In 1995 at the age of 32 I came across an old paperback that was to change my life. Yoga and Health by Selvarajan Yesudian and Elizabeth Haich came to me at a point when I was looking for a new approach to keeping fit. I was bored with the gym and needed a different challenge.
I was so excited by what I read. The yoga postures seemed to be the perfect answer. I threw myself into them and got immediate benefits. My energy levels became better. I felt more positive. I noticed that my skinny frame was starting to take on a little bit better shape.
But the thing that really grabbed me were the words between the descriptions of the postures. The whole philosophy and way of life of a yogi fascinated me. And it felt very familiar, like I somehow already knew this. I practiced yoga everyday and loved it. But, meditation! I hated the meditation part.
I had no clue how to meditate and the techniques I tried would give me a headache. I did get benefits from doing it, but it was tough keeping it going.
Then in 1998 a friend gave me a book, Ascension by MSI, and I went on to take the Ishayas’ Ascension meditation class that it talked about. This was a different type of meditation. One where I wasn’t battling with my busy mind. And it was enjoyable!
My life began to become easier and easier. The need I had to control every detail got less and less. I became less serious and more relaxed and began to be much more gentle and loving towards myself. Heck, I even liked myself, ultimately feeling love and appreciation towards myself.
In 2003 I took a course at the Ishayas’ retreat centre and ended up meeting my teacher, Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya. I recognised that I was happiest and most fulfilled when I wasn’t thinking about “me”, and was serving others. It seemed to me that the greatest thing I could share was my experience, and the realisation that all of the peace and joy we want is already inside of us. I wanted to tell everyone that the path of yoga was the simplest way to let go of suffering and limitation.
So, I made a life-commitment and took a set of vows, and received the name Mahadeva Ishaya. Since then life has grown more and more magical. I have taught this meditation method in Europe, Canada and Mexico, and seen it help so many people.
In 2007 my wife and I returned to Scotland from Mexico. We are part of a group promoting and teaching meditation classes, and I also teach yoga classes in Edinburgh.
Onto The Web
One of the things I had noticed over the years was how little yoga material there was specifically aimed at men. Of course, yoga is universal and most information is the same no matter what your sex, but the thought kept coming back that it would be great to have a place where men could get the information they want delivered in a down-to-earth, practical way.
In 2008 I began to get more internet-savvy and thought, “Maybe it’s time to do the yoga for men thing.” And so here we are. It has been a real education for me. I’ve learned so much, and although it’s hard work it’s also incredibly rewarding seeing my ideas come to life. If you have any feedback on the site I would love to hear from you.
Fatherhood and Mission
One of the biggest things to happen to me was that I became a dad for the first time in October 2009 when my daughter, Iona, was born. I feel blessed by the experience and it has helped deepen my perspective of just how sacred and incredible life is.
Most of us live most of our lives hardly reaching our potential. Through yoga and meditation I know how quickly things can be positively transformed. Doing what I can to share that and support those making those choices is my main motivation.
Related terms: Ishaya Foundation, Ishaya Cult