What is Art of Living?

by Annie Saxena on Feb 28, 2023

What is Art of Living?

The Art of Living Foundation is a non-governmental, charitable, and educational organisation (NGO). Ravi Shankar started it in 1981. 180 nations are home to centres for the Art of Living Foundation. Many self-improvement and stress-reduction programmes are available through Art of Living and are centred on yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Since 1989, the United States has been home to the educational and charitable Art of Living Foundation. It was given UN non-governmental organisation status in 1996 and cooperates with the UN Economic and Social Council under special consultative status.

The bulk of the organization's officers, as well as the majority of its teachers and employees, are volunteers. The International Association for Human Values, one of its partners, or jointly with another organisation, administers several of its activities (IAHV). Advaita Vedanta tradition and practises are incorporated into its curriculum. The Foundation has chapters all around the world and is a philanthropic or non-profit organisation.

What is Art of Living?

The Art of Living is a philosophy and way of life that emphasises the value of being present in the moment, discovering inner peace and joy, and developing healthy connections with oneself and other people. Since its founding by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in 1981, it has grown to be a worldwide organisation with a presence in more than 150 nations.

In order to assist people manage stress, sharpen their minds, and generally promote well-being, The Art of Living provides a number of programmes and courses that integrate age-old practises including breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.

Also, the group places a strong emphasis on social activities and community service, inspiring people to give back to their communities and have a positive impact on the world.

The tenets of the Art of Living are based on the idea that contentment is a state of being that may be attained by being present, letting go of unfavourable feelings, and developing an attitude of gratitude and compassion for oneself and others. The Art of Living aims to enable people to live meaningful, joyful, and fulfilling lives through its programmes and projects.

What are the Principles of Art of Living?

The Art of Living's guiding principles are founded on age-old knowledge and traditions from various civilizations, yet they are delivered in a contemporary and useful manner. The Art of Living's guiding concepts include the following:

Breath: Breathwork, which uses a variety of strategies to make people more conscious of their breathing and utilise it to manage stress, boost energy, and quiet the mind, is one of the foundational practises of Art of Living.

Another essential Art of Living skill is meditation, which is taught using a variety of methods that promote inner tranquilly, mental clarity, and the development of happy emotions.

Service: The Art of Living gives social activities and community service a high priority, inspiring people to give back to their communities and improve the world.

Wisdom: In order to assist people in discovering meaning and purpose in their life, the teachings of Art of Living draw on traditional spiritual teachings and ancient wisdom from all across the world.

Joy: Art of Living stresses the value of fostering joy and happiness and shows readers how to enjoy life to the fullest and positively interact with others.

Connection: Art of Living places a strong emphasis on the value of connecting with oneself, others, and the environment in order to develop compassion, understanding, and love.

The overall goal of the Art of Living principles is to foster a sense of purpose, joy, and connection while assisting people in finding harmony and balance in their lives.

What are the Benefits of Art of Living?

The Art of Living provides a range of activities and initiatives that can assist people in a number of ways. These are a few possible advantages of Art of Living:

Stress management: Art of Living provides a variety of methods, including breathing exercises and meditation, that can assist people in controlling their stress levels and lowering their anxiety.

Better mental health: The techniques taught in Art of Living seminars can aid participants in sharpening their minds, enhancing their ability to concentrate, and lowering their levels of unpleasant emotions like anger and depression.

Improved physical health: The Art of Living also stresses the value of physical fitness through yoga and other exercises that can enhance people's strength, flexibility, and general well-being.

More self-awareness and personal development can result from using Art of Living techniques to assist people become more conscious of their thoughts, feelings, and actions.

The value of healthy connections with oneself and others is emphasised in The Art of Living. These relationships can support people in developing better understanding, compassion, and communication.

Increased sense of purpose: Art of Living strives to assist people in discovering greater meaning and purpose in their lives, which will result in greater fulfilment and pleasure. This is done through its teachings and programmes.

The advantages of Art of Living are extensive and can support people in leading more harmonious, balanced, and meaningful lives.

Why you Need to Study Art of Living?

There are several advantages to learning about the art of living, including:

Better health: It has been demonstrated that the techniques taught in Art of Living, like breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga, offer a number of health advantages, including lowering stress and anxiety levels, enhancing mental clarity and focus, and encouraging physical health.

Personal development: Art of Living places a strong emphasis on self-awareness and personal development, which can aid people in coming to a deeper understanding of who they are, their values, and their aspirations.

Relationships that are positive can enhance communication, empathy, and understanding. Art of Living teaches people how to create positive relationships with both themselves and other people.

A stronger sense of fulfilment and purpose in life can result from practising the concepts of Art of Living, which are oriented on fostering joy and happiness.

Community building: Art of Living promotes social projects and community building, which can help people get to know one another and have a beneficial impact on their neighbourhoods.

In general, learning about the Art of Living can benefit people's sense of wellbeing, personal development, happy relationships, and community building.

How to Lean Art of Living?

Everyone can easily and easily learn the Art of Living. How to Practice the Art of Living:

Participate in a course or programme on Art of Living: Both novice practitioners and seasoned practitioners can choose from a variety of courses and programmes offered by The Art of Living. These courses, which might range in length and focus, are listed on the organization's website.

