Archive for the ‘Yoga’ Category

Day 3 (or as it’s called around here, Day minus 5)

I’ve been in isolation for 3 days now and I’m getting used to it, slowly but surely.

Although, I have to admit, I had a bit of a temper tantrum this morning. I won’t go into it, but it involved wanting a cup of coffee and not being able to leave the room. You get the picture.

So far, the chemo regimen has been going smoothly. The side effects are not terrible and I am feeling well, more or less.

Yesterday, I met with an Infectious Disease specialist. She was called in, because I mentioned my desire to use medical marijuana to ease the chemo side effects (and make being in isolation a wee bit easier). I have already been given permission to use it in the form of a homemade tincture and the transplant department has offered cannabis oil. However, from my experience, smoking is usually most effective to making me feel better and I can not smoke in here. But, I received a beautiful gift from a family friend, a top-of-the-line vaporizer. When I first arrived, I asked if I could use the vaporizer and I was told that after meeting with the Infectious Disease specialist, I would have an answer.

She said, “Why not? If it works!”

The reason for concern is that dried plant material can carry all sorts of microorganisms and fungus. That can be very alarming for a person with a suppressed immune system. The doctor decided that the plant material in question was not dangerous.

Here I am immediately after she left.

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My two hens (my mother and cousin, Moran) and I are in the process of setting up the room. It is starting to look and feel more homey. The walls are splattered with the faces of my loved ones and the images that keep me centered.

Here’s a taste.

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My room is located directly in front of the nurse’s station. At first, my mother was concerned that it would be too loud, but I actually like the hustle and the bustle. I like being able to open the blinds on my door-window and see humans moving and grooving in the music of their lives. It makes me feel less isolated.

In the room, there is a comfy sofa-like chair in the corner. I like to sit in it and read and write. It’s also healthy to stay out of bed as much as possible. This is what I see when I look out the window from this vantage point.

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Not the best picture, but it does show this one, solitary palm tree facing the sea. I feel quite the resonance with it.

Those are my thoughts for this day.

Sending love and light from my extra special quarantine retreat!

HealeyOr

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A look back.

Sunrise at the Thong Sala Pier. I took this on the morning of a trip to Koh Samui. (January 2009)

In the last couple days, I’ve realized how much I miss Thailand. Koh Phangan. Agama. My life there. I feel like my last couple months were not truly mine, because I was so ill. And now that I feel like myself again, its clear how much it meant for me to be there and to study yoga so intensively.

Aside from that, in the last 8 years or so, Koh Phangan has become one of my homes. My thai hasn’t improved, but my love has definitely grown. It doesn’t feel like vacation when I’m there. It feels like home.

Don’t get me wrong. Israel also feels like home. And making a life here is also a priority to me. In what capacity, I’m not so sure. But I do know that I have a place here.

After I graduated from university, I moved back to Miami for a short period of time. During which I worked at Books & Books – the loveliest independent bookstore in the universe. (http://www.booksandbooks.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp) I saved some money and decided I wanted to go somewhere exciting. A friend of mine had just spent some time in Thailand and told me that it was amazing and very traveller-friendly. I knew I would be there on my own, so I wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t overwhelming. In my mind, places like India and countries in Africa were overwhelming for a independent female traveller.

So, I made a travel plan. I would go to Thailand and work as a volunteer through Volunteers for Peace (http://www.vfp.org/). In that way, I would be able to deal with culture shock while helping people. It seemed ideal. And in some ways it was. I made friends and I built a toilet. I don’t remember too much from that time. But I do remember my dear friend Elena. We fell in love. Our friendship blossomed while chopping bamboo.

Elena and I decided to travel together after we finished volunteering. We met a couple of American guys on our weekend off from the project and they invited us to meet them for something called the Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan, an island in the Gulf of Thailand. Elena and I weren’t really into partying, but they were cute, so we decided to go. We also wanted to spend some time on the beach. The volunteer program we were on took place in the mountains up north. It was very beautiful, but it wasn’t the beach.

We made our way down there. I didn’t fall in love with the guy that invited me down there….but I did fall in love with Koh Phangan. And I did not want to leave. I kept changing my ticket so I could stay longer.

I can’t really explain why I loved it so much. It wasn’t the partying or the drugs. I didn’t really do much of either. It was more the energy of the place. The way that everyone seemed laid-back and calm. It was something that was missing from my life at the time.

