The Lyme Disease Epidemic: A Call For Integrative Medicine

By Support
February 7, 2017


Lyme disease is the #1 fastest spreading infectious illness in the USA, with over 300,000 cases contracted annually, and a mere 10% properly diagnosed or treated. Often mistaken for autoimmune illnesses, a broad spectrum of Integrative Medicine modalities are necessitated for recovery from the chronic form. Doctors, especially in the Southeastern states, have little information on Lyme disease. In fact, most medical professionals are unaware this bacterial tick-borne infection is even existent in the Southern states. Consequently, tens of thousands of cases are misdiagnosed as spider bites, influenza, MS, arthritis, fibromyalgia and even autism in children.


Dr. Jodie Dashore and Katina Makris are leading experts in the field, with thousands of client hours between them. Both internationally renowned conference and workshop teachers, as well as award recipients, they will present a comprehensive program of  traditional and holistic medicine information as to the key components for healing from Lyme disease and co-infections, at The Art of Living Retreat Center.


An Integrative Approach to Lyme Disease

The retreat will emphasize modern medical science material for professionals and patients, on supporting the detoxification pathways, restoring damage to bodily systems, killing off infectious organisms, and restoring emotional and spiritual health.


We will also touch on how to minimize herxheimer reactions, reduce inflammation, homeopathic self help remedies, the importance of bonding with the appropriate lead practitioner in your care, forming family support and the intrinsic need for  emotional and spiritual empowerment via this healing journey will be detailed. Specialty mind-body- spirit exercises will be taught, alongside the critical call for integrative medicine tools in this exploding health care crisis. AIDS at its peak saw 101,000 cases per year, Lyme is surging 3 times faster!


As chronic Lyme disease survivors themselves, this is a unique collaboration between two master healers, who value the full spectrum of physical and spiritual support components for chronic disease recovery.


About Your Hosts

Katina’s books “Autoimmune Illness &   Lyme Disease Recovery Guide, Mending Body, Mind & Spirit” and “Out of The Woods, Healing Lyme Disease” are international best sellers and award recipients. Her hit radio

program, “Lyme Light Radio with Katina” broke open the dialogue on this under recognized health topic.
Click here to listen to an MS patient’s full recovery story from masked Lyme disease.


Dr. Dashore has been awarded Top Physician 2016-2017 by the International Neurology and Natural Medicine Association. Raised in Mumbai, India and schooled at some of the most prestigious universities of the world, Dr. Dashore’s insights into autism, neurology and tick borne diseases are groundbreaking. Dr. Dashore and Ms. Makris are committed to facilitating the end of suffering from Lyme diseases and the toxic underpinnings linked to this illness.

Please join us for an unprecedented weekend of healing, inspiration and knowledge.


by Katina Makris, CCH, CIH




“From the moment I met Katina, I knew that this dynamic, vibrant, powerhouse of a healer needed to come to Canada to share her message.  Her first book tour and workshop in Toronto and Guelph, Ontario were an absolute hit – Canada loves Katina!  Ever the consummate professional, Katina shares her knowledge from both the perspective of  ractitioner and patient in a way that endures her to any audience, creating instant rapport and trust.  She speaks from a place of knowledge, truth and grace.”

Cecile Gough, RN

Guelph Canada Lyme Support Leader


“Katina Makris has much to share and she says it with clarity, wisdom, charm and humor. She is an outstanding speaker on the airwaves or at the podium and will make an audience come to their feet in approval as well as return for more”

 Irene Conlon M.S.N., Ph.D.


Katina is a well known authority in Holistic Medicine. She is passionate about bringing health back the natural way. Her own journey with Chronic Lyme disease as documented in her book, Out of the Woods, is inspiring and gave hope and new found sense of being able to recover from this illness, to so many sufferers.

Katalin Kovacs M.D.


I am listening to all of your LymeLight radio interviews and you are awesome! My heart is touched deeply and had I a few tears hearing my same hell on these broadcasts. I have been suffering with Lyme for 12 years but could have well been a lot of longer because of my symptoms since childhood. I’ve been treating for a year and 3 months now and getting ready to start treatment on my 11 year old in June. I couldn't have done this without my husband, two good doctors and people like you, who understand this and are out there on the front lines fighting for us! Love you to pieces!”


Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living retreat center , health , integrative medicine , Lyme disease

Exploring Wisdom: And Now, Rest

By Support
January 26, 2017

…rest is the vital principle which recuperates. It regalvanizes the nerve-centres, collects the scattered forces and so reinvigorates the body.” Genevieve Stebbins, Dynamic Breathing and Harmonic Gymnastics ©1892


And Now, Rest


I was in a dance class the other day where we were moving in 4/4. One of the steps was a syncopated turn in 3 counts, and then a rest. 1, 2 and 3, rest. As the instructor repeated the words, I remembered someone recently asking why we rest in Awareness Through Movement® lessons. I had explained the need to integrate the movement, how we don’t allow this space in our daily lives.

As we turned, then paused, I realized that the rest was not just a break. It was part of the movement. Like the pause between breaths, the “rest” in a lesson is part of the melody, full of life and import.

Feldenkrais said, “Movement is life. Without movement, life is unthinkable.” But to intentionally choose stillness with awareness is part of the movement, like being the ocean, rising, cresting, resting, in order to begin again. It’s like winter in a four season climate, the earth pauses in its symphony to rest. Spring, summer, fall, rest. Unlike hanging out on the couch watching TV or going to sleep at night, taking time in the day to pause and actually experience the paradoxical movement of stillness connects me with the dance of life.

Awareness Through Movement® lessons are like a gift to your nervous system. By allowing yourself the time to develop your kinesthetic awareness, and taking the time to pause in your busy life, you are improving all the movements of your life – from chopping carrots to playing concert violin to lifting your grandchild.


Author: Lavinia Plonka

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: awareness through movement , lavinia , plonka
Yoga After 50

Exploring Wisdom: We Are All One – Yoga After 50

By Support
January 19, 2017

Yoga After 50

I was 55 when my father died and left me his house in Florida. I could retire if I wanted to. And I wanted to. Although I loved teaching– I was a community college English professor–pain sapped my energy. My hands hurt so much I literally could not hold on to anything for long. I dropped chalk at the blackboard. My back ached with the weight

of only a few books– and books were what I did! I was stressed out and feeling “old”. Anyway, not “young.”


Now I am 76. Decidedly not stressed out, I have my grip back, and most of the time I feel no pain. I feel better, younger, that I did at 55. It was not the sunshine and sea air that did it. (Well, not entirely.)


It was yoga. I took my first yoga class at 55. I felt to much better afterwards that I went back twice a week. My hands loosened up, the crackles left my neck, my hips opened up (and slimmed down), and I even touched my toes. I began a new career: teaching yoga and practicing yoga therapy. I opened a school in the sunshine, SKY Yoga. It is still there,  directed by a wonderful teacher I trained and certified. In time I left Florida– it was very hot, expensive, and filling up with houses fewer and fewer people lived in year  round. I followed my dream of living in the mountains of North Carolina. I built a house where I couldn’t see my neighbors for the trees.


I continued to study yoga, on my own and formally. I went to Duke medical school to learn more about yoga and ageing, and yoga therapy as an alternative to medical practices that do not seem to get ageing. Just the opposite: most dis-eases associated with ageing are not; furthermore, they are conditions better treated with breath, movement, and meditation at any age than with drugs and surgery.


At the senior center where I teach, students sometimes say I am an inspiration, that they want to be just like me. That is, fit, happy, attractive, and older than I seem. For awhile, I was the oldest yoga teacher I knew. I have met a teacher who is my inspiration– she is in her late 90s. She is an inspiration. I want to be just like her. (Google: Tao Porchon-Lynch.)


Age? Youth? In yoga that’s beside the point. Yoga is instead about living well, yes, and long, of course, and ageing well. It is about waking up to a day as good as or better than any other you have ever spent. A little stiff? That eases once the body starts moving– certain special movements help considerably even with those dis-eases associated with ageing that younger folks share, especially arthritis, for instance. Energy lifts when you remember to breathe fully, using your diaphragm (you probably started suppressing it as a teenager). You meet the day with heightened awareness of life’s gifts, great and small, especially if you practice a bit of meditation. You treat people well because you remember we are all one. One.


