Friday, December 11, 2015

A Place of Healing

A place of healing inside and out

Regardless of students backgrounds, cultures, ethnicity or age, feelings of great life transformation and changes are always reported during the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training. From improvements in ones weight, skin, hair and nails to experiencing less muscular pain, stress and anxiety, an overall feeling of well being is often noticed during ones stay at the Ashram. Whether students have come in hope of healing various conditions or whether they feel physically, mentally and emotionally strong, the yogic lifestyle at Wise Living Yoga brings about changes that often cure these ailments and leave students feeling amazed and extremely happy with the many wonderful improvements that have naturally taken place. 

The holistic yoga approach at the Ashram ensures that every aspect of ones daily life is managed in order to bring about balance. This balance is cultivated and nutured by focusing on living a moral lifestyle and purifying ones mind to ensure that our daily activities, interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships are carried out with positive feelings and intentions. Traditional or Classical yoga emphasises the importance of a holistic yoga lifestyle, therefore following a vegan diet, performing systematic postures (Asanas), learning breathing (Pranayamas) and purification (Kriyas) techniques, repeating Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and doing daily meditation all contribute towards a healthy and happy well being.

The Vegan Diet

At the Ashram, an all vegan diet is followed with fresh, organic produce, much of which is grown on and around the Ashram itself. There is strictly no sugar added to the food or as an optional condiment on the serving or dining table. Much care is taken to cook and prepare the food with very little oil, the taste however is by no means jeopardized as various spices and fresh herbs are perfectly blended with each dish to compliment the delicious flavors. Each meal is wisely planned to ensure that a correct balance in protein, carbohydrates, fats and fiber is lovingly served to each student. Although some students may have certain allergies, this vegan diet with its delicious Thai and Indian influence is not only suitable for all students but also aids in overcoming these various allergies and food sensitivities.

The spices and herbs themselves have many medicinal healing properties, which often helps in those suffering from inflammation, skin problems, cardiovascular diseases, poor blood circulation as well as mental issues such as concentration, anxiety, Insomnia and stress. The balanced meals are organic, high in fiber and water concentration, which helps many students overcome constipation. This experience can easily be identified as one of the most important and beneficial as it naturally detoxifies the body and mind, leaving the individual feeling light, more energetic and an overall improvement in bodily functions, aches and pains.

The low oil and salt content along with a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals supports a steady weight. It prevents weight gain as it reduces water retention and naturally the food contains healthy calories. The vegan diet aids in vital organs being able to function at their optimal level as blood is purified and supplies these organs, muscles and nervous system with fresh oxygenated blood. Students often notice their nails and hair becoming shinier and healthier as well as various skin ailments clearing up. Students sometimes however experience a skin breakout due to the elimination of toxins through the skin but this often clears up once the toxins are expelled.

Students who arrive with addictions to sugar and coffee are quickly able to readjust to the herbal tea and sugarless diet. Within a couple of days, their cravings have disappeared and positive changes such as concentration, anxiety, sleep, energy levels as well as inflammation and acidity have all improved. The stimulating effects of these products, caffeine and sugar, interfere with the natural balance of the body and mind, therefore providing healthy alternatives such as herbal teas and natural fructose, the natural energy and functioning of ones being is restored.

 Pranayamas and Kriyas

The breathing exercises, of which there are nine, assist in the expansion of the lungs and opening up of the chest cavity allowing more room for organs in this region to function at their best. Larger lung capacity allows more oxygen to be absorbed into the blood stream, purifying and carrying fresh blood to the brain, central nervous system, organs and muscles while Carbon Dioxide is better eliminated from the body along with toxins that have found their way into ones blood stream.

Pranayamas directly influence ones bio- energy and helps to evenly distribute blocked/ built up energy throughout the body. These essential breathing techniques calm the mind allowing for awareness, concentration and clarity to mature. They have been wonderful in facilitating my sleeping disorder and anxiety to the extent that I no longer need to rely on medication.

The purification techniques (Kriya) aid in clearing the nasal passages and any excess mucus around the face and throat. Students who suffer from congestion or infections in these areas experience far more ease in their breathing and less toxicities, which contribute to various diseases in the respiratory organs. Another benefit of Kriya. Jalaneti in particular, is a ‘clear head’ feeling where students are amazed at how light and clear their forehead region feels. This is due to the saline water solution, once been sucked through the nostril, stimulating the nerve endings ‘awakening’ this area, which doesn’t receive much stimulation. After clearing the nostrils with this solution, various massaging techniques on the face and neck are performed to further stimulate these areas and loosen any remaining mucus.   

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras

Patanjali was a sage who existed between 800- 200 BC. He constructed these Sutras (sentences) in order to make Yoga available to not only the advanced practitioner but to the beginner and medium practitioners as well. Each Sutra holds a wealth of knowledge which is easily applied to ones every day life in order to excel instilling the spirit of excellence in the individuals in his yoga practice to live a moral life whilst performing ones duties with a balanced and pure state of mind. These sentences are written and chanted in Sanskrit, they give precise guidelines on how one can live a yogic lifestyle and achieve the ultimate truth.

With this holistic approach at nurturing ones entire being, a peaceful, fulfilling and meaningful life can systematically be pursued and enjoyed. The passion in which Jeenal and Daniel impart this sacred knowledge and the loving environment in which these teachings take place, provide a naturally healing abode for each student to experience this life changing spiritual journey.

Katie Assad (Former student)