Last Sunday, I decided to participate in "I Meditate NY". Years ago, when I was teaching, I came across a person (Sanjay) who had such a lovely glow on his face. Since I knew Sanjay's job required him to travel back and forth from NYC to Mumbai India, I knew he obviously had a stressful job. Since he knew I was a yoga instructor he told me that I should take the course that he took, called, The Art of Living with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I quickly investigated and found that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is world famous and teaches meditation, Yoga Kriyas specifically Pranayama, and this practice changes peoples lives. Sanjay told me how the course changed his life and he no longer feels stressed. I knew I wanted that glow. This year, I had the chance to participate in the "I MEDITATE NY" course led by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar at the Lincoln Centre. Close to 3,000 people participated in the event. With beautiful Kirtan, and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar leading in simple pranayama and meditation, the event was so brilliant. I was so thankful I could get someone to cover my evening yoga class, so that I could attend this event. Although I was really tired from a packed week of teaching yoga classes, lack of sleep due to two nights of an allergic reaction from a bug bite scare from a building that I taught in (thank God I did not bring those gross bugs home with me), I knew I wanted and needed to go to the event. During the event, I was tremendously uncomfortable because my tummy hurt, so I was bloated, and I felt like my jeans were cutting the circulation, I guess that is what it feels like when you go from wearing yoga pants all the time, to wearing jeans. Along with that, my vibrating phone distracted me to notice that the teacher who was subbing my evening yoga class could not find the studio. I quickly unbuttoned my jeans, turned off my phone after texting my friend where the exact location was, and let go of all distractions. I really felt a little better during the event. After attending this event, I decided I want to take the actual Art of Living course....so sometime this year I am taking the course, and I am going to have a glow that only pranayama can bring. Many people think meditation is sitting in lotus pose, or deep concentration, when actually it is the opposite. Meditation is empty thoughts, nothingness, complete surrender, doing nothing, being nothing and wanting nothing while being at peace with that. Pranayama is a practice that all people should embrace as it heals the mind, body and spirit. Breath brings oxygen to the blood, and therefore oxygenates the body. In the Western world, when people are stressed they shallow breathe, hence, the importance of deep breathing.
Pictured: Ambria Sitting in Lotus outside Lincoln Center and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar