Κάρμα και τα 4 βήματα ανάκτησης της υγείας


Part 1: Discerning the Roots of Pain & Disease


At some point in our life we are bound to face health issues.  Yes, even us, strong and fit yoga teachers.  Full and creative as my life may have been, I have become seriously fatigued, after our last colossal project of building a yoga retreat in nature in Mani, Greece. Intense muscle pain has led me back to a familiar small Ayurvedic clinic in India.  Here I find myself reflecting on the subject of health. Our health picture is deeply immeshed with our habits and karma. For me the fire of my intense effort tents to push me towards burn out.  In order to find our health equilibrium, we need to be able to go against the current of our habits.  Restructuring our health profile requires deep rooted changes, something that our ego will stubbornly fight.  Our chain of habits account for our personality make up; we get entrenched in them and act through their sheer momentum, ignoring our true body needs and getting numb on the way.  In the process we manage to escape our real existential angst, deep anxiety and life pain. Even after some good healing therapy, our ego will not easily let us throw away our personality crutches and trust our root power. Most of the people, are too overwhelmed to go deep and attempt true transformation; people tent to hide behind their habits; and thus we age with great pain, and great inner problems and outer ailments.  Re-gaining our optimum health status and equanimity requires a massive attempt to reconnect with our truth and all the layers of our SPIRIT SELF.  But, being devoted to the path of YOGA, to the process of self-inquiry, what other choice do we have than to try our best to SEE? VIVEKA means deep insight.  Discernment and true recovery requires a brave amount of insight.  Abhaya!!! 


Part 2:  Healing & Karma! 


We may consider that disease and trauma may have very different causes from person to person and ailment to ailment, but, in essence, all health problems are manifestations of an energetic dis-harmony that appears on all levels of our existence.  According to traditional Yoga theory, our bodies manifest in 5 layers or Koshas:

1st Kosa- the physical body--the layer of food/muscles, bones, ligaments.

2nd Kosa-- our energetic body, more notably our breath, and our all nadi, energy channels, and chakra system

3rd Kosa--our mental /emotional functions,

4th Kosa --our deeper instinctual essence or knowledge and subconscious, and

5th Kosa--the most profound SPIRIT in us. 

In Ayurveda there are another 2  layers of  tissue or dhathu, the  7th level being a non-physical layer that is called Ojas and corresponds to our immune power. Disease is a disharmony in our vibratory energetic level which starts on a deeper level, for example the level of thought and emotion, and manifests on a physical level much later, when it is already accumulated and somewhat fixed or stuck in our system.  No flow, no life...  Or in other words, restriction of free flow=restriction of energy=disease.

To explain it in a different way, our thoughts, emotions, tendencies, have a vibration that influences the harmony of our life on an etherial level.  That harmonious or non-harmonious vibration is then transferred all the way down from the deeper to the outer more dense layer of our physical body. Thus, when a disease manifests on the level of muscles, bone, and tissue it means that it has been on the substrata of our existence for a while and has finally penetrated all layers of our being from the deepest to the most superficial.  By the time it manifests on the external, physical body, it is sometimes too late or too hard to treat and heal.

Karma plays a big role in our life and health, one that is very difficult to understand and decipher in our life.  Sometimes, the connection of karma & health is clear as daylight and one cannot easily miss it.  Allow me to site and example.  Always wanting to be a good student, I used to study very hard during those grueling high school exams.  Anxiety, stress, and lack of sleep led the way to a stomach ulcer.  The cause here is not something as obvious as wrong food for example. Rather I would have to look at a deeper tendency, my strong tendency to excel.  Its meaning and predominance in my life; how it manifests as both a driving force and a force that burns... The connection between karma and our bodily health is of course quite complex, but we usually tend to discern barely the tip of the iceberg.  Let us look at another example.

