Happiness Program: Recovering From Illness & Sustaining Happiness

For this blog, we were fortunate to join Patricia as she explains some ways the Happiness Program transformed her experience of illness.


Being comfortable in the present moment brings me happiness and I just think we’re supposed to feel good. This breathing works very well for me. Also, just paying attention to what’s happening and appreciating that. Lots of appreciation and gratitude help me with that. And meditation.


From Illness to Happiness

I was very, very ill and my father passed away in the early part of that illness. And so I was grieving while being very ill. The only thing that seems to help me other than allopathic medicine was pranayama (yogic breath-work). So I had been praying for more and more pranayama.

the happiness program patricia pranayama

After my dad passed my children agreed that a silent retreat was a good thing for me to do. With their help, I was fortunate enough to take what I thought was a week-long silent meditation retreat up in Boone with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, but it turned out to include the Art of Happiness Program first. And then, Christmas day, the silent retreat part began. I didn’t know I was going to get more pranayama. I got so much pranayama! I was so blessed by it and immediately felt the health benefits. It was a complete change; when I got back people looked at me and said things like “Well, you’re back in the saddle again.” I was much healthier right away.

It was a complete change; when I got back people looked at me and said things like “Well, you’re back in the saddle again.” I was much healthier right away.

Health Benefits

The medication and the actual illness were very disturbing to the mind. Yet my mind became clear and I became more comfortable in my body. Another health benefit I’ve noticed is that even though I had this one thing, I never caught anything else. Whereas other people would get the cold and stuff, but I was not ever ill with anything else besides this one thing which troubled me. So it interesting to watch people get sinus infections and things, but not me. Also, people commented on my skin all the time so I think it’s helped with anti-aging. That’s a benefit!

I just want to say that the SKY breathing, for me, makes whatever circumstances going on in my life that are not so great seem really unimportant.

I would say let’s focus on the good; let’s quiet the mind. Let’s save our souls and our bodies. And let’s breathe.


Editor’s Note: Thanks for joining us. If you’d like to learn more about approaches to happiness and try out some techniques and guided meditations online, get the Happiness Program Starter Kit Series.

the starter kit


Patricia is a retired English as a Second Language teacher who resides in Winston-Salem.


Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

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