Category Archives: Yoga Miracles

Surgery at Birth

By Maria Sichel

With the Svaroopa® Sciences practices, miracles happen reliably.  Encouraged by his wife, my client Marc took an introductory class last September.  With two partial knee replacements, he described himself as “stiff” and said he had back and knee pain.  After this introduction, Marc felt so good he enrolled in weekly classes.

Marc’s Svaroopa® yoga class became a highlight of his week.  He often reported with wonder that he felt so much better at the end of class.  Early on, he remarked, “I wasn’t expecting the added benefit of mental relief!  I am astounded to be calmer with less pain, more mobility and an overall good feeling.  My body has opened in ways I couldn’t have imagined.”

In February, he decided to try yoga therapy.  He described, “I was born with a double hernia.  Correction at birth created scar tissue that affected my psoas muscles.  At 26, I developed a slight herniation on the right side of the L4–L5 vertebrae.  On-and-off debilitating pain resulted.”

Marc got some relief from massage therapy and chiropractic treatments.  However, the extreme tightness on his right side from his neck down to his hip continued.  Arriving for his first yoga therapy session, Marc reported pain spreading through his neck, entire right side, sacrum and both knees.  Afterward, he reported no pain!  Being persuaded by the miracle of 20 minutes of Ujjayi Pranayama, Marc became a daily “breather” at home.

At his fifth session, Marc reports enjoying his consistent daily Ujjayi breathing.  When he fills out the initial pain scale, he now targets only two small spots.  He leaves the session with zeros. 

Marc says, “I am amazed at the breathing practice.  I have been able to stop visiting the chiropractor every week.  This weekend I overdid it and was in quite a negative state.  I did my breathing, poses and some meditation, and I was transformed.”

I say that Marc is in the “midst of a miracle.”  I don’t know how “good” good can get for Marc.  And neither does he.  But he continues to be curious and run the experiment.

A Turning Point 

By Gayle Haney

Interviewed by Marlene (Matrikaa) Gast, Yogaratna

For several years at Downingtown Yoga, I enjoyed Svaroopa® Yoga Therapy, classes and Gurudevi’s Satsangs.  I also took a Learn to Meditate course.  

Then in September 2021, I enrolled in the five-day, residential course – Foundations of Svaroopa® Yoga.  My purpose was to learn more about how these practices work and design a home practice.  In addition, I reached a deeper level of Consciousness and understanding.  

Each day began with chanting and meditation.  Then we dove into the primary poses for spinal opening.  In partner-pairs, we learned how to give instructions for alignments, adjustments and propping.  

With this meticulous training I went deeper.  I learned how to lead a group in japa (out loud mantra repetition).  I learned the history and meaning of the chants and how to do arati (the flame circles ceremony).  During meals and recesses, I refrained from worrying about work and checking my email and phone.  The benefits of Svaroopa® yoga saturated me on all levels.

Several years before, back problems had led me to Svaroopa® yoga.  There were times when I couldn’t stand up or even move.  Now my doctors recognize my progress and the improvements in my health.  

After Foundations, my local Svaroopa® yoga teacher and therapist gave me an Embodyment® session, and reported a profound change in my body: “Your sacrum has never been in this position and has never moved like this.”

My Foundations immersion was a turning point for my mind as well.  I attained a deep level of inner peace and quiet.  I became aware of how much I value this calm.  To maintain it, I use the tools that Foundations delivered.  A year and a half later, I am committed to my daily practice.

While I don’t teach, I have shared Svaroopa® yoga with my sister.  She and I now attend the same weekly class, and I support her when she has questions.  We recently took a Learn to Meditate course together.

Reflecting on my Foundations immersion, I have to say it’s a big investment.  And you get out of it what you put into it.

Healing on Every Level

By Lynn (Gurupremananda) Cattafi

The January Healing Retreat was the perfect way to start my New Year. The format created is powerful. The brilliantly designed practices reached me on all levels of my being.  

Doing the full-immersion online retreat in my own home was a sacred experience. I could weave the healing into every part of my life, while simultaneously being in my life. 

I went into the retreat looking for relief from foot pain that was affecting my mobility. I knew I needed the personalized help that I would receive at the Healing Retreat. And I received so much more than just pain relief! 

I was deeply healed in body, mind and heart. I started each day with the online Meditation Club. 

Then came my personalized one-on-one online yoga therapy session with one of the Ashram’s amazing Yoga Therapists. I received poses that target and heal my specific pain. 

Daily vichara (guided self-inquiry) freed me from mental tensions and blocks. As I got freer, I realized that those blocks had been adversely affecting my body. 

Our Yoga Therapists’ daily discourses on pain and healing enhanced my healing process. Plus, in Gurudevi’s group Q&A, I received her enlightened insight into my healing.

This multi-level opening and clearing prepared me for a huge inner breakthrough. It came a few days after the retreat concluded. 

