Redefining Lifestyles…… the Indian Way

Dr. Navniit Gandhi
Sunday, February 19, 2017

There could not have been a name more apt than Harmony House, for the place that it is.

Rabindranath Tagore would certainly be pleased that many decades after he would cease to exist, some wise lady thousands of miles away would truly understand the meaning of Harmony. Founded by Wajeeha Habib in her house and co-founded by Aruna Ladva , Shaikha & Mona Al Arfaj --Harmony House has quite understood the essence and depth of Tagore’s words, who had said: “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence.”

Nestled in a serene neighbourhood of Rumaithiya, the Harmony House Meditation Centre was founded 14 years ago, and claims (very correctly so), on its web-page that ‘Everything you need is right here inside of you’. It is a network of local and International facilitators who have been meditating; delivering lectures; conducting classes and seminars and engaging in activities that aim at enhancing one’s ‘awareness’ of oneself. Inspired by the thought of giving something back to the Community, this HH attracts aspiring learners from all nationalities. There are courses offered in English, Hindi and Arabic. It regularly holds meditation hours, lectures, workshops and seminars. And, it does not charge its participants.



Some wise soul has described Yoga beautifully: ‘When you own your breath, nobody can steal your peace.’ And, it is this sense of peace that is written large on the calm face of Shaikha who herself teaches Raja Yoga to the seekers, some of whom happen to be Indians. Shaikha quips with a laugh: “Some find it very amusing that I, a Kuwaiti, am teaching Yoga to Indians”. A Civil Engineer by profession, with maternal roots tracing back to India, she beautifully manages her professional and spiritual pursuits. While truly living her goal of an elevated and conscious existence, she also chose to eat healthy food and offered the same to others in her entrepreneurial venture: The Ginger Restaurant at the Al-Muthanna Complex, which offers Vegan and Satvik Thai food. She has combined the teaching of Raja Yoga which makes one non-violent in thoughts, with Satvik Food- which is non-violent food, at Ginger.

Shaikha invites Yoga Experts and Speakers to speak on Nutrition or Spirituality, from India and devotes herself too whole-heartedly. “Earlier, I believed that India was a rich nation, owing to all its jewels and palaces and material resources. However, I am convinced today that India’s richness lies in her spiritual wealth. Cutting across religious lines, there is an overwhelming treasure of spiritual beliefs in India. Every year I go to India, and even organize retreats for inner peace, for the Arabs”, says Shaikha. Having initially faced opposition to the ideas and practices she chose to follow, she now calmly declares that, “I do not believe in obstacles. I not only believe that things happen and they take their own course when they have to, but I also have understood that when your objectives are pure, everything falls in place.”

A firm believer in the Karmic notion that ‘the more we give to the society, the more we receive’, Shaikha Al Arfaj’s life is synonymous with healthier ways of living and eating. In the process, she may not know it but she has become a strong and a sturdy bridge between India and Kuwait…

Dr. Navniit Gandhi is an academic, and a freelance writer/columnist. She has been writing extensively for several newspapers, magazines, web-portals and academic publications and has authored five Books, till date.
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Express your comment on this article

 
sb
Posted on Sunday, April 16, 2017

wow, I have been in Kuwait since last 12 years. never heard about this facility. Thanks navneet to inform us regarding this. I am very much interested. thanks a lot.

Ram Bhat
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dear Dr. Navniit, Thank you for bringing out this nice article. We are very happy to know about the great lady, Shaikha Al Arfaj and her Yoga activities for the public benefit. We wish her all the best.

Ram Bhat
Posted on Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dear Dr. Navniit, Thank you for bringing out this nice article. We are very happy to know about the great lady, Shaikha Al Arfaj and her Yoga activities for the public benefit. We wish her all the best.

Umesh Sharma
Posted on Tuesday, February 21, 2017

This article / interview with Shaikha Al Arfaj appears to be an extension of your article 'A Satvik restaurant in Kuwait with its name 'Ginger'. Message of both articles is 'we are what we eat' and Yoga brings the harmony in life. Moreover, we come to know about wonderful Kuwaitis such as Shaikha Arfaj who are so nice and open in their perceptions and attitudes. Dr. Navniit! you have adopted an Extra ordinary approach to pass the message across. Congrats. Keep it up. God bless you.

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