Yoga for Arthritis Treatment

Yoga for Arthritis Treatment

Arthritis is ailment misunderstood by many. It is not a disease per se but a way of referring to join point of inflammation of joints. This discomfort and pain can last long if not attended to at the rather time and become a problem during later years.

The ancient technique of Yoga which involves stretching and flexing muscles is holistic well being tool. Yoga asanas help in strengthening muscles makes them flexible and promotes a healthy mind. Arthitis can definitely be made bearable with yoga. In fact continuous practice can help you get rid of it completely.

These yoga postures will help you manage the symptoms of arthritis:

1.Veerbhadrasana or Warrior pose

Strengthens the arms, legs and lower back.  It is extremely beneficial for frozen shoulders.

You may use some support at the knee to hold this pose.

2.Vrikshasana or Tree Pose

It strengthens the legs and back and improves balance. However, this posture is not recommended for those with high blood pressure or migraine.

3.Marjariasana or Cat stretch Pose

This is a complete posture. It brings flexibility and strength to the entire body including the spine, wrists and shoulders. It improves blood circulation.If you have a problem with the neck or shoulder region, consult your doctor before practicing this posture.

4.Setubandhasana or Bridge Pose

It strengthens the back muscles and stretches the neck, chest and spine. Setubandhasana relieves back pain instantly and can prove to be a very good for treating symptoms of osteoporosis.

5.Trikonasana or Triangle Pose

It is very effective for back pain and sciatica as it stretches and strengthens the spine, arms, and chest by improving physical equilibrium. If you have severe back pain, please avoid this posture.

6.Shavasana or Corpse Pose

This brings complete relaxation to the body and also repairs tissues and cells.

It releases stress and is an ideal way to get rid of vata (air element) that aggravates joint pain and also creates imbalance in the body.

Yoga’s extreme range of motion sends fluid into the obscure corners and crevices of each joint and brings about a sensation of relief. This gives yoga a therapeutic edge over other forms of exercise, such as walking, biking, all of which get the joints swinging but in a more limited way only in this specific case of arthirits.

Yoga asanas followed with some meditation and chanting can really boost up energy levels. Arthritis patients who rarely find it easy to move around or to even feel energetic, yoga can change this 360 degrees.

Image credit: ljupco

Yoga to Holistic Life

International yoga day 2017 -6

Looking at the way Yoga has been embraced by the world in the last decade or so, one can safely say that Yoga has arrived. Modern world has definitely realized the benefits of Yoga. Yoga is here and here to stay. But, when we think of Yoga, immediately an image of a bendy person doing some sort of a body contortion comes to our mind. Modern world has been presented the idea of Yoga as physical exercise. Is Yoga only about stretching muscles and moving into seemingly elastic body manipulations? In this article, let us try to understand Yoga as something more than just a “class” and open ourselves to the deeper understanding of the holistic, life transforming benefits of Yoga.

Traditionally, Yoga is understood as “Moksha Shastra” or the science of liberation. Moksha commonly means “liberation”, but one needs to understand Moksha in its deeper sense. Moksha, is not any mundane liberation but is the fundamental liberation from our erroneous perceptions of ourselves. In its original sense, Yoga is the science of total mind-body transformation that releases us from the limiting perception and experience of ourselves and the world. It would not be wrong to call Yoga the philosophy and technique of correcting our own understanding and experience of ourselves.

But, is there a need for such liberation? I mean, ask yourself, how many times have we decided to do something only to be stopped by self-doubt. How many times have we vouched to be calm only to be disturbed by a wave of anger that seemingly comes out of nowhere. How many times have we suffered under bouts of repeated self-denial, guilt, regret and “poor me” syndrome. These issues have an effect on our body, posture, breath, relationships and life in turn. Yoga is a holistic science that includes all aspects of our life. Practicing Yoga in its entirety and not just as postures eases the pressures of the physical-mental (psycho-somatic) ups and downs generating a lasting sense of peace.

The Rishis or the spiritual scientists of ancient India realized that we humans do not really live with total efficiency and effectiveness. Our day to day life is compromised by limiting psycho-somatic tendencies that restrict our thoughts and actions. Once these limiting factors are transformed and eventually over powered we can live as something very profound and peaceful that we all are. This “something very profound” is known as the True Self (Atman/Shiva in philosophical sense). Simply put, the True Self can be understood as our human potential operating in an unrestricted, optimized, peaceful and loving manner. Liberation from limiting psycho-somatic tendencies that restricts our optimum potential is known as Moksha and the set of practices that help us in facilitating the liberation is called Yoga.

Thus, Yoga is much wider than a mere practice of physical contortions (asana). It is a way of living consciously, working on our limitations and allowing life to unfold the optimum potential within us all. Yoga is not just about physical exercise or a class but it is living a life of conscious transformation. Let us look at some ways in which we can consciously practice Yoga in its holistic sense and make Yoga a self-transformation process.