Read up on the art of living via books and articles: There are numerous books and articles that provide an introduction to the principles and practises of the Art of Living. Local bookshops, online merchants, and the Art of Living website all carry these resources.

Join a local Art of Living group: Local Art of Living groups may be found in many towns and cities. These groups meet frequently to practise together and share information and experiences.

Attend workshops and events: Throughout the year, The Art of Living conducts workshops and events that might give you the chance to learn more about the company and its methods.

Online learning: For individuals who prefer to learn online, Art of Living offers online courses, live webinars, and other digital resources.

The Art of Living offers a variety of materials and chances for people to learn and put its ideas and strategies into practise, regardless of the learning style they choose.

What is Sudarshan Kriya in Art of Living?

A crucial component of the Art of Living programme is the powerful rhythmic breathing technique known as Sudarshan Kriya. It is based on age-old Vedic breathing practises and was created by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of Art of Living.

A set of precise breathing techniques are used in the Sudarshan Kriya and are done in a rhythmic and circular fashion. These movements are intended to balance the body, mind, and emotions. They can aid in lowering stress and anxiety levels, increasing mental clarity and attention, and enhancing general wellbeing.

In Art of Living classes and workshops, the Sudarshan Kriya is frequently covered, and it is typically practised in a group. Once someone learns the method, they can practise it regularly at home.

Many health advantages of the Sudarshan Kriya, including a decrease in stress, anxiety, and sadness, an uptick in mood, and an increase in emotions of well-being, have been demonstrated by research. It has been utilised as an additional therapy for the treatment of a number of ailments, including as anxiety disorders, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What Type of Meditation is Art of Living?

Each of the meditation techniques offered by Art of Living has special advantages. In Art of Living, the following meditation practises are among the most popular:

Sahaj Samadhi Meditation: This mantra-based meditation method is mentally repeating a predetermined sound or phrase in order to calm the mind and achieve a profound level of relaxation and inner peace.

Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation practise that involves relaxing the body and mind through deep breathing and visualisation in order to reach a state of profound relaxation and renewal. It is sometimes referred to as "yogic slumber" or "yogic sleep."

Breath-based meditation: This entails paying attention to the breath and tracking the passage of air through the body in order to relax the mind and broaden consciousness.

In order to harmonise the body, mind, and emotions, Sudarshan Kriya is a potent rhythmic breathing technique that comprises particular breathing patterns performed in a rhythmic and cyclical manner.

Generally, the meditation practises taught in Art of Living are created to be readily adopted into daily life to support increased relaxation, mindfulness, and well-being. They are intended to be accessible to people of all backgrounds and degrees of experience.

Is Vipassana Art of Living?

Vipassana does not fall inside the scope of the Art of Living initiative. The Buddhist tradition includes a unique meditation method known as vipassana, which is unrelated to any one group or mode of religion. On the other side, the Art of Living programme takes a holistic approach to wellbeing and combines a range of methods and rituals from other traditions, such as yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises. Although the meditation methods taught in the Vipassana programme and the Art of Living programme may have some overlap, they are unique practises with distinct origins and teachings.

Are there Any Side Effects of Art of Living?

The Art of Living programme, which incorporates breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation, is generally regarded as safe and advantageous for the majority of individuals. Like with any technique, there can be some possible adverse effects to take into account. The following are some potential negative outcomes of the Art of Living programme:

Physical discomfort: While performing specific yoga positions or breathing techniques, some people may feel physical discomfort or pain. It's crucial to pay attention to your body and adjust or stop the practise if you feel any pain.

Emotional release: The techniques taught in the Art of Living programme can occasionally cause an emotional release, which may include extreme emotions like sadness or rage.

Although this is a natural and expected part of the process, it is crucial to have support and direction during this time.

Spiritual insights: Some people may have great spiritual insights or experiences throughout their practise, which can be both gratifying and difficult. During these situations, it's critical to have a community that supports you and instruction from a knowledgeable teacher.

Changes in sleep patterns: Doing the Art of Living programme may cause some people to experience changes in their sleep habits. This may result in deeper, more peaceful sleep or may have a negative effect such as insomnia or disturbed sleep.

Generally, the Art of Living program's potential negative effects are typically minor and manageable with the right support and supervision. If you have any worries, it's crucial to pay attention to your body and seek guidance from a skilled teacher or healthcare provider.


In March 2016, the Yamuna Flood plains hosted the World Culture Festival, which was organised by the Art of Living Foundation. The Art of Living Foundation should pay a punishment of Rs. 1,200 million, according to a committee recommended by the National Green Tribunal, for harming the flood plains' environment. Afterwards, the penalty was cut to Rs 50 million, and the venue was forbidden from hosting any more events. The organisation finally paid the punishment on June 3, 2016, after initially opposing it and saying that Ravi Shankar would prefer to serve time in jail. The Foundation denies any wrongdoing, and the case is still in court.

In March 2014, armed individuals set fire to the foundation's yoga studio in Islamabad, Pakistan. Thereafter, the Taliban reportedly threatened the foundation. Since then, the centre has been renovated and is operational.