Contrary to popular belief, some of the best education is delivered at the family dining table. It is not the sole obligation of schools and class teachers. “Life offers the unique joy of parenting a child and helping realise her true potential,” says Manoj Lekhi, co-founder of the Infant Siddha Program (ISP-Art of Parenting), one of the 26 life skills programmes offered by the Mumbai-based Life Yessence Academy (LiYA), an NGO promoted in 2002 to propagate Siddha Samadhi Yoga (SSY), a unique result-oriented system of yoga and meditation developed by Guru Sri Rishi Prabhakar.
“Few parents are aware that every child can learn ten or more languages by age four or that she can master the computer and play musical instruments by the age of three,” says Lekhi who devised the ISP programme in 2002 to help “every parent experience the joy of parenting”. Thus far over 10,000 parents countrywide have participated in the Infant Siddha Program.
Nineteen years ago, when Lekhi, a businessman, first enrolled for an SSY programme he had no idea that it would alter his life perspective, prompt him to wind up his business and devote his life to propagating yoga and meditation. “That was in 1989. I joined the SSY program at the behest of a friend and it changed my world view. It dawned on me that there’s more to life than mere business success,” he recalls.
However the real impetus for Lekhi to devise the ISP parenting programme was the birth of his daughter Vedoci in 2000. “I put my child through an innovative educational workshop under the guidance of Guru Rishi Prabhakar. It was then that I became aware of the vital role that parents can play in motivating and shaping their children. I also realised that the crucial age for parental intervention is zero-eight years. In the Infant Siddha Program we teach parents how to effectively mentor their children and deepen their bond with them,” says Lekhi, a commerce graduate of Mumbai University.
Apart from the Infant Siddha program, LiYA also offers the Children SSY (which helps to de-stress and improve concentration skills), the Life Longevity Program (tips on long and healthy living) and Professional Insights, a program for managers to develop organisational and leadership skills.
Currently this yoga enthusiast under the guidance of Guru Rishi Prabhakar, is working hard to make their “dream project” come true — a 1,000-acre township in Pune. “We are trying to bring people together to enjoy the abundance of life, share resources and live in harmony with nature with minimum investment. It’s the best way to address contemporary ecological issues,” says Lekhi.
Wind in your sails!
R. Manishaa (Mumbai)