Arjun Adapalli

Biology freshman Lauren Jabalie, center, meditates prior to yoga instruction in the Main Mall on Monday afternoon. The two hour walk-up yoga session was organized by non-profit Art of Living and was designed to impart among students relief from daily anxiety.

Photo Credit: Jorge Corona | Daily Texan Staff

Despite an unexpected cold front, students opened their chests to the sky as strains of sitar music echoed in the Main Mall on Monday evening during the Art of Living’s free yoga session. 

Art of Living teaches yoga and meditation techniques, which are often based on ancient traditions, said Ayush Dahiya, computer science freshman and YES+ coordinator. The type of breathing taught is called parnayam and can help with concentration and positive thinking. 

“It gives you the knowledge and perspective to deal with everyday stress that nothing else can,” Dahiya said. “They are ancient methods tuned for modern times.” 

The Art of Living focuses on bettering lives through yoga, meditation and service. The UT chapter of the Art of Living hosts Monday yoga sessions regularly, but usually holds them in the Texas Union.

“We’re trying to get the word out about Art of Living on campus,” Dahiya said. “We know a lot of people are interested in yoga but might be nervous, so we’re having it out in the open so everyone can just join in.”

Chemical engineering freshman Jade Jackson stopped in spontaneously while passing by, remembering the two Art of Living yoga classes she attended at the beginning of the year. 

“I don’t like cold weather, but it was worth it,” Jackson said. “It was really relaxing, and I had a kind of busy day.”

Art of Living president and neurobiology junior Arjun Adapalli, said he was pleased with the turnout, although the cold weather resulted in a smaller class.

“That was one thing that obviously turned away a lot of people,” Adapalli said. “Regardless, I’m glad that we’re doing this because just the people walking by and looking at us know we exist. And big or small turn out, I’m just doing the thing I like to do best.”

Art of Living is also preparing for a five-day course called the YES+ course, which will focus on stress-management techniques. Adapalli said he was inspired to re-start UT’s chapter of Art of Living after attending a YES+ course two years ago.

“It’s like a take-home practice that you can do every day for 30 minutes, which helps with overall positive outlook on life, enhanced concentration and better relationships,” Adapalli said. “Most importantly, it helps relieve stress.”

Printed on Tuesday, March 26, 2013 as: Finding inner peace