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Posts Tagged ‘ayurveda’

If you don’t have your health you’re not much good to anybody including yourself right? Why is it then that it sometimes takes a serious illness to jolt us into thinking about how we treat our bodies and minds and how to find a healthier approach to life?

With that in mind, I headed up to COMO Shambhala Estate in the lush green ravines of Ubud. A health retreat which promises total commitment to improved well being, I thought it would be interesting to interview some of the resident Health Experts and receive a treatment myself.

Stepping a foot out of the car, the refreshing smell of lemongrass, fresh flowers and cleansing essences drifted through reception. Space, calmness and a beautiful sense of peace prevailed.

So how realistic is it for someone to arrive at the resort for a week and leave feeling thoroughly renewed?

At COMO Shambhala a team of resident experts offer various Wellness Programs.The team is headed up by highly trained Sports Scientist Monica Barter who is also a certified Colon Hydrotherapist, Massage Therapist and Advanced Yoga Practitioner.

The residents include Lacey Hall (Nutritionist) , Dr Deepak Deginal (An Integrated Medical Physician qualified in both Western and Avurvedic medicine), Fiona Paton (Counseling Psychologist) Katiza Satya (Yoga Instructor),Sally Halstead (Colon Hydrotherapist) and Satoshi Hashimoto (Acupuncturist & Shiatsu Master) amongst others.

Each expert heads up a selection of  ‘Well Being’ programs on offer. Depending on the nature of the program and guest’s particular requirements, you can expect to see several members of the team during your stay. This method offers a complete review of current issues within both body and mind and how to best tackle them; whether that is through improved nutrition, natural medicines or yoga.

I was led to the office of resident Nutritionist Lacey Hall, a fresh faced vibrant character who was entirely passionate about her field of work. Lacey heads up the Cleansing, Rejuvenation and Bespoke programs. She focuses on helping guests to create sustainable changes (which begins to answer my question) after their stay.

Lacey studied an MSc in Clinical Nutrition in Chicago and worked in a hospital environment (which she admits was a tad depressing) before hearing that COMO Shambhala were looking for a qualified Nutritionist.

She explains that the act of eating has become unconscious; people eat too fast and do other tasks whilst eating. They pay little attention to the food they are consuming or allow time to eat and digest properly. This, coupled with the stresses of every day life and social pressures associated with body shape , result in many guests arriving with dietary concerns.

“Every diet is as unique as a fingerprint” so that, although some fad diets are guaranteed to result in temporary weight loss, they aren’t sustainable to long term healthy living.(If you’re like me, who attempted some of these in my youth, they always ended with weight not only being gained but an extra few pounds too!). Lacey reviews lifestyle with clients to assist long term health and achieve realistic goals. She will not ‘ban’ certain foods (which, lets face it, only make you crave for them more) or preach ‘no alcohol/dairy/meat’.

” Food is exciting and delicious, it’s there to be enjoyed. If you’re going to indulge in a food choose something delicious and savor it!”

I asked her what her opinion is on dietary supplements which flood the shelves these days: ” Nature is just so special, you can’t replace what nature can provide in tablet form, for example there are eight forms of Vitamin C and we need those antioxidants.”

She identifies what nutrients suit that particular person and how to incorporate those into everyday life post COMO Shambhala (even if that’s just a healthy shake, cooking classes on how to prepare particular dishes or showing examples of correct portion sizes).

Her first residence outside the USA, Lacey is also committed to helping the locals understand more about healthy food and its effects, beginning with a staff initiative which will include cooking lessons and health checks (bp, cholesterol..)

Before we move on to my thoroughly thought provoking interview and treatment with Dr. Deepak, I seriously need to take a snack attack…a healthy one of course!

For those of you who would like to comment please do!

For more information on COMO Shambhala Estate http://www.cse.como.bz

Telephone Contact: +62 (0) 361 978 888

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Sometimes you’re fortunate enough to cross paths with someone who reminds you of the inner joy and happiness which is already present within you. I was beaming after completing a ‘Yoga with Sacred Chants’ class at last week’s Bali Spirit Festival, led by Akasha Chaitanya , A.k.a. Sky. A slow determined Yoga sequence accompanied by Sacred Chants. For me, Sky’s class reflected the true essence of Yoga; expect postures with chanting,hand mudras,  Pranayama and verses from the Yoga Sutras or Vedas.

Roll back twenty years and Sky, born in Canada, was living at the foot of Whistler and earning a living as a Ski Instructor. Sounds like a perfect life right? Yet he felt incomplete (familiar anyone?). His first introduction to Yoga was by a sixty six year old English woman who held a class for older local ladies. Although he felt a little awkward at first (being a 20yr old man!) his teacher’s genuine warmth and affection shone through and remains with him to this day.

Fast forward to a trip to Koh Phangan in Thailand where Sky continued his journey, unfolding the nature of himself. He met there with his first teacher and began on a path of removing ignorance, a path towards finding permanent happiness in this life. It was at this point that Sky was introduced to the teachings of The Vedas. The Vedas are one of the most ancient religious texts in existence. They are thought to reflect in human speech divine teachings and form the basis of Hinduism but also heavily influenced Buddhism too.

Quite a task to undertake for such a young man! I asked Sky how he felt setting out on this spiritual path ” ..it feels like you’re paddling upstream while everybody else is whooshing downstream past you with the flow of the tide. But you can’t climb on your Guru’s back and have him swim you upstream, you have to put in the effort yourself.” He looked daily into the sacred words and listened to wise teachings via MP3.

