Once you start meditating every day, nothing will bother you. – Sanjeev Krishnan
Sanjeev Krishnan runs the Middle East’s only ISO 9001-certified yoga centre in Dubai. Rhythm of Life is one of his most successful programmes that aims to harmonise a human being on five different, but inter-connected, dimensions in order to achieve varying personal goals. Sheeba Hasan met him over an enriching conversation
The low-rise building is old and in need of a coat of paint. Momentarily you may feel you’ve arrived at the wrong address. Two floors up, the yoga centre could seem a bit small and crammed. But these are just first impressions, which won’t last. Sometimes learning and knowledge reside in unexpected places. And, Rhythm Yoga Centre in Karama, Dubai, is one of those. It’s been at this location ever since it opened in January 2003, and once you experience any of its offerings, you’d understand why physical form is immaterial here.
Some friends, who had done the Rhythm of Life (ROL) workshop at the centre, had spoken favourably about its impact and the man conducting it — Sanjeev Krishnan, or Guruji Sanjeev as he’s popularly called. However, once you start researching, there are many more and far stronger testimonials. Almost 6,000 people have already attended this workshop over the last 11 years, and together they are part of a multi-cultural community, which strongly endorses Rhythm of Life.
The 12-day programme takes you on a divine journey to your inner self. It has miraculously healed ailments, mended broken relationships and pulled people out of depression and despair. I happened to meet one such couple during my visit to the centre. Brimming with excitement and joy, they spoke endlessly about rediscovering love and overcoming personal tragedies — in a short duration, inside that yoga centre. Prior to the Rhythm of Life, they had been on the verge of a divorce, now they couldn’t have been more in love.
Through Rhythm of Life, Guruji Sanjeev presents the essence of his entire yogic knowledge in a capsule. “Today yoga is generally seen just as an exercise rather than something beyond that. I always say a brick cannot be called a house; it’s just a component of the house. Likewise asanas and stretches cannot be called yoga; they are just a part of it. Yoga is a beautiful science of the entire dimension of the human personality,” he says. “For me a lot of the places offering yoga are just asana centres and not yoga centres. These places have devised a standard programme and they give it to whoever comes there whereas we listen to what any individual coming to us wants; we take care of specific needs.”
Guruji Sanjeev speaks from a deep knowledge of the subject, enriched by more than 30 years of learning and experience in various yogic traditions. He traces the start of his journey back to his childhood and remembers reading spiritual books when he was in the fourth grade. As his passion grew and he searched for a mentor, he was unexpectedly approached by Shri Thankappan, who was a direct disciple of His Holiness Swami Sivananda Paramahamsa, founder of Siddha Samaj. He became Guruji’s first teacher and contributed to his learning over the next six years.
“In 1981, after I finished my degree he asked me to get into yogic science but at that time I wanted to do a job so I started my professional career, and tried different fields,” he says. “Finally, to get an in-depth knowledge of the various yoga disciplines I joined the Brahma Kumari Ishwariya Vishwavidyalaya; they have Raja Yoga Centres all over the world. It changed my outlook and helped me get a philosophical understanding of life,” he adds.
Subsequently Guruji came in touch with Yogodha Satsang Society, established by Paramahansa Yogananda, and then Rishi Samskruti Vidya Kendra, a self-management programme based on Ancient Vedic Science of Guruji Sri Rishi Prabhakar. He was a direct disciple of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who developed the Siddhi Samadhi Yoga (SSY). “I did all their programmes and 41 days of intense teacher’s training. It enhanced my knowledge to a different level of understanding. Subsequently I started teaching and for seven years was also involved in various activities conducted by them in India,” says Guruji Sanjeev.
His next stop was the Bihar School of Yoga. He learned all their programmes, therapies, asanas and Yoga Nidra, and also did the teacher’s training in the respective fields. “However, the search did not end and the passion within me continued to grow. I often slept in temples to gain more knowledge.”
In course of his learning, Guruji realised that the essence of the entire knowledge of yoga is not given on one platform. Different mediums project different aspects so the common man in the modern-day life is unable to know yoga in its totality. “It’s like a blind man touching an elephant. If he touches the leg, he thinks it’s the pillar; if he touches the trunk he thinks it’s a python and if he touches the ears he thinks it’s the fan,” he points out.
“I want the world to have one platform through which people can understand and experience the entire concept of yoga, and develop a harmony that enables them to bring out the best in their lives and enjoy every moment,” he says. Rhythm of Life strives to be this platform.
Guruji understands yoga actually is all about harmony, which comes from the Sanskrit word Yuj, meaning union. “A house can never be called a home until there is harmony between husband and wife; a business can never be successful unless there is harmony between the partners; a society cannot thrive until its members are in harmony. Harmony brings optimum in everything. It is the key for the best of existence in any field and we need to fully understand this concept,” he says.
“We are all in the rhythm of our lives, but due to certain pressures and stress, we lose our harmony with life. So how do we get this harmony back and enhance the quality of our life? This fine-tuning is what we aim to achieve through the Rhythm of Life programme,” he explains. It enables clearing, rebalancing and healing on many levels, and empowers the participants with real-life tools to transform their lives.
According to Guruji Sanjeev a human being is made up of five dimensions in outlook: the physical body, breath, mind, understanding and happiness. These dimensions are co-related and need to be in harmony for people to experience a perfect life. By themselves, each of these five dimensions is not of any relevance. The physical body is just the hardware of the personality and cannot sustain anything on its own. It does not have life until breath operates within it. But someone who just has the body and breath is a living vegetable because the mind has to function as well. Once that happens, the body gets going, but performs only gross functions. Additionally, there has to be understanding or knowledge, which is the key for expressing emotions. When all these four dimensions are in balance, you experience harmony, which activates the fifth dimension — happiness.
Today everyone is busy, the mind is in turbulence and our lifestyle management is totally disturbed. Whenever there is disturbance in any of the dimensions, you lose harmony. Through the Rhythm of Life programme, Guruji makes a person realise how and why the imbalances are happening on the physical, mental or emotional level. He then helps you find harmony within yourself and achieve the consequent bliss.
“Modern medical science can help people only on a physical level. It can treat diseases but seldom cure them. Prevention is better than cure and preventive management is what I am talking about in this programme,” he says. “I have designed it in such a way that when people come here with a problem, physical or emotional, we help them rectify it with the right understanding. In 12 days most of them get either fully healed or make a significant progress towards cure.”
Guruji encourages couples to attend the programme together, even though the problem may be with one person. He believes if you have a common understanding, you can support each other better and achieve harmony more easily.
After the programme is over, each person is given a practice module in accordance with their requirement, which they can follow at home. Over the following six months the participants can also come every Saturday for free consultations. Rhythm Yoga Centre keeps helping them charge their batteries until they are ready to take off on their own