Guru’s Grace

Mantra Priya, (Upma Paul), Bhilai, India

I started going to Gyan Darshan Yogashram in Bhilai in 1994 and became a regular student there. Later I started teaching in the ashram and went to Munger and did my TTC in 2011. In 2006 Swami Niranjan came to Rajnandgaon and I attended all the sessions. It changed my pursuit or perception of yoga from physical to spiritual.

In 2013, I went to Canada to help my son. Everything was new and we struggled to settle in a new country without much support. We moved to a remote city in the north of Canada, a very cold place with few Indian families. We lived there for three years. When I look back, I feel my Guru’s blessings were with me at every step giving me the strength to face that difficult period.

Spreading the teaching

Guruji showed me the path and ways to do seva. I was surprised and still can’t believe how I had the chance to teach yoga in the YMCA. After that there was no looking back. I had more and more classes to teach and Satyananda Yoga became a popular name in that small town in northern Ontario. Then I had opportunities to teach this traditional form of yoga and meditation in a college and in community centres.

In a hospital I was asked to teach yoga to patients in the mental health unit. I feel so blessed that I could bring some peace and a spark of hope into the lives of people who were suffering from depression and other conditions. Initially, they came very reluctantly as they had weird notions about yoga which was a westernised yoga. When I started teaching our traditional yoga, they were happy and used to wait for me for their weekly class. We did simple asanas, pranayama and yoga nidra. I felt Guru’s grace on their calm and relaxed faces after the class and thanked Guruji for making me the medium of this.

A particular incident touched me to the core of my heart. A 58 years old man came to my class in the hospital and became a regular participant. Later when he was discharged from the hospital, he started attending my classes at the YMCA. After three years when we moved from this town, that man came to me and confessed that he was on the verge of committing suicide and yoga had changed the course of his life to a positive direction. That day I realized why I was sent to this place and how Guruji blessed my efforts and seva.

Those three years were difficult years in our personal life. All these classes and seva gave us courage to be strong and positive in testing times. I earned so much love and respect and made many friends. It was an all-white community and I feel blessed that I became the medium to spread Satyananda Yoga in that remote town of Canada.

In 2017, we moved to Toronto where there is a large Indian community. I started teaching yoga, meditation and yoga nidra in various places including a centre for senior citizens and everywhere my classes were well received and appreciated.

My heart is full of love and gratitude that Guruji chose to shower his grace on me and gave me the chance and opportunities to do this seva which touched many lives in that corner of the world. I pray that Guruji keeps showering his grace on me and my family and gives us the strength to follow his teaching.