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"Balance"

March, 2005

by Lapis

In this edition of "In The Light," we feature a highly regarded member of Curezone. We will explore the mind, body, and spirit of Janaki who is a shining example of "Balance" within our online community and beyond.


Janaki, it is with humble gratitude that I enter into this discussion with you. I have followed many of your intelligent and poignant posts here at Curezone and I am excited to be able to interview you and share your remarkable personality and outlook with other members here at Curezone. You are a person who exudes confidence and at the same time brings a calm demeanor of balance and integrity. Thank you for that.
First of all I am intrigued by your name. What does it mean?

Janaki is my Hindu spiritual name that I was given when I took mantra initiation with my guru in India. Janaki is another name for the goddess Sita and is thought to be the personification of the ideal, devoted wife. She undergoes a trial by fire to prove her truth and devotion. Sita was born from the earth and was found by King Janaka, hence the daughter of Janaka....Janaki. The story of Sita you can read here: http://www.ninapaley.com/Sitayana/epic.html

Let us continue by finding out, what brought you here to Curezone?

I’m not sure of when I first found Curezone.  I’m a real web-crawler and I was probably searching for information on liver flushing.  I remember reading but not posting on the forums because I didn’t feel I had anything to say.  I kept Curezone in the back of my mind and then a couple of years later when I found myself in need of cleansing information again, I “crawled” back over.  This time I posted a lot!

Please tell us about yourself and your healing odyssey thus far.

I guess I always thought my health was good, but I didn’t have a yardstick to compare against.  From infancy I suffered a multitude of strange illnesses, reactions and infections.  I was prescribed antibiotics numerous times, had tubes put in my ears twice, took steroids once due to an extreme throat infection (mononucleosis).  As an adult I struggled with 2 bouts of depression, mild acne and a gluten allergy.  The 2nd bout of depression brought me to yoga.  I thought there must be a better way than Paxil.  Yoga did indeed change my life.  It started to change my mind, and then slowly everything in life started to change.  I stopped taking anti-depressants, stopped drinking and eating meat.  I started to keep company with different, more spiritually-minded people, became a little braver and more interested in travel.

I then decided to travel to India and to train there to become a yoga teacher.  Out of fear of the unknown, I consented to taking the recommended travel vaccinations before I went.  I had a terrific time in India and enjoyed the best health, happiness, and peace of mind I’d ever had while there.  When I came back (DUN DUN DUNNN – insert sound effect) the trouble started.  Literally on stop-over at the London airport I felt the acne starting on my face.  I bought a face mask at a shop and used it in the airport washroom.  Within a few weeks my face was covered with painful, cystic acne and I felt hideous.

Because I had been in India, of course, all the doctors I saw thought that I had a parasite of some sort.  I explored a number of options over the next almost 2 years before I realized it was simply toxic overload!  All of the alternative medicine practitioners told me the same thing - that my liver was congested, but none of them told me what to do about it.  Finally another yoga teacher introduced me to a liver flush protocol, but it did not include any colon cleansing and the two flushes I did left me feeling very weak and depleted.  My skin and health were continuing to get worse (leg pain, low back pain, insomnia, irritability, anger, and finally migraines).

Finally, I met Parvati, a lovely woman from Poland.  She looked me in the face (most people wouldn’t) and said, “we need to talk”.  We met another day and she sat me down with a paper and pen and told me “this is what to do”.  She described in detail an appropriate Ayurvedic diet for me, how to cook and prepare meals, proper mealtimes, and how to begin giving myself enemas at home.  She explained that a congested large intestine was my most pressing problem and that “the liver was next”.  Within a few weeks my skin was glowing with health, most of the pimples gone and my spirit improved dramatically.  Then she went back to Poland without telling me what to do about my liver.  By this time, though I had the confidence to do it on my own.  I found Curezone and Andreas Moritz’ protocol and the rest is history.  I now give cleansing workshops at the yoga centrrs I teach at.

You said that yoga changed your mind and from that came a new awareness.  How can yoga accomplish this?

Good question!  Yoga definately does change the mind, and brings about new awareness and consciousness.  How it does this is perhaps difficult to explain.  I think that most people are able to recognize immediately that yoga has the power to do this.  Some are not ready yet to face this change, and so a qualification of a yogic aspirant might be a willingness to let go of some things.  The process of yoga is a little bit like peeling away the layers of an onion, layers of superfluous stuff that we begin to learn is clouding our perception of what is true.  We don't necessarily know what the truth is, but we begin to recognize that there is a truth and we have a desire to know it.  In essence we learn, usually first by working with the physical body, to slowly drop the mind aside and to experience a state of meditation.  By beginning to nurture an "inner life" we learn that there is a higher self within which is divinity itself and which contains all of the wisdom required. 

