In our media-saturated, screen-focused society we all need to stop and take a minute to think. To be quiet. To just breathe. In the forward to Just Breathe, famed author, physician and New Age guru Deepak Chopra tells listeners his daughter, and book’s author Mallika Chopra, learned to meditate at age 9. Now, Mallika, mom to two girls– Tara, 15, and Leila, 12 –wants to help young listeners learn to meditate, too. For her, she explains, “It was a way I could quiet my mind, feel less stress and feel more in control of my life.”
In the two-hour and 46-minute audio book, no section is longer than 15 minutes. It’s easy to play one part at a time. “Take a deep breath. Breathe in. Pause. And now breathe out.” Neither lyrical nor gentle, Mallika’s voice is firm and forceful, almost urgent, as she directs the meditation: “Notice how you’re sitting. Is your body relaxed or tense? Breathe in and think: relax.” “The intent of this book is to help you find an anchor inside yourself that is safe, happy and quiet. And to help you tap into it and find it whenever you need it.” And that’s important.
Chopra’s guided imagery includes advice and exercises for helping young people cope with stress, get to sleep, battle anxiety and focus on schoolwork. She talks about not giving up on your dreams, not losing your confidence, and, best of all, remembering to be magical, fun and silly.
These ancient and simple techniques help you to control your “innermost being” so that you can control your body and choose how you want to interpret experiences. “If you are joyful, the world will be joyful. If you’re at peace, the world will be at peace.”
Ann Oldenburg ©2019 Parents’ Choice
Ann Oldenburg, lecturer and interim director of the journalism program at Georgetown University, writes about television, food, workplace issues and other pop culture topics. A University of Florida Gator with a degree in journalism, she began her career at The Washington Post and spent more than two decades with USA TODAY. She and her husband have three sons and live in McLean, Virginia.