On August 12th, 2014 the Art of Living Foundation Jamaica and The Ministry of Youth and Culture organised a one day introductory seminar for youth: Mental Health Matters. The seminar was attended by 50 youth leaders from various schools and homes and for the first time were exposed to breathing, yoga and meditation. Their response and experience of this workshop was such that the Ministry of Youth on the same day issued a press release confirming a roll out of Art of Living Youth Empowerment Seminars to more schools. The Student council youth leaders participating on this workshop personally were motivated and geared to become ambassadors of Art of Living and take them to all the schools and universities in Jamaica.
The session was conducted by Mr. Dushyant Savadia, an International Program Director with The Art of Living Foundation.
Mental health is not just an absence of a mental disorder, but also a psychological well being of a person, which largely depends on the state of mind, which in its turn determines the quality of life. That is why it is highly important to teach youngsters how to handle their mind, not letting it to scatter all over the place, to regret or to daydream 24/7. The importance of the present moment was emphasised by Mr. Savadia numerous times: “Past is dead. Future is unknown. Where is life? Life is happening right NOW”.
Seminar attendants got to know powerful breathing techniques, that enabled them to relax and de-stress. Participants also got the experience of Sun Salutations, strengthening exercises to achieve a better co-ordination between mind and body. Moreover, youngsters got an experience of meditation, which is a very powerful yet effortless technique that allows the mind to take a break and relax completely. Highly charged with the wisdom and benefits of breathing techniques and meditation taught in the seminar, students vowed to practice at home and incorporate these in their daily lives and prolong the benefits of the seminar.
The feedback of the participants was highly positive and many of them said that they were feeling much calmer and more peaceful, willing to learn more breathing and meditation technique themselves and bring this knowledge to their peers.
Similar event took place in Doctor’s Cave Beach Club House in Montego Bay, where the session was conducted by the local Art of Living Teacher - Vandana Chandiramani.
Art of Living Jamaica will continue the collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Culture to bring this valuable knowledge to the youth across the country. Inspired by this event, the Ministry of Youth has issued a press release that they will be engaging Art of Living workshops to more and more youths in schools and universities.
ART OF LIVING ACTIVITIES IN JAMAICA
In Jamaica the AOLF has been active for the past 2 years; and has worked with the Ministry of National Security, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Youth and Culture. Art of Living Jamaica has successfully carried out a series of stress-management and rehabilitation programs for inmates at various prisons in Kingston. Courses have reached out to at-risk youth, teachers, farmers, inner-city communities, corporate and senior management staff of the Ministry of National Security. Our service initiatives and stress-management courses have benefited thousands in Jamaica, bringing a positive change.