Archive for the ‘breathing’ Category

by Gayathri Uchila
My journey with Art of Living began in June 2005 in New Jersey, US. At that time I was totally stressed and depressed. One day when I was browsing the Internet I somehow happened to visit the Art of Living Foundation website and was amazed to read how something as simple as breathing could help one to deal with the mind and get rid of stress! It made me very curious and even before I knew  I had registered for my very first Art of Living course at Metuchen center, New Jersey. Those five days of the course became the most memorable days of my life. I found a positive change in me at the end of the course. I became joyful and light .It was as if a huge burden was lifted off my chest. The experience that I had was very profound. I felt like a child again, full of life, peace and happiness.

As I continued with my daily practices, life started to blossom in ways I cannot describe. All those questions, restlessness that I carried within me simply dissolved away, leaving me with deep peace that came from within. That fall I happened to visit the beautiful Ashram in Bangalore and got the opportunity to meet Sri Sri. Seeing and meeting Sri Sri was an amazing experience. His love, simplicity and presence touched my heart. It filled me with love and gratitude that I had never experienced. I started getting more and more involved in volunteering with the Organization.

As I continued I did many other courses offered by Art of Living and each of them brought up something new and beautiful in me that I didn’t know existed. I realized that this is the place I was looking for all my life. And today as I continue my journey on this beautiful path, enjoying every moment I feel both proud and humble to say that I have become Art of Living Teacher. I feel very grateful and blessed to be an instrument in spreading peace and love and making a difference in people’s lives.

“Celebrate Life. Care for others and share whatever you have with those less fortunate than you. Broaden your vision, for the whole world belongs to you.”
-Sri Sri Ravi Shankar


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To complete an impressive list of senior teachers visiting us this fall season, Sangeeta Jani came to New Jersey last weekend to teach the DSN course. Sangeeta Jani travels all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Indonesia, Taiwan, China, Russia, Oman, USA, Africa, Western Europe and India teaching Art of Living courses. She has been teaching for 19 years. We took the opportunity to ask her a few questions.

Q: As a teacher, what are some challenges you face?
Sangeeta Jani: I don’t see anything as a challenge. I see it all as a happening. So whatever is happening in the current moment, I feel, and I have seen this happen, it is leading to something bigger, it is leading to something else. So something that may appear as an obstacle right now, is not really an obstacle. It is just something that is pushing you towards something bigger, towards a bigger plan. I have learnt that and that has made it very smooth and everything flows very easily.

Q: What do you enjoy about being a teacher?

Sangeeta Jani at Art of Living center, Metuchen, NJ

Sangeeta Jani: I just enjoy teaching, Because when I teach, first and foremost I feel so grateful that I have an opportunity to be an instrument to the Divine and do some work to make a difference. I feel I may have spent so many lifetimes just coming and going, coming and going,  taking from this planet. This lifetime also I may have done a lot of that but, you know, when I have an opportunity to give, I feel so grateful, and so indebted to be able to give to the world. I feel blessed to be chosen to do something like this, to have the ability to do something like this.

What I feel I enjoy most about teaching is the learning. I feel with every course that I teach, I along with the participants, I am also growing. I am also learning so much more with them. Every course that I teach, I feel I have learnt. It has opened something more. It has made the knowledge more authentic in my life, in my experience. It is more integrated into me. It is woven into me. That is what is so beautiful about it. You share and you grow at the same time.

Q: You have traveled all over the world teaching. What is your experience and how have people benefited?
Sangeeta Jani: I have been teaching the Art of living course for the past 19 years and my teachings have taken me to different parts of the world and I have had an opportunity to interact with people from various cultures. I have of course taught in India, I have taught in countries where people predominantly follow the Christian religion. I have taught in countries where they follow Islam.

What I have noticed is that there is a slight difference in culture everywhere. But the cultural aspect is what? The cultural aspect is the way they eat, the way they talk, the way they sleep, the way they pray, the manner in which they pray, their symbols. There is a slight difference when it comes to all that. But again what I have noticed is that the core values in every human being are the same. There is no difference. When they take the course they all identify with these core values.

Again there is another thing that is common amongst each and every human being, wherever the person is, and that is the breath. And what we focus on is the breath. What we teach mainly in the basic course, the Art of Living course, is the Sudharshan Kriya which is a breathing technique. It is a rhythmic breathing technique. What happens is that, like everything in nature, you know how nature has its own rhythm. In the same way, our nervous system also has its own rhythm. But due to the daily stresses that we accumulate we throw this nervous system off a little bit. What we do is in Sudarshan Kriya is we use the breath to eliminate these stresses and restore the nervous system to its natural rhythm. That is basically what we are doing.

So regardless of what faith one follows this is something that is very useful. It is a tool that helps you deal with stresses on a day-to-day basis. It helps you deal with the mind. Its very hard to deal with the mind from the level of the mind. So if you cannot do that then you use the breath. It is very easy to do it like that. It is very smooth, very gentle, anyone can do it.


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