On the left photo, I was 36 years old and eating pain killers for breakfast. On the right, I was 40 and for the first time in my adult life, I had known what it is like to be in balance.
The difference is eight weeks, during a period of three years, at Vaidya’s Ayurveda Village and a total lifestyle change. Today I work with Vaidya’s team, because I know that Ayurveda works. It changes peoples lives forever. It changed my life.This is my story.
Six years ago I couldn’t walk up a single flight of stairs. I was unable to form a clear thought in my mind, and too exhausted to spend time with other people.
I was diagnosed with exhaustion and depression, and the state I was in is called co-dependency. I had been doing too much for other people for too long.
I forgot who I am and what my purpose on this planet is.
Co-dependency is not to be confused with empathy, compassion and normal concern about other people. It’s about obsession, extreme control issues and victimizing yourself. It’s about giving up your own heart to save someone else. Someone who never asked for your help.
During this period I began to take care of myself. I did therapy, started to meditate and eat properly. I also learned how to just sit down and do nothing. Something I had never done before.
But most important was the nature.
I was walking in the forest every singe day. Sometimes I managed to walk 20 metres without being exhausted, and sometimes 200 metres. I remember how I was trying to get a little exercise out it in the beginning. But after a while it was like the forest itself was pulling me up and telling me to take it easy. ”Slow down. You’re not supposed to do anything here. Just be still.”
My body was of course run-down at the time. Endometriosis, migraine, rheumatics, gastric catarrh, allergies, eczema, psoriasis and other stress-related symptoms was a part of my daily life, and eating antihistamin, getting cortisone injections and taking pain killers became a habit.
I needed a break. From myself.
So I decided to sign up for a cleansing retreat at Vaidya’s Ayurveda Village. When I came to Kerala I was a total wreck and I remember how Janesh told me; ”You’re like a volcano inside and we have at least 15 symptoms to work with”.
These four weeks changed my life in a way that is indescribable. I never thought I could feel like this. Alive, free and happy.
My physical symptoms started to fade away, and I decided to bring this new lifestyle back home. I became a vegan and gradually changed the way I was approaching life. Mental training, meditation and yoga became extremely important, as well as learning about my thought pattern and decoding my emotional behavior.
I have been returning to the retreat almost every year and now it feels like my second home. Most of my symptoms are gone, and life is not as difficult as it used to be. Sometimes I fall back into darkness, but today I know how push myself out of it. I’m not as trapped as before, and most of the days I realize how beautiful life can be, when you just let yourself be.
”I work with this because I see that Ayurveda and Yoga really works. It changes peoples lives forever, and I witness how people are starting to bloom from within when they visit the retreat.” //Lina
Lina Johansson is a returning guest at Vaidya’s Ayurveda Village. She is also a part of our team and create videos, photos and articles for the website and social media.