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The Dru Storyline

 The story of Dru


Here you’ll find a story of how five young friends started a dream 40 years ago and what’s happened since then.

Community holding the globe

 

 

"The only way to truly change the world is by achieving a ‘tipping point’ where enough people (roughly about 1% of the world’s population, which is 76 million) raise their consciousness to help to make the world safer, healthier and happier for every living being. 

The first 40 years of the Dru story has been about making a difference to individuals, enabling them to improve their own quality of life and teaching others. 

For the next 40 years we’ll be getting really serious about reaching that tipping point. To enable as many people as possible to be healthy: physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and socially. 

It’s a huge vision: empowered people creating global unity.

Will we reach it within our own lifetime?  

An old African proverb says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’

Working together is a corner-stone of Dru. We invite you to help us change the world by becoming a change-maker yourself. Start by improving your own health and then teach others—because when you find something that works, it’s only natural to want to share it.” Chris Barrington (co-founder).

1978 - 2018

Each decade had it’s challenges: in the 80s it was the cold war so we established the peace walks throughout Britain. We also created a cancer charity and the Dru Yoga teacher training course.

In the 90s there was a lot of turmoil in Europe and Africa so the de-traumatisation programmes and peace vigils were key, culminating  in the creation of the World Peace Flame.  

The 21st Century has seen the rise of chronic ill health so our focus is health education in every arena of life.

Throughout it all friendship and community building is at the heart of our work.

Dru Worldwide Community

 

 

How it all began…

The Dru story began with a small group of students at Bangor University, North Wales. During their undergraduate years they explored the remarkable world of ancient yogic mysteries—their teachers were two Gandhians steeped in yogic science: Chagghanbai and Ecchaben Patel. 

After graduation these five friends: Chris Barrington, Rita Goswami, Annie Jones, John Jones and Mansukh Patel, on 6th May 1978, created what they would later be known as ‘Dru’.  

Under the guidance of Chagghanbai and Ecchaben the team developed a yogic’s awareness of subtle energy and integrated it with the West’s health model. 

Dru Yoga EBR 3 sun silhouette

 

 

Health is not just physical, but also mental, emotional, spiritual and social. Learning how to flow into and out of postures with heightened awareness can help redesign your body, mind and emotions. They also discovered the energetic and physical ‘keys’ within postures and sequences to make them more potent in their healing effects. All movements were developed to arise from the spine—itself a dynamic, living system. Dru quickly earned the reputation for being a potent healing tool.

Mansukh's mother, Ecchaben, was a true ‘heart master’. She had focused her entire life on the archetypal stories of yoga and its universal message of compassion. Right from the start, Dru was about empowerment and connectedness. ‘Community’ is now a hallmark of Dru teaching - wherever you go in the world, a Dru class is likely to deliver a warm, kind and supportive atmosphere.

Peace Walks

Following Gandhi’s example, we have always encouraged walking in nature as a way of connecting one’s inner world with the outer one. In the 80s and 90s Dru teams organised many peace walks with countless thousands of footsteps for peace.  

 

Now, it's very rare to be on a Dru course that doesn't involve walking in the natural world—drawing empowerment and strength from nature's living presence.

Four Powers photo strip

 

 

Healing emotional trauma after war

In the early 1990s, four of the team (John, Rita, Anita and Andrew) toured 40 countries in 18 months. They taught seminars and interviewed pioneers of peace, spirituality and the environment. Their experiments showed that Dru Yoga techniques could help heal stressed and traumatised people no matter who they were or what their situation. From aid workers in Uganda to executives in Manhattan, Rwandan refugees in Nairobi to cancer sufferers in Hong Kong, the result were impressive.

It wasn’t long before we were invited into war and conflict zones, training refugee leaders how to transform emotional trauma through techniques that combined movement, meditation, breath and visualisation.  Our unique blend of heart-based movements and therapeutic programmes spread throughout the North Caucasus, Eastern Europe, Kenya, South Sudan, Northern Ireland, Bangladesh, Uganda and Nepal. At one point nearly 60 of Nepal’s 77 administrative regions had Dru programmes.

