When I was 15, a couple of my friends persuaded
me to do the Art of Living YES course. The YES course combines meditation, breathing techniques and
yoga with fun interactive games, discussions and other activities to help
teenagers overcome anxiety, gain confidence and achieve emotional stability. Teenage
is a very confusing time and the course is really helpful in finding your way.
There were follow-ups every other week, I
attended few of those.
Eventually, I felt a desire to work with the organization and
it was something I felt strongly about. I joined other Volunteers on weekends
and helped organize many YES courses,
eventually taking a central role. Everything in the course is managed by
volunteers under the supervision of a teacher. I worked in the West Delhi
region, with a group of 10-15 other volunteers. We managed all aspects of the
courses which included finding a venue, managing the budget, advertising,
finding participants and other logistics.
My communication skills improved manifold by my involvement
with AOL. I learned to talk to complete strangers who had no interest in what I
had to say and convince them of my proposal. I got many of my friends, kids
from my apartment and school to do the course and they all benefited from it.
Different types of issue frequently came up which we needed
to manage on the spot. I learned how to effectively work in a team setting. Sometimes
there were differing opinions and minor issues in the volunteer group. I
learned how to manage such situations and ensure that there are no conflicts. Time
and resource management was another important factor as we were often engaged
in multiple tasks. We also had to ensure that this did not affect our school
work and studies. Planning beforehand was the key in this situation.
Personally this has been an immensely rewarding experience for
me. I continued to be involved with AOL through college but in the last 2 years my studies, internships and other stuff
have limited my involvement.