Mauritius, as Ishan Shivanand, the founder of Yoga Of Immortals (YOI), learned on his trip to the Indian Ocean island, is a country caught between two extremes. “It is incredibly beautiful,” he remembers, “with utterly white beaches and the clearest water you have ever seen. The people are wonderfully hospitable, and I was warmly welcomed by everyone.” However, when Ishan stepped away from the tourist areas and began exploring Port Louis, the country’s capital, he came face to face with the other side of Mauritius: poverty-stricken children who, though in school, were merely existing instead of thriving.
Ishan is a monk from the Indian Himalayas, and he was in Mauritius to both understand the country better and to speak with government leaders about implementing YOI in regulations so that more people could experience its healing benefits.
“I have a lot of compassion for adults, who are under enormous stress to provide for their families and to live in a world that can be very tough sometimes,” Ishan says. “But, my heart for children is even bigger. Like many people, I cannot bear to see them suffer.”
Ishan toured several schools, wanting to better understand the state of education that children received in Mauritius. He says he was stunned by what he saw.
“No one was taking charge of the children,” Ishan recalls. “They were just sitting in class, doodling, talking, and doing pretty much anything except listening to their teachers. The classes were huge, and I really couldn’t fathom how anyone was supposed to learn anything of value in such an environment.”
Ishan continues, “The parents blamed the school for the problem, and the school blamed the children. Yes, of course, children must be responsible for their own behavior, but they are, in the end, children, and no adult was accepting responsibility for them. The only thing taking care of the kids was social media. They were bored, and their minds and potential were being wasted.”
Ishan says that one of the greatest joys of his life came when he sat down with the kids and taught them some of YOI’s Vedic meditation techniques. “You have to understand what was happening with these children. Most had no sense of self or pride in who they were. They were merely existing and had no real purpose for being alive. They had no goals or anything they wanted to accomplish. They just slept at night, got up in the morning, went to school to goof around, then repeated the whole thing the next day.”
Meditation was completely new to all of the kids. “Some of them struggled a little bit to calm themselves, but most jumped right into it,” Ishan reveals. “They were ready to be challenged and to do something of value. They wanted to show themselves they could meditate.”
The beauty of YOI, Ishan continues, is that it requires that you look deeply into yourself. “You come face to face, I suppose, with your own insecure thoughts and worries, and you push those out of your body, leaving yourself at peace and more aware of who you really are. For these kids, it was a life-changing experience, one that validated who they were: real human beings who were here on this Earth for a reason. At the end of the session, I talked to them about the importance of loving yourself, having a vision for your life, and never believing that a goal is impossible to achieve.”
Ishan now lives in America, where education is largely much better but where social media still plays an enormous role in children’s lives. “Some of the students I have met in the United States are not so different from those I talked with in Mauritius,” he believes. “The circumstances are different, of course, but social media still dominates the minds and self-esteem of too many students. My goal is to bring the healing modalities of YOI into more American schools so that the youth can appreciate themselves more and really value themselves as people.”
Ishan asks what our world would look like if more people believed in themselves. “It would be very different, don’t you think? That is why I believe so much in teaching YOI to children: its ancient yogic techniques can help our kids to develop excellent self-esteem, ultimately helping them to avoid the problems that trap so many of us as adults. YOI can help kids develop into the best versions of themselves and to really contribute to making our world a better place.”
Through the scientifically-backed meditation techniques taught by Ishan Shivanand and Yoga of Immortals, millions are finding relief from anxiety, anger, addictions, and other issues. For more information on how YOI can help you find your own peace, please contact him at [email protected] or visit: