Traumatised Lankan Cricketers Turn to Art of Living

Alabama, United States
21st March 2009

Colombo: To overcome the trauma of the Lahore attack, Sri Lankan cricketers last week turned to the stress-busting techniques of the Art of Living, founded by His Holiness Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Kumar Sangakkara, Muttiah Muralitharan, Mahela Jayawardena, Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, Prasanna Jayawardene, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Malinga Bandara, Chamara Kapugedera and Paranavitana participated in a special Art of Living programme that ended on March 20, 2009.

“It (Sudarshan Kriya) was a really pleasant experience. I felt relaxed and calm in just two sessions,” said new captain of the Lankan team Kumar Sangakkara, adding that he plans to follow it up. Vice-captain Muttiah Muralitharan talked about a new calmness after the breathing technique. “It was healthy and very helpful to learn Sudarshan Kriya,” said former captain Mahela Jayawardena. The team manager Brendon Kuruppu and cricket analyst Wing Commander Nalin also said the programme was beneficial.

Tilan Samaraweera and Ajantha Mendis, who are still recovering from the injuries sustained during the attack on their bus in Lahore, couldn’t attend the programme. They are eager to take it as soon as possible.

Senior disciple of Sri Sri and international faculty of the Art of Living Swami Sadyojathah conducted the programme. It was organised by renowned neurologist and director general of Institute of Sports Medicine, Dr Geethanjan Mendis, on the instructions of the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse. “Relaxation and recovery is an integral part of a sportspersons lifestyle. Techniques like the Sudarshan Kriya give them the energy to bounce back,” said Dr Mendis about the programme.

The cricketers experienced the stress-relieving powers of Sudharsan Kriya, a powerful rhythmic breathing technique created by Gurudev. Sudarshan Kriya facilitates physical, mental, emotional and social well-being. The cricketers also learned meditation, yoga, pranayama and relaxation processes to help them cope with fear, trauma and anxiety.

The Art of Living has been working proactively to bring solace and peace in Sri Lanka since 2005, and has conducted special programmes for all sections of the Lankan society. “Stress-relief techniques such as Sudarshan Kriya are available to everyone irrespective of nationality, language, religion or profession,” said Swami Sadyojathah. He added that trained local instructors of the Art of Living will soon deliver trauma-relief techniques to IDPs (internally displaced persons) in Vavuniya and Trincomalee.