving a very deep state of relaxation. This is a very sure way for a person to be free from tension. Other benefits are enhanced memory and a cure for ailments that come from within the body, as opposed to those caused by infections."

He has taught two previous 12-step sessions in Nashville, Tenn.  Other classes have been held in Bloomington and Columbus, Ind.

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