BLISSFUL LIVING

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Catching up with Art of Living Instructor Mrs. Mariya Juzer

I was in Kuwait in 2002, when one of my friends from Dubai called to share her excitement of having taken a life changing course and persuaded me to try it. She even took the initiative of finding the contact details of the organisers who held these classes. I will always be thankful to my dear friend for guiding me to the Art of Living,” says Mariya Juzer, sharing with us her first experience with Art of Living. An ardent follower and teacher of the course, Mariya says that the beauty of the programme is that it’s a hands-on experiential programme. “Once I started following the 20-minute intense breathing practices and kriyas taught during the session, I found noticeable shifts in myself. Now, as a teacher of the course, I find it in the shining eyes and glowing faces of my students. Soon my husband also noticed the positive change in me and was motivated to take up the course. In 2005 I completed my advanced course and since then I have been very regular in continuing my practice at home. It has benefited us so much that practising Sudarshan Kriya has now become part of our routine, just like brushing our teeth or taking a bath every day,” Mariya tells us.

Mariya’s beneficial routine is basically about doing 5-10 minutes of yoga, followed by intense breathing techniques. And when the breathing is done right, meditation follows naturally and effortlessly. Mariya reveals that practicing these breathing exercises allows you to actually get to know yourself from the very deep core of your being. That deep quiet place within yourself, where it is calm and serene and you start experiencing a state of joy and equanimity. The kriyas help you to reconnect with your intuition, knowing the right thing to do even in the midst. of several problems, that enables you to effortlessly solve them. “You are just breathing using your own body; your nose and lungs, but what it leads to is something beautiful and ethereal and fruitful. And you can feel the transformation. People who get frequent emotional bouts, or those who chronically worry or require their anger to be managed, find our course quite beneficial,” she explained. The Art of Living course was first introduced by the globally renowned humanitarian and spiritual guru Shri Shri Ravi Shanker. The techniques including the core technique of Sudarshan Kriya have transformed the lives of over 300 million people across the globe and list of followers grows every day. Mariya adds, “As you would know, the Art of Living is beyond all boundaries of caste, creed, religion or region. It is just a way to teach people to live peacefully and find harmony in life.” Art of Living has been a part of Bahrain’s community for over 15 years and in the initial days, the teacher were flown in to take classes. Now over time, advanced practitioners within the Kingdom go on to teach the new lot. “We are grateful for the support that we are getting here and glad to have been receiving positive feedback on our activities all the time. When we ask Mariya about the activities that Art of Living is involved with, she explains enthusiastically, “Basically we have workshops conducted regularly over the year. And we have weekly follow-ups and group practices where we do our breathing practices. We are also into several philanthropic activities as advised by our Guru. We distribute food to labour camps and our ‘Go Green’ project involves planting trees in various parts of the Kingdom. We even had the ‘Prison Smart Programme’ where we trained the prisoners in the Art of Living course and found a considerable amount of positive change in them as well. This is quite a powerful activity and is one of the international activities of our organisation.” Many other projects of the Art of Living community have been successfully undertaken on a global level. ‘Gift a Smile’ is one such unique venture that gives importance to educating kids. The organisation has adopted several villages in India. Besides bringing the villages on to the path of development, social activities like empowering their women are also undertaken. Mariya tells us that a visit to their main center located in Bangalore, India can bring to light the intensity of charitable activities that the Art of Living has been associated with on a global level.She continues, “At Art of Living we believe that as human beings, we are a sum total of the physical body, emotions, intellect, thoughts, memories, the ego and the self. With proper breathing, you bring all the aspects to function together in a rhythm. We need to take care of ourselves very well, not only our physical self and appearance but also our mind. The deeper levels of our consciousness are touched by the simple techniques of yoga, breathing and meditation. That is exactly when you come into sync with yourself. Our lungs are the major detoxifying organs. We are detoxifying with each exhalation. Since we don’t breathe properly we don’t have access to all the energy. And at our classes we teach you techniques by which you learn to use this energy 90-100% especially if you practice it regularly. We thus end up increasing our life force energy, thereby increasing our happiness, enthusiasm and clarity of thoughts.” As a parting shot Mariya tells us, “My journey with Art of Living has spanned 13 years. And in my experience and what I have seen around me, is that Art of Living is a way of life and you can make it part of yours, if you choose to.” To learn more about the course, visit: http://www.artofliving.org/