Friday, January 23, 2004
Traumatized Iraqis Breathe Deep
The India-based Art of Living course is offering shell-shocked Iraqis its popular blend of meditation and breathing techniques to help them deal with trauma. The course, founded by guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to "eliminate stress, create a sense of belonging and restore human values," has sent 15 volunteers, including doctors, to set up sessions in medical camps or hospitals near Baghdad. "The volunteers conduct stress-busting sessions--two-hour-long special breathing exercises over four days," reports a BBC article which shows veiled Iraqi women sitting cross-legged in a meditation room doing the exercises. According to the report, as many as 200 Iraqis have lined up for daily sessions. Iraqi children, "among the worst affected by the continuing violence and insecurity in the country," are taught breathing practices and play stress-relieving games.
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