By Evy (Kalyani) Zavolas, Interviewed by
Margie (Maitreyi) Wilsman
“The best part of the Yoga Therapy Intensive Retreat is that I do not feel rushed,” declares Evy (Kalyani) Zavolas. “Delicious downtime and rest allow my body and mind to integrate the therapeutic benefits. I experience inner renewal.” Since it was first offered, Kalyani has taken this healing retreat four times.
Early morning includes chanting with Swami Nirmalananda or a yoga class before meditation . After a leisurely breakfast, you receive Yoga Therapy or a vichara (guided self-inquiry) session. The Ashram yoga therapists customize your sessions to your particular needs. Afternoons feature talks about the yogic healing process along with another private therapy session, and you chant and meditate before bed.
Kalyani describes, “At home again, information from the talks supports me when I have pain. I stay calm, take care of myself and apply my yoga practices. I remember that 80% of pain is determined by how you handle it, depending on your mind-set. Studies show that there are cultural differences. Some will feel pain and have an incredibly strong emotion. Others handle pain differently, so the intensity is less. I also value the talk on spontaneous healing. While it has been poo-pooed in the past, textbooks now report examples of spontaneous healing.”
Kalyani also appreciates that the retreat has no prerequisites for enrollment. It’s open to everyone, whether experienced yogi or non-practitioner. Kalyani has been doing Svaroopa® yoga and teaching for 19 years.
William, her husband, attends a class occasionally or rests in Shavasana when possible. Even so, William accompanied Kalyani to the retreat in 2016. She shares, “He had just finished law school and was dealing with his father’s impending death. Yoga therapy and rest helped William recover, center himself, and deal with loss. Swamiji’s talk on the history of medicine’s approach to pain was illuminating. He found it interesting that prayer was once a significant part of medicine. Studies are now showing that how a doctor treats the patient really does matter. The spiritual aspect is being returned in some cases.”
As a teacher, Kalyani knows the power of Svaroopa® yoga handle pain. She emphasizes, “The Yoga Therapy Intensive Retreat is a user-friendly five days. You don’t have to be someone who does Svaroopa® yoga daily to benefit. For everyone it’s a great way to heal and renew. As with any Svaroopa® yoga program, when I return home, I am ready to deepen my physical practices. Spiritually, I am uplifted and revel in easier access inward to Self. I can use all the help I can get!”