This week, I attended the Happiness Retreat—a 9-hour course spanning three days—taught by Senior International Art of Living Teacher and happiness expert, Patti Montella.
The Happiness Retreat is the introductory course at the Art of Living Retreat Center and solidifies the foundation for well-being and spiritual awakening within individuals. This course was taught in the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains of beautiful Boone, North Carolina. The Center itself, is a refuge for those weary from the trials and tribulations of society’s demands.
The cornerstone of the course is Sudarshan Kriya® Yoga (SKY) a powerful breathing technique that can have miraculous benefits for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure, and numerous other health ailments.
The benefits of this breathing technique have been well documented and validated in prestigious medical journals. I have a long history of, and I am currently afflicted with, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain.
The course started with practical ancient wisdom regarding dealing with conflict and triumphing over life’s hurdles. The instruction was given for the breathing techniques and then they were performed. The first two breathing techniques are Ujayi (victory breath) and Bastrika (bellows breath). These are used in preparation for SKY. During and after SKY, my mind was unable to latch on to the negative thoughts surrounding my ailments. They simply passed through me, like fog on a road, or the sounds of the ocean.
I have tried cognitive behavioral therapy, EMDR, traditional talk therapy, and about every physical modality imaginable. None of these treatments even came close to providing me with the benefits that Sudarshan Kriya has.
I have continued my daily practice of SKY since the program’s end and numerous aspects of my life have improved. Throughout the course of my life, I have struggled with anxiety disorder and attention deficit. After incorporating the practice into my daily routine, I have been experiencing a state of hyperfocus at work and school and rarely get disturbed by the intrusive thoughts that had previously dominated my psyche.
—Dan, Program Participant