Mount Everester Tine Mena tells how the Sudarshan Kriya helped her when she was struggling to breathe!
She has not only climbed the Mount Everest, but also conquered the summit of life. Coming from a remote village in Arunachal Pradesh, India and born into a poor family of farmers, Tine Mena had to scale many a peak of life before she actually climbed the famed Himalayan summit. For the record, this 25-year old from Eshali village near the Indo-China border scaled the peak on May 9, 2011, becoming the first lady from the North East India to do so.
Everything, except her grit, was going against her. The raging wind had knocked off her tent when she reached 7200m, forcing her to take shelter in the tent of another expedition. She was fatigued. On the eve of her D-day, she had to survive on a half-a-packet of instant noodles. Her wireless phone was already off power, which meant there was no communication with the base camp for three days.
Yet nothing mattered to her. She lived, slept, and dreamt only Mount Everest until her courage won the day at 11am on that memorable Monday. “My ability to take everything in its stride and stay relaxed under trying circumstances proved to be the most vital and powerful weapon for me,” she reveals.
“I was helped a lot on that front by an Art of Living workshop I attended in Itanagar just before I embarked for Mt Everest. As a goodwill gesture, I was invited to the workshop by the local chapter of The Art of Living. Whatever I learnt came in handy. The breathing techniques, the Sudarshan Kriya in particular, really helped me when I was gasping for breath! Meditation kept me really relaxed and energized at the same time,” she adds.
The resultant clarity of mind is what she credits for her success. “At crucial junctures, I could take the correct decisions thanks to that meditative state. My toughest decision is life so far was when I decided to move ahead despite the risky weather conditions. I heard people commenting that I was not only courting death for myself, but also going to kill my Sherpa. I was ready to die, but suddenly I started wondering what will happen to the family of my Sherpa if the worst fear were to come true,” she narrates.
She was caught between the proverbial devil and deep sea. On one hand, it was her only chance to realize her dream. On the other, the safety of her Sherpa was at stake. “I meditated for a while and got the clarity to decide to move on,” she adds.
The Art of Living course also instilled the feeling of being taken care in her. “Because of the faith, I could take the tough climb as fun. In fact, I took it like a joyride,” she adds. Concurs her mentor Dr Romeo Meetei, who accompanied her up to the base camp. “In fact, we covered the climb to the base camp in just six days as against the normal 10 days! We were so much ahead even of the support team that we were stranded without any establishment support at times,” he laughs!
He, too, shares his experience of how the Sudarshan Kriya helped him stay relaxed in trying times. “The Art of Living techniques really helped me not to panic when we lost contact with Mena and she was reported missing for three days. Everybody at the base camp was resigned to the impending bad news, yet I could keep my calm,” he recalls. “It also helped us stay energized. It was making such a difference that Mena and I made sure we did the breathing practices without fail. At some altitudes, it was really difficult to breathe to the rhythm, but we did our best,” he adds.
No wonder, even seven months after the summit climb, they still swear by the Sudarshan Kriya and practice it regularly. Incidentally, this author caught up with them for this interview at an Art of Living follow-up session.