Focus: A breath of life for well-being ~~ by Carolyn Khor


A breath of life for well-being ~~ by Carolyn Khor

Almost everyone takes breathing for granted. In this fast-paced life, almost nobody takes notice of breathing except for when some problem crops up. At The Art of Living, an organization which is a not-for-profit, educational and humanitarian NGO (Non-Governmental Organization), breathing is taught as a technique to live a stress-free and violence-free life and to experience inner peace.

“Our guruji’s objective was simply to make people smile and be happy always,” said Sam, a 29 year old Penang Art of Living volunteer.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the organization known as The Art of Living, has 152 centres worldwide with five centres in Penang. It was founded in 1982. Sri Sri was born on 13 May 1956 and resides in India. He currently tweets at @srisrispeaks.

Among Sri Sri’s insightful quotes are:

“If there are ripples on the surface of the lake, we cannot see its depth. Similarly, unless the mind is restful, we cannot experience the harmony and union within us.”

“Break through all the barrier and feel that you are blessed. This is the only step you have to take. The rest will all happen.”

“Life teaches you the art of letting go in every event. When you have learnt to let go, you will be joyful, and as you start being joyful, more will be given to you.”

Besides breathing techniques, meditation and yoga are also offered at the centre.

Sam says that the breathing technique taught at their centres, called Sudarshan Kriya, is recognized as a proven method to manage anger, violence and other negativities like anxieties and depression.

The meditation technique used is called Sahaj Samadhi.

The Sri Sri Yoga method adopted by the centre is an integrated approach to Yoga using a combination of Asana, Pranayama, meditation,, ancient yoga knowledge and service. According to the brochure, this is a prayerful discipline that leads to the union of the body and the mind.

Sam’s wife, Angel had introduced Sam to The Art of Living about three years ago due to the increasing demands in life which included juggling with an education, a career and his family life. With sleep deprivation, Sam decided to seek help. Angel was introduced to the organization some time earlier to help her improve on her general well-being.

Both husband and wife found the techniques useful and helpful.                      

“Just one hour of the Sudarshan Kriya breathing exercise tames anger, soothes worries, stress and anxieties and heals emotional frustrations,” claims Sam.

“It also helped me view things in a broader perspective and I now lead a healthier and happier lifestyle with a peaceful mind”.

“We are all on the same journey but using different paths,” said Sam when asked about how The Art of Living differs from all other organizations which claim to also offer the same stress-free solution.

The Art of Living Foundation channels a large percentage of their collection from courses, The Art of Living publications and sales of Ayurveda products to help rural areas in India and other parts of the world with humanitarian projects such as conflict resolution, disaster relief and sustainable rural development, empowerment of women, prisoner rehabilitation, education and environmental sustainability.

For those who are interested to understand The Art of Living may want to attend the basic course which is usually conducted for 6 days continuously from Tuesdays to Sundays, for a total of approximately 24 hours. Class fees are RM350 per course for adults and RM250 for senior citizens above 60 years old.

For more information, please contact Sam 016-4841280 or visit the website: