Due to my challenging childhood and adolescence, I have always been interested in learning how to heal myself naturally from chronic depression and anxiety and have been on a spiritual path for last 20 years. I tried many different things, and yet still had to take anti-anxiety and anti-depressants on-and-off for almost 20 years. Things changed when in 2011 I met my fiancé who is my best friend and my rock and who gave me a real possibility to follow my heart and I was able to stop working in a toxic corporate environment. I also started working with a functional medicine doctor and changed my lifestyle as well as really worked on changing my limiting beliefs and negative programming that have been with me for over four decades, since I was a child. Meditation, however, is key to my well-being and it saved my life.
This weekend I completed the Art of Living Happiness Course. I did the first one back in 2000 and this past October I recommitted to daily practice. I have seen miracles happen - not just more happiness, also lost 20 lbs. (including healthy low carb diet) and less pain. I highly recommend it. My fiancé Steve and I took it together and I think it will be awesome for our relationship as well. I have tried different meditation techniques over 20 years but this one seems to work best due to its emphasize on breathing as some of you know I suffer from chronic anxiety/depression. What I love most is that we have weekly FREE sessions to stay on track and this is something that has been missing in my life.
Just little bit about the background. The Art of Living was founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (not the musician). He was already born with innate desire to help others and started talking about it and visualizing it when he was only 4 years old. Sri Sri has brought yoga, meditation and practical wisdom to millions of people in over 150 countries until now. In Sri Sri’s words, "The Art of Living is more of a principle, a philosophy of living life to its fullest. It is more a movement than an organization. Its core value is to find peace within oneself and to unite people in our society – of different cultures, traditions, religions, nationalities; and thus reminding us all that we have one goal to uplift human life everywhere." (see website for more information https://www.artofliving.org/us-en/about-us).
There are three main breathing practices and the most important one is Sudarshan Kriya Yoga. You really need to experience it. You cannot just go on YouTube and learn from it. You need to do all these training by a certified teacher and these techniques are hundreds of years old.
What amazed me most is how effective for example Sudarshan Kriya Yoga (SKY) is in treating clinical depression and anxiety not to mention stress. There are now over 70 independent studies over four continents that have shown over 70% remission rate in depression only after one month. The studies also show reduction in anxiety by 44%. Furthermore, stress has been shown to have been reduced by 56%.
Don’t take my word for it – check out the website, read amazing testimonials, and talk to a certified teacher. I am excited to be embarking on this journey with like-minded people. It’s more than just a spiritual practice, Sri Sri’s foundation works with United Nations and they work with people affected by natural disasters. Furthermore, the program is now taught in prisons as well and helps in transforming many lives.
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