The Importance of a Guru on the Path of Yoga

Like a flower bud, human life has the potential to blossom fully. The blossoming of human potential to fullness is yoga. 

~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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Present Education System in India: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Thought

 “A true winner is one who smiles through all life’s challenges.” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar : “You know, management courses these days are adopting more and more informal ways of teaching. This approach is being emphasized everywhere, and I hope that soon the world over, everyone realizes the need for changing the methodology of teaching.”

“I would like to share some good news with you. The World Bank has invited The Art of Living foundation to design their courses for their employees.”
“Our courses have been welcomed and well received everywhere. The Harvard Business School too has appreciated our courses. In fact, the Stanford University has placed our course as a Credit Course. That means that when a student completes The Art of Living Course, they get marks for that.”
“Universities like Stanford, Cornell, etc., are rapidly recognizing and adopting The Art of Living Courses. But this is still a small number and we have a long way to go.”
“We have so many IITs and IIMs still struggling in our own country. In the world over, the situation is the same for so many educational institutions. In fact, if you check the list of the top 50 educational institutions of the world, you will find that many of them are in China.”
“So, we have a long way to go and promote a value-based education to the students, which develops a person in a complete manner. Education should not just be informative, but also develops a person with emotional intelligence and spiritual quotient as well. That work is still pending, but today the doors are opening.”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Guruji has set up (421) schools all over the country (across 21 states) to provide a healthy, holistic, value-based education, with emphasis on sharing and caring.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar states that education without inspiration is useless. “No matter how educated you are it will be of no value if it doesn’t leave you inspired.”
His vision is that through value based education the young generation will feel inspired to shoulder greater responsibilities and become the spearheads for the much needed social and political change our country requires.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has always encouraged people to take the best from each culture. “So, take punctuality from the Germans, take etiquette from the Brits, take an eye for detail from the Japanese and so on. Open your horizons for learning. Each and everyone can teach you something valuable.”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar points out that “Education teaches taking up of responsibility. When you become responsible you stop complaining and take positive action to alter the situation. Taking up responsibilities leads to increased learning and enhanced leadership skills.”

via Talks By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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Know How to Get Instant Benefits From Yoga

On International Yoga Day, India Today brings you an exclusive interview with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder Art of Living to understand yoga and its unexplored secrets which can benefit you in everyday life.

Lets start the journey of Yoga with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

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A Brief History of Yoga


When you hear the word ‘yoga’, chances are that an image of people twisting in presumably painful poses might pop up in your head. Yes, postures or asanas are an important part of the teachings of yoga, but they are not all that there is to it. So, how well do you really know yoga? As the world gears up to celebrate the first ever-International Day of Yoga, let us try and unravel the mysteries surrounding this ancient technique.

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The Truth about Yoga

Yoga is that which gives you pleasure and comfort.

The definition for ‘asana‘ is a posture that is stable and pleasant. You should feel comfortable when doing yoga asanas. What is the definition of comfort? When you don’t feel the body. If you are sitting in some odd positions then you feel those parts of the body, painfully. Your focus is more on the discomfort there. When you do any asana, what you feel first is discomfort. But if you take your mind through it, you will find that in just a few minutes the discomfort has disappeared and you don’t feel the body. You feel an expansion or infinity in the postures.

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Demystifying Yoga with Sri Sri

Renowned Spiritual Leader, Humanitarian & Founder, The Art of Living Sri Sri Ravi Shankar will lead Yoga celebrations with thousands of New Yorkers at the Lincoln Centre. A prominent voice of Yoga, he has taken this ancient Indian science to 152 countries in the past 34 years. Sri Sri has also been invited by the United Nations to address world representatives at the celebrations of the first-ever International Day of Yoga. In this tete-a-tete, the Spiritual Master highlights the deeper and infinite potential of this science, dispels doubts about it being anti-religion and speaks on the various benefits of yoga.

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what if the person you love asks you to change your religion to get married?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Guruji’s words on changing the religion to get married

To that you should say, ‘I shall follow mine, you follow yours’. There are some religions which accept everything, but there are some religions which say others are evil, and only mine is right. This is difficult.
With such religions, you have to say that you will change to the religion which is more accepting and accommodating of all forms of thoughts and worship. That is much easier.
If your religion says that everything else is bad and only mine is right, it constraints you. If your religion says that all paths are okay, this is okay and that is also okay, then you can follow that. That which has a broad mind set is always better. It has more possibilities and more harmony is there in it.