Say we are stuck in a negative relationship, a love romance that has turned south.  Most of us may have an example in memory to help us relate.  On the first level, why did we start this relationship to begin with? Our deeper sense definitely knew better, but we ignored the signals because something in our past hidden karma, has created that irresistible magnetic pull towards the person and situation.  Sooner or later, things start to get more convoluted, our drama and karma manifest outwardly, and our mind gets stuck in cycles of fear, jealousy, resentment.  We get caged in in  contracted emotional state.  Sooner or later, our body is bound to experience some level of dis-ease, and it will not be long before we feel the repercussions on a physical level.  Headaches, muscle aches, stomach pangs, may be some of the very obvious signals.  The heart break is often inevitable, and sometimes more real than metaphoric. 

We may realize then that healing requires a deeper overhaul, one that most doctors or physicians cannot perform on our account.  True healing often demands that we work decidedly and wholeheartedly on all levels of our being.  It needs to involve all layers or koshas from the physical, to our mental decision and desire to be healthy, whole, and restored.  We may need to say to ourselves: I really want to be healthy again.   I commit all my effort and faith unto my capacity to reach my most optimal state of health and well-being.  

In my personal life, every health crisis showed me that restoring my body to good health was a spiritual effort and commitment. Sure, we may need the help of a specialist, a doctor or therapist in any tradition in order to get a specific diagnosis and treatment, but ultimately we need the power of healing that is in our hands and realm of responsibility.  

Let us now look at the issue of recovering our health, in





First we need to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for our state of health.  It is the moment to stop blaming others or life, and ADMIT that our past actions, conscious and unconscious have somehow brought about this predicament. Working with our karma most often implies spiritual cleansing on a very deep level.  Prayer, meditation, taking refuge in Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Allah, or in the power of goodness, works to melt the blocks in our emotional and subconscious layers, opening the energetic center of the heart.  ATONEMENT is a big ice-breaker;  a necessary prerequisite for reversing our negative accumulated karma.  In Zen practice, morning meditation is accompanied by an important confession:

All my negative twisted karma,

from beginningless greed hate and delusion,

born through body, speech, and mind,

I know fully avow. 

Any honest practice that brings us back to stillness and opens our heart is a good way to cleanse our spirit and open new pathways of positive healing karma.


Here comes another important spiritual value, the magical key that opens all doors: GRATITUDE.

Gratitude is recognizing the goodness, wisdom, and loving nature of the main power that moves the universe.  Seeing that nothing is coincidental and that actually at every moment of our life there is a nurturing force propelling our path, protecting and gingerly guiding us, is gratitude.  Recognizing that everything given to us is a gift, pushing us towards bigger openness, strenth, maturity and understanding and accepting this gift with grace is gratitude. In Greek the word is EFHARISTO/ΕΥ-ΧΑΡΙΣ-ΤΩ, derived from the words Ef— GOOD, and Haris--GRACE.  Gratitude is to stand with good grace or to see and accept the grace of the Divine constantly, at every moment of our life.  Recognizing it is accepting the gift.  Gratitude transforms misery to joy, and negativity to luminous optimism and happiness.  


Cleaning the slate of our past Karma through acceptance, feeling gratitude for all that is given, we can move towards healing & health with great resolve: WE DESERVE TO BE HAPPY AND WHOLE.  We will work with every layer of our existence to re-harmonize and acquire our most optimum health, because we deserve and need to give it our best shot.  .  One very effective way to work with uprooting negative habitual thought patterns is through Mantra repetition.  Even a simple mantra in our own language can be very powerful: “I deserve to be healthy. I am becoming strong and healthy.”


The Divine Force that moves the Universe is expecting us to step up and believe it:

Miracles do happen. Expect the miracle even of a small recovery or improvement, or a drastic unbelievable change.  We play the BIGGEST ROLE in our healing; our deepest wish or desire is the motivating power of our lives.

If we work on every level of our being, physical with good diet and good habits, energetic with harmonious breathing and subtle energy work, mental with good thoughts and positive feelings, instinctual by focusing our path of action, and spiritual through prayer and meditation, then we can trust and remain optimistic that we are on the best course for full healing, and RE-COVERING our optimum maximum energy and state of health.  

Abhaya—on the fearless path of Change!