Yet by the first half of the 2000s the work was starting to get dangerous with a near kidnapping in Africa and team members contracting tropical diseases. A key teaching from Chhagganbhai and Ecchaben was clarity of purpose and so we re-evaluated. It was clear that our work in conflict zones could never solve the root issues creating the problems. We further realised that these conflicts were largely caused by attitudes and politics within the West. We therefore decided to pour our efforts into transforming the consciousness of Western society.  By training Dru teachers. 

Dru Yoga Teacher Training

The first Dru Yoga teacher training took place in our renovated terrace house in Bilston, West Midlands, very close to the geographical centre of the UK. Such was the allure of the profound yoga energetics taught there that nearly 40 people crammed into a tiny teaching space. Veterans of the time describe early posture work like a game of Twister!

 

 

Dru teachers were trained not only in excellent yoga but also how to create community and connectedness. By 2005 our first yoga research was showing remarkable results. For instance: 

Dru Yoga is highly effective for helping reduce stress and tension

  • 89% say they are better able to handle stress while over 84% regularly experience less body tension.
  • 91% say that Dru Yoga transforms negative thinking
  • About 69% report that they have more positive sleep patterns.

Dru Yoga helps you create a better society! It helps people have more harmonious relationships and find greater peace within.

  • 79% of people practicing Dru Yoga experience higher levels of serenity.
  • 73% have a better ability to deal with conflict. 
  • 79% report they are more patient and open with others. 
  • 82% feel more tolerant towards others and over 76% feel greater feelings of compassion for others.
  • 74% report a positive improvement in their communication skills and over 74% report an improvement in their ability to handle relationships.

“I’ve worked in war zones all over the world and at the UN in New York and Geneva, and I’ve still yet to come across a modality that can create peace as well as Dru Yoga”
-    Andrew Wells

Dru had become one of the most potent forces for creating a peaceful society that we can think of.
 
From those humble beginnings, the course has produced around 3,500 teachers. It is taught in 16 locations and there are Dru teachers worldwide. Graduating more than 180 teachers each year around the world, Dru is the 2nd largest yoga and meditation training school in the UK.

Yoga-class-john-jones

 

 

The World Peace Flame

By the late 1990s, we had met some of the world's most remarkable peace-makers: Mother Teresa, Maha Goshananda, the Imam of Ghana, Nelson Mandella, Robert Mueller... and countless lesser known heroes. We wanted to honour their contributions to the world. 

In a little terrace house in Lancashire, the idea to accomplish this was born: bringing flames of peace from each of the world's continents to the UK, uniting them into one flame that would become a symbol of peace that everyone could relate to... The World Peace Flame.

Fortunately, no-one told us that this had never been done before! And in those pre-9/11 days, anything seemed possible. So our teams set about contacting airlines. 

In 1999

 

 Seven flames were united into one

 

World Peace Flame

 

The birth of the World Peace Flame became a miracle of persistence, proof that you can accomplish anything if you believe in it strongly enough. Eventually, the military airforces of the world became the carriers of our flames of peace, led by the Royal Dutch Airforce. 

In July 1999 for the first time in history seven live flames, lit by eminent peacemakers on five continents, were flown by military and commercial aircraft to the UK, where they were united into one flame: The World Peace Flame.

World Peace Flame monuments are now established across the globe, and their number is steadily increasing. Communities work together to design and build the monuments, which then become catalysts for collaboration involving all areas of society from local to national level.

 

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The Dru Timeline

 

Our story

  1978 - 2018 >
  How it all began >
  Peace Walks >
  Healing emotional trauma after war >
  Dru Yoga teacher training >
  The World Peace Flame >
   
