Success and failure are the two sides of the same coin, the two extremes with which humanity usually tries to associate with! But change is the supreme law of nature; the act of flipping the coin in the air is the dharma of humanity, the act of karma.
However, so bound by the sentiments of both the extremes—success and failure—humanity is often found in the illusion of fragile result-oriented motivation. That is the reason while teaching the dharma, Lord Krishna advised Arjuna to be a yogi and explained the true meaning of yoga; he explained,
“योगस्थ: कुरु कर्माणि सङ्गं त्यक्त्वा धनञ्जय |
सिद्ध्यसिद्ध्यो: समो भूत्वा समत्वं योग उच्यते || 48||”
yoga-sthaḥ kuru karmāṇi saṅgaṁ tyaktvā dhanañjaya
siddhy-asiddhyoḥ samo bhūtvā samatvaṁ yoga uchyate
Translating and explaining this in detail, what Lord Krishna wants to justify is the act of karma to be held of utmost superiority, abandoning the attachments to the so-called two extremes of success and failure, finding solace in equanimity in the act of karma.
Over the years, based on the teaching of Sanatan Dharma guided by the gift of Yoga, Swami Kuvalyananda 1924 founded the prestigious Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute. This Institute nearing its 100-year anniversary, is the forerunner of yogic teaching in the modern world and is based on the principles and philosophy of Maharshi Patanjali.
The Education View, in its venture to find the ‘Outstanding Yoga Trainers in India, 2023,’ came across Shri Subodh Tiwari, the Hon Secretary and CEO of the Kaivalyadhama. Being born and brought into this prestigious Institute and grew in the spiritual initiation from Swami Digambarji, the then Director and Spiritual Head.
In an intellectual exchange of words with The Education View, Shri Subodh Tiwari shares his journey with the Institute and how Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute became the forerunner of yogic education, teaching and practices in the 21st century.
So, without further ado, let’s dive deep into an awakening journey of Kaivalyadhama!
The Tale of Pioneering Institute of Yoga Research
The significant acquiring of knowledge and wisdom is the path every yogi learns throughout life. Furthermore, the act of passing knowledge is considered by many yogic gurus as completing the holistic learning arc.
Gaining such immense knowledge from Guru Sir Madhavadasji, a yogic master, coupled with his innate desire to bridge the gap between the psycho-spiritual and physical world. Inspired by such a great sage, Swami Kuyalananda, a great visionary, led the foundation of Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Centre in the tranquil setting of Lonavala in 1924.
Speaking about the Institute’s journey since its inception, Shri Subodh Tiwari says, “Swami Kuvalayananda was led down the path of a spiritual journey. This journey ultimately manifested in the founding of Kaivalyadhama with the distinct purpose of merging yoga tradition with science to make this knowledge relevant and accessible to the world.”
The Institute, from its inception, has been a trendsetter institute dedicated to Yoga, with a vision to find a holistic fitness of the physical body and the inner equilibrium of the mind.
Today, the Institute is led under the able guidance of Shri OP Tiwari, Chairman of the Institute and is the person directing the vision of the Institute moving forward. Being a healthcare institute of Yoga and culture, the Institute is recognised by almost every prominent educational institution in the country.
Shri Subodh Tiwari further adds, highlighting some of the recent recognitions and accreditations of the Institute, “The Institute was recently accredited as a Leading Yoga Institute by the Yoga Certification Board, Ministry of Ayush in 2019. It was recognised as Institute for Specialized Studies by Kavikulaguru Kalidas Sanskrit University (KKSU), Ramtek, to conduct BA and MA programs in Yogashstra and further on as a Research centre to offer PhDs in 2020. In 2021 it was also recognised as FIT India Yoga Centre.“
Today, Kaivalyadhama is a global institute with 16 worldwide centres across Europe, Asia, and America. Moreover, in 1924, the Institute published the oldest and first scientific Yoga journal, the Yoga Mimamsa, which is today recognised by UGC-CARE and other reputed medical publications.
Distinguished Vision & Mission
Stating the founder’s vision during the inception of Kaivalyadhama, Shri Subodh Tiwari states, “The principal ideal of Kaivalyadhama is the coordination of the spiritual phenomena of Yoga with modern science, with a view to evolving a Philosophy that would, perhaps, satisfy the majority of mankind.”
