Tuesday, October 04, 2016

New place for south/central Austin II

As we all know, Art of Living Austin is growing and expanding, even though we loved to gather around Shraddha and Anoop’s home for the weekly long kriya, there were times (very frequently) that we were running out of real-estate and had to place yoga mats creatively to make space for more.

So, the thought occurred to move out of the private home and move to a neutral location like a community center (like we used to do) and may be probably find a place few miles north that way it would be equally convenient/inconvenient for every one. 

We combed through churches, schools, fitness studios, yoga studios, Pilates studios and dance studios. Surprisingly a lot of the churches had availability but not at the time we required (Sunday evening) for they were booked for their youth ministries. as for the yoga studios, they didn’t want to entertain us for the conflict we may have with their practice (fair enough, I guess). Schools would have been ideal but the rates were not conducive enough for our operations. While some Yoga studios were willing to work with us, it was either the location or the lack of air circulation (core to our existence)  prevented us from signing the place.

So, Austin we believe we have found the ideal place in terms of size, location, cost and accessibility.

Please do join us every week for long kriya follow ups on

Day and Time: Sunday’s at 5:30PM
Location: 4544 S Lamar Blvd #200, Austin, TX 78745 Studio 1

And help us prove that we made the right decision in renting this studio. 

I would not be fair if I didn’t thank Shraddha and Anoop on their generosity for letting us use their place every Sunday evening for the long kriya.

Thank you Shraddha and Anoop for lending us your space and wishing you luck on the new phase of your journey. 

As with any new thing it would be a learning curve for all of us so please do bear with us for the location is as new to you as it is for us :).

Friday, September 30, 2016

Art of Living Austin steering committee nominations

It is that time again, nominations are currently open for the following positions for the Steering Committee:

1) Outreach
2) Event (Program)
3) Secretary
4) Treasurer

We kindly request y’all to nominate suitable candidates to take up the lead in steering the chapter to new heights.

Please submit your nominations in private by sending an email to nominate@artoflivingaustin.org. The last day for submitting nominations is 10/31/2016.

Any member of the Art Of Living Austin Chapter can submit nominations for the positions shown above. 

We are very thankful for the hard work and time invested by our current committee. We wish them the very best in their endeavors.

The criteria in the bylaws is listed below
• Nominees must be Austin Chapter members, and must have experience in organizing courses and events. They should not be a member of any regional or national committee, and should be willing and able to serve for at least 1 year.
• The Nominations and Elections Team will strive to ensure nominations of suitable candidates for all open positions, prior to end of the nomination period.

thank you
Nominations team

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

New place for south/central Austin

Austin, specially south and central Austin time to get excited. Yes we heard you and your concerns and we have taken steps to address one of your comments/concerns, we have started negotiations for a new place for weekly follow ups. Yes, this location will be north of our current location, will be easily accessible through freeways, will have natural light and fresh air circulation and most of all it is not someone else’s home. 

Stay tuned we are in final steps of our negotiations and will be posting the details very soon.

ps: it could be as early as this weekend

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Second International Day of Yoga celebrations

They say everything is big and better in Texas, so why should our yoga day be an exception? you read it right, Art of Living foundation in collaboration with HSS and ISHA foundation along with ~45 partners celebrated the International Day of Yoga on July 30 2016.  Did I tell you there were ~800 people in attendance doing yoga. 

Back in May 2016, when one of our teachers raised the point that we need to celebrate international day of Yoga and it will not be done on June 21st when the rest of the world celebrates but on July 31st, I admit, I was one of the few who was some what disappointed and didn’t want us to sign up to lead the effort for I didn’t see us becoming another event management  organization.

Thankfully they didn’t listen to me and took it up in a stride to organize the event, soon enough we had a Facebook page, a website,  few collaborators and lots of partners which kept on growing over the next month or so. In the end we had over 40 partners and 3 other organizations which were actively collaborating with us.

Within the limited budget we were able to flyer, conduct TV interviews and unlimited sharing and advertising on Facebook.  The only avenue I think we left untapped was Twitter. In the end, all of these created enough awareness amongst Austin crowd that we had ~800 people showed up to do yoga on a hot summer Saturday evening. Needless to say we are thankful to all those who showed up to do the yoga.