I am grateful to Gurudevi as well as to my therapists, Swami Shrutananda and Swami Prajnananda. Their loving and expert guidance is priceless. I highly recommend the Healing Retreat. I am looking forward to taking it again and again. It’s that powerful. 

1000-Fold Return on Investment 

By Karen (Kumuda) Schaub 

Interviewed by Agnes (Aikyaa) Hetherington 

Winter of 2022 was a challenging time for me.  My stress level was through the roof.  I was a first-year public school teacher, commuting more than two hours daily.  In icy conditions, I nearly fell three times, which strained my already “crunchy” left hip. 

In March I had a more serious fall.  I went headfirst down the steps outside my condo.  I had very intense and painful bruising on my shins and knees.  It also aggravated my hip pain. 

In acute pain, I went to school as usual the next day.  After a week of homeopathy, herbs and acupuncture, I realized more help was needed.  My old hip problem had already impaired my ability to bend forward.  Now my knees were stiff and swollen. 

I worried about regaining my mobility.  I was scared about the amount of pain and concerned about blood clots with the intense bruising.  So I began weekly Embodyment® therapy sessions with my Svaroopa® yoga teacher, Kris Curran. 

The weekly sessions helped start my healing process.  Most of the swelling and bruising subsided over the next three months.  Attending a retreat at Lokananda in July however, I had to use the stairlift to get to the second floor.  I was not yet back to normal movement. 

I remembered Kris had mentioned Overlap Healing.  This Embodyment® modality “overlaps” sessions to allow for staying open and deep healing.  It was a large commitment of time and money, but I decided to make that commitment. 

For three weeks in August, I immersed in nine Overlap Embodyment® sessions.  The healing was profound and so was the opening in my body.  It was a miracle.  My pain and mobility issues diminished by 95 percent! 

I marvel at being able to walk my dog outside and not be in pain now.  Equally important was the effect on my mind.  Embodyment® allowed me to turn off my mind and settle in.  It stopped all that fear process — nipped it in the bud! 

I will do it again, on summer break from teaching, no questions asked.  It’s a big commitment, but the return on investment is one thousand-fold! 

Yoga Healing Retreats Work Miracles!

By Swami Praj~nananda

Doing more yoga works. I see it every time we offer a Yoga Healing Retreat. As a therapist, I love to support students in these retreats. Everyone’s process is different, but the profound changes in your body, mind and heart are guaranteed.

Each day you receive a yoga therapy session, a vichara session and a group yoga class. You hear a discourse on Consciousness. You chant and mediate, then meditate some more. You are filled up from the inside! And it works every time. 

Yet I noticed the retreat this past January raised the healing bar even higher. This is because Gurudevi updated the format by adding an extra day. You may think, “Oh, what can one extra day do? A lot!”

Now you get another day of immersive practices, each day building on the last. And what’s more, you get a newly established Q&A session with Gurudevi. The Q&A is expertly positioned the second-to-last day. With days of healing behind you, your pump is primed for a breakthrough. You’ve gone as far as you could on your own, and you need an extra push. You need a Guru boost!

In the Q&A session, Gurudevi meets you where you’re at. She provides the teachings, presence and support to move you to the next level. I saw this happen with each and every student. Truly incredible. Yet, not surprising. This stuff really works!

Carolyn (Karuna) Beaver shares:

Swami Prajnananda is right. That extra day was more than a day. It had the effect of integrating and consolidating all the deep practices I’d done. I was more prepared to take these new openings home with me. Gurudevi’s generous responses during our Q&A opened new possibilities and helped me choose my next steps.

Since returning home I’ve maintained the physical openings by doing the customized yoga set given to me. I’ve added vichara sessions to my other regular practices. It keeps my mind moving in the right direction. I’m looking at my life with a new yogic lens. 

Celina (Chinmayi) Sochaczewska reports from Europe:

When I saw it in the SVA Calendar, I knew I needed this retreat. Living in France, knowing I’d finish every morning at 3 am local time was a bit scary. So I created a plan for preparing myself. A few days beforehand, I went to bed later each night. I did plenty of yoga. I even organized my provisions to avoid the need to shop during the retreat. My life over the six days was a total immersion. I was surprised that I did not need my daily fresh air outings.

In the online retreat, I experienced delicious inner joy and could not stop smiling. It was like a dream come true. Of course, the individual yoga and vichara sessions brought things to the surface (and they are still coming). Yet Gurudevi’s presence, chanting and meditation made the healing faster.

As a result, I have joined the online Meditation Club, and I’m loving it. My daily personal practice of prescribed poses enables me to sit through in my meditation nest without bodily discomforts. My meditation experience is much smoother and deeper. My heart is filled with gratitude to Gurudevi, Swami Shrutananda and Swami P. for their incredible support and guidance.

Lynn (Gurupremananda) Cattafi feels the changes continuing:

I was a little skeptical at first, but I signed up anyway. My feet have been in a lot of pain, and I knew I needed the personalized help. I received so much more than just pain relief. The Healing Retreat format is so powerful. I was deeply healed in body, mind and heart. The practices are brilliantly designed to reach you on all levels of your being.