Following the missionary vision of Swami Kuyalyananda, Shri Subodh Tiwari further elaborate on the Institute’s vision and mission, saying, “The Institute stands for research – training and application of Yoga in its undiluted form. Un-diluted means principles that come from the source – the texts of Yoga, which are duly scientifically researched and found to hold value in their true form. This would enable getting the best results out of the practices, eventually leading to promote the making of a better human being.”
Experiencing Life, the Yogic Way!
Being one of the most prominent institutes in the world for yoga practices and academic initiatives, the students at Kaivalyadhama get hands-on exposure to the comprehensive research departments and explore the scientific and philosophical aspects of Yoga. The Institute follows Yoga Mimamsa, the oldest Scientific Research journal published by the Institute to refer. The principles of Yoga Mimamsa allowed the Institute to become a trendsetter in the healthcare sector.
Shri Subodh Tiwari shares, asserting the special importance of yogic practices and academic initiatives, “Synthesis of theory and experience has been a stronghold. The Kaivalyadhama college’s core residential courses are designed to make learning a way of life by living a distinct yoga routine on campus. It is necessary that students are able to have an opportunity for role play into what they are learning.”
“This exposure has been made possible through video opportunities to assist actively in Yoga sessions to various stakeholders, such as police, government employees, social outreach programs etc. The students also actively participate in helping the Research projects.” he further added.
Overcoming Challenges to Excel
Kaivalyadhama Yoga Institute has been standing strong for a century now, and with continuous efforts made to excel to become an outstanding institute of inherent, the Institute has overcome a wide range of challenges from its inception.
Highlighting some major challenges the Institute faced and overcame over the years, Shri Subodh Tiwari shares, “The primary challenge always is to maintain the status. Hence, ensuring that excellent training human resources are available, the environment is motivating, and most importantly, in the world where Yoga is taken in more as a physical science, sharing the knowledge of it as a spiritual experience is a challenge. However, quality is always more important than quantity, which has always helped us overcome many challenges.”
“Secondly, adapting to new technology to ensure that we stay with time, and at the same time, not to lose the foundation principles is important. We have been able to manage that very well with the help of a great team,” Shri Subodh Tiwari further highlights.
Learning the Science of Yoga
The institution embraces technology and sciences despite being the Institute of traditional practices and yogic teachings. The academic classrooms are equipped with projections and all the required resources. Asserting the importance of the unique academic pedagogies and initiatives of the Institute, Shri Subodh Tiwari says, “The lectures are accompanied by presentations and audio-visuals as and when required. We have one of the finest libraries with around 35000 titles which students refer to, with the availability of content and computers. Clay models are used to explain the intricate aspects of Anatomy and Physiology of Yoga practices so that the scientific essence of Yoga is transacted.”
“More so, the availability of the instruments in the scientific research department helps the students to evaluate the efficacy of the practices. The research laboratory is fully equipped for investigating the impact of traditional Yoga on various biochemical, physiological, and psychological parameters of the body,” explains Shri Subodh Tiwari.
Apart from all the academic initiatives started by the Institute, the Institute also grooms students in a holistic manner. Shri Subodh Tiwari highlights the intricacies of such initiatives saying, “In addition to the core domains of Yoga, we encourage them to participate in sports and seva to develop their personalities. We have a credit course in Bhagavad Gita and also in imparting skill sets in the hospitality area. We have eminent personalities/heads of institutes and Gurus visiting our Institute. We arrange guest lectures and opportunities to interact with them for the students.”
“We have various cultural programs and events like annual Seminars and International conferences once in three years. We encourage students’ participation and train them in managing activities in such events,” he further added.
Notable Achievements and Awards
The biggest achievement has been its students. Some of the notable personalities groomed under the Swamiji are Mahatma Gandhi, Gandhi, Pandit Madan Mohan Malviya, Dr BR Ambedkar, Pandit Motilal Nehru, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Dr HV Kamath, JRD Tata, and Mr GD Birla.
Taking immense pride in its strong network of alums, here are some of the achievements and awards the Institute has received over the years:
Paving the Road for the Future
Shri Subodh Tiwari, telling the almost a century covering tale of the Institute, also shares the Institute’s future endeavours, saying, “The future belongs to greater collaboration and strengthening Yoga Research, Training and Application as Therapy. The availability of qualified Yoga experts in various spheres will strengthen the science. In ancient times, Yoga was our rich cultural heritage. Even in the 1900s, the renaissance of Yoga was brought about by Leading Institutes in India, and the future should be in getting our hands together and creating World Class Teachers.”