   
1978 Birth of Dru
1980 Dru Yoga classes established
1981 First teaching centre begun
1982 Foundations of Dru teacher training established
1983 Maristowe House opens
1984 Dimensions Health Store purchased
1985 1008 mile walk around the UK for peace, birth of Dru seminar tours
1986 'Life Cancer Centre' established, N Wales. First of 22 annual Dru conferences
1987 First Dru Yoga teacher training course
1988 Dru established as a company
1989 Team establish the Life Cancer Clinic
1989-92 'Second wave' - dramatic expansion of Dru team. North Wales retreats established. Dru Mindfulness, Healing and Pathfinders courses launched. First Dru Yoga videos
1992-93 'Friendship without Frontiers' world tour - teaching Dru techniques in 31 countries. Attendance at the Earth Summit. Purchase of Snowdonia Mountain Lodge
1994 LifeWalk 2000 - Seminar tours by walking teams throughout the UK
1995 EuroWalk 2000 - Seminars by walking teams from Auschwitz, Poland to UK and Ireland. Gordon Wilson peace award. Reconciliation / Detraum work begins in Auschwitz and Northern Ireland. Aid sent to war torn Balkans, 24-hour Peace Vigils. First best selling book.
1996 EuroWalk Bosnia - first war zone detraum for UNHCR. 60 Days of Peace Prayer coincided with the end of the Bosnian war. Mansukh Patel TV programmes launched in The Netherlands. (Young Gandhi in the text)
1997 EuroWalk UK - 3 parallel walks with seminars throughout the UK. Bhagavad Gita TV programmes aired in Continental Europe and Canada.
1998 Outreach teams initiated in 10 locations on 4 continents. Dru Netherlands and Dru Australia not-for-profit companies established. Eurowalk visits Russia and begins detraum work in the North Caucasus. Dru web sites launched.
1999 Birth of the World Peace Flame (WPF). Eurowalk Africa, Detraum in Bangladesh and Nepal. Aid continues; tonnes sent to Kosovo and Africa
2000 70,000 signatures for peace delivered to the UN, EU and Downing St. Assisi to Rome peace walk - presenting the WPF to the Pope. First Dru Yoga teacher training in Australia.
2001 World Conference on Spirituality in Peace - 1800 delegates in The Hague. Dru Yoga DVD filmed in Berlin and launched worldwide.
2002 Dru teacher training expands to North Wales from the Midlands. World Peace Flame monuments in The Hague and Memphis.
World Peace Flame forum with 75 national influencers in Los Angeles for peace.
2003 WPF monuments in Dru Centre, Wales and in Sydney. WPF opens the Cinema for Peace gala in Berlin to a celebrity audience. Stranger Nearby TV series aired in The Netherlands.
2004 All 197 countries create the World Peace Flame pathway in The Hague, and sign the Ambassador's Declaration for Peace. Stillness in Motion - Dru Yoga book launched. Birth of the Dru Professional Network (DPN). Dru Yoga teacher training launched in Ireland and Canada.
2005

1st Dru Meditation teacher training course. WPF Monuments in Venlo, NL. Dru Yoga teacher training starts in London.

2006 Dru Yoga teacher trainings become a main focus of Dru, research showing dramatic effects in health, personal wellbeing and social cohesiveness. Dru Yoga teacher training launched in Leeds.
2007 Steps to Enlightenment courses launched. Dru seminars commence in New Zealand.
2008 Dru Meditation teacher training courses launched in Australia and the Netherlands
Birth of the Dru Yoga online studio. 
2009 WPF monuments continue in the Netherlands. 
2010 Dru Yoga teacher training is now occurring in at least 14 places worldwide. Dru Ayurveda begins. Dru filming in Australia leads to 6 DVDs
2011 First major Dru conference launched in Australia
Shri Vidya course established in North Wales
Dru University research randomised controlled experiments results published.
2012 Dru leadership trainings systemised. Dru web / IT overhaul gathers momentum.
2013 Dru Yoga Therapy course initiated. Dru Ayurveda introductory courses commence.
2014 Dru Ayurveda certificate courses commence 
Vedic Astrology courses commence.  Dance between Joy and Pain book republished.
2015 WPF monuments continue in the Netherlands and Belgium, opened by Royal representatives.  Dru web systems overhauled and new web presence launched.
2016 Dru university research papers continue. 
2017 Dru is now a worldwide phenomenon, the 2nd largest yoga school in the UK, training many hundreds of teachers each year, creating an incalculable effect on the world!
2018 40th Anniversary celebrations. Dru is now one of the elder Yoga schools in the West. Day of Doing Dru launched in 30??? countries worldwide.