Arvind Kumar has been providing training in Yoga, Stress Management & Acupressure for cricketers, notably for Shahrukh Khan’s IPL team ‘Kolkata Knight Riders’ from 2011 to 2014 and earlier to the ‘Kings Eleven Punjab’ IPL team from 2008 to 2010.  Harking from a nondescript rural family from ‘Khanpur,’ a hamlet in the Shamli district of West Uttar Pradesh, he has chosen not to involve himself in the IPL these days as he is busy doing his Ph.D in Stress Management from Singhania University in Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan.  He has an interesting narration on how he came to Delhi, which Rajeev Gupta retells for our readers …

Arvind Kumar is an erstwhile national level kabaddi player, who used to partake in local competitions avidly.  It so happens that once a yoga expert, Dr. Dev Ketu of New Jersey, USA, who used to regularly organise sports events in his district, saw his gameplay and liked it so much that he queried about his doings.  When he found that Arvind, an MA in Economics, was actually unemployed, he offered him a job on the spot, to go and work with him in Delhi.  That was in 1996, and Arvind did not think twice before accepting.  He had not even worn western clothes until then, nor seen Delhi.  He reminisces: “Dr. Dev Ketu took me, a typical village boy from a rural backwater, to Delhi and put me in Hyatt Regency – a 5-star hotel in the heart of Delhi – I could not believe what was happening, I was just very frightened … but after assimilating all this, I meekly asked him what he expected from me.  Dr. Ketu, a Ph.D in Yoga living and teaching in New Jersey, USA, and a master in weight-loss regimens, averred that I was a good candidate for learning yoga and vein acupressure therapy and that he would teach me.  I decided then and there to learn his art and serve people in pain.  He took me into his Gurukul and taught me his skills for more than a year.”

“One unfortunate incident overturned my life and upset this haven I was living in – his car used to pick me up and drop me back at the hotel. One fine day, thinking that if I could drive a tractor so perfectly in the fields I could just as easily drive his car on the roads, I miscalculated my abilities and crashed his car – and my guru, very much annoyed and angry with me, said that he will no longer teach me, that I was undeserving, and that I should go back home … and he left for America.  I felt so lowly, but I was determined not to go back.  I took up modest accommodation in Kalkaji, and began doing early-morning rounds of nearby parks, trying to find and help people with pains.  Initially response was dismal, but I kept at it, seeking to help old people in pain.  A lot of struggle later, my commitment fetched results.  I got chances to help people with joint pains, and treated them.”

“People who got relief from their chronic pains would offer money, but I would refuse: ‘No, don’t give me money, just refer me to two more people.’ This is how I began with my successful career.  Soon, I got to meet an influential person from Vasant Vihar, who, impressed with my skill, took me to Ajay Jadeja, an ex-cricketer who played for India for many years & a close friend of his. Jadeja was in severe pain due to a shoulder injury and surgery was prescribed.  I told him I can cure his shoulder sans surgery.  Though unsure, he let me try and ultimately his shoulder was cured.  Happy with my treatment, he took me to his mother, an arthritic, and I eased her pains as well – from there, lady luck started smiling on me – Ajay Jadeja introduced me to the Indian cricket team.  I got to meet all the big heroes – Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virendra Sehwag, Saurabh Ganguly … my life took a new turn from then on … .”

“Another fine day in December 2002. I was introduced to Shahrukh Khan as a healer.  He was then at his in-laws’ place at Panchsheel Park, and reeling under severe neck pain. I was shivering whether I will be able to give him relief, but with belief in god I started working on his neck using vein acupressure, and was able to give him enough relief that he could move his frozen neck.  Net result, he hugged me and invited me to join his new year party.  When I demurred saying I avoid parties as I don’t have good clothes, he and his friends bought me clothes … insisting that I must come.  When I did go, Shahrukh was waiting for me, and introduced me to the glitterati there – making me a hero in a single night, with my wife being entertained by Gauri, Shahrukh’s wife. The next morning the Khan takes me to Mumbai and through him, I get to meet many famous persona – Priety Zinta, Dharmendra, Rani Mukherjee, Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchhan.  Today I have clients from all walk of the society, from cricketers Umesh Yadav, Ashish Nehra, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Mohmmad Shami, and new player Negi to corporate honchos like Rajan Mittal of Airtel, the Nandas of Somani Tiles, Naveen Jindal, Ritu Beri, etc.  Even politicians like Rajeev Shukla, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ambika Soni, Lal Krishna Advani and many others are regular visitors.”

“I am at present doing a Ph.D on ‘How to reduce Stress’.  I am not after money, when poor people come to me I cure them gratis, but by the grace of god, I am able to meet all my expenses comfortably.”

When asked how his yoga practice is different from Baba Ramdev’s Yoga, he says:  “Ramdevji’s yoga is different as he teaches simple yoga to groups all the way up to thousands of people, whereas what we do is highly customised.  My thought is that every person is unique by nature, with differing eating habits, lifestyles … different genes.  So a yoga- kriya that suits one person may not necessarily suit another. When I constitute a group, I select people according to their problems – say one group of maybe 4 exclusively for diabetics, and so on.  My yoga practice is different in that it depends on results and from man to man. I try to go to the root of the problem and then start my treatment.”

Nowadays Arvind regularly goes to Paris and South Africa to teach Yoga.  He presently has two centres in Delhi, one in GK and another in Shanti Niketan.  He is also setting up a new centre in Defence Colony and one in Mumbai.  On June 21st this year, celebrated as International Yoga Day, Arvind was invited to conduct yoga sessions with prisoners in Tihar jail.  He has two kids – one daughter undergoing MBBS and a son who plays national cricket in ‘under 14’ group.   He says philosophically that there is a little difference between Chinta and Chintan.  “Do Chintan forget Chinta … and to get rid of Chinta practice yoga.  My goal is to make society “Chinta Mukt.”

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