Updated: Nov 19, 2019
By Atlanta Northcutt
Those looking for a more serene and introspective holiday season and the fast approaching new decade need look no further than the Isha Institute of Inner Sciences, located on a sprawling 1,400 acres off Highway 8, which features a signature landmark.
The massive and attention-grabbing copper covered yoga and meditation dome is the largest in the Western hemisphere. There is an immediate feeling of peacefulness and overall well-being when stepping foot onto the premises. Isha offers free yoga and meditation classes every day, as well as guided tours or private explorations of calming pools and streams, waterfalls and overlooks of the majestic mountains below on a 10-mile hike. All of these experiences are free and open to the public. Special events offered monthly and throughout the year, draw some 50,000 visitors from over 30 to 40 different countries to visit this special place located in our own backyard.
Isha’s Free Yoga Day is hosted one Saturday every month and offers beginner-level sessions throughout the day for physical, mental and spiritual well-being to those ages seven and up. Free Yoga Day incorporates classes to relieve stress and boost energy, Nada Yoga or the ‘yoga of sound’ which can strengthen one’s physical and mental well-being and guided meditation that can help with clarity, focus, stress and insomnia. Free Yoga Day also features guided hikes to bluffs and waterfalls and healthy vegetarian cooking demonstrations free of charge. Lunch and dinner are served for $10 per adult and $5 for kids. Visit freeyogaday.us to see the full schedule and RSVP.
Since 2007, Isha Foundation has been in Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in recognition of a variety of the Foundation’s wide scale environmental and human service projects, including Project Greenhands (a massive tree planting initiative), Rally for Rivers (watershed revitalization), as well as several global rural health and education initiatives. On June 5th, 2018, which is World Environment Day, Isha Foundation partnered with the United Nations Environment Program to help spread awareness globally for banning single-use plastic.
Annually, Isha USA hosts World Peace Day, a large celebration in conjunction with the United Nation’s International Day of Peace on September 21st. World Peace Day shines a light on sustaining a peaceful global environment and gaining the needed tools to be at ease within oneself. A festive spirit fills the campus during World Peace Day with live multicultural music and performances, savory vegetarian cuisines from around the world, and family-friendly yoga classes, games and outdoor activities.
Isha Care Clinic offers a local free health fair at the Three Star Mall every August. With health insurance prices increasing but covering less, and the price of out-of-pocket payments towards prescriptions or doctors’ visits skyrocketing, the health fair offers much-needed free help to people who simply can’t keep up with the staggering price of the healthcare industry. High blood pressure, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are among the most prevalent ailments of Tennesseans. McMinnville sits higher than the national average. Isha Care Clinic aims to provide the community with opportunities to prevent these health problems affecting local residents. Physicians and nurses specializing in internal medicine, family practice, geriatrics, orthopedics, vascular, OBGYN, and psychiatry volunteer at the health fair, offering free screenings, education and consultations. Natural health practitioners and vendors also offer complimentary services, coupons, and giveaways, including food samples, nutritionals, chair massages and martial arts demonstrations.
Isha is open to the public from 8:30 am to 8 pm daily. Day Visitors can check in and out of the campus at the Welcome Center. There is a free tour and three complimentary yoga sessions offered daily. Day visitors also have access to marked hiking trails on the property. Hiking is on the buddy system, so please bring a friend for your safety.
Isha Institute of Inner Sciences is located at 951 Isha Lane in McMinnville. For more information, call 931-668-1900, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.