Around 1,800 young adults participated in Amrita Yoga sessions as part of a three-day Sadgamaya Summer Camp 2014 for the 10th standard students from all the Amrita Vidyalayam Schools in Kerala.
“Inhale – Urdhva Namaskarah”, “Exhale – Namaskarah”, was one of the first instructions given to several hundred perfectly lined up boys, after straightening their legs and spreading their toes. As they brought their folded palms from their chests to well above their heads repeatedly, they learned to synchronize their breath with their movements and became familiar with the initial steps of Amrita Yoga Surya Namaskarah.
The theme of the event was “Values from Valmiki” and it took place in Amritapuri from the 8th to 10th of May 2014. On each of these three days, around 1000 boys attended the early morning session starting at 5:45 am in the big Hall of the Amritapuri Ashram. One hour later, an additional session was conducted for the approximately 800 girls attending the camp.
The main instructor, Brahmacharini Shobhana, carefully selected a special focus for every session. ‘Self-Confidence’ was on the first day, ‘Equanimity and Balance’ on the second, and ‘Grace’ on the last day. In this way, the meaning of the chosen postures was conveyed to the children.
She also highlighted different aspects of the same topic for the boys and the girls. For example, Brni Shobhana pointed out to the boys, “Grace is being open. By being open you let go of your ego.” Quoting Amma, she reminded the girls that “We need purity of heart; once it is there it is easy to receive Gods grace.”
At the end of the sessions, the children offered gratitude in a group prayer to Amma, who had the wish to bring all of them to this camp. The children also offered gratitude to their parents and to all their teachers for providing them the opportunity to be in an environment so conducive to growth. They also included less fortunate children in this world in the prayer.
In view of the large number of participants, Rahel from the Netherlands and Mahita from the U.S. put in countless hours of meticulous planning so that the event would go smoothly and successfully.
Moreover, there were several meetings with the over fifty international volunteers, whose main task was to line the students up in such a way they would not get injured, as well as to support each of them to stay focused and have fun through the 3-day sessions.
All the efforts more than paid off. “Besides having lots of fun during all the three sessions, the young adults-teenagers also showed a remarkable improvement in their postures by the last day,” remarked Sunanda from Switzerland, another volunteer and Beginner Level Teacher of Amrita Yoga.