By utilizing knowledge you found at Curezone and other informative alternative health sites, what other changes have you experienced?

 Greater confidence in my ability to heal myself and others.  Truly.  Doctors would have us believe otherwise, but we do have the ability to heal ourselves and therefore others too.

My own healing journey is far from complete.  I’ve done 21 liver flushes so far and bowel cleansing has become part of my life in a more or less permanent way.  I have a lot more flushing to do.  My liver is still quite congested.  At present I’m focusing more on emotional healing and changes that I need to make to create the conditions for my liver to “let go”.

I’ve completely curtailed my use of all medicines, supplements, and products.  I use nice hand-made hair products made by a woman in Toronto. I don’t use harmful cleaning products or lotions or deodorant.  I use oil on my body and hair, I make my own facial oils for acne and aromatherapy oils to wear.

I’m also practicing an Ancient Ayurvedic technique called “Uttara Vasti” to bring my menstrual cycle back in tune with the lunar cycle.  It’s a very profound practice for women.  I can see already that I’m more “comfortable in my skin” as a woman for the first time in my life, and that this is helping me to heal many wounds at a very deep level.

Can you give us a better idea of what Uttara Vasti is all about?

The central idea is that a woman in perfect health will naturally menstruate with the new moon and ovulate with the full moon.  A variety of conditions and ‘dis-ease’ prevent this from happening.  So, if we use a technique or special sadhana (spiritual practice) to re-align the menstrual cycle with the lunar cycle, it will bring about the pre-conditions for healing in a woman’s body.  I know several women who have cured themselves of cancers and other conditions by practicing Uttara Vasti alone.  It’s a way of bringing yourself back in balance with the rhythms of nature.

Uttara Vasti is a douching practice using concoctions brewed from different herbs.  It is quite simple, however the timing of everything is very important.  Just determining when to do the practice brings awareness of the lunar cycle and its effect on us.  It’s very profound.

Also you say you are focusing on emotional aspects of your liver health. Would you elaborate on this?

I’ve had a lot of anger in me.  The liver seems to store anger, and so, when I flush and prepare for a flush anger seems to well-up in me and I’m releasing it a bit at a time.  I realized recently however that there were some other issues in my life that I believe are preventing me from having the release that I’d like to have of congestion in my liver.  One of these issues is that I had stopped making art a few years back.  For some reason I was protecting my creativity and it didn’t feel safe to let it out.  Now I realize that in order for me to be healthy, I need to create artistically and to communicate in this way.  Recently I’ve started to make art again and I suspect that I’ll start to have more success with liver flushing.  I’m sure there will be other issues that I uncover as well in time!  The physical, mental, emotional and spiritual all go hand-in-hand to create the conditions for healing.

 What are your current goals?

I’d like to hold the handstand without using hubby or the wall for support.
I’d like to become more patient.
I’d like everything I do to be under one umbrella.
I'd like to go back to India.

Can you explain the saying "I’d like everything I do to be under one umbrella"?

I think it’s a matter of determining what my gifts are in this life and taking the leap of faith to try to sustain myself in life from these activities.  I feel that I have some important and helpful things to do and I feel myself moving away from the karma of working in an office to sustain myself.  I’m finding that yoga, art and healing can fit nicely together.  They are not really separate concepts for me anymore.

Where do you draw your inspiration from in life?

Yoga is what gets me up in the morning!  That’s always my starting point.  I can’t believe the insight that I’ve gained just by sitting on a purple mat a couple of times a day (just kidding).  My meditation practice gives me a lot of strength to deal with things in life in a better way.

I’m inspired by how resilient people are, and how some people face tremendous difficulty and still carry on with a smile.

At the moment I’m pretty inspired by Amma, the “hugging saint” (Mata Amritanandamayi Ma) and her recent visit to Toronto.  How she’s able to show so much love, completely selflessly, and without ever worrying what other people think, or being defined by social conventions that tell us who and when we can love others.  She blows my mind.

I think we probably agree that unconditional love is one of the greatest attributes a human being can display, what other qualities do you find admirable in people?