The process of Yoga: The objective of Yoga is to refine the body-mind complex. Since between mind and body the variable of body is grosser, more physical, we start the transformation process with the body. Yoga essentially believes that mind and body are two sides of the same coin. The body is gross of mind and mind is the subtle of the body. Whatever effects the mind will have its effect on the body and vice versa. This is why we start the transformation process via the body as it is more accessible of the two. The physical posture (asana) practice is just one part of the Yoga process.

Why do we do asana in Yoga: Traditional Yoga schools did not look at asana as flexibility training but as a method of generating self-awareness and energy alignment. Deepening of self-awareness is facilitated by making the asana practice more conscious and mindful. Such conscious, inward focus is cultivated by focusing the awareness on body sensations, breath, emotional sensitivity and through visualizations. A mindful asana practice generates self-awareness and mental stillness, bringing the mind and its movements under observation and a fairly conscious grasp. This is when the deeper work of refining the mind and emotions can start. Thus, a gentle, mindful asana practice can, over a period of time, generate increased self-awareness and slow down the restless mind which is usually responsible for stress, exhaustions and a number of mind-body ailments. A life lived with self-awareness makes the practitioner feel more alive, participative and integrated in the process of life.

Breath is the key: According to yoga scriptures, mind and breath are closely linked. It is said that the mind rides on the horse of breath. When the mind is relaxed, the breath is balanced and effortless. When the mind is agitated, the breath is imbalanced and effortful. Modern life, with its stress and speed has resulted in a hyperactive, buzzing mind. This hyperactive mind keeps us in an excitatory state which leads to a fast, shallow and confused respiratory rhythm. Such respiratory rhythm in turn leads to an agitated mind. This is how the cycle goes on, unnoticed for our whole life.

The technique of breath modulation is called Pranayama and is very useful to calm down the mind. Pranayama has not caught up with the modern Yoga enthusiasts as much as asana. Yet, one cannot rule out its importance. In fact a regular practice of Pranayama has shown to generate a sense of wellbeing, cultivate deep relaxation and increase lung capacity. But the most important benefit of Pranayama is that it makes us more aware of ourselves. It literally creates more space between two moments and allows us to consciously exercise the “choice” that we all have and that every moment encloses within itself. Pranayama practice in Yoga is a slow, gentle practice that makes us more conscious of our breathing which is otherwise usually automatic. When a person is conscious of the breath and is able to modulate it in the right time, the automatic, impulsive thoughts can be reined in. In times of conflict, when the mind and speech fires like a machine gun, one, single conscious breath can create space and give us the moment to choose our action carefully. When choice is exercised in such a way, escalation of conflicts and worries can be avoided. Sometimes all you need to create peace in life is conscious awareness and one relaxed breath. Gradually every single breath, taken consciously, calms down the mind and promotes a reflective life rather than a reactive life.

Relaxation: Yoga practices like Shavasana, Pranayama, Yoga Nidra and Meditation can provide innumerable relaxation benefits. Modern society needs to learn to relax. It is with a sense of urgency that we all ought to understand our mind-body system’s vital need for relaxation. Relaxation, not in the sense of getting enough sleep or resting on a sofa, rather, relaxation emerging from a deep knowing that there is no hurry, there is no need to prove anything to anyone and that it will all be fine eventually. Many of us complain of tiredness, exhaustion and mental fatigue compromising our efficiency. Unless we take the time to relax, our lives will continue to be driven by pursuits that lead to nothing but increased nervous exhaustion. One of the best ways of relaxing is a general slowing down of activities through the day. Unless we slow down, we are too caught up in life’s pace to even know where we are going. Slowing down give us the chance to pause, reflect, prioritize and channel our energies towards the desired goals. Involving more relaxation methodologies in the Yoga practice can create lasting peace of mind that can allow us to reflect on our life and take appropriate steps to slow down life’s pace, enjoy the moment and cherish small joys of life.

Faith and Patience: Last but not the least, each one of us who has been preoccupied with the external world has to one day sit up and take notice of the inner voice. This inner voice is nothing but a deeper, innate instinct of self-refinement (transformation). It is that impulse which is programmed to set us free. Listening to the inner voice will drive us safely and clearly towards self-refinement. Self-refinement happens through patiently experimenting with methods of Yoga and experiencing life consciously and totally. Experimenting means exploring new possibilities and to explore new possibilities we need to be fearless, fearless enough to objectively examine our self and to ascertain what to let go off and what to hold on to. One cannot expect the benefits of Yoga if one is not ready to invest in dedicated and diligent Sadhana (self-practice). Process of Yoga is not merely a pursuit of fitness but a process of enlivening a steady state of peace and contentment. This process of self-transformation is gradual and many a times challenging. But with patience, determination and trust we all can reach the peak of peace and true potential that Yoga promises.


21st June is celebrated as International day of Yoga, to revere the ancient technique of attaining holistically healthy life. Be an instrument to create the awareness of yoga to let maximum people get benefited from it.

Mind-boggling Sudarshan Kriya Side Effects

Sudarshan kriya has bought a remake in the life of millions across the world. The simple breathing technique is taught in the Happiness program conducted by Art of Living.