The event day truly saw each organization bring out their expertise to the game. We from Art of Living brought our expertise of overall organization and had our hand in every single aspect of the event, be it on stage with yoga, music and meditation or the ground work of  crowd management. HSS and ISHA had the man/woman/student power to handle the masses of people who were heading to the capitol  (on a side note, volunteers of HSS had come from Houston and San Antonio to help out/assist the event), Agni the dance studio handled the whole stage setup, microphones, speakers, the yoga dance and the other logistical side of the event, last but not the least our yoga partners who spread out on stage and all around the capitol grounds leading the Yoga.    

Yes we did it, the second ever yoga day celebrations was a grand success beyond all metrics. We do have a lot of people to thank both inside our organization and outside and more importantly he Counsel General of India, Houston. 

Keep an eye on this area for I will be posting the pics and videos as and when I receive them.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Art of Living center address – update on Google

Some reason, Google believes that our new Art of Living center is located at 13699 Pond Springs Road Austin TX 78729 and it is permanently closed.
You all know our new center address is 13091 Pond Springs Road, Suite 208 Austin TX 78729 and our center is open and thriving. I request your help in fixing this. It is a simple 3 step process,
  1. Search on Google for Art of Living Austin and it comes with permanently closed link like below  
  2. Please click on the feedback and suggest the new address 13091 Pond Springs Road Suite 208 Austin TX 78729
  3. Hit submit and you should get an email in your account saying that your feedback is being reviewed
I have done my part and few of us have done it too and I am hoping if more people do submit the change then hopefully Google will act on it fast and change to the right address and show us open.
We appreciate your effort.
We have one more issue with Yelp which believes we are still in our Lamar location, if you are the owner of Yelp account for Art of Living Austin please ping me.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Podcast on Creativity

I am a recent convert to podcasts, turned to them specially after my good friends visit from California. Anyways, off the many things I subscribe to now one thing I am regular with is Ted Radio hour from NPR. The podcast runs for an hour or so in which they combine multiple ted talks on a particular topic, in essence it is a superset of ted talks. 

One such Ted talk that I recently heard were on Creativity, they covered few different aspects for creativity
  1. Not being selfish, no me and mine 
  2. Ability to fall on your face and make mistakes
  3. Frontal cortex of brain or as we call Ego which monitors me and mine to be off
  4. Practice a lot of it also helps
  5. Creativity needs to be nurtured
  6. Showing up every day and being consistent about the process
All good points, one thing I really loved if they had covered was aspect of meditation. For a good meditation more than a few criterion listed above are to be met and in my experience more and more creative ideas flow right after a good meditation. As Shri Shri Ravishankar says for a good meditation, you want nothing, you are nothing and then sit with that attitude and meditation will happen. 

Our Art of Living center here in Austin do offer Meditation courses among others. Needless to say there is the Happiness Program which is also offered on a regular basis which helps one with the awareness of interaction between the different layers of existence.

On other hand people say, meditate on the issue that you want to solve and I believe that is the most useless thing to do.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

One world meditation

The title might seem off but no it was an actual event hosted by Art of Living foundation on January 17 2016. The event was a curtain raiser for the bigger event World Culture festival to be held in Delhi, India from March 11-13 2016. As you may already know we in Austin are also planning our own local curtain raiser and our folks decided a face to face meeting to be had right after the meditation.

My mind was completely occupied with the logistics for the event and how best we could make this event a grand success and so on, on top of it somehow we didn’t have the right link and when we tuned in for the meditation it had already started. This I believe was the first time that Facebook was hosting, unlike the previous times when youtube used to host and there were some delays in the audio. All in all when everyone else in the room was feeling wonderful after the meditation I didn’t pack the punch.
It was as though the universe heard my dilemma and on screen Sri Sri started talking again (we didn’t realize then but were re telecasting the meditation event) and out of curiosity the volume was increased and lo behold there was one more meditation to be done and this time with no breaks in the telecast and don’t know however many minutes later I opened the eyes and it was a peaceful and beautiful moment.

