Neil Armstrong while setting foot on the moon for the first time had said, “That’s a small step for man- one giant leap for mankind “. The journey of man landing on moon was a culmination of many years of labour and hard work so is the journey of Friends of Yoga. There are many milestones that Friends of Yoga has crossed in its developmental journey and there are yet many more to come. The connecting thread between the past, present and the future is the passion to serve and the determination to bring about a difference in the lives of the people it serves.
Over the years, Friends of Yoga has been able to touch millions of lives and bring solace to the humanity. In the end, an organization is only known by the impact that it has on the society. Friends of Yoga, as an organization has always believed in going an extra mile and impacting the society, especially in their quest for better health – physically, mentally and socially.
Friends of Yoga is a Voluntary and Non-Profit Organization headquartered in Dubai, UAE. It was founded in 1990 when Guruji Shri K B Rai visited Dubai. Guruji Shri K B Rai is now based in Delhi, India and visits FOY on frequent basis. FOY is being led by Mr. K B Madhavan, a businessman based in UAE since the year 1976. K B Madhavanji is popularly known as ‘Guruji’ for his selfless efforts towards spreading the goodness and positiveness of Yoga, completely free.
FOY conducts free yoga and meditation classes with the help of volunteer instructors for everyone irrespective of their age, gender, nationality and religion. With the help of volunteers, co-workers and yoga teachers dedicated to spreading the benefits of Yoga and Meditation, the FOY is reputed as a highly efficient & well-organised Non Profit Organization, with an emphasis on ‘team-work’. FOY aims to keep everyone fit both physically and mentally. The humble beginning with a handful of people is now a network of 13 locations within the UAE and 12 locations outside the UAE with a membership base of more than 25,000 Yoga friends. The overseas branches include Oman, Jordan, Iran, Philippines, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan and India. The overseas operation of Friends of Yoga is run by former members of FOY Dubai. The all round growth of FOY is mainly attributed to the acceptance of yoga as an effective physical and mental exercise, benefits experienced by the participants and their word of mouth publicity.
FOY conducts yoga classes in open air. UAE residents are familiar with the sight of people practicing yoga near Deira Taxi Stand and various parks. The Yoga classes are held every day from 5.30 am to 6.30 am and 7.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Come Summer or Winter, one thing is sure, the Friends of Yoga schedule has remained unchanged and undisrupted since FOY’s inception
In today’s fast paced life style more and more people suffer from mental and physical problems such as anxiety, anger, stress, insomnia, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetics, asthma, cancer etc. Friends of Yoga makes it possible for yoga enthusiasts to live in harmony with oneself and the environment. At FOY anyone can come and practice Yoga. There is no discrimination on any grounds. Typically a yoga session is started with a prayer (according to one’s own choice and faith) and is followed by warming up exercise, yoga exercise and breath exercise for lungs and heart. It is concluded with laughing session. The sessions are conducted in such a way that it suits to all the people be it beginners or advanced practitioners and yields them the maximum benefit. Furthermore, the participants are advised as to asana’s purpose and objectives along with live demonstration.
Celebrities and renowned people from all walks of life have visited and blessed Friends of Yoga. This includes Dr Jindal from Jindal Naturopathy Hospital, Banglore, Dr. Dharmanandji from Delhi, Dr Manchanda, a Cardiologist from Delhi and yoga practitioner, Dr Amrit Moonat, Bhopal, the president of International Naturopathy Organisation, Shri Vijayji from Delhi and Rishi shiva from Chennai to name of few.
The UAE Government has been very supportive to Friends of Yoga to let the yoga enthusiasts publicly practice Yoga.