A sense of morality; someone who does the "right" thing, even despite opposition.  I like self confidence, not to be confused with arrogance.  Patience, persistence.  I like quiet people who don't always feel the need to speak and understand that not everything needs to be spoken.  I can learn a lot from people like this.

What are some of your interests and hobbies?

I don't think of myself as having hobbies!  Rather I’m currently trying to make a life for myself out of everything that I enjoy….yoga, art, healing.  Although I will admit that I watch a lot of Bollywood films.  I know all the Indian actors and directors!

I also like to sing.  Mostly Sanskrit chanting or bhajans, however I did sing back-up vocals on a blues/gospel recording (which was a totally new experience for me).

Are there any particular musicians that you resonate with?

Traditional Sanskrit bhajans, I'll listen to anything.  Of the stuff produced in the west, I really enjoy Krishna Das and Bhagavan Das, who chant bhajans but with a western touch.  When I'm feeling creative I listen to Kate Bush, although I easily get overwhelmed (in a good way) by her lyrics, which are very spiritual and poetic.

You seem to be quite drawn to India,  Can you tell me more about this?

You said it!  I love India. South India feels like home to me; it did from the moment I first landed there. I have since been told that I’ve had many many past lives there. It’s a very special and spiritually-infused place. I hope to spend a lot more time there in the future. Canada is also cool (no pun intended!)  I enjoy comparing and contrasting cultures.  I find the whole east/west paradigm to be very rich  both conceptually and artistically.

What are some of the things you enjoy about India?

Mmmmm, getting up early in the morning!  The temple music and the mosque's call to prayer.  The myriad of smells and sounds, crows, car horns, power outages, the heat!  I like how affectionate men are with each other publicly, and how women support and are not mistrustful of one-another.  Autorickshaws decorated with fake flowers.  Eating on banana leaves.  A sense of the spiritual underlies everything in India, even the most seemingly unspiritual things.  It's the fullest expression of "life" that I've seen. And, the same things I enjoy will also drive me to distraction at times, power outages, car horns, being covered with ants, endless sweating, the slower pace of life!  It's a place of absurd contradictions, but it's wonderful!  What I would give to hear temple music in the morning in Canada!

Also can you tell me how art impacts your life?

I stopped making art about 6 years back because I realized I wasn’t sure who I was making it for anymore.  I wasn’t communicating in the immediate way I wanted to.  I discovered that teaching yoga was allowing me that communication, on a daily basis, and it didn’t cost me anything!  Now I’m discovering that both are necessary for me.  Art is tremendously important – like a good disease!  The act of creating is a vital part of human consciousness.

Would you share some of your art with us?

Sure.

The Stereoscopic Chakra ©

Both pieces are loosely speaking about the difference between what is seen, and what is felt or experienced.  My photographs were always taken of "myself" from the perspective of the limitations of sight.  That is, looking down at myself from the vantage-point of my eyes.  What is seen?  The head is never seen.  So with these physical limitations in mind, these are how I see myself, overlaid with how I "feel". 

Both the limitations and the distortions inherent in sight are of interest to me.  We think sight is "true" but it is not. I often worked with eyeglass lenses, and various other types of lenses.  With "Stereoscopic Chakra" I did a series based on the stereoscopic images produced in the late 1800s and early 1900s.  People were fascinated with stereoscopy because it was thought to be so "real".  What you were really seeing was just the view of one eye juxtaposed with the view of the other one.

Hands ©   

 

What are your favorite forums and why?

I check “Ask Andreas Moritz” every day.  I don’t read the questions, I just go down the list and read each of his responses.  I have learned so much from Andreas.  How lucky we are to have the gift of his words and insight.  I follow his cleansing advice to the letter.  What I appreciate most about Andreas is that his advice is so holistic and that he recognizes and offers advice on how to heal the spirit as well as the body.

I also enjoy the Dreams forum.  Both Tracey and Anthony have really inspired me to be diligent with my recording and exploration of my dreams. Is there ever a wealth of spiritual information and guidance contained in dreams. The Consciousness and Awareness forum and Near Death Experience forum are of interest to me. Astrology is like “Greek” to me, but I do take a look because I like the discussions there. I’m so pleased that Curezone has so many spiritually-based forums because I believe that cleansing and health help to bring about a greater spiritual awareness and sensitivity and are an important part of health or balance.

And, of course, the Yoga forum!

