By Tom Smith

Breathe in, breathe out.

Bordentown Library’s Mind and Meditation program helps focus the mind and escape stress in the modern world.

The quiet hour-long seminar focuses on breathing as a key to meditation. Chesterfield resident Rahul Gulati, a volunteer of the Art of Living Foundation, teaches the workshop and points out that the first and last thing every person does is breathe.

Gulati applies a series of breathing exercises to help his class better grasp the present moment. Dating back thousands of years, these exercises are yogic practices which reduce stress by fueling the body’s natural ability to survive.

Meditation allows practitioners to live to their fullest extent, Gulati explained in a video interview. With improved concentration “our life is more full, we are more happy and we are more productive,” Gulati said.

A Stanford University study found that similar breathing exercises helped reduce post-traumatic stress disorder in Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Also, Nobel Prize-winning scientist Elizabeth Blackburn studied the effects of meditation which, in several studies, improved practitioners’ health.

The next session of Mind & Meditation is scheduled for Feb. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Bordentown Library, 18 East Union St. To register online, visit: bcls.lib.nj.us/calendar/mind-meditation-1

The Art of Living Foundation is an international organization that serves millions.