The Alchemy of Yoga

Name: Natalie Almond
Location: Sydney, Australia
Occupation: Yoga Teacher at The Living Room Coogee

At the age of 25 I was feeling rather unwell but every time I went to the doctor with a drastic bronchial, asthmatic cough they would test my lungs only to say that they were as healthy as an athlete. I looked well with a healthy tan and a very muscular body.

My problem was that I was obsessive in everything that I did from working hard, playing hard and training hard. I was in a complete burn out.

One day the doctor decided to give me a complete overhaul and found that I had a few liver disorders which I will not name as it is not part of my life anymore. He also discovered that I had sciatica down my entire right leg. The sciatica caused me a lot of pain and grief and a very sore mid to lower back. The doctor suggested I also see a psychiatrist as he said I was depressed.

One week later I met John Burke, a yoga teacher and healer of the Tantric tradition. In just the first visit with him, he knew of my ailments and of the party recreations in which I had been partaking. He placed his hand above my liver and asked if I could feel the heat. He then did the same over my kidneys and I could feel them absolutely burning. He proceeded to tell me that my entire filtering system was burnt out, hence the depression. (The doctor had diagnosed the liver problems but the specialist had concluded that there was nothing wrong with my kidneys.)

John told me that obsession runs in my family heredity and he explained that while it is very difficult to change an obsessive personality, you can change your obsessions to more healthy ones. This, according to him, would be my key to transformation. John told me not to wait until I stopped my behavior but to start coming to yoga and experience a natural high. He explained that by feeling this natural high, I would not feel any need to take drugs nor to continue with this hardcore and damaging lifestyle.

I continued working with John by having regular healing treatments, taking herbs and practicing yoga. John also taught me to create a relationship with my organs by talking to them every day; and by telling my obsessive spleen to slow down and my lazy liver to pick up, I began to heal and feel.

During one healing session, I had a visualisation of a dark-haired boy in a dark room. This boy was very scared to go outside. Outside, a blonde-haired, overactive boy started to skip down a hill, but in his over-excitement he tumbled down, landing at the door of the dark-haired boy. He beckoned for the boy to come outside and the dark-haired boy’s mother encouraged him to go. The boy reached his hand out and touched the blonde boy and he immediately felt the warmth of the sun. The blonde boy took the hand of the dark-haired boy and they both skipped off in harmony, the blonde boy relaxed and the dark-haired boy confident. According to John, this visualisation represented the fact that my liver and my spleen were now in balance.

I once recounted this story to my father (who died two and a half years ago of liver cancer) and he told me that his brother had painted a picture of a boy in a dark room just before he too had died of liver cancer- but unfortunately he didn’t get a chance to paint the other boy.

I say this to illustrate that we have the power to change things that are stamped in our DNA. Most of the men in my dad’s family died of the same dis-ease. But I am living proof that we can change these genetic stamps and now my children and the next generations will no longer hold that stamp.

Photo by Flickr User Ralph Buckley.

I went back to the doctor for the same tests I had originally had, and this time one liver problem didn’t show up at all and the other had became an antibody. The doctors of course found this hard to believe and said it must have been a misdiagnosis.

Because of this miraculous healing transformation in my own life, I learned, and have now been teaching for 20 years, this style of yoga called ‘Alchemic Yoga,’ a system devised by John Burke from the ancient Tantric traditions.

I recently met a Tantric Baba who took one look at me and said “a true alchemist is one that has healed a disease,” and then smiled at me.

Natalie runs The Living Room and is very passionate about her unique teachings. Natalie has been practicing yoga for 23 years and teaching for 18 years. With an athletic background she realized “fit and healthy” was created by yoga more than any other physical exercise she had tried.

With a great need to heal herself she learned a lot about bodily functions. Natalie realized the pH balance of the body is an important part to all healing, and is all related to Ha -Tha, sun-moon, male-female, yin-yang, liver-spleen, acid-alkaline and mind-body. Bringing the two sides (left – right) of the body into balance, the posture is corrected, the pH is balanced, along with the mind and body, and this allows the soul to reside in a comfortable body with a radiant spirit. This was the beginning of her training in Alchemic Yoga.

Natalie’s healing keys are: strong belief in visualization and creating a deep and meaningful relationship with the body and organs by talking to them with true intent. She understands that the emotional state is vital to our health of body and mind. Natalie has taught people with chronic fatigue, HIV positive, anxiety, depression and many other ailments with considerable success and people of all ages from 3 years old.

Edited by Jeannie Page.

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