Archive for April, 2012

Here are experiences of two participants of the March Sri Sri Yoga course taught by Naval Deshbandhu at the Metuchen Art of Living center.

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by Mark Mocarski

I have been associated with Art of Living for approximately one year. I completed the Part 1 course, have done Kriya follow up sessions as well as other miscellaneous activities. I would certainly not claim that I spend all of my spare time at Art of Living, but I do enjoy and find benefits in the limited times that I am around the group(s). Recently, I received a newsletter from Art of Living. One of the topics covered was “Yoga for Weight Loss”. If you were to see me, you would know that this was NOT directed toward me since I am a fairly slender man. Although I didn’t see the need for the weight loss benefits of yoga, I continued to read the information. By the time I was done, I realized that Sri Sri Yoga has many more benefits than weight loss and at this time of my life, I could definitely use help in some of those areas.

While reading the benefits of Sri Sri Yoga, I realized that I was out of balance in so many areas and was hopeful that Yoga could help. I saw “increases energy, improves digestion, increases flexibility, strengthens muscles and bones, enhances and strengthens internal organs including endocrine (stress) organs” and more! I thought to myself, “ok, I’m a stressed out, stiff, lethargic weakling with digestive issues…..Maybe this can help me”.

I shared this opportunity with my daughter and she reluctantly agreed to join me. She is not really into the spiritual/meditative side of things, but she saw the opportunity to clear her mind by experiencing Sri Sri Yoga. Plus, she just loves to hang out with me.

I do realize the need for exercise, but must admit, I don’t like going to the gym or running 5 miles a day, nor do I want to spend my time doing that. I’ve always enjoyed yoga, but have not practiced it in a long time and I didn’t like many of the yoga videos that I own as use for instruction. The Sri Sri Yoga course is an awesome balance of yoga postures, breathing techniques and meditation. It was well structured and well taught. Additionally, it was FUN! Yoga videos and yoga classes at a local gym are no match for Sri Sri Yoga!

I think the Sri Sri Yoga course can be a great experience for anyone at any level. I think it can be used as a great introduction to the Art of Living experience for someone who would like to evaluate the program. I
believe it is a great tool to begin to add structure to your life. It creates a level of commitment within
you to attend the sessions and to continue the practice after the course ends. What I really like is
that by the end of the course, I was able to “remember” all of the postures, breathing techniques and meditations which allows me to continue my practice at home. My major concern, while I was learning
the practice, was that I would not be able to remember the postures at home. I was planning on buying
a book or a DVD to help me along. By the last day, the moves became intuitive (with the instructor’s
help of course) and I simply flow from one posture to the next.

I’ve been practicing at home for the few weeks since the course ended. I can feel an amazing difference. I have suffered with lower back pain/stiffness for years. I believe it was caused by extremely tight back and hamstring muscles (throw some stress in the mix too). Since I’ve been doing Sri Sri Yoga, my back pain has subsided, my digestive issues are reduced, stress is more manageable and mental focus/energy is increased. All of my “conditions” are not fully gone, and I must admit, I do struggle with some back pain while doing the Yoga, BUT, there is a definite improvement! I will continue to practice and improve. I will share my status in a few weeks once my back pain is all gone, my focus is fully improved, stress levels are further reduced and digestive issues resolved.

I hope the information provided here will help you make a decision to participate in the Sri Sri Yoga course. I’m sure you will find similar benefits and will want to share them with your loved ones. I could continue to ramble on longer; expressing my gratitude toward my Yoga experience, but I think I’ve shared enough. I hope to see you at the next class!

Kindest Regards,
Mark Mocarski

About Mark: I have been involved with Art of Living for over a year. I enjoy investing some of my free time, limited as it may be, associating with the Metuchen center. I work at a pharmaceutical company and own an internet based health and beauty business which also ties in with me being a certified nutrition consultant and holistic health counselor. I have a huge hunger for knowledge and am open minded to learn about different cultures. I am looking to retire from the workforce by age 46 so I can travel the world with my wife.
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by Prashant Bajaj

Recently, we had a Sri Sri Yoga Course at our center. I had a very interesting experience throughout the course. Initially, I expected the course to be… well… easy. When one has spent time being part of Art of Living for over a decade one tends to pick up few attitudes. I have also been practicing yoga-asanas (postures that is commonly known as Yoga) and meditation (Sahaj Samadhi) for so long, I thought it would be a breeze. Since the DSN course, I have been doing padma-sadhana ( a series of yoga-asanas that we learn in the course). Going in the course, I felt this pride and confidence that I can do any posture the teacher throws at me.

