Holistic Healing and Yoga Helped Me Recover from Candida

Lynn Lombardo

Lynn Lombardo

Anyone who has been through a devastating illness knows that it affects not only the physical body, but also the mind, heart, and spirit–often more deeply than the physical body. The despair that illness can bring is enormous, yet there is a deep respect and desire for the body and the mind to always be united. Sometimes we forget this, but yoga and meditation can help us to remember.

In the fall of 2004, I began to develop strange flu-like symptoms that would not go away. Earlier that summer, I had been prescribed three rounds of antibiotics for a constant sore throat I had been experiencing. Soon after taking them, I developed headaches, nausea, lethargy, body aches, fatigue, and uncharacteristic weakness, along with muddled thinking and blurred vision. My blood pressure was elevated and further tests indicated borderline diabetes. I was given blood pressure medication and the name of a nutritionist who might help me regain some of the weight I was rapidly losing. It became evident that the heavy, rich foods she suggested were wrong for me when I began experiencing intense, tremor-like attacks after eating. Soon, I was making visits to the emergency room, where the attacks were diagnosed as either hypoglycemic or complex partial seizures. The attacks kept escalating along with new symptoms such as uncontrollable shaking and unsteadiness while standing and walking. My yoga practice (yoga postures, breath work, and meditation) came to a standstill. Whereas yoga had helped me get in touch with my body’s signals, now there seemed to be a disruption in what my brain was trying to send to my body.

I received EKGs, CAT scans, MRIs, gastrointestinal tests, and more tests for allergies and parasites. From October 2004 until the end of 2006, I visited more than 20 conventional medical doctors, who used the latest technology available but could not diagnose my illness. I was hospitalized seven times, was referred to several “specialists,” and was prescribed 36 pharmaceutical medications. My concentration and attention span disappeared, and my mental fatigue worsened. A film settled over my eyes, making it impossible to read. Soon, I became bedridden. The doctors were exasperated and so was I. They said that, on paper, I was just fine. Continue reading

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Mona Lisa or Meena Losa?

You may have heard of a radical new theory that yoga is nothing more than Danish gymnastics. Is this BBC sketch an answer to that?

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Live In The Moment!

This inspiring video is based on a true story. 5 Taiwanese men, average age 81 embark on a road trip. One suffers from cancer, one has hearing problems, 3 have heart disease, and all of them have degenerative arthritis. Yet they decide to undertake a 13 day 1300+ Kilometer motorcycle trip! This must watch video shows us that even when it seems we have reached a dead end, life has much to offer!

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How Iyengar Yoga Helped Me Heal My Chronic Low Back Pain

Sandi Kaplan

It was October 12th, 2009 at 6:30 a.m. I was lying on a stretcher in an ambulance on the way to the ER. It was not quite the way I had expected my morning to go (the ambulance driver reminded me this is most often the case for people who end up in an ambulance)!

I had gotten up bright and early and was in the gym by 5:30 a.m. I was doing the workout that I had been doing four times a week for the previous nine months. But this time, when I was done stretching on the floor and tried to stand up, my legs would not hold me. And the pain in my lower back was excruciating.

I had some back pain with both of my pregnancies but nothing like this kind of agony. An MRI revealed that the disc between L5 and S1 had herniated, and I was sent home with lots of pain meds and a directive to rest until I was able to move. Two weeks of almost all bed rest followed. I then slowly began to increase my activity with the help of a physical therapist.

As I read available information on lower back pain, I felt quite discouraged. Chronic low back pain—defined as pain that lasts more than three months—is notoriously difficult to treat. Despite my considerable core muscle strength, I felt as though I was just waiting for another episode of back pain to arrive.

So I was thrilled to read a recent study which was funded by the National Institute of Health. Researchers at West Virginia University enrolled 90 adults with chronic low back pain to participate in a year-long trial comparing the effects of Iyengar yoga therapy with those of standard medical care. Continue reading

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Swammie Mommie

Picture of children fighting

I squirmed impatiently in my seat as I waited for the parenting expert to finish his talk at my children’s school. I was eager to go up to the lectern to ask my personal question: How could I get my two older children to stop bickering all the time? His answer surprised me at first, but upon reflection, it fit perfectly into what I had learned through my study of yoga.

He suggested that I pay more attention to my own growth and self-awareness. He suggested that if I was clear and present with each child and each situation, the choices I would make would be the “right” ones. I was initially taken aback by the power of this answer, but tried his advice by re-dedicating myself to the study and practice of yoga, meditation, and other self-awareness techniques as a priority in my life. Not only did this eventually help the situation of the fighting kids, albeit indirectly, it also became the foundation which shaped most of my parenting decisions.

Being a parent is primarily just being in relationship with another human being, an amazing, at times difficult, and yet precious person, who happens to be my child. In order for that relationship to be what I want it to be, I have continued to learn that the most important thing I can choose is to be clear within myself. I need to be clear about who I am, about what my choices and priorities and values are, and then I try to live those choices in compassion and love. This does not mean that occasionally I do not feel angry, disappointed or confused in response to what my children say or do, or by what I say or do as a parent. It does mean that I try to remember that my children and I are at the same time expressions of the Divine and yet totally fallible human beings. Continue reading

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