gmhTODAY 11 gmhToday Nov Dec 2016 - Page 40

Written By Kimberly Ewertz Art of Living Foundation W e may all want to keep in mind the simple phrase, “take a deep breath,” as it could provide a very effective way of reducing stress this holiday season. Deepak Shridar, director of the Morgan Hill Yoga Festival and volunteer with the Art of Living Foundation, (AOLF), suggests taking five minutes out of each day to sit, close your eyes, and just observe the breath. “The core essence of the whole organization is expressed through our meditation and breathing programs,” Shridar said. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, AOLF founder, has been an active voice for peace and human values, spreading his message of faith, co-existence, and happiness throughout the world since the foundation began in 1981. Shankar, while in deep, silent, meditation, discovered a powerful breathing technique, the Sudurshan Kriya, and was immediately convinced that his life-changing discovery was the key to helping mankind. The Sudurshan Kriya uses specific, natural rhythms, that release the deepest levels of stress, and provide balance by integrating mind, body, and heart. “That’s how it took off, and now the AOLF is in 154 40 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN countries,” Raj Murtinty, AOLF member and foundation instructor, said. For the past several years, Murtinty has been involved in an outreach venture initiated by fellow AOLF member Krishna Datla, in expanding the foundation’s services beyond San Jose, Santa Clara, Mountain View, Fremont and Dublin, offering their services to the Morgan Hill and Gilroy communities. Datla laid the groundwork by securing Gilroy Library as a location to offer weekly meditation classes in 2012. Three years later, in 2015, Sridhar joined the team, bringing with him, volunteer and