The regular practice of Sudarshan kriya brings about the harmony in body ,breath and mind. The research has proven that it eliminates stress, fatigue and frustration. And at the same time improves ones ability to focus, solve problems and understand complex issues.

Now when the one has healthy body and mind, the obvious positive side effect of it will be a happy life. A healthy state of mind and body improves persons efficiency at everything they take up leading to better results.

The persons happiness also keeps many bodily issues at bay like depression, insomnia, cholesterol and many more. Since most of the body and mind level diseases are associated with stress. If one understands how to tackle this stress, it will not be difficult to have disease free life.  And Sudarshan kriya is one such tool which has the mind blogging multifold positive side effects to make ones life beautiful in all aspects.

Know more about how to be happy.

Bio Chemistry Research on Sudarshan Kriya

 “If we reduce the number of oxygen radicals, we improve the antioxidant status in our body and live longer.” – Manoj Jain
Ever wondered what causes us to age, resulting in death of our body cells over the years, or develop heart disease leading to plaque in the artery, or suffer from cancer causing cells to mutate and grow erratically? The answer may be simpler than we think.
Some researchers say the common denominator in all these conditions is the antioxidant status — the level of a chemical process that takes place in our cells and genes. Like we measure our cholesterol level, researchers argue, we can measure our antioxidant status and determine how vulnerable we are to diseases.
In a pilot study, biochemists at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) studied the effect of Sudarshan Kriya on the antioxidant status of individuals. Sudarshan Kriya is a well known rhythmic breathing technique promoted by The Art of Living workshops. It is preceded by Ujjayi Pranayam or long and deep breaths with constriction at the base of throat and Bhastrika or fast and forceful breaths through the nose along with arm movements.
Before we talk about their findings, let’s step back into our biochemistry class and understand what antioxidant status means. According to the free-radical theory, the cells in our body are being constantly damaged and destroyed by oxygen radicals, similar to what dirt and rust do to our cars. Oxygen radicals are different from oxygen gas in that they are molecules that are highly charged and detrimental byproducts of cell reactions. Our body has an antioxidant defense system that constantly searches and destroys these oxygen radicals, much like our immune system, which polices our body for foreign agents such as bacteria and viruses and eliminates them. If the antioxidant defense system of our body is weak, then the number of oxygen radicals increases, causing our cells to die quickly. This results in inflammation and plaque within our heart vessels or prompts the cells to mutate into cancer cells. If we reduce the number of oxygen radicals, we improve the antioxidant status in our body, and we live longer and lead a disease free life. It is important that we try to reduce the level of oxygen radicals and strengthen our defense system. We can increase our antioxidant levels through our diet. A healthy diet of vegetable and fruit increases our intake of important antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C, E, and beta carotene. Some initial studies have shown the benefit of higher antioxidants in our diet, but larger studies have not detected the benefit — so the jury is still out. Smoking, alcohol and chronic psycho-social problems like work and family pressures, can increase oxidative stress. This stress affects our complex molecules and genes. Yoga and meditation can relieve this stress. Will Sudarshan Kriya have a similar effect?
A team lead by Dr Neeta Singh and Dr Vinod Kochupillai, former chief of IRCH and Head of Medical Oncology at IRCH ( Institute rotary cancer hospital) at AIIMS, tested the blood of 42 persons who were practicing Sudarshan Kriya for over 1 year and compared it with the blood of 42 healthy individuals who were not practicing any form of physical exercise or stress management techniques. What the researchers found was thought provoking. Clearly, the cellular activity between the two groups was different. The Kriya practitioners had a better antioxidant status at the enzyme and the gene level. Also they had less DNA damage and cell aging. It is difficult to know if this change will lead to longer life span, decrease rates of cancer, or lessen heart disease, but “we should practice some type of breathing technique once a day to reduce stress,” said Dr Neeta Singh, who herself does it everyday. Though biochemical science and spirituality may seem miles apart, it is heartening to see ancient practices and modern science converging in man’s endeavour to live a richer and healthier life. Millions around the globe have benefited by practicing Sudarshan Kriya. Fill in the form below to learn how Sudarshan Kriya can transform your life too

Power of Breath to Calm the Mind

Patanjali yoga sutras says ”

Prachchardana vidharanabhyam va pranasya”

“By splitting and retention of breath in a special manner.”

“Vishayavati va pravruttirutpanna manasaha sthithinibandhini

“By that very activity in the mind, through that very objects of senses, the mind can be made steady, brought to a standstill.”

Breaking the rhythms of the breath, the natural rhythms of the breath and holding the breath, sustaining the breath in different rhythms. If someone asks you where has Patanjali talked about (Sudarshan) kriya, Patanjali has not mentioned Sudarshan Kriya directly. But in this one sentence there is a clue. You can have the trace of our practices to this one sūtra. We are doing the same thing, the rhythms. We are not breathing just however the breath goes, but we are bringing it consciously in a definite, particular rhythm. That is prachchardana, splitting. Whatever rhythm the breath is coming through, splitting it and holding it on to different rhythms.