I took the online, full immersion option. Doing the retreat from my own home felt very sacred; I was able to weave the healing into every part of my life, while being in my life. I can report that this retreat made me ready to receive a huge inner breakthrough that came a few days later. I am grateful for Gurudevi, and Swami Shrutananda and Swami Praj~nananda for their loving and expert guidance. My feet are doing much better too! The personalized pose set is reaching in exactly where it needs to, so the healing continues! 

Marlene (Matrikaa) Gast adds her update:

I returned home from the January Healing Retreat relieved of acid reflux and hip crease discomfort. The head of my left thigh bone slipped into its hip socket for the first time ever. My customized home pose set gives me continuing breakthroughs. More improvement than I could ever have imagined motivates my daily practice of challenging poses.

I feel my arms, legs and abs strengthening significantly day by day. In Meditation Club, which starts at 4:30 am my time, I sit in steady ease with an upright spine. Kriyas feel more deeply effective in clearing mental and emotional blockages. As I enter my 77th journey around the sun, I feel younger!

It Went Away Miraculously

By TC (Tattvananda) Richards

Interviewed by Lissa (Yogyananda) Fountain, Yogaratna

It says online, “You cannot get rid of plantar fasciitis without medical intervention.” For my work, I stand on my feet all day long. The pain in my heel got worse and worse. And everyone had advice: “Roll your foot on a ball” or ”you’ll need an injection.” Yet because of my Svaroopa® yoga practices, the pain went away miraculously ― amazingly, never to return.

When I mentioned my condition to one of the Ashram swamis, she recommended I try Embodyment® Yoga Therapy sessions or at least one hour a day of Ujjayi Pranayama. Because of my schedule, I chose to commit myself to my Ujjayi breathing practice. To stay conscious the whole hour, I set a timer for every 20 minutes. It worked! The pain started to lesson.

The real turnaround happened when I changed my daily yoga routine. I learned I had not been sequencing my spine effectively. Swamiji gave me a more therapeutic pose practice. This released my tailbone tensions and reached into all the tight spots I’d been missing.

I also gave myself more time in the poses. By slowing down, I felt my body relaxing. In the pauses between poses, I could perceive the inner shifts. To feel complete, I always included a beginning and closing Shavasana.

Now I get up in the morning with no pain. And I know I have to keep up with the practices. I think of it as cooperating with the flow of Grace!

Two Yoga Miracles

By Katharine Raczkowski

My yoga student Kris and I are both aircraft mechanics, building planes for an aerospace company.  I am also a Svaroopa® yoga teacher.

Spring 2020, I noticed Kris wasn’t breathing.  That is, he was hunched over his workbench, and his belly didn’t move. One day, I lightheartedly asked, “Are you breathing?  Do you have room for your lungs?”  Later he responded, “You asked me if I was breathing.  So I sort of wondered about that.”

Kris had noticed that when work required standing, I stood with my feet side by side and parallel.  When he asked me generally what I did, I asked, “Can I show you something?” I taught him Slow Motion Dive and Crook’t Leg in the Chair and later showed him Tadasana.  I was amazed at how quickly Kris’s spine elongated.  Right away, he had to adjust his car seat as well as rearview and side mirrors.

In September 2020, a fall down a flight of stairs seriously injured my hips.  I had to use two hiking sticks to walk.  Fortunately, my Embodyment® therapist is close to my work.  So I could conveniently have sessions before starting the second-shift.  When I would arrive for work, Kris noticed I was no longer using the hiking sticks nor limping.  “You don’t look at all like you’ve fallen!”  This was the big kick for Kris to schedule a class at his home for himself and his wife.  Plus, since Embodyment® healed my hips, I canceled the hip surgery my doctor had recommended.

Early 2021, Kris had another class.  He learned some Foundations poses and Ujjayi Pranayama to do at home.  In October 2021, I enrolled in Foundations Review, YTT 1 and Embodyment® training.  After that Ashram immersion, I returned home in a whole different place.  Kris scheduled a private class in December.

Now he is working through YTT 1 poses in his home practice.  Before Svaroopa® yoga, Kris couldn’t raise his shoulders much and one arm only 30 degrees.  He no longer protects that arm now, and his joints move together fluidly.  Last week he asked to review Seated Side Stretch.  He explained, “I just love the movement.  It feels great.  But there are a lot of steps.”

Early on, I measured his height at 5’8”; it’s now 6’1”.  His blood pressure came down 20 points in 6 months; medication is no longer needed.  He gave up snacks and went from 220 to 175 pounds.

In a session, he released traumatic memories.  His level of worry and “spinning” has decreased, a change evident to his wife and daughter.  He used to write about his spinning.  Now he’s writing a children’s book about dragons learning how to use their fire appropriately.  He is excited about moving forward and dropping his past.