Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The Happiness Program

The basic tenet of  what is taught in "Art of Living" is that - Every emotion has a corresponding rhythm in the breath and that regulating the breath can help elevate the individual and help relieve personal suffering. I had attended my first Art of Living class in Chennai almost 15 years back and for the 2 weeks that I practised the art and science of breath religiously - I felt energized, happy, stress-free...and then life came load, releases, management issues, work trips, dinners/lunches, a baby, illness in the family...think of an excuse, I probably gave it ALL to myself in my head and it worked. 

When I went for the Diwali Mela this year and S handed me a flyer for an "Happiness Program - Art of Living Course" at Oracle I was intrigued. I wanted to try with high intentions and zero expectations I started the AOL course yesterday - two days in I am so glad I did. Let me start of with some caveats :

  • I am content with status quo
  • I believe I have everything that makes me happy in the present moment available to me already
  • I don't believe emotions are good or bad...I believe happiness is a choice that I make for myself
The reason I wanted to put these caveats out here, is I want to emphasize that you don't need to be in a place of pain, trauma, depression, distress to need to (or want to!) go to programs such as this one. It could just be you open to new thoughts, willing to be re-energized, be given a new tool to enhance your health and wellness....

A key part of the AOL program is this breathing technique called the Sudarshan Kriya and this breathing technique has a multitude of researched benefits. I have tried to list a few below - 
  1. Increases Deep Sleep > 200%
  2. Production of Well Being Hormones (Prolactin) > 50%
  3. Reduce Stress > 50%
  4. Reduce Depression > 70%
  5. Increases Mental Focus & Immunity
  6. Reduces Cholesterol & Blood Pressure
The first day after I did Sudarshan Kriya - I had severe headache and I had my sinus flare up and then my mother reminded me that the Kriya actively works on your body to flush out the toxins and this flush out manifests itself in different symptoms for the participants...the key is to ensure that you are consistent and accountable around your practice. I will definitely do a couple more blog posts on AOL, mostly to keep myself honest and accountable. I will talk about physical and mental changes that I am observing as the practice progresses - it will be a public online journal of sorts.

Here is the one thing that struck me as oddly strange this week during practice was apart from the two teachers who were Oracle Employees and me (from Oracle) - the two other participants were non-Oracle folks. I understand that we are all engrossed in the busyness of life but when such an opportunity presents itself to us it's sad that we focus on making excuses to ourselves and others. We are reluctant to invest the time and energy into ourselves...which I think is a very tactical approach vs. taking the long play approach of "if I don't take care of myself, I am the one who will suffer in the long run". I do see a lot of healthy and happy folks BUT at the same time I see people who are stressed, unhappy and not really focused on taking care of themselves. I would say Give yourself the permission to be Happy and Well. Attend one AOL session and see where the journey takes you.

I think there is another session of AOL happening on Dec 18th...reach out to the teachers.   In the words of Sri Sri - “But joy is never tomorrow; it is always now.” My "now" includes my first Kriya Home Practice early in the AM tomorrow...what does your "now"include.

No comments:

Post a Comment