Suppose this does not work. This does work but if you feel that there still a little incompletion, then vishayavati means, through any one object of senses, the mind can be stilled. After singing bhajans, when we sit quiet. Then what is happening? Your mind is not running here and there at that time. Then you sit with your eyes closed and the mind is completely settled. Meditation. Mind has come to that stand still, hasn’t it?

Source :

Scientifically, Sudarshan Kriya improves antioxidant status at the enzyme and the gene level and reduce DNA damage and cell aging.

Every emotion has breathing patterns; for example, if one gets angry then one’s breath is short and fast. Similarly, breathing has an impact on the mind (for example, a deep, long breath relaxes the mind.) Through breathing in different patterns, one can influence emotions and gain control over one’s mind. Research suggested that it helps in improving well being (improving immunity and detoxification),and peace of mind (reduce stress, enhance brain function). Sudarshan Kriya is taught in various Art of Living programs.

A research published  observed that a comprehensive practice of Yoga, Sudarshan Kriya & Pranayam has rapid and significant effect on gene expression suggesting long term beneficial effects even at the molecular level.


Sudarshan Kriya Benefits Doctor from Texas

This video is the experience sharing of Dr. Tina Fanning, a doctor in MD Anderson Cancer Research Center in Houston, Texas. She was suffering from severe pain due to fibromyalgia and Sudarshan Kriya™ helped her recover.

Fibromyalgia is caused by hormonal disturbances to stress to genetics and combination of many physical and emotional stressors. The Sudarshan Kriya may provide antidote to stress by physiologically counteracting the sympathetic effects. In a normal situation (in the absence of stress), the practice of rapid breathing interspersed with adequate pauses of slow breathing may provide tool for relaxation and vivid imagery. Sudarshan kriya rapidly improves psychological and physiological symptoms of post-traumatic stress, including insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, depression, hyperarousal, overreactivity to triggers, re-experiencing, emotional numbing, social withdrawal, loss of appetite, and angry outbursts. Anxiety, depression, and PTSD are associated with SNS overactivity or erratic activity and PNS underactivity. Evidence suggests yoga breathing normalizes SNS activity and increases PNS tone as indicated by heart rate variability.

Learn Sudarshan Kriya and Pranayam

Pranayama is most often defined as “the control of the breath.” It is true that on the existential level, the easiest perceivable manifestation of prana, and therefore that upon which it is easiest to act, is deemed to be the breath.

So the yogi mostly relies on his/her breath for the absorption, assimilation and manipulation of this vital energy.

Nonetheless, there is a deeper meaning to this term pranayama as well. Air is not the only vehicle for the prana. Prana expresses as any force, power and energy manifested in the Universe, both physical and subtle. Moreover, prana manifests within beings as the different physical, mental and psychic processes.

The fine movements of the nerves in a living body and the powers of the mind are in fact only more specific manifestations of prana. The activity of the five senses are also expressions of prana vibrating at certain frequencies.

Before practicing pranayama, certain precautions and essentials are to be taken.  For pranayama practices, one has to ensure proper place, suitable time, mitahara diet and proper light. Pranayama can be practiced to any place that is well-ventilated from external disturbances. To be fit and healthy, 15 minutes of pranayama is good. It is also suggested that pranayama should be performed under the guidance of a yoga instructor.

How to do Sudarshan Kriya

Sudarshan kriya is a breathing technique in combination with pranayamas which helps to keep synergy of inside environment with that of outside. The sudarshan kriya can be learned from the certified instructor to get the best benefits from the technique. Once well versed with the technique, one has to practice it on regular basis. The sudarshan kriya yoga daily practice takes around 20 minutes. These 20 minutes of practice gets about the benefits the practitioner at the body level and mind level. There by providing holistic growth of the person.

The playlist below helps to understand how Sudarshan kriya has benefited the people in attaining clarity of mind.



Relation between Spirituality and Religion – Talk by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Spirituality is like a banana and religion is like the banana skin. People today have thrown away the fruit and are left holding tightly to the skin. – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

 Ambassador of Peace Sri Sri Ravi Shankar goes on to clarify:

“Religion has it’s place, I am not a communist or an atheist who says religion should be done away with. Let it be there but what is the point of having the skin without a banana inside?! If there is no substance, no human values, no compassion, no love, no sense of belongingness, holding on to the rituals and just the outer identity of religion, which has becomes the cause of more and more conflicts in the world today, is what I was talking about.”

“Religion has it’s place, let it be there. It does have a place. Your weddings are done according to religion, your naming ceremonies, even your cremation. From birth to cremation, your name is all indicated by religion. Let it be there. But let it not swallow or eat up, the basics of spirituality that is love, compassion, sense of belongingness, humility. These values are what you call spirituality.”

Symbolic Love

Commenting on Religious Fundamentalism Sri Sri Ravi Shankar states:

“It is the distress and mistrust in people which causes them to take religion as an excuse to express their frustration and display aggressive, violent behaviour.”

Art of Living Founder and world spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar adds:

“Every child should study a little bit about different religions and cultures. If people knew just a little bit about what Jesus said, what the Upanishads say, what the Vedas say, what Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Islam say, there would not be a single terrorist in the world.”

“Today’s terrorism is a result of Puritanism: i.e. when people say, “Only my religion is pure. I should keep away from other religious books or I should not be educated in those things. Only this is the way.” That type of religious indoctrination in children has given rise to Taliban sort of movements in the world. We have lost so many people to terrorism.”

Emphasizing that Spirituality is a way of life, a personalized attitude of relating with the world, one based on unity rather than diversity, on love and a sense of belongingness to everyone rather than anger and alienation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar advises:

“Bang on your inner door. See that there is no lack of love in you, there is no lack of anything whatsoever inside you.”

“You can experience God in the depth of your heart. Do not delay a moment. Bang on the door. All the wealth is within you.”

The Power of one

Today’s paper was full of tributes to Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore. He was a dynamic leader who was able to transform Singapore from a poverty stricken country to a prosperous First World Nation. It is amazing to see that even if one person has the grit, courage and foresight it is possible to achieve the seemingly impossible. There are many such heroes, some are celebrated others may be low profile and many more who are unsung heroes. But the common trait amongst all of them is a vision to do something different, extraordinary will to achieve despite odds stacked against them and determination to succeed. I have read about many achievers and one of them who has made an impact on me personally is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

He is one such exceptional person who has worked selflessly towards improving the society. He is not a politician or a leader yet the following that he enjoys will make any politician envy him. He is no less a visionary and believes in the Indian adage “Vasudaiva Kutumbakam” -World is one Family- and in the last 30 years or so he has worked incessantly towards making it into reality.

It’s amazing to know that the Art of Living organization is present in 150 countries and is run on the strength and enthusiasm of its strong volunteer base. To name a few they have centers in places like strife torn Iran, Pakistan, Mangolia, China, Japan and Malaysia where this particular threat was given. The Art of Living foundation has done commendable work in bringing about real changes in the lives of ordinary people in different ways.

The Art of Living programs and Sri Sri are universally popular because he focuses on individuals as humans and not on the basis of caste, creed, religion, color or nationality. Sri Sri has designed simple programs combining Yoga, Pranayama( breathing technique), and meditation that help to clear the cobwebs of doubt, anxiety or fear and experience true freedom and somewhere in the process get in touch with their real selves. One such process is “Sudarshan Kryia” that has intrigued the scientific community to a great extent. They have conducted several experiments to study the effect of it on the mind and body. “Sudarshan Kriya” is a breathing technique that Sri Sri himself has evolved. It has helped many to overcome psychological and emotional blocks, unlock creativity, elevate depression, cure asthma and also break bad habits such as smoking and alcohol. These have been ascertained from the feedbacks of participants themselves. Well! The scientists and neurologists can keep experimenting but for ordinary people all that matters is that it works. A sense of calmness, happiness and satisfaction can be evidently felt around people who have practiced Sudarshan Kriya for over 10-15 years.

What else are we humans all over the world running around for? A peaceful life, restful sleep and happy heart possibly all that we crave for. This is exactly what Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is trying to make us realize that it is possible to coexist with our differences, be content (even if we do not have the latest gadget), not to judge people (even if they are our worst enemy)and most importantly live in the present moment.

The Art of Living program aims to spur everyone to live with more awareness and put their best effort and be like a lamp that is lit which can light more lamps.


Sudarshan Kriya Gives Me Clarity of Mind and Greater Depth – Manjari

My name is Manjari. I’m a hospitality professional. I’ve been practicing the Sudarshan Kriya technique for 10 years and I’ve seen a change in myself. I have a level of calmness which gives me clarity of mind and helps me to make right decisions.  It also makes me a happier person. There is more depth to everything that I do now. I would definitely recommend it to everyone.

Sudarshan Kriya is a powerful breathing technique cognized by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The technique, taught in the Art of Living Happiness program, has benefited millions of people across all walks of life – youth, corporate executives, trauma affected, underprivileged, children and homemakers.

Sudarshan Kriya Benefited Me Quit My Addictions – Mahesh

My name is Mahesh Dhadge. I am from Umerga in the State of Maharashtra, India. Before I did the Sudarshan Kriya technique, I was an addict and didn’t have a proper relationship with my Mom and Dad or with my friends, as I was a terrible person then. Since doing the Sudarshan Kriya, I got connected with my Mom and Dad. I had been a chain smoker and drank alcohol, but after regular practice of the Sudarshan Kriya, I dropped all these addictions. I have been practicing the Sudarshan Kriya continuously, without missing a single day, for four years and it feels fantastic! Every day is new, and the whole day goes very well if I start it with the practice of the Sudarshan Kriya. That’s all!

Sudarshan Kriya is a powerful breathing technique cognized by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The technique, taught in the Art of Living Happiness program, has benefited millions of people across all walks of life – youth, corporate executives, trauma affected, underprivileged, children and homemakers.

Sudarshan Kriya is Like Mental Cleansing to Me – Kuba

My name is Kuba from Canada.  I do storytelling for a living.  I also enjoy photography and film work.  When I first did the Sudarshan Kriya technique, it was so cleansing for my mind and body.  When we wake up in the morning, we want to feel fresh before we start our day, so we brush our teeth and take a shower.  In the same way, practicing the Sudarshan Kriya technique cleanses your entire system.  You feel rejuvenated and ready to go. You feel awesome!

Sudarshan Kriya is a powerful breathing technique cognized by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The technique, taught in the Art of Living Happiness program, has benefited millions of people across all walks of life – youth, corporate executives, trauma affected, underprivileged, children and homemakers.

I’m So Happy All the Time, Thanks to Sudarshan Kriya! – Bibiana

Hello. My name is Bibiana. I’m from Argentina. For me the Sudarshan Kriya experience is a very nice state. It makes me happy.  It takes away my problems. Nothing else in my life had changed, but when I added the practice of Sudarshan Kriya, I had no more problems! No matter what happens I am very, very happy all the time. I laugh more and I have better relationships with my family.  When I stay good, all my family is good too! Thanks to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for the Sudarshan Kriya technique!

Sudarshan Kriya Benefits – Makes Me Happy, So I Can Help Others More! – Wanda

Hello. My name is Wanda. I am from Poland. I am an Ayurvedic Technician, in other words I give Ayurvedic treatments to clients.  The  Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique has completely changed my life. After doing the Sudarshan Kriya, I feel happier and more grateful for what I have and I share with others as well, because it is not only about my life, it’s for others too. When I feel happy,when I am fulfilled, then I can help more people and I think that is the most magic part of Sudarshan Kriya. I used to have lots of health problems and now they’re all gone. My whole family has attended the Art of Living (AOL) Happiness program and every morning we do our Sudarshan Kriya practice together.  It is amazing to see the difference between the way our lives were before, and how they are now. I highly recommend it for everyone.

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Sudarshan Kriya is a powerful breathing technique cognized by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The technique, taught in the Art of Living Happiness program, has benefited millions of people across all walks of life – youth, corporate executives, trauma affected, underprivileged, children and homemakers.

Sudarshan Kriya creates a harmony between our body, mind and spirit – Magbara

I took up my Art Of Living course in the year 2007, I did Sudarshan Kriya and it really has changed my life totally. When I do Sudarshan Kriya, I become calm, very energized and very focused encountering feelings of joy and happiness inside of me.This is happening for the past six years. Since the time I have been doing Sudarshan Kriya, my life has changed inside out. The way I perceive things has changed, I am a better person than what I was. If I miss my Sudarshan Kriya even for a single day that reflects upon the way I carry out things. So on a daily basis I do Sudarshan Kriya, since it is really beneficial and creates a sense of harmony between our mind,body and spirit. It has completely changed my life. I am so grateful to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Magbara, from Ethiopia.

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Sudarshan Kriya is a powerful breathing technique cognized by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The technique, taught in the Art of Living Happiness program, has benefited millions of people across all walks of life – youth, corporate executives, trauma affected, underprivileged, children and homemakers.

Sudarshan Kriya Benefits to Stabilize my Emotions – Marcena

When I first time took the course and did my Sudarshan Kriya I experienced an unexplained blissfulness. We usually clean our house but don’t clean our minds, we always tend to wander our minds into the future or the past happenings. But when I did it for the first time, I started feeling more confident and outgoing and felt much more happier than ever before. I started accepting my life as it came. Each day things are bound to happen to us ,that may make us happier or sad but Sudarshan Kriya helps us stabilize our emotions. We don’t get carried away by what others say or do, we become much more centered and which in turn makes us a better person because despite encountering all the days nuisance we are ready to help others and that’s a fantastic experience that one can undergo in once lifetime.

Marcena, Argentina

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Sudarshan Kriya is a powerful breathing technique cognized by spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The technique, taught in the Art of Living Happiness program, has benefited millions of people across all walks of life – youth, corporate executives, trauma affected, underprivileged, children and homemakers.

Spiritual Shopping Comes to Halt

I was born and brought up in Hindu family and my bed time stories were the about Our Hindu Deities primarily Lord Rama or Krishna. They were like my refuge and I wondered what was like being so immensely self sacrificing? I went to Convent school and there I was introduced to Lord Jesus, my inquisition had no bounds and started searching more and more about Christianity and soon I was introduced to Sikhism, as most of my friends were Sikh. My faith kept on changing from our countless deities, their fables and moral values behind them to deities of different religion. I couldn’t ever come to a conclusion which one exactly I liked or followed. I was a shopaholic that was sure, but spiritual shopaholic.

