Whatever we do in our daily lives to make our ends meet, our ultimate aim is to ensure happiness for ourselves and our near and dear ones. No matter, whether someone is a businessman or a public figure or a private individual, we want peace, we want and happiness.
According to Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of The Art of Living, the real sign of success is not wealth, but an undying smile that does not change under any circumstance.
Yoga and associated spiritual practices provide that undying smile and joy. Yoga is also considered amongst the greatest wealth of humankind as it brings happiness and absolute comfort.
Explaining why yoga is universally needed, Gurudev says, “A violence-free society, disease-free body, confusion-free mind, inhibition-free intellect, trauma-free memory, and a sorrow-free soul is the birth-right of every individual.” The benefits of yoga are multi-fold.
Firstly, it improves our health and provides us tools and techniques to lead a stress-free life. Yoga not only keeps us healthy but also enhances our work life and relationships. Yoga uplifts the behaviour of a person as behaviour is linked to stress. It creates a friendly disposition in people and improves our vibes. “We convey a lot through our presence, even more than our words.” Sri Sri says.
Yoga is often misinterpreted as limited to some sort of physical exercise. Yoga is much more than that. The propounder of yoga, Lord Krishna has said in the Bhagwad Gita – ‘Yoga is skill in action.’ Yoga is not just an exercise, it is how skilfully you can communicate and act in any given situation. Innovation, intuition, skills, and better communication — all these are the benefits of yoga.
One of the widely respected seers of ancient India, Rishi Patanjali gave to the world what is known as one of the most advanced, precise, scientific and timeless treatise on Yoga-Patanjali Yoga Sutras. In the Yoga Sutra, Patanjali emphasises that meditation is also an integral part of Yoga. In the second sutra of the first chapter, he gives instruction on how to meditate and describes what factors constitute a meditation practice. He mentions that when our external quest for things and possessions turns inward, we have shifted into the realm of meditation.
A large percentage of our population today is suffering from depression. Just popping a Prozac or anti-depressants will not help. We need something that is natural, as natural as our breath, that we can use and elevate our spirit. Nothing could be as simple and effective as Yoga in helping the depressed.
Learning Yoga With Art Of Living
While there are several instructors who teach Yoga, it is advisable that one learns Yoga and associated spiritual practices under the supervision of a well-qualified teacher or organisation as any wrong direction or guidance could be counter-productive for one’s overall well-being.
The Art of Living, which has a presence in over 150 countries, through its tried and tested programmes and well-qualified instructors provides several avenues to reach one’s highest potential and experience infinite bliss, the essence of Yoga.
Sri Sri Yoga
In Sri Sri Yoga, one experiences all aspects of a complete yoga practice, including traditional asanas (postures), simple pranayamas (breathing techniques), guided meditation and practical yet profound knowledge of holistic yoga.
Through a combination of yoga, powerful breathing exercises, meditation, and practical wisdom, Happiness Program helps one explore the highest possibility of living and finding within oneself the source of joy and bliss while learning life skills to stay centred under all circumstances and effectively deal with stress that accumulates in the system every day.
Art of Living’s popular signature breathing technique, the Sudarshan Kriya and Yoga(SKY technique), is taught in this programme. Over 70 independent studies and media reports, including from Harvard University and Psychology Today, have demonstrated and presented SKY’s effectiveness in reducing depression and anxiety. The programme varies from 3 to 6 days and could be taken at any of the Art of Living centres across the world.
Advanced Meditation Programme
Advanced Meditation Programme is a residential programme where the participant’s whole day is crafted to give one a relaxing and transformative experience. Yoga, mudra pranayama, deep meditations, knowledge sessions, silence, seva (service), satsang (soulful music and chants), spending time in nature and wholesome Sattvic food are some of the integral components of the programme.
Sahaj Samadhi Meditation
This program trains one’s conscious mind to experience the silent depths of one’s own nature. Anyone can learn this powerful meditation practice and become fully proficient, in a few hours of training spread across 3 days. Sahaj meditation bestows one with increased energy, clarity, joy, and deep inner peace, leading one to experience and become one with the true essence of Yoga.
Dynamism for Self & Nation
DSN is a rigorous and transformational program that empowers participants to break through personal inhibitions and barriers and access inner stability and power. Padmasadhana, Yoga, knowledge sessions, group processes, seva projects are some of the key pillars of the programme.
The Wellness Program
It is a structured program, designed to take one through the various effective and practical wellness practices available today. It rests on the three pillars of Ayurveda, Yoga and Education.
The Prajñā Yoga (Intuition Process)
It is a program that evokes deep and enigmatic faculties present in a latent form in every child and teen up till 18 years of age. The Prajñā Yoga teaches one to methodically access and utilise one’s intuitive skills. The programme has been found to boost child’s grades, alertness and interpersonal skills.
— Harsh Kanchan, Representative, Art of Living