In case you missed the meditation and the Q and A that followed, don’t worry you can find it here

Monday, January 18, 2016

World culture festival–curtain riser in Austin

Every 4 years there is a Cricket world cup, same goes for Football or for that matter Olympics too but is there a world wide get together for culture and spirutuality?, I am not asking the question but the question is being asked by a great humanitarian Sri Sri Ravishakar.

Sri Sri Ravishankar (fondly known as Guruji), founder of Art of Living and other organizations operating under the umbrella of Art of Living. If I may steal his words, March 11-13 marks one such historical get together with cultural and spiritual events from all over the world, from Japan to South America showcased on a single stage in Delhi, India.

As a precursor to it, we started off with a bang today morning with 1 world 1 meditation event. The event was watched live from over 155 countries.

That said, as a next level in the run up to the festival we plan to do an official curtain riser here in Austin.

Date: February 6 2016
Venue: Art of Living center (13091 Pond Springs Road, suite 208, Austin TX 78729)
Time: 4:00-6:00PM

At a high level the plan is to get community and spiritual leaders from all over Austin under one roof and inspire and inform them about the world culture festival.

We would love your help in organizing and executing this event. There are multiple levels in which you can help (all the way from invites to planning and execution), Please contact Art of Living Austin for more details.

In case you are still wondering what WCF or world culture festival is,

World Culture Festival (WCF) will bring together over 3.5 million people from 150 countries representing different global cultures, nations and faiths as a one world family to celebrate cultural diversity and the Art of Living Foundation's 35 years of service to humanity. The Art of Living is a global movement founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – an Indian humanitarian leader and peace ambassador.

The three-day celebration will open with a one-of-a kind peace meditation, for 3.5 million people, setting a new Guinness record for largest mediation gathering ever. The concert stage will host more than 10,000 artists who will play 40 traditional instruments in a never before seen symphony collaboration. WCF will also host an all-inclusive inter-faith meeting where international spiritual and religious leaders will participate in discussions on global concerns. Lastly, the Global Leadership Forum will occur on the second and third day of the event and will bring together leaders from varied backgrounds such as business, government, politics, sports, science, NGOs, spiritual and religious organizations, media and academia.

You can find more details by visiting the website

Friday, January 15, 2016

Welcome to the new Art of Living Austin center

Remember the blog post “Bye bye Lamar center”, in that I had mentioned in the last sentence “its time to translate the learning to a newer and better center”, we the Art of Living family are proud to announce that we have to a large extent (in my eyes) have exceeded that expectation and are almost ready to welcome you all to the new center, got to wait a couple of weeks before it will be officially open for business though. For the impatient few the address is 13091 Pond Springs Road, Suite 208 Austin TX 78729

I think that was a good teaser, now to the actual reality of things. We worked for almost 6 months and churned out 3 different Realtor's before narrowing down to Travis Waldrop who I must say almost miraculously found a space, negotiated a good deal and made us set for the next five years.

What did we gain from this new center? a fair question to ask and here is the list
  • 2600 SQFT of open customizable space, mind you even in retail spaces it is not easy to come by. 
  • A good retail location, there are advantages to it including extra parking spaces and one contiguous self contained space with better visibility 
  • Bigger meditation hall (~300 SQFT bigger than Lamar center) with cross ventilation for fresh air
  • Recessed lights in the meditation hall
  • A break room/kitchen (no cooking though) with counter tops and cabinets
  • Wood laminated floors for the whole center
  • 3 independent areas for conducting courses and events
  • In terms of sheer square footage we are almost 800 SQFT bigger than Lamar Center
  • All the above without substantially increasing our monthly operating expenses
Some of us did visit the under construction center today and were blown away the way it looks. Thanks to some of the volunteers who worked tirelessly in the search and planning phase for the new center. Apart from all the above good things that are coming with the center, it is an achievement to close 1 center and open an another one with only 2 months of non availability. 

February 1st is when we will officially get the keys for the new center and that is when we will be officially open for business.