I was a blend of all the concepts that I had learned till the age twenty and was sure, I don’t like idol worship and my tolerance with dogmatic superstitions was taking its last breath. I read various holy books, philosophy and spiritual books but I could not really connect with any, may be because it all concluded with living in present and being satisfied with whatever you have. I always questioned what if I want more? Why am I stuck with present, what if I want to plan my future? Thankfully I was never a past person, it was impossible for me to see life rhetorically. Anyways my struggle with these concepts of being satisfied with whatever made me search more and more. As they say, when the disciple is ready the teacher finds him. So was my case. I received a call from my friend about the YES!+ workshop by The Art of Living which he promised would mark a change in me.I  went on to do my first Yes Plus course and there was no turning back. After that, more deep I went more clarity I got. My spiritual shopping came to a halt. Sri Sri believes in moving on and not getting stuck and that’s what I wanted to hear .I often used to question on the futility of rituals and he answered in his velvety yet humorous tone,” Ah! It’s all about making the atmosphere, setting the mood for Meditation.” Sri Sri always says,” There is no end to wishes and desires, you climb one mountain yet there is another mountain; you cross one threshold, you will find another threshold calling you. That’s how a human is always running not settling down. But you know it’s good to sit for a while and enjoy the acquisition.” Now that made sense to me, very subtly he explained the value and completeness of present moment. The present moment which is complete and cherishing in itself but it becomes more memorable and worthy when you persevere.

Setting a Goal and aspiring for it was one thing but setting a goal and getting feverish was another. It’s not the goal which doesn’t let you sleep but the feverishness and uncertainty of the future that makes a person’s life a living hell and drags the person away from its present moment. These little yet enlightening words of wisdom finally made me settle. It’s true a person never settle’s, it’s the mind of the person that settle’s. There is no such place called past, present or future but every moment in it wholeness is present with the possibility of future with the experience of past. Still I can’t say I am a Hindu,a Sikh or a Christian but one thing I can definitely say that I am spiritual. I don’t have to make a never ending list of books to be learned but just set the mood and slip into meditation which will take me to the realms beyond past, present or future and definitely much beyond religion. I am still not self sacrificing but I understood the depth of one random act of kindness that not only stretches the curve of your lips but also strengthen others faith in humanity.

Ekta Madaan (Facebook | Twitter)

A Deep Impression

In the month of May in the garden city of Bangalore, over a decade ago, a  cobbled winding pathway guarded by lush green trees in full bloom. The silver of the moonlight meandering and finding it’s way through the thick canopy. The cool breeze was bringing with it the smell of damp soil. About 50 people dressed in crisp whites standing on either side of the pathway holding candles. A sense of anticipation, peace, excitement and joy in the air. A smile on every face and a song on each lip. Even as my eyes feasted on this sight (something that even personalized private paid holidays cant always create) I saw a petite figure in flowing white robes glide along the path, we were standing. There was a smile for everyone, a pat, some flowers and love that was freely oozing for all to soak into. The whole event lasted no more than 2 minutes, but left a lasting and deep impression in my heart. The silence of the night was quickly broken as the group jolted to follow the man in white flowing robes, with a twinkle in his eyes and smile on his lips… I was in all senses an outsider (it was my first time at that place and with these people in white) but something inside me propelled me to join the group into the hall. It was the first time that I had stumbled across the phenomenon known as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and little did I know that I was soon to be swept off my feet straight into a whirlwind of knowledge, love and life.

From that first encounter with His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji (fondly known as Guruji) way back in 1999-2000 till today, I have had numerous opportunities to meet Him, spend time with Him, observe Him and most importantly learn from Him. If I have to trace my story with Guruji and The Art of Living, I would probably need to write at least a page for each day of my life… and so, I’ll just look behind me and talk about some milestones- a few landmark, some adorable and still some plain vanilla, but each of them significant nonetheless.

As a Guru and a saint, there is tremendous mystic surrounding Sri Sri. Many have made vain attempts at trying to capture that presence in words and pictures. Over the years I’ve realized that attempting to cage Him in anything material is both impossible and futile. In His presence miracles happen, realization dawns, peace prevails, love blossoms and life smiles. Miracles are many, healing experiences are in plenty. Talk to any devotee, they simply can’t stop attributing every realization, moment of truth and glory to Guruji. I’ve seen it happen before my very own eyes, a child who could barely stand due to a limb dysfunction, started walking after being blessed by Guruji. Aches and pains getting cured in His presence are taken for granted by His followers. I’ve had my share of miracles too, it was a terribly distressing time and I was in need of support and guidance. Confused as I was, I couldn’t decide on what needed to be done. Utterly helpless I decided to flip through a book by Guruji ‘Celebrating Silence’. The page I opened up, gave me my answer. Almost as if it were written only for me and just for the situation I was in.I had heard many people tell me about similar experiences and had always brushed them aside. But this time I couldn’t. A week or two later when I did get to see Guruji, with a mischievous smile on His face, he asked me, ‘Kyon? ho gaya na kaam? bata diya na maine kya karna hain…’ I’ve never questioned faith ever after.

Being a journalist, I’ve known and interacted with many multi-faceted people, extremely successful in their chosen fields, but Sri Sri is different. His depth in each dimension- as a guru, a master, a leader, a teacher, a globe trotter, a humanitarian, a visionary- is unfathomable.

