Happiness Program debuts

The Happiness Program event coordinator and daughter. Photo by Aaliya Rashad

Tallahassee is taking a new approach in promoting peace and calmness through a Happiness Program sponsored by The Art of Living.

Local residents gathered at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Sunday for a free, 90-minute workshop to learn how to better manage their stress.

The three-day workshop takes its methods from Sudarshan Kriya, a simple, yet powerful yoga breathing technique practiced by millions in 150 plus countries that helps ease the mind.

According to tlexinstitute.com, Sudarshan Kriya has proven to reduce 56 percent of stress hormones and 70 percent of depression in individuals who use this method on a daily basis.

Originally from India and now an 11-year resident of Tallahassee, Neha Kumari, an instructor with the program, said that while this is not her day job, she has a passion for helping people understand how to find peace and calmness from within.

“The whole purpose of these series of introductory workshops that we’re conducting is to increase the awareness of self-care through using practical tools like breathing exercises and meditation, which can greatly help calm our day to day anxieties,” said Kumari.

The workshop started out with an open discussion, answering any questions that attendees might have had and soon after dove into a demonstration of the Bellow’s Breath technique along with an hour-long meditation.

Some long time attendees of the program even began to share their own testimonials.

“I was like a lot of you all about six years ago attending this course for the first time. My life was pretty much spiraling out of control before that. I had a relationship issues and I had no way of dealing with it so I would resort to drinking and smoking. This basically had a snowball effect on the rest of the issues going on in my life. After taking this course though, I realized that none of that stuff had any value because now I get a natural high from the meditation,” said the attendee, who chose not to share his name.

At the end of the meeting those interested in continuing their journey to ultimate happiness were asked to sign-up and attend the last two introductory workshops.

“There are three groups of people when it comes to having to sign up for these sessions. The first group is like yes, great, where do I sign up. The second group is like this was awesome, but I think I’m going to wait, maybe next year. And the third group is like this was really good, but maybe for my husband or my sister. You don’t want to wait. Take control of your life now,” said Kumari.

The Happiness Program’s upcoming courses will be held Saturday, Feb. 29, through Monday, March 2; and Friday, March 27, through Sunday, March 29, at the Unitarian Universalist Church. Each session lasts three and a half to four hours.

Those interested in registering, can call the Art of Living Tallahassee at 850-270-7179 or visit their Facebook page @ https://www.facebook.com/ArtofLivingTallahassee/