Yesterday, about five boys from the Yazidis community who are studying here in Bangalore came to see me. The plight of that community is so pathetic, and so painful. This community which was 23 million has reduced over the past 4-5 decades to only one million today. In Saddam Hussein’s time they were made to run from one place to another, they were not given full rights because they were considered to be infidels, as the Yazidis belief system is different.
So many killings are happening in the name of religion and that is a big problem.

Art of Living is working with the Yazidis. We have adopted 550 families and already 90 tons of food grains have been collected and air-lifted with the help of two helicopters provided by the American government to Mount Sinjar. 9000 people are stuck in the holy temple there. It’s so cold and they don’t have any tents, food, or water. They don’t have anything. So far The Art of Living is the only organization which is helping to get the food, but we hope other organizations will also join.
I am so proud of our volunteers and teachers who are working there in Kurdistan. The Shias are there, some Christians are there, some Yazidis are there. They (volunteers) have put up some tents and are taking care of them.

When you all have these small issues that make you so upset; small things like your mother-in-law said something, or your father-in-law said something, or your husband/wife or neighbour said something then look at this community which is on the verge of extinction: they have been asked to convert or they will be killed. Yet they are holding onto their faith and that’s why they went into the cold mountains. We must honour them, whatever their faith is.
Why should they convert? They have been made to convert forcefully. 23 million reduced to one million.
The Yazidis are a very peaceful community like the Parses and like the Jains. India is a place where we have accommodated everybody: the Jains, the Parses, the Sikhs. Everyone is part of this country, and everybody has lived peacefully. Why and how? It is because we are an example of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (One World Family).

This is what all these countries should adopt; all communities, all religions should adopt. It does not matter if one is a Shia, Sunni, Protestant, Catholic, Brahmin, Dalit whatever it is, all belong to one family.
Peace conferences happen in those parts of the world where everything is peaceful. But we need to have peace conferences where there is conflict, where there is war, and that is what we have organized. I’m going to Iraq next weekend, from the 18th-21st of November. In Iraq we are having a peace conference and I hope to see people come together.

When The Art Of Living Happiness Program was taught to the Parliamentarians of Kurdistan (35 of them took the first program), there were Shia, Sunni, Kurds, Arabs, etc. People from different groups were in the course. After the course, they all said, ‘This is what we need’.
You can read about their experience on our website. All their experiences are posted there. They also insisted on having a Skype call with me, so I spoke to them on Skype.
They said, ‘Gurudev you must come here to our province as this knowledge is very much needed. If we had this knowledge several years back, perhaps, our history would have been different.’
I can’t but agree with them. If people had a broad mind-set then they would not have gone through what they are going through today.

If at all you have to worry, worry about the big thing, like me! I am so worried. You also worry big, for the world. Even for a fraction of a second if these bigger issues worry you, you would be able to come up instead of sinking with small little things.

via Talks By Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

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Backbend for a Stronger Back

Backbends are one of the most difficult asanas for the body to perform, as they require great flexibility and balance. Contrary to popular belief, backbend stretching is neither stressful nor dangerous, but is highly beneficial to the body as well as the mind.

One of the most notable benefits of backbends is relief from anxiety and stress. By opening up the frontal portion of the body, muscles and joints are relieved of the accumulated stress. This in turn helps one in coping with anxiety and other stress related ailments. In case of irritability, lack of sleep or even mental chatter, backbend poses bring immediate relief.

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The Science behind Stretching

Stretching has been an integral part of yoga and also exaltation to the yogis. However, it has invoked several questions among its practitioners, scientists and skeptics. Modern science has nevertheless deciphered the technical know-how behind all the twisting, stretching and bending involved in yoga asanas and how the benefits manifests on the practitioners.

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Treating Vertigo with Yoga

Vertigo is a type of symptom of dizziness characterized by a sensation of spinning and misbalance due to a disturbance in the sense of balance and equilibrium in the brain. It affects the inner ear, the area that monitors the directions of motion, arising from calcium or fluid build-up or even a virus. However, it has been proven that certain yoga postures improve balance and stimulate the nervous system, thus removing vertigo from the system definitively.

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