Many years ago, when the new BIAL airport was not yet in the pipeline, many of us would go to the airport to receive Him every time He flew back in town. I remember distinctly, one such mid night, He was returning from a particularly long trip abroad. There were at least 30 of us standing at the airport arrival lounge and a much larger number standing outside the lounge. He arrived and greeted each one of us with such love and joy. There wasn’t a trace of tiredness/ jet lag. He received the flowers and the letters listing out worries and problems with the same smile. I realized only later, that it was 3 in the morning, He had just taken a 9 hour flight back home and here we were, jostling around Him, wanting a look of love and a smile from Him, falling at His feet and tugging at His robes, wanting to hold His hand, seeking His blessings without giving even a moment of thought to His comfort. It was like this, way back in the 90’s, it is the same even today- He smiles and gives, blesses and fulfils without a complaint, without a thought for himself. Another incident stands out vividly in my memory. It was February 2004, Gurudev was back from a whirlwind satsang tour of the country. The Bangalore ashram was packed with people who were longing to see Him and attend satsang with Him. He had been gone for a good 40 days or more. As He walked past us to get on to the stage, many of us noticed a blood clot in His left eye. Later that evening when we got an opportunity to ask Him what happened, He mentioned that at a satsang in Tamil Nadu people were throwing raw rice and flowers at Him and some of that hit Him straight in the eye. We were taken aback. Its a custom and tradition down south that people shower the Gods and gurus with raw rice and flowers, but didn’t they realize that throwing it from a distance of 5-10 ft on a person walking on stage can be painful? Looking at us staring aghast, He chuckled and said, ‘at least they are not throwing coconuts!‘ His compassion and understanding are truly mind boggling.

Today, the Art of Living Foundation has grown in leaps and bounds, its presence and service activities in over 155 countries across the world is commendable. From the last inhabited city of the world- Tera Delfargo in Argentina to small villages in India, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a household name. And the reason behind this growth, as much as He would like to humbly attribute it to the teachers and volunteers in the organization, is Him and only Him. His enthusiasm is infectious and His leadership is inspiring. I’ve been tremendously lucky to have worked at reasonably close quarters with Sri Sri. He isn’t just a multi-tasker, He is multi-tasking himself. I’ve personally seen Him start his work day at 7 am (and I know that He wakes up no later than 3:00/ 4:00 am and does his spiritual practices) and goes on till 1:00 am or 2:00 am. The only break He takes in the day is possibly a short power nap after lunch– and most of His lunches are working lunches mind you! I remember one evening, I got back from work and went straight to the ashram on Kanakpura Road, Bangalore. I reached late and so couldn’t attend the satsang, but it was Raksha Bandhan and I really wanted to meet Him and tied the sacred thread around His wrist. I sought some time with Him, flooded as He was with work, He still sent for me. It was past 10 pm when I met Him and tied the rakhi. He spoke to me for a bit while He answered His email, took some phone calls and attended to at least 10 more people in His kutir, besides me. Through this all, He kept a track of the news and even asked for someone to find out more about a particular news story. When all of us stepped out of his kutir, it was close to 11 pm. He had another meeting to finish before He could call it a day at His office, yet, He posed for pictures, gave everyone prasad and just as I was stepping out, He asked me how I had come to the ashram. When I told Him that I had taken public transport, He quickly arranged for someone from the ashram to drop me back home (over 25 kms from the ashram). Thankful, I surely was, but something really struck a chord inside me- here is a celebrity (in his own right), with millions of fan, followers and devotees but He makes time for everyone and takes care of everyone to the minutest detail. With a leader like that, at the helm of affairs, it isn’t a wonder that his followers are high on life and boast of unbridled enthusiasm to serve society for the better.

There is so much about Him that appeals to me and so much that I have learnt and continue to imbibe from Him that it would be practically impossible to pen it all. There is however, one thing that I’d still like to point out. I haven’t seen another who is so honest and transparent about himself. Guruji is the same person behind closed doors, when meeting dignitaries, at administration meetings or when He is out at public satsangs interacting hundred and thousands of people, spending time with slum dwellers, trauma hit or even in war zones. I’ve had the honor and privilege of interviewing Him a couple of times and I can vouch that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is the same in front of the camera or behind it. I remember interviewing Him once around the election time in 2008. He was asked ‘you are asking people to vote, but do you vote?’. He replied, ‘Yes, of course! I voted this morning. I don’t ask anyone to do anything that I don’t do myself.’ After pausing for a few seconds, he added, ‘except marriage’. I was in peals of laughter as were the others who were with me… but He insisted that we keep that last part ‘because it is true’, He said.

Meeting Sri Sri is like coming in touch with that fragile, delicate part of our own selves that we’ve buried under layers of convoluted emotions and years of curdled stresses. There is a beautiful poem written by Guruji himself where he says:

If you are willing to walk into my arms,
If you are willing to live in my heart,
You will find the one you have waited forever….
You will meet yourself in my arms…
I promise.

He lives that promise every moment.