By Belle (Bhavani) Mann, reported by Lori (Priya) Kenney
“When I arrived at New York’s Penn Station, I was amazed — everybody seemed half dead. I’d taken the train back after the Yoga Healing Retreat. I thought, ‘Oh, I must have been like this before, too. This must be what Swamiji has been referring to as zombies.’ In contrast, I felt so alive, so present, so in my body. So solid. I’ve never quite felt that way before. It was a big internal shift for me, and continued even after traveling home to California,” shares Bhavani Mann.
She enrolled in this five-day retreat to heal physical issues. She describes, “I got what I went for and more than I could ever have imagined. The daily practices — yoga therapy, vichara, asana class, chanting, meditation and lectures — worked on all the different levels at once. There was plenty of time for rest and integration. I took home an excellent home practice, created specifically for my needs. I got a glimpse of what enlightenment must be like — I could feel and see everything, but it did not affect my state. It was amazing that I could move through the world from such a different place.”
Having experienced other healing modalities, including Ayurveda retreats (panchakarma), Bhavani says, “I see overlap between the two modalities and also differences. Both work on all levels of being — physical, mental, energetic, and spiritual. While the panchakarma works specifically on the body, it does slow down and quiet the mind, and can open one up spiritually. In contrast, the effects of my recent experience at the Yoga Healing Retreat were most apparent in my state, with physical effects too, of course. I was catapulted into a deeper state of being, in only four full days.
“I think that is because of Grace. Everything I got from yoga therapy was fueled by Guru’s Grace. Also, Swami Nirmalananda teaches that the mind causes physical disease and dis-ease. To heal our bodies we must quiet our minds. I’m different now. This is how I want to live my life. I can see more clearly the possibilities of what is ahead in my path as I keep going. I’m even more dedicated to this path to Enlightenment. I’m trying to figure out which Yoga Healing Retreat I can attend in the fall.”