The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Art of Living instructor teaches art of breathing to public on TR

By Ashley Johnson/tr news editor

After a recent Art of Living course, some TR students and staff may have possibly discovered the secret to self-control: breathe in, breathe out.

Kirti Gandhasalwe, who brought the course to TR, said it’s easier to tell oneself how to breathe than to tell the mind what to do.

“The breath and the emotions are connected,” she said. “In a day, we have thousands of thoughts, which have a corresponding emotion. Every corresponding emotion has a rhythm in breath.”

Nowhere in the education systems are people ever taught how to control their minds, Gandhasalwe said.

The simple breathing techniques taught in the Art of Living course can help people express positive emotions effortlessly, she said.

This non-credit course is offered on various weekends throughout the year through the Art of Living foundation.

The foundation is one of the largest volunteer-based nonprofit organizations and is affiliated with the United Nations, Gandhasalwe said. Participants pay a fee for the course, and that money goes back into the foundation to fund service projects.

“Our mission is to create a stress-free society,” she said. “More than 25 million people have experienced the course, and we have helped over 13 million people across the globe.”

TR instructor Christi Duque, sponsor for the TR Wellness Club, attended the Art of Living course at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, where she met Gandhasalwe.

Duque said many people carry the tension in their bodies into their sleep and wake up with aches because they never get proper rest.

“What happens in the Art of Living course is that we learn a breathing technique,” she said. “And in that technique, we’re able to cut through all of that stress and tension and just get to that place where we’re just still.”

The two collaborated and organized a course for TR in November.

Gandhasalwe developed migraine headaches and allergies while in medical school, and in 2008, another student introduced her to the Art of Living course.

“I was very anxious before taking this course,” she said. “I was really stressed out, and I wanted to have what he had.”

After the headaches stopped, Gandhasalwe realized her problem had been stress-related.

“Within six months of learning the breathing techniques from the course, all the symptoms of stress went away,” she said.

The course made her a new person, Gandhasalwe said. Since then, she has started her own Art of Living chapter in Fort Worth and a club at the UNT Health Science Center, where the course is now a part of the curriculum.

TR freshman Brian Ruiz, president of the Wellness Club, said the course gives him peace of mind and allows him to be more open to others.

“This course helps you focus on your problems, so you can take care of them instead of worrying about them,” he said. “It helps you to be clear and understand how to fix them.”

“I believe that if students at TCC took this course, it would enable them to be more open to everybody else. And that will benefit each one of us.”

Many Ivy League colleges are already offering the Art of Living course, Duque said.

All students, faculty and staff should take the course because it makes a huge difference, she said.

“Our goal is to have this course in all of Tarrant County College,” she said.

A course designed for college students is being offered in March at the UNT Health Science Center.

For more information, contact Duque at 817-515-1367.

“I love my students, and I couldn’t think of any better gift to give them than this course,” Duque said.

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