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Sri Lankan cricketers find healing touch in yoga
Colombo (IANS): Sri Lankan cricketers, psychologically scarred after a terrorist attack on the team in Pakistan, have now bounced back after a trauma relief and counselling programme, a senior trainer of the Bangalore-based Art of Living foundation said here Sunday.

Swami Sadyojathah, a senior international trainer of the foundation founded by spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, held the four-day programme here.

"After the Lahore attack we got an invitation from the Institute of Sports and Medicine in Sri Lanka to conduct trauma relief and counselling programme for the cricketers. In the eight-hour programme, the players underwent yoga exercises like 'Sukshma yoga' and 'Sudarshana Kriya'," Sadyojathah told IANS.

Sri Lankan players Kumar Sangakkara, vice captain Muttiah Muralitharan, Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, Prasanna Jayawardene, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Malinga Bandara, Chamara Kapugedera and Thanga Paranavitana attended the programme.

"It (the sessions) went well and the players enjoyed the programme. They shared the experience of relaxing, eye opening and calming the mind. They also expressed their wish to continue with follow up sessions of Sudarshana Kriya and other art of living programmes," Sadyojathah said.

Six Sri Lankan cricketers were injured when terrorists attacked a bus carrying the team in the Pakistani city of Lahore March 3. Six Pakistan policemen were killed in the audacious terror strike along with two others.

Sangakkara 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 Saturday.

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.

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

Sadyojathah added that the foundation is now trying to organise trauma-relief camps for the war-displaced people in the Vavuniya and Trincomalee districts of Sri Lanka.

"Our aim is to conduct trauma relief and counselling programme for thousands of displaced people living in relief camps. We are waiting for the formalities and security clearance to visit the camps," Sadyojathah said.

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