Sufi Junaid - Autobiography

Born in Mumbai, India, Junaid from the very beginning was rooted to reality and showed an unusual tolerance of mind and lack of prejudice, in spite of his affluent background.  He has been connected to Sufism since childhood and didn’t realize that the Sufi practices that were everyday parts of his life were actually forms of meditation.  However, he had always felt a sense of freedom within himself, within his soul and in his emotions.  

At the age of 15, he was drawn to physical fitness.  As an adolescent, Junaid had an extreme excess of energy and found that he could calm his mind through his own methods.  One day while stretching, an American woman asked him where he had learnt Yoga; it was then that he quite accidentally realized that the forms of exercises that he practiced regularly basis were all part of Yoga.  

At the age of 18 while in the Himalayan Mountains, Junaid took a beginner’s course in Yoga Asana at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga, in Dharamsala. Since his first trip to the Himalaya’s, Junaid felt at one with nature and sought to gain mastery over the mind and senses so as to be able to listen to the inner voice more clearly. Thus began his formal training in Yoga. As his training in Yoga progressed however, he began to feel that his extreme discipline had made him stiff in the mind. It was then that he came back to Sufi Practices, and away from the judging, discriminating mindset that comes with fanaticism.  

At the age of 22, Junaid attended various Yoga retreats conducted by his teacher Mr. Richard Willis; Mater of Yogic disciplines, Kashmiri Saivism and Sufism.  He then embarked to New Zealand where he worked in many diverse capacities, intended to stay close to nature.  The experience made him aware of the ego and its delusions, as well as unfolded the joy of simplicity. 

Junaid learned and experienced many things for eight months before returning back to Mumbai, India, at the request of his mother.  He opened a beautifully designed mystical restaurant where guests could make their own bead jewelry while waiting for their meal. Next came a bead shop in Goa where he also continued his practice in Yoga.  After this, he did another Iyengar Yoga course in the Himalaya’s as well as another retreat in the jungles of Karnataka, with his Master, Richard Willis.  

In 2006, Junaid attended a certified Teacher’s Training course at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta in Kerala. He then returned to the Himalaya’s to practice his teachings and intense Sadhana in the hills of Parvati Valley.  He stayed there for five months in the vigorous conditions with several Yogis without electricity, and shared his knowledge wherever possible.   

Junaid came back to Mumbai to take care of his family’s business, a well-known and thriving advertising company known as Roshan Publicity.  
In 2007, Junaid participated in a 100 hour certified teachers training course in Classical Yoga Meditation at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantri Ashram, conducted by Swami Sitaramanda – direct disciple of Swami Vishnu Devananda who is the direct disciple of Swami Sivananda and founder of Sivananda Ashrams worldwide.  

After the course, Junaid worked at the Ashram for three months teaching Yoga Asanas and helped to conduct subsequent teacher’s training courses. He then went to Mysore, the heart of Yoga and the residence of some of the foremost legends of Yoga, where he did a certified teachers training course with Sri BnsIyengar – one of the most evolved Yogis, and direct disciple of Sri Krishnamacharya, Master of AshtangaVinyasa Yoga, where he gained extensive knowledge.  Junaid then returned to Mysore where he completed a 100-hour certified course in Traditional Thai Yogic Massage.

Junaid has been sharing his knowledge around the world.  He has conducted personal courses in Australia and has led a retreat session in the Himalayan Mountains.  He has also co-conducted a retreat with his teacher, Richard Willis, in the south of India (Karnataka) aimed at highly ambitious businessmen who didn’t know how to use their energy. 

Junaid currently lives in Mumbai.  To all practical purposes, he leads a successful, corporate life, but maintains peace of mind through the practice and teaching of Sufi Yoga.

Ask a question