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Sri Lankan cricketers bounce back, thanks to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

cricket Updated: Mar 21, 2009 18:13 IST

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Bruised and shaken by the terror attack in Pakistan, Sri Lankan cricketers are breathing easy after undergoing yoga and meditation taught by Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Kumar Sangakkara, the dynamic and optimistic new captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team, said that he felt relaxed and calm after just two sessions of the Sudarshan Kriya breathing.

It was "a really pleasant experience", the sports ministry quoted him as saying.

Chaminda Vaas, Ajantha Mendis, Thilan Samaraweera, Tharanga Paranavitana, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene were injured when terrorists attacked at a bus carrying Sri Lankan cricketers in the Pakistani city of Lahore March 3.

Six Pakistan policemen were killed in the audacious terror strike along with two others.

Vice Captain Muttiah Muralitharan, who was vocally critical of Pakistani security failings in Lahore, said he felt "a new calmness" after learning the breathing technique, which Ravi Shankar's Art of Living has taught to millions around the world.

Mahela Jayawardene, the former captain, described the breathing lessons healthy and helpful.

Cricketers Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, Prasanna Jayawardene, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Malinga Bandara, Chamara Kapugedera and Paranavitana also joined the programme.

Samaraweera and Ajantha Mendis, who were earlier in the hospital, plan to do the Art of Living programme very soon, the ministry's statement said.

"The Sri Lankan cricketers have now found a new direction to be relaxed, calm and still be dynamic and alert," the ministry said.

Institute of Sports Medicine director general Geethanjan Mendis organised the Art of Living stress and trauma relief programme.

"Relaxation and recovery is an integral part of a sportsperson's lifestyle, it is techniques like Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique that gives them the energy to bounce back," he said.

The Sudarshan Kriya breathing technique has benefited millions giving them peace of mind, emotional stability, better health, memory and concentration, according to Art of Living.

The techniques were administered to the cricketers by Swami Sadyojathah, a senior international teacher with Art of Living.