By Hakeem Jimo
Interview with Sonja Kordac, an origin from Croatia, is a teacher of the progam ‘Art of Living Foundation’ since 14 years. She will give relaxation classes at the upcoming Lagos Veg Fest, 10-12 October at Freedom Park, Lagos Island.
What does state of mind and veg food have to do with each other?
Sonja Kordac: Food is a constituent part of us. We are what what we eat. Food transforms and builds our cells and also influences our mindset. So if you eat meat you bring an aggressiveness into your mind and you become a more stressed and aggressive person. This might not be your personality but it comes through the meat food.
There is food that increases life energy in your system. This is vegetarian food. Contrary, there is food that takes life energy out of your system.
That is meat, fish, poultry and also eggs. So it is better to avoid these animal products because it gets you in a state of mind you don’t want to be in. If you want to develop yourself as a person you must take care of your food. Food and the mind are very much connected.
Apart from veg food, how do you help people with a less stressed state of mind?
Sonja Kordac: At ‘Art of Living’ we teach an anti-stress program based on breathing techniques. This knowledge is coming from two sources. One is very ancient vedic knowledge, knowledge from India, enriched and combined with modern psychology. This combination is very useful for a modern life which often comes with a lot of stress like it is very obvious here in Lagos.
Where does this stress comes from?
It comes actually from the mind and from there to the body into our entire system. The tendancy of the mind towards stress is natural for all human beings regardless of culture or region. In our system ‘breath’ is that link between the body and the mind. Because you cannot change the mind through the mind.
Breath is very powerful. It is the first sign of life. The first action we do when we are born is breathing as it is also the last action when life comes to an end. There are two aspects of breathing: 1. Inhale is ‘energising’ and 2. Exhale is ‘cleansing’. We increase both of these actions during our ‘Art of Living Happiness Program’ – meaning we increase the ‘energizing’ and ‘cleansing’ process in our bodies via some specific ways and rhythms of breathing.