The Art of Living Foundation's Vikram Hazra came from India to speak yesterday to 20 South Asian Association (SAA) members about its course on breathing techniques in the Adams House private dining room.
The Art of Living Foundation, which is not affiliated with Harvard, described itself to SAA as "a non-profit organization aimed at education and service for human development and social rehabilitation."
But SAA members who expected to learn more about the mission of the foundation were disappointed by the content of Hazra's speech.
"It seemed like just a way...to advertise his course tonight," said SAA Co-President Lipi Patel '02.
"I thought I would hear about his community service and how he helped the children and villages. He was very eloquent and a good speaker, but it was not at all what I had expected," added SAA Co-President Avik Chatterjee '02.
Formerly a journalist and a member of an Indian rock band, Hazra has taught the breathing course and is currently on a speaking tour of the East Coast.
The course promises to teach breathing techniques to reduce stress, increase energy and enhance mental acuity. According to the foundation's publications, the breathing skills taught can be effective in treating depression and other health concerns by bringing "the mind, body and emotions into harmony with the inner self."
The program consists of a series of nightly workshops running from Oct. 11 to Oct. 16. Each workshop is two and a half hours long on weekdays and four hours on weekends.
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