Two year later, I went back for about 3 weeks. Again, it wasn’t enough. I wanted to find a way to stay on the island. It didn’t happen at that point, so I went back to my life in the states.

Finally, last year I found the answer. It was nearing the end of my trip with Jonathan and Rachel (my dear friend from massage school). They left. And I decided to stay and try a few yoga classes at this school near my guesthouse. I began the first day of the 1-month intensive and (again) fell in love.

Not only did I find a way to live on Koh Phangan, I also found a community of fellow seekers. It was my dream. And it still is.

I hope that once I am able to move on…I can continue where I left off. Of course, I am different now, but the goal is still the same. I’m still looking for something and studying yoga is still my method. There is a reason that Koh Phangan is always calling my name…

By the way, a couple years ago I received an email from Elena’s brother saying that she had passed away after a long battle with cancer. I didn’t even know she was ill. We had lost touch about a year after our time together. I miss Elena. She was so young and full of life. Bless her…she was a lovely soul…

The Water of Life

Today, I’m going to write about something controversial. A subject that brings many different types of reactions, ranging from curiosity/amazement to outright disgust.

Today’s topic is … Urine Therapy.

That’s right. Using urine to treat certain ailments and diseases.

Before I begin, I would like to address something. I find that the taboo associated with using urine for therapy is very significant. People hear urine and they immediately think waste. The truth is, urine is a wonderful fertilizer for your garden – its full of nitrogen. It just has to be diluted 1 to 10. Its also 95% water.

The main purpose of urination is to support homeostasis within the body. We need a certain amount of water in the body to maintain balance. When there is too much water, we urinate or sweat to correct that. And, I’ve noticed, urine is often placed in the same category as feces. In reality, most of the toxins in the body go to the large intestine for excretion – resulting in feces. The kidneys main purpose is to maintain balance, not detoxify the body. Urine is a by-product of blood filtration not waste filtration.

What else is in urine? It consists of excess vitamins, minerals, hormones and enzymes. 2.5% of urine is the chemical urea.  In large amounts, urea can be toxic if ingested. The amount that is released by the body is insignificant and if ingested would be entirely dissolved within our digestive system. Despite that, urea is the main ingredient in many skin products (as well as many other products – check this out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urea#Other_commercial_uses). And urine, when released from the body, is entirely sterile and can even used as an antiseptic.

Note : If a person leads an unhealthy lifestyle, drinking alcohol, smoking, drugs, allopathic medicine, their urine is not fit for ingestion, because it will carry waste within it. It takes about 7 days for the urine to cleansed of these substances. External application would still be available.

The healthier your lifestyle, the more pleasant your urine becomes.

Historically, urine has been used for ages to treat a variety of illnesses, ranging from cancer to skin rashes. Its also an ingredient in many folk remedies. My grandmother used to say that baby’s urine is good for the skin.  Proponents of urine therapy believe that urine is, in fact, an individual’s perfect blend of antibodies, minerals, vitamins and hormones. In other words, our own perfect medicine.

In India, the use of urine as medicine is called amaroli or shimbavu. Its also called the Water of Shiva. Damaru Tantra is an ancient text entirely devoted to the amazing properties and uses of urine. The former Prime Minister of India, Moraji Desai, claims to have cured his cancer with urine therapy. He also went on the show 60 minutes and discussed the importance of urine therapy and its importance as a medical solution for the millions of Indians who cannot afford health care.

Here’s a list of books about urine therapy (for those that are still interested!)

Your Own Perfect Medicine – http://www.amazon.com/Your-Own-Perfect-Medicine-Incredible/dp/0963209116/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

Golden Fountain – http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Fountain-Complete-Guide-Therapy/dp/0963209159/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b

The Water of Life – http://www.amazon.com/Water-Life-J-W-Armstrong/dp/8177691384/ref=pd_sim_b_2

and for good measure, urine therapy for plants… Liquid Gold – http://www.amazon.com/Liquid-Gold-Logic-Using-Plants/dp/0966678311/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262671135&sr=1-1

And to end this post, I would like to share the following picture of Shiva. He is the man. Quite literally! And urine has been named the Water of Shiva. So, here he is.

Peace to all…may all beings be happy. Or at least not suffering…