Cebu Island in Maharlika, the Philippines
by Mirjam Koskela of Finland
This year’s annual naturopathy training course took place in late March 2020. As in previous years, the program offered instruction in and firsthand experience with their detox program, yogic treatments and remedies. I heard about the training from my friend who had done it before. So I knew that the training and teachers would be very good. I still didn’t know how practical and helpful it would really be for me. Especially considering that I have been working for years as a hospital nurse. I thought I had a very healthy lifestyle and understood treatment — but still I learned so much!
The training was 30 days. Dada Dharmavedananda, who is very experienced in yoga and naturopathy, gave theory classes. Charito Rada-Dael, medical in charge, explained how to do all treatments and how to deal with any detox effects and make the journey of detoxification an enjoyable and happy experience. The staff was kind and always ready to help and assist. We learned easy and tasty recipes from the kitchen staff. We also learned how to use probiotics and that steaming is the best way to cook and takes only a short time.
We practiced everything that we learned. We did treatments to ourselves and other trainees indoors and in the garden. Everyone had a personal program. I used to fast regularly but I had never experienced long fast before. Other trainees also used to fast and some of them didn’t, some were not vegetarian and some had experienced long fast. We were all different and all from different countries.
We learned how to guide a detox program for others; indications and contraindications for each treatment. Theory was based on naturopathy and Shrii P. R. Sarkar’s book “Yogic Treatments and Natural Remedies”. It was fascinating and eye-opening for me to experience those treatments, like baths, water drinking, sun-bathing and mud packs. In the Cebu center, they have successfully helped people for so many years using these methods. I did sun-bathing many times because I live in cold Scandinavia. I feel it has given me a lot of positive energy.
The idea of the training is to learn how to stay healthy forever. Usually it is the lifestyle that causes our problems. So it means that when you have a health issue it is a sign for you to modify something in your present lifestyle. You can always do something which helps. Natural methods are practical everywhere and easy to do when you know how. During Dada’s theory classes we discussed about everything and Dada encouraged us to use our common sense for solving problems. He shared inspiring experiences that happened to him or his students.
Our daily schedule was optimized so we had treatments twice a day, theory class, cardiovascular exercise, and three to four uplifting kiirtans and meditations daily. We had free time and in the evenings we watched a documentary or funny movie or we danced. Basic detox program included 4 days pre-cleansing diet, 5 days juice fasting and 6-9 days for breaking the fast. Most of us did a longer liquid fasting part. I did 17 days with lemon-water and sometimes I had fresh coconut-water.
Through experience we learned when detox is going at a good speed and when there is need to slow down. Mindset is the most important also when fasting. If one’s mind goes low during the detox program, it will impact the body and the detoxification process.
We spent the days learning new fascinating things, like the fact that skin can be constipated! We also had a few free days when we went to the beach to swim in the ocean and relax.
That month was remarkable in my life. I feel that living a healthy yogic lifestyle has made a great impact on me and I’m inspired to keep a healthy lifestyle in my everyday life. I will definitely find ways to share this knowledge with others for the rest of my life. I will always remember the inspiring company of the other trainees. The company of yogis and yoginis always feels like a blessing.