Well, the weather is changing…And though we don’t get to experience the colors changing in South Florida, transformation is apparent everywhere one looks:  beautiful birds chirping, butterflies fluttering from flower to flower, and dragonflies hovering at every turn.  The beauty that unfolds around this time of year is simply breathtaking, and for myself, the change is not purely an external experience.  It’s been two weeks since the last day of my very first panchakarma, and when I say I’m a new person, it couldn’t be more true.  Physically, I haven’t felt this healthy in my entire life. Emotionally, I’ve never felt so incredibly clear. And spiritually, I feel as though something has been awoken inside of me, and I’m so excited for what is in store. 

Looking back, it’s amazing to think that it’s been almost a year since I took that first step on what seemed like an impossible journey: to free myself from the dependency of Western psychiatric medications.  For those of you who are unaware, when I was 19 I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. Still even before that diagnosis, the various doctors I had visited threw around things like severe depression, anxiety, and insomnia. And for well over 15 years of my life I was on a mutlitude of tranquilizers, antidepressants, mood stabilizers…etc…etc…However, last year (upon deciding that I wanted to become a yoga instructor) I realized that if I truly wanted to not only be my authentic self and practice what I was preaching, that for me, the medications had to go…And thus set out on a mission to successfully wean myself off of the 5 medication cocktail the doctors said I would likely be on for the rest of my life…

In November of 2014, with no idea of how I would successfully accomplish this goal, I entered Yogi Hari’s Ashram to begin my 200 hour yoga teacher’s training (YTT).  I didn’t know how the answers would manifest, but I had faith that the universe would show me my path to liberation. Week one of training: enter Anay Amrita Abreu…a woman who came to lecture on Ayurveda, the world’s most ancient science of healing.  She began to speak about the elements, energy, food, and how it’s all connected. She spoke about how what goes into our bodies is either poison or medicine, and therefore, we must be mindful of everything because our body is either being nourished or polluted…The stars aligned, and I immediately realized that THIS was how I would be able to heal myself.  Her words resonated with me, and felt more true and honest than anything I had learned in all my years of studying Western medicine.  This was a way to HEAL oneself, and not just place a band-aide over the real problem; like we so often do in the West.  I knew it would be a difficult path, but the way I saw it, it was my only choice.  

Almost immediately following the completion of my 200hr YTT, I met with Amrita for a consultation.  "There’s nothing wrong with you…“ she said, “You’re just sensitive…”.  Those words, will stay with me for the rest of my life…Those simple words changed everything for me.  For my whole life I was convinced that I was broken, and for the first time I had begun to feel that everyone (including myself) had been wrong for 30 years. Nothing’s wrong with me…I’m just sensitive.  YES!  In that unexpected moment, she saved my life, and I am eternally grateful.

So now, almost a year later, and truly EVERYTHING has changed. My diet is Ayurveda conscious: all natural, fresh, organic, and cooked everyday.  I wake up at 4am to begin each beautiful day with a Sampoorna yoga practice, meditation, and self care.  I take time for myself, and think positively about each experience that comes(even the difficult ones).  I go to bed early, and don’t fill my mind with useless or negative information from the TV, radio, or internet. And most importantly, after slow (and often arduous) process, I can proudly say that I have been completely medication free for 4 months; the first time in over 15 years! I am happier, healthier, and more stable than ever in my life.  It is amazing what yoga, a proper diet, and a positive mindset can do for a person.

In all honesty, I can say that I’ve been both reluctant and terrified to share this story with the world via social media; I’m still a little uneasy about how these sites are used. But as of late, I’ve been thinking that maybe if I choose to share my story and can inspire even just one other person to make a better and healthier life for themselves, then that would be pretty amazing.  So, there you have it, a very tiny sample of my story about healing…If any of you are interested in learning more about Sampoorna yoga, ayurveda, or in choosing transformation over “trend”, check out http://omritayoga.com/  or http://www.yogihari.com or shoot me a message.  Om shantih and be well…