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Health and Happiness 2010: A Workshop with Swami Pragyapad
The Art of Living Foundation and Atlanta Unity hosted the Health and Happiness workshop on June 7, 2010 from 7 to 9 PM at Atlanta Unity Church in Norcross. Led by Swami Pragyapad, International Director of the Art of Living Foundation, the workshop addressed the foundation’s “Stress-Free, Violence Free Atlanta” initiative. Attended by 250 people from various cultures and faiths, the event emphasized the benefits of using the breath to quickly and effectively calm the mind and detoxify the body. Swami Pragyapad’s session was a blend of yoga, breathing practices, meditation and self-knowledge. The audience was encouraged to ask questions reflecting on life and stress management.
The non-denominational Art of Living Foundation is one of the world’s largest United Nations-accredited NGOs, founded in 1982 by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. It offers conflict resolution, trauma relief, breathing and meditation programs for individuals, communities, businesses, youth, schools veterans and prisons. Art of Living programs have benefited an estimated 300 million individuals in over 140 countries. “Friendliness, compassion, love and caring – these human values are an integral part of every individual. The Art of Living Foundation is dedicated to working towards alleviating the effects of stress through simple and effective techniques that increase joy and enthusiasm in daily life,” explains Mona Shah-Joshi, Director of the Art of Living Foundation in Atlanta.
Swami Pragyapad, a young and dynamic humanitarian, provided practical tools to achieve and maintain health and happiness in today’s modern and hectic world. He is a disciple of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and has initiated numerous programs covering yoga, meditation, children and women welfare, youth empowerment and time-honored Art of Living stress relief practices for modern-day living. His workshops have drawn audiences in tens of thousands and his presence captivates audiences from Russia to South Africa and from India to Britain. During his stay in Atlanta, he also visited Bhutanese refugees in Decatur, where he conducted a satsang (chanting and singing), listened to their stories and gave blessings to a crowded room.
Rev. Barbara Huffman, Associate Minister of Pastoral Care at Atlanta Unity Church, who represented the church that evening expressed her gratitude towards Swami Pragyapad and the Art of Living Foundation for having conducted the workshop and said, “I absolutely loved having Swamiji as a guest at the church. He represents all the love on this planet and just being around him was so wonderful. We like to host people from different faiths, and the positive energy that Swamiji brought in that evening was infectious.” Shiv Aggarwal, owner of Global Mall in Norcross, who attended the workshop said, “I was glad to see people from all walks of life sitting in the room. Besides learning from Swamiji, I enjoyed the practical experience of yoga and meditation – it was not just another lecture and that’s what made it even more engaging. I could see everyone participating wholeheartedly.”
In the United States, Art of Living Foundation and its sister organization, the International Association for Human Values (IAHV) are actively involved in offering highly effective stress management programs for returning war vets with PTSD, schools and universities throughout the United States and corporations including NASA and the World Bank. Through its stress management, trauma relief and self-development programs, the foundation has had remarkable success in turning individuals away from violence and aggression. In Atlanta, Art of Living courses are offered at the Art of Living Center in Sandy Springs. Student organized Yoga, Service and Empowerment (YES!+) courses are offered at Emory University and Georgia Tech. To know more about Art of Living workshops and projects please visit: http://us.artofliving.org/atlanta or call 877-AOLIVING or email firstname.lastname@example.org.