senior spends half of each year in India, drawing strength from
founder of the Kriyayoga Research Institute in northern India,
is offering free classes in Kriyayoga in Kitchener over the
next two weeks. Mil Winter (right), a retired chaplain in
local Catholic high schools, spends half of each year in India
studying with Yogi Satyam.
Home is in Waterloo and Allahabad, India, for Mil Winter.
The senior lives half the year in India at a yoga centre,
practising meditation, working and teaching the ancient practice.
"This is really vital to my life," said Winter, 74.
Winter's teacher is Yogi Satyam, founder of the Kriyayoga
Research Institute in northern India, and he's in Kitchener leading
free classes for two weeks starting today.
Winter, who retired 10 years ago from her job as chaplain in
local Catholic high schools, discovered kriyayoga after decades of
searching for "wholeness." She had tried other types of yoga
starting in her 30s, but they just didn't fit.
"I'd always been looking for something that would take me deeper
into myself," she said.
Then about seven years ago she met Yogi Satyam at the Yog
Fellowship Temple on Plains Road at the outskirts of south
Kitchener. He practises kriyayoga, an advanced form of meditation
that combines physical and mental techniques.
"It's a practice that anybody can do," Winter said, regardless of
age, beliefs or religion.
Although she said the techniques of kriyayoga are simple, Winter
was reluctant to explain specifically, insisting that it's something
that must be experienced to truly be understood. Of course, anyone
interested in learning more is invited to join classes with Yogi
"When you practise, it is very joyful," he said.
Kriyayoga goes way beyond the popular notion of yoga as a series
of poses combined with deep breathing. Winter explained that
kriyayoga teaches people to reach inside themselves for answers,
rather than seeking them externally, which is a common approach in
Kriyayoga, she said, "is a system of living that has immediate
results and heals the body, the mind, the spirit."
Winter doesn't balk at explaining the benefits.
"The changes are so profound because what you need is what you
get," she said. "This is the method that has the power to
A few years after meeting Yogi Satyam, Winter was diagnosed with
cysts on her ovaries and exploratory surgery was eventually advised.
Instead, Winter studied for about a month with Yogi Satyam who was
then teaching in Boston.
"It was so effortless," she said.
Yet she said the benefits were enormous. A couple months later
another ultrasound of her ovaries showed the cysts were gone. She
believes the kriyayoga helped the cysts because that was the only
thing she had done differently.
Later that year, she made her first visit to Yogi Satyam's ashram
in India and stayed for six months. She has returned to India every
year since then.
While there she joins three practice sessions a day, and the rest
is spent gardening, cooking, writing and speaking with visiting
students. Yogi Satyam and students like Winter also travel to
villages to teach kriyayoga.
People come to the ashram, a complex of several buildings located
on 14 acres, from all around the world to learn and help. Winter
just returned in June with two other Canadians.
Through her study of kriyayoga, Winter said she has learned to
see past the common conception that progressive problems inevitably
"Inside I feel like I am no age," she said.
Winter said she feels like she can do anything, and "It's quite a
Yogi Satyam from India is leading free, public classes in
kriyayoga for two weeks starting today at the Yog Fellowship Temple
Beginners should attend classes on a minimum of three consecutive
days to build understanding.
Classes run from today to Oct. 5 with five daily to choose from
-- 6 to 8 a.m., 10 to 11 a.m., 3 to 4 p.m., 7 to 9 p.m. and 11 p.m.
to midnight -- at 388 Plains Rd., at Fischer-Hallman Road.
Everyone is welcome to attend. Wear comfortable clothing. Bring a
blanket or pillow for sitting, and a notebook and pen.
Dates and times may change. Call 696-3869 or go to the website at
Donations are welcome.