Sky’s inner peace and wealth of happiness shone through the entire time I sat with him. Let us all find the inner strength to swim ourselves upstream and reach for the Sky!  Honor and thanks goes to Sky for introducing himself to us.

For more information on Sky or Sama Yoga Retreats email yogasky108@me.com

Please feel free to comment and add you thoughts to posts.

Namaste

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Went to the Bali Spirit Festival last week and had one of the most uplifting days of my life! Awesome.

The venue was the spacious, natural abundance of Purnati Arts Centre in Ubud

There was a smorgasbord of different workshops available which you could dip in and out of at your leisure. This was fantastic as I was able to drift into whatever I felt I want to do without feeling too scheduled.

Started the day with a joyous ‘Yoga with Sacred Chants’ class with the sublime Sky (more on his journey in the next blog). Slow,powerful Asanas whilst chanting mystical mantras; a gentle energy washed over the room. Sky’s positive vibes and gleaming smile gave me a inner giggle while riding out any physical discomfort which he described as a ‘gift’ (even that made me chuckle!). He was such a positively glowing human being I requested an interview  and spent some quality time with him over a coconut.

Next an insight into Ayurveda and its teachings about how the primary elements in Mother Nature exist deep within us, providing us with our own unique Blueprint or Prakriti led by Insiya Rasiwala.  She gave us the basic information on the Doshas (mind-body types) and how to align your particular Dosha with the asanas you practice. I’ve got to admit that I find it often difficult to focus on anything but my favorite asanas unless I’m in a class! We ended with a tri-doshic yoga practice which really helped to illustrate the teachings.

Feeling a major hunger pang I headed up to the Dharma Fair for some yummy organic Balinese food. Isn’t it nice when you can eat from a banana leaf spoon and plate!

After a well earned siesta I decided to shake things up and joined the Bollywood Sisters dancing workshop and I have to say it was the funniest, silliest two hours I’ve spent in a long time! The girls took us through a step by step sequence with Bollywood moves with given names such as the ‘nipple clasper”. After the first half hour they had us shimmying in the amphitheater and by the end of the session we’d even choreographed our own group sequences. Well done to one of the teachers, Shamila, who had given birth to her son only ten weeks previously and was totally energetic!

After such an vibrant, fun packed and loved up day I booked myself in for a ‘Tibetan Singing Bowl’ treatment with Grant Smith. I was expecting a nice massage to the vibration of singing bowls and what I received was beyond words.

Grant, a well trained Homoeopath,Naturopath and Kinesiologist spent at least half an hour explaining the history behind the bowls before beginning the treatment. Tibetan ‘singing bowl’ is in fact a western name for ‘precious bowl’. They were originally crafted from 7 metals including gold and silver. Each one gives off a totally individual pitch and tone. Much mystery surrounds the bowls; some thought they were merely used to offer alms to the Gods whilst others insist that Lamas used the bowls in secret sacred ceremonies.

Grant explained that he would take different bowls which resonate individual sounds (via a collection of gongs) over my body without quite touching it. He would be guided as to where in my body required alignment. Each tone correlates to a certain organ, tissue or bone.

I relaxed back into the restful state. How can I describe the experience? transcendental? I felt like I myself was a vessel;  sound vibrated through me and at one point the precious bowl near to my crown chakra seemed to offer a celestial orchestra into my brain. I was certainly outside of my body for some of the treatment and Grant described himself as sweating so much at one stage he checked to see if he’d left the window open! The treatment has left such a wonderful  impression on me that I’ll be contacting Grant this week to find out more (and of course I’ll blog!).

Where in one day can you experience Yoga with Sacred Chants, A Dosha Balancing class, Bollywood Dance lessons and a most ‘precious’ experience ever? Bali Spirit Festival of course. My personal thanks to the organizers for enriching my life.

Namaste

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Why am I writing a blog on Asian healing?

Well, I’m fortunate enough to have lived in Asia for the past decade and now reside in the ‘morning of the world’. Bali is a place full of amazing energy; healers (both indigenous and foreign) yoga practitioners, gurus and holistic treatments aplenty.

However, how to tell what I call the ‘flakey bakeys’ from the real deal? How can you find your own ‘Ketut Liyer’ (now famous after ‘Eat,Love,Pray’) on a two-week holiday?

1. I aim to discover the finest holistic healers in Asia, beginning with my own stomping ground Bali.

2. I selfishly want to embark on a fantastic spiritual journey (remember selfishness can be healthy too!)

3. I want to help put people in touch with others and experiences that might help them find what they are seeking; whether that be inner balance, a harmonious mind or just a really indulgent massage.

4. This is my way to begin to manifest a long-term dream to create a Healing Centre and while I’m imagining every detail of that why not start to search for the amazing experts who will participate in it!

I’m setting myself the task of blogging about at least one holistic experience per week (how hard can that be opposed to my normally hectic life?). And I’m typing that to make sure I stick to it!

I hope that you’ll enjoy reading this blog and please comments are most welcome, knowledge grows through communication.

I’ll also be posting all interesting healing hints/tips/contacts onto Facebook and Twitter. Become a fan/follower here

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Asian-Healing/359711857570?ref=ts

Twitter: http://twitter.com/AsianHealing

If you want to contribute something larger than a comment you can email info@clearwhitespace.com

Inbetween life’s busier moments, take a moment to focus on the breath. Take a deep breath in through the nose and exhale gently through the mouth…release. And let a big smile spread across your face!

Namaste to you all

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