‘Change your breath, and you will change your life.’ This mantra by Rajshree Patel has inspired countless world leaders, multinationals and course participants. The female face of The Art of Living is a firm believer in the power of breath.
We’re busy people, Patel knows, and we’re especially busy mentally. All the thinking exhausts us, and we tend to think this exhaustion is physical. “But really, it is because the mind is overworking, we’re overthinking.”
Breathing consciously is the solution, she says. It is a way to quiet the thinking and to come back to a stillness inside. This internal stillness, “like children have” enables us to create more than we could otherwise.
“It’s interesting, because we think that by being still, going inward, we will be less result oriented. It’s quite the opposite. When you are calm inside, you are more effective, you think more clearly, you produce more, while you work less hard but you work smarter.”
The meditative breathing technique she teaches all over the world, has changed her own life. Art of Living, the organisation she works for, is an international humanitarian foundation. Years ago, when she was still working as a lawyer, she stumbled upon a meditation night of Art of Living.
When she took a meditation class there, she discovered the big influence her breathing had on her emotions. ‘Through your breathing, you can change thoughts and emotions. It’s hard to explain it, you have to do it and experience it. You can compare it to telling someone how good the food in a restaurant is, but they will not know the sensation of the flavours until they have a taste themselves.”
Photo: Pablo Orcaray
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