Posted by : Shoumik Das Thursday, September 19, 2013

Once Drug Addicts, 13 Foreigners Now Better Citizens After Adopting Yoga

Udupi, Karnataka: A group of 15 foreigners, including a Yoga tutor and a nurse hailing from 4 different nations are here at Pandeshwara in Sastan, near Udupi to undergo "Karma Yoga" at Ramakrishna Manjar House. These foreigners were once drug addicts, but after adopting Yoga they have transformed themselves into better citizens, and as a gesture of gratefulness for changing their lives through "Indian art of Yoga", they are here to give back to the Indian community by engaging themselves in some social service work. Having completed quite a few community service projects here in this district, the team will be heading back to Norway on 19 September.
Siv, Larse Andrea, Fred, Helge, Ole, Rebecca, Stig, Magnes, Roslinda, Nicholai, from Norway, Swaine aka Sven from US, Nomzi from South Africa and Carlos from Mexico are the thirteen people who decided to change their lives for the better. Also accompanying this group is Alexander Medin (Yoga tutor from Norway), and a nurse. When all the thirteen were in distress and lost everything in life, they met Alexander from Norway. Alexander had learnt Yoga in Mysore Sanskrit College, and later returned back to his hometown, Norway, and took teaching Yoga as his profession there. All the above thirteen met Alexander on various occasions and joined the yoga centre, and received yoga training. When Alexander was learning Yoga in Mysore, he met one Vijay Kumar Manja from Pandeshwara. Later when Vijay Kumar visited Norway on a Yoga training session, he decided to help all the thirteen to come out from drug addiction.
Vijay was able to convince and motivate these thirteen persons through yoga techniques, and also taught them to serve the society. He started to teach them Yoga 5 days a week and one day of social service work. Vijay also invited all the thirteen to come down to India, engage themselves in some community service and also serve the poor. On August 23, the team of fifteen arrived to Pandeshwara-Sasthan in Udupi and stayed at Vijay's house.
According to Alexander, by imbibing the yoga his students have completely transformed themselves into better persons, giving up all their bad habits including drugs, alcohol etc, and now they are enjoying happiness and peace which they never experienced before. Seems like a Extreme make-over in their lives. Although they led a terrible life when they were hooked on drugs, but once they adopted the Yoga and the teachings, they are all better human beings, feeling better and ready to help others to attain peace.
While they are at Pandeshwara, these foreigners are still taking up Yoga classes which start early in the morning from 6am-8.30am, then they work hard doing their community service from 9am-1pm. After lunch, they are back to work at 3pm and wind up at 5pm. With their own money, they have constructed two houses already for the needy families here. Mixing with the villagers at Pandeshwara, they are adjusting to the Indian style of living, and also practicing Indian rituals and cultures. Their food is purely vegetarian, and all of them are feeling fresh and clean to come out of their drug addiction.

Joining hands together and pitching in their own money, these foreigners have already constructed two houses and donated them to two needy families. They also undertook cleaning of Theerthahalli pond aka Theerthabailukere, located near to Shankaranarayana temple. The team also renovated the bus stop in Sastan. On September 19, the entire team will return back to Norway.
One should admire the changes these drug addicts went through -They came from Norway, adjusted to the village life here and led a normal life like Indians and served the locals. Where there is a will, there is a way, these foreigners proved themselves that if you are willing to change yourself,  there are ample opportunities in life and in this world while you are still alive. So a lesson we all can learn from these visitors is that, "Make use of all the opportunities that you come across when you feel that you want to transform yourself into a better human being"

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