When I walked into the class on the first day, I may act humble but a small part of me was cocky and ready to take the challenge and the first thing I have to do is breathe…Kapal bhati (a form of pranayam). Many people know what this type of breathing is. I did too. I thought to myself, no problem. I did a few breaths and the teacher immediately corrected me with a list of points wrapped in the form of suggestions. I thought to myself, “Be humble Prashant. Right now he is the teacher and you are a student.” Sri Sri always says, only a good teacher teaches good practice but only a great teacher knows when to become a student. I thought that if I ever lead yoga, I first need to learn properly… The long elaborate conversation with I, me and myself that lasted only a fraction of second led to the conclusion that I thought I knew yoga but “my yoga” was filled with “vikaaras” (distortions) and that was it, I was ready to learn. My arrogance was dropped in that class in the first few minutes. After that, I did what the teacher asked of me and I continued.

When I walked into the class, my tummy was bulging and I was slouching and by the time I was done with the course, I was able to stand straight, found out why my tummy was bulging and started working on it and my digestion got better. I also learned that the yoga I thought I did was not really effective because my stomach muscles were too weak to even meditate. Earlier I couldn’t meditate long without the support of a back-jack but now I was able to do that. I found that my same Kriya that I used to day every day had become more enjoyable than ever.

I recommend Sri Sri Yoga to everyone.  Repeat it at least twice a year, so that if there are any distortions from doing yoga on your own, it may be corrected by a teacher who knows what he/she is doing and you may enjoy meditations and Kriya in a new way.

about Prashant: I have been in and involved in Art of Living for well over a decade and I have done almost all courses that Art of Living has to offer and some multiple times. I volunteer in our local Metuchen center as the audio technician and I also play dholak (Indian drums) at local satsangs whenever I can. Professionally, I have a masters in Nano-chemistry. I own and operate a live-event audio support company called MetaAudio Services and I am one of the founders of D.O.N.E. (Dreamers Of New Era), a non-profit organization for helping college students.

another blogpost on Sri Sri Yoga: John, Sri Sri Yoga Teacher, on the Benefits of Yoga

 

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Art of Living’s Yoga Rave from Argentina, a new concept in partying, debuts in New York City. Nicolás Pucci and Rodrigo Bustos of the So What Project! are touring the US this spring performing at New York City, Philedelphia, Chicago, Columbus, Atlanta, Houston and Seattle. The tour is a fundraiser for the YES! for Schools project. Here are photos by Prabu Vijayan from the March 29 party at the Pacha club, NYC.

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Yoga Rave NYC

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Nicolás Pucci and Rodrigo Bustos of the So What Project!

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Mary Walker and Manish Tandon of the Bhakti Band

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meditating: Annelies Richmond, YES Plus program director

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Nicolás Pucci and Rodrigo Bustos of the So What Project!

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Nicolás Pucci and Rodrigo Bustos of the So What Project!

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Nicolás Pucci and Rodrigo Bustos of the So What Project!

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The Guru Key

by Megha Kamra

When I was a child, it was there all along,
The innocence that would caress me at night in deep restful sleep
And twirl me in an effortless dance during the sun’s hours
The playfulness that would lovingly greet others, who were all just like me,
And the sweet affection towards the plainest of rocks, that would talk to me.
As I grew older, and events marked their path,
This part of me was covered with anger, fear, and doubt
It seemed unnecessary and almost a crime,
to dance with the trees and talk to the moon.
I spent my time on the phone, jibbering and jabbering away,
At the useless comments my head would make through observing the day
Oh how my heart longed for some quiet, some deep quiet rest,
Yet it was nowhere to be found in my mind’s noisy nest
Until one day I decided to sit and chant the word Om
It was then that you came to me, a spirit deeply familiar, yet seemingly unknown
You had no beginning, you didn’t seem to end
You were infinity, the rest with which my heart would mend
I cried, tears of awe at your holiness and grace
You motioned my heart at a newborn pace
I told you I loved you, you said “I know”
I told you I need you
You grabbed my hand to show
You showed me the path, the way back home
To the heaven of my soul, Oh how I roamed and roamed.
But now I am here, ready to receive,
Singing with the birds and dancing the trees
I have not aged at all, for you have made me a child
I can sleep sound in the jungle, the home of the wild
For this Creation belongs to me and keeps me its cherished part,
For it gave me You, the guide to my own beautiful heart.

another poem by Megha: “Surrender”

 

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