– Kitty Owens

The Art of Living Retreat Center offers many yoga retreats for all ages, body types, and experience levels. If you are interested in learning more, click here. 
Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: Kitty Owens

Walking the Path: Why Silent Retreats?

By Support
December 28, 2016

Recently, in the midst of a Silent Retreat at our Retreat Center I sat down with John Osborne to talk about the practice of silence and what value it adds to our lives. John shares from his practice and his years on the road leading silent retreats in North America and abroad.


Some of the courses that I enjoy teaching the most in the Art of Living are our residential silent retreats. People come on the silent retreats from a world of noise. Except for maybe brief periods of meditation (and sleep!) most people rarely get to experience silence. Especially here in Boone, there is a great opportunity for interior silence because there is already a strong foundation or environment of exterior silence here in the mountains. Right from the first day of the course I see people start to settle down as soon as they go into silence and they begin to experience themselves at a deeper level.

there is a lot that happens on these silence courses; it’s a kind of knowledge and connection transmitted without words and it’s extremely valuable.

What is the value of silence?

John: There is a wonderful quote from the early Christian church that says there is only one great teacher of prayer and meditation and that’s the Holy Spirit and the only language that the Holy Spirit speaks is the language of silence. So there is a lot that happens on these silent retreats; it’s a kind of knowledge and connection transmitted without words and it’s extremely valuable. People discover things about themselves, about their relationship to other people, about their relationship to the universe and it’s a really rewarding thing to be able to assist people in that process. Silence also gives our participants a deep rest on many levels…a physical rest of course, but also a rest from the thousands of small distractions which most of us have to deal with every day. The mind takes a deep dive and discovers its infinite source in that silence.

Blue Ridge Mountains Silent Retreats
The site for our Silent Retreats in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Why does that happen in silent retreats, that we are able to discover more about ourselves, rediscover our relationship to other people, and our connection to the universe?

John: Because in our day and age the stimulus from outside is so great and unrelenting. The internet, cell phones, a twenty-four hour news cycle, the kind of activities people jam into their day when they are always with their family or they are working long hours or whatever, pull them constantly outward away from their source. Even when they are in their car they are usually listening to the radio or they are sending or receiving something on their cell phone. The outside stimulus especially now in the modern world is so great that even if there was some silence happening on an interior level, the senses are moving outward all the time and people won’t be able to easily experience it. So silent retreats are the first time for a lot of people to be able to experience deep silence within themselves and it’s like a tonic, you see them resting better, you see them feeling more contentment; a smile may actually appear on their face. It’s a wonderful transformation that happens. I think it’s a healthy and essential experience for any human being to have and this environment on the top of this mountain is ideal for it because the outer atmosphere is so silent, so pristine and so full of the experience of Nature, and also all the necessary tools are already in place here: yoga instruction , meditation techniques, breath work, certain kinds of sound therapy and music to assist in people being able to experience a deep level of silence right away, a holistic spa and health center to help balance and rejuvenate the body. Many of my students have told me that they experience an enormous increase in energy in just 3 or 4 days of the silent retreats so that they leave really refreshed, renewed and quite often very transformed.


Can you tell us a little about the history of silence?

John: I think people lived in earlier times largely in silence. Before electricity, before radio, before television, people went to bed when the sun went down and they got up when the sun came up and there was lots of silence especially in agrarian societies. I worked on a ranch in Colorado earlier in my life and I spent 8-10 hours by myself outdoors largely in silence. I was working as a ranch hand and I think that type of experience was normal for most people, that kind of life, in earlier times, but then the industrial revolution and electricity and radio and television came along and with people moving into cities, that aspect of silence was lost. But in both the east and in the west, within these ancient spiritual traditions silence was highly valued and people gravitated to live near ashrams, spiritual communities and monasteries. In Europe for that very reason, a thousand years ago, whole cities sprang up around monasteries because the monks kept silence and the ordinary people honored that value of silence a lot. Similarly in Asia, in the villages especially, even now people still very much value the wandering monk or the sadhu or the Buddhist that comes and begs at their door because they are holding that value of silence not just for themselves but for the whole society. It’s a very important experience to have available to us, one that is increasingly rare and that’s one of the greatest values of this place not only for people who come here but for the whole society…. It’s extremely important that there are places set aside that people can still experience that. That experience anchors and reaffirms one’s very humanity and it strengthens the human values in society as a whole.