Yoga is obviously a big part of your life, can you help our readers understand how yoga has been beneficial to you and can be for others too?

Yoga is a very tried and true system of self-awareness, a path of reaching the divine.  There are many other paths and systems to the same place.  I think that yoga works particularly well because its practices address all aspects of a human being, the physical, the emotional, mental, intellectual, and spiritual.  For most of us, we find our way in through the physical.  A physical yoga practice alone starts to open doors and to create more possibilities in life.  Within yoga, there are many subtle paths which appeal to different types of people.  Yoga has really changed everything in life for me…slowly of course.  As my mind has opened to new possibilities, I have embraced many of the other subtle paths and practices.  I feel it’s really a process of fine-tuning the “instrument” of life.

It’s very difficult to describe to someone who has never tried, what happens in a yoga class beyond the physical.  I just encourage people to try it and see.  Ask yourself how you feel before you go in, and then again ask yourself how you feel when you leave.  Many subtle changes definitely take place. That should be the only deciding factor!

There are various paths (styles) in experiencing yoga.  Can you explain them a little?

There is only one yoga, as it has been practiced for thousands of years.  Yoga means union, not the union of body and mind, but the union of Jivatman and Paramatman, or one's individual consciousness and the universal consciousness.   Yoga refers to a certain state of consciousness as well as to methods used to reach that state of union with the divine.  There are many different "paths" of yoga which have traditionally been utilized by people of differing temperaments.  The most common paths are: karma yoga (yoga of action or selfless service), bhakti yoga (devotional practices such as chanting, worship), raja yoga (the "royal path" of control of the mind and body; includes the physical practices which we are familiar, called "hatha" yoga) and jnana yoga (yoga of knowledge or wisdom).

The various "styles" of yoga that we commonly see arose when yoga travelled to the west.  Some of the first teachers here felt that in its true form yoga would not be "palatable" for westerners, so certain aspects were emphasized, and others dropped completely.  We have many brand names today, none of them are wrong per se, but most refer only to the physical practice of yoga asanas (or postures).  Much has been lost.  However there are still many teachers and organizations who aim to present a truer and fuller practice.

For someone wanting to get involved with yoga, what would you recommend they do?

Many yoga teachers and studios offer free or discounted first classes.  I would recommend trying different places to see what feels "right" for you.  You should ultimately feel very comfortable and "at home" there.  If you sense a competitive spirit when you walk in the door, I would run in the opposite direction.  It is this competitiveness that yoga seeks to dispel.  Truthfully I think some indicators of a good yoga studio are whether they teach meditation and whether they teach pranayama, or breathing exercises.  Are they particularly profit oriented?  Do they emphasize "service" or helping others?  These are all important aspects of a broader yoga practice.

Also it is not important to have an expensive yoga mat or to be wearing designer yoga clothes.  Often these clothes are made of synthetic materials and not very suitable for yoga anyway.  Just show up in something comfortable and see how you feel after the class!  Videos are not a good way to learn, or to practice yoga because they reinforce looking outward, not inward and reinforce ideas about how things ought to "look" instead of how things feel.  These should only be considered if there are truly no other options, and should be used just to learn, not to maintain a practice.  Books, in fact would be preferable to learning from a video.

What would you like to say to fellow "Curezonians"?

What a brilliant group of people you are!  I have enjoyed some of the most memorable and inspired interactions with people here on Curezone, than I have almost anywhere else.  I’m often overwhelmed by the energy and selflessness that people on Curezone demonstrate in providing information, insight, and support for others.  Thank you for being so generous and open-minded!

At the end of your life, how would you like to be remembered?

I’m not sure that it’s so important to me to be remembered.  I’m not sentimental. A lot of the art I’ve made has been about impermanence.  The things I can’t possess are of the most interest to me.  Anyway, I’ve always believed in reincarnation and I’m sure I’ll be seeing everyone again – many times over!

There’s a nice quote by Yann Martel from “Life of Pi” about  how the last moments of life must be experienced by those of different faiths.

   
I can well imagine an atheist’s last words:  “White, white! L-L-Love!  My God!” -- and the deathbed leap of faith.  Whereas the agnostic, if he stays true to his reasonable self, if he stays beholden to dry, yeastless factuality, might try to explain the warm light bathing him by saying, “Possibly a f-f-failing oxygenation of the b-b-brain,” and, to the very end, lack imagination and miss the better story

~Yann Martel~


 

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