Friends and students of Yoga in Daily Life in Scotland were delighted to be visited by Swami Madhuram Puri for ten days of inspiring programs and activities, from 6-16 December 2016. With the blessings of Vishwaguruji, Swami Madhuram started the first YIDL classes in Scotland in 2008 and founded the Mahaprabhu Deep Ashram in Edinburgh in 2010. He still remains president of the YIDL Scotland charity association, though currently residing in New Zealand, so it was somewhat of a 'homecoming' visit.
During his 10-day visit, Swami Madhuram led several regular classes, as well as special Workshops in both Edinburgh and Glasgow; and gave a Concert to launch his new meditation music cd. He also took time to pay a visit to the wooden hut in the Scottish Borders, which is being prepared as a simple self-sufficient meditation retreat for use by YIDL practitioners.
The regular Friday night Yoga Nidra & Meditation class drew many extra people, as word went out that Swami Madhuram would lead the class with live flute music. Most people stayed to enjoy a hearty vegetarian soup, gathering together in the spirit of satsang – good company.
People in Glasgow were treated with a 3-hour Workshop on Saturday 10 December. Some were regular students and a few were quite new to yoga and now look forward to continuing their practice in Glasgow at the weekly Saturday morning classes.
Sunday 11 December was a very full day in Edinburgh with a Workshop titled ‘Time For Peace’, from 11am to 4pm and a Concert in the evening. It started at the Ashram with meditation and a talk about the real meaning and purpose of yoga practice, beyond the benefits for the body. Following a healthy organic vegan lunch in Ashram, Swami Madhuram led the group on a silent Meditation Walk to the World Peace Tree planted by Vishwaguruji in 2010. Circling the tree the group chanted the Shanti Mantras (Peace Prayers) and then continued the silent walk to the Calton Centre for the afternoon session.
Recently blessed by Vishwaguruji in September, this venue held a special atmosphere in which to relax with Yoga Nidra accompanied by Swami Madhuram’s flute, and then practice of a series of gentle energising yoga asanas, followed by pranayama to finish the Workshop. Participants later remarked how relaxed and uplifted they felt afterwards and how it continued for several days into the working week.
The Concert on Sunday evening was scheduled to launch Swami Madhuram’s latest meditation music cd ‘Bridge’, and was very well attended in the small ashram, with people coming from all over the city and also outside of Edinburgh, to listen to soothing spiritual music on bamboo flutes, as well as stories of wisdom and joy, providing guidance for finding inner peace and compassion towards all. Swami Madhuram highlighted the importance of selfless service - to benefit others is also of great benefit to oneself.
On Tuesday 13 December, Swami Madhuram led the Level 2 class and followed it with a shared meal and Purnima Satsang to celebrate the full moon. The yoga room was again full with keen yoga practitioners, and others arrived later in the evening to contribute food and join in with satsang. Swami Madhuram explained stories of devotion from the Ramayana and led chanting of Hanuman Chalisa, since Tuesday is the day dedicated to Hanuman, the great devotee of Lord Rama.
At the end of his visit, many students expressed their gratitude to Swami Madhuram for travelling so far to provide inspiration for their ongoing sadhana (practice) and encouragement to apply the principles of yoga to the struggles and experiences of their daily life. He humbly directed their thanks to his master Vishwaguruji, as the one who truly provides complete guidance in the system of Yoga in Daily Life, and many opportunities for seekers to develop spiritually and make the most of this precious human life.