Silent Retreats in the Blue Ridge Mountains

How does the atmosphere here help support Silent Retreats?

John: This place was designed right from the beginning, to nourish in a deliberate way the experience of silence and meditation. Architecturally the way the buildings are designed, the way the courses are structured, the way the food is prepared, all of that is with one end in mind; to bring people closer to that deeper part of themselves. So when you come here everything is all set up, the rooms are in place, the food is conducive to being in silence, the courses are already designed and set up at various levels, introductory or advanced, for people to just step in and even if they have only 3 or 4 days, almost immediately they drop in and begin to experience that deep value in themselves and then they carry it with them back out into the world.
Every year more people are discovering this place, and there is a reason for that. Retreat centers, monasteries, places where people can go for silence are becoming increasingly popular because as the world grows smaller and things are moving faster, there are a lot of challenges that are coming up for people. Terrorism, environmental degradation, natural disasters and all kinds of accelerating changes confront people and they need the resources deep inside to be able to deal with these and they don’t find them often in their everyday life. This experience is kind of an antidote to all that noise, to all that change so that people can not only connect deeply inside themselves to something which is unchanging, but in those deep places they can begin to find solutions to a lot of their challenges in life and can also begin to contribute to solutions to some of the world’s larger problems. So,this community, this mountain top is a kind of a fertilizer or an energy source not just for the people who come here but potentially for the whole world.


Originally posted on Avahanam

Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


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TAGS: art of living , john osborne , silence , silent retreat

Neither Disturb Nor Get Disturbed

By Support
December 9, 2016

“An angry mind
Is filled with smoke 

It spreads smoke
Like a smoldering fire
A mind embedded in past
Is filled with foul smell
It spreads foul smell
Like rotten food
mind filled with joy
Spreads fragrance
Like a flower.”


Live like a yogi!


A yogi is very aware of what he thinks, speaks, and acts,  so that any of these don’t cause disturbance in  others’ minds. He looks at his intentions before he speaks or acts. If the intention is to hurt someone or put someone down, he doesn’t speak or act. If the intention is good, and if he must speak or act that may disturb others, he thinks of a skillful way to say what needs to be said, and do what needs to be done.

A yogi also doesn’t get disturbed by what others say, do, or think. He is fully aware that people will say or do things that he may not like or agree with. He is awake in the acceptance of this truth that this will happen again and again. So when it happens, he doesn’t get disturbed.

A yogi is aware that what he thinks affects others, and others’ thoughts affect him. So he is very mindful of what he thinks, and doesn’t get affected by unnecessary thoughts that may be just passing through his mind, but may not be his own thoughts.

So, by not disturbing others, and by not getting disturbed by others, he remains peaceful within himself.

You can also live like a yogi. It is just a matter of continuous practice.

“One who never disturbs anyone and one one who never gets disturbed by anyone,

and one who is free from mundane excitement, anger, fear, and anxiety

is very dear to Me.” Bhagvad Geeta 12-15


Just by living this wisdom of not disturbing and not getting disturbed, the other qualities mentioned in the above shloka will automatically dawn in you.


May you be blessed to live like a yogi, if yoga is your path!


Learn more about yoga and meditation retreats at the Art of Living Retreat Center.


The author, Krishan Verma, will be leading the new Sri Sri School of Yoga, launching at the Retreat Center in 2017. He has been teaching for over 30 years and developed the Sri Sri Yoga Program in 2000. He has trained more than 2,000 yoga teachers in more than twenty countries across Europe, Africa, Asia, North and South America. He previously served as the global director of Yoga Research and Training of the Art of Living. Bringing a depth of wisdom and experience, Krishanji guides his students to capture the true experience of yoga through the outer study of the ancient discipline and the inner study of the self.


Originally posted on Shudham


Interested in learning more about programs at the Art of Living Retreat Center? Check out our annual catalog here.


Yoga Retreat Catalog for NC

TAGS: art of living , sri sri yoga , yoga , yogi

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