Spreading the Wisdom of Yoga

Ghantali Mitra Mandal (GMM) is known for helping people relax through Yoga. On January 26 however, the GMM members and their friends, families and associates found themselves relaxing. And causing them to relax was 72-year-old veteran TV anchor-cum-writer Mohini Nimkar. Nimkar, who is remembered for her long career as an anchor with Doordarshan from 1973 to 1993, was invited by GMM to stage her solo-act play Hasya Dindi, a light Marathi comedy that everyone present thoroughly enjoyed. "What a nice, relaxed evening. The play helped us forget all our worries," was sentiment echoed by the many who attended, among them prominent Thaneites.

The occasion was the celebration of the foundation day of GMM. 39 years ago, on January 26, 1965, Yogacharya Shri Krishna Vyavhare set up the Ghantali Mitra Mandal, a non-profit institute, with the sole objective of creating awareness about the benefits of Yoga Sadhana.

GMM has certainly come a long way since it humble beginning when Vyavahare Guruji, without neither money nor resources, decided to impart Yoga training. The task seemed uphill. But he was empowered with the knowledge he had gained under the guidance of Yogacharya Kaba Sahasrabudhe. So, much against the wishes of his wife, he sold his home furniture and began his first Yoga classes at home. Today, the institute has established itself firmly in the field of Yoga training. It has played an important role in promoting awareness and inculcating practise of Yoga among hundreds of Thane residents. Every morning, from 6 to 7 am, classes for a government recognised one-year comprehensive training course are held. Its teachers’ course for Yoga has initiated thousands of Yoga Teachers in and around the city since 1971.  

In 1988 GMM found a permanent place for its operations at the Sahyog Mandir. Since then it has become even more active in spreading the ancient knowledge of Yoga through workshops and seminars. Focused programmes for obesity, asthma, blood pressure mentally challenged children, senior citizens and other stress related health problems are regularly held. About 200 odd volunteers and 50 teachers attached to GMM conduct various short and long courses throughout the year at various places in Thane and also in Ghatkopar where GMM has a centre. 16 permanent members of the management work with dedication so that the benefits of Yoga reach out to as many people as possible.

Sujata Bhide, who is the secretary of GMM and also the editor of their publishing division, says, "We regularly organise Yoga camps to teach Mantra Sadhana, Swara Yoga (music therapy through Yoga) and other techniques. Our aim is to set up a research centre for the benefit of Thane residents."

GMM also has a culture division which Culture Division which organises cultural programmes to spread the knowledge of the Upanishads, karma yoga and so on. Their children’s division teaches how to use Yoga to improve memory and to develop a well-rounded personality.

Worldwide, Yoga has become synonymous with stress reduction and healing. But it’s expensive to learn this ancient wisdom in countries like the US.   Thanks to institutes like GMM, you need not worry about going bankrupt if you wish to learn Yoga. Simply call 25361349.

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