Indonesian Youth Discover the Power of Breath

Yes!+ courses begin in Jakarta

“I feel happy almost all the time now!”

“I can concentrate better and be in the present moment.”

“I realized that we need to be in control of ourselves in order to control actions we are about to do.”

“This course has been amazing, energizing and full of spirit.”

This is just some of the enthusiastic feedback given by graduates of the YES!+ (Youth Empowerment Seminars), which were held in Jakarta from October 2009 to March 2010. Courses were held in four Universities - Trisauti University, University of Indonesia, MIBT Indonesia and Udayana University.

The overwhelming response of students has led to a series of courses in 200 Muslim schools. Starting June 2010, all students will learn leadership skills, stress management techniques and ways to enhance creativity through the Art Excel course (All Round Training in Excellence) for adolescents and Yes!+ for young adults. There are also plans to offer training in stress-free teaching to the teachers in the universities.

Stress-free way of living

The project to introduce the YES!+ program in Indonesian educational institutes began when two teachers had a vision of spreading a stress-free way of living to the capital’s youth. The duo, Amit and Ritika, share, “Our vision is that every university in the world includes the YES!+ program as part of the curriculum, so that the students can benefit from the skills taught in the course. Elimination of stress should be a part of education.”

A vision beyond language

With this vision, the two, along with other local Art of Living teachers and volunteers began speaking to University heads. Language proved challenging. Most of the institutes communicate in Bahasa, the mother tongue. Yet the message of a stress-free, violence-free society spread to students throughout the capital. Almost everything - from taking appointments to meeting heads of institutes to teaching and interacting - was done through a local teacher or volunteer who would translate to Bahasa.

‘The door to happiness is within ourselves’

Once the course began, language was not an obstacle. The students openly discussed problems they faced, be it peer pressure, academic performance, competition, relationship issues, sustaining enthusiasm or dealing with failure. Using processes and interaction, participants discovered solutions to these challenges.

The stress-elimination breathing techniques opened the eyes of many youth. “didn’t know breath is the key to so many things,” shares Ferey Christin M. “Before you told me, I kept losing a lot of beautiful moments because my mind and myself keep being in the future. I completely forgot about NOW. Thank you for teaching me and reminding me to live in the present moment. I’m grateful that I realized it earlier and not in the last days of my life.”