I have known Dr. Bali for over 10 years now. I still remember the first time I took one of his classes. I worked so hard my muscles were sore the next day! The class lasted over two hours and was full of thought provoking words of wisdom and intense postures. He sometimes becomes so engrossed in imparting his wisdom he does not realize how long his students have been working at a particular posture. He always emphasizes the greater the intensity, the greater the relaxation response! I was immediately impressed by his physical ability but was at first a bit intimidated by his presence and sometimes stern demeanor. As I got to know him though I could not help but be taken in by his calm, loving nature. When my daughter, who was about 5 at the time, first met Dr. Bali she whispered to me; he is beautiful – she had immediately sensed his energy of light and love.
After a few years of asking him to start a teacher-training program, I was one of the first group that became certified through the Yoga Bliss Institute. I was captivated by his approach and the depth of his understanding of yoga, including meditation, as a means for healing the body, quieting the mind and connecting with our Source.
When he first talked about the objective of yoga being to increase awareness I was intrigued though not convinced. Now I realize that it is indeed about increasing our conscious awareness of what is going on in our bodies and in our minds. This, coupled with present moment living, is really the answer to reaching higher levels of consciousness – on the way to enlightenment!
He also taught me the importance of deep relaxation and of creating the right environment for healing – from there, the innate intelligence of the body takes over and healing takes place naturally and effortlessly. This and many of Dr. Bali’s teachings are part of what I share in the coaching that I now do with cancer patients.
My work with Dr. Bali intensified when Dominique Lanctôt asked me to help her with her breast cancer research project. I accepted not only to be a teacher in the project but also to help outline and define how Dr. Bali’s unique approach to yoga and healing would be packaged into a detailed eight-week program. This was no easy task as Dr. Bali is an intuitive teacher and his wisdom is traditionally conveyed to participants in a spontaneous and poetic manner during his classes. Detailing the Dr. Bali Method for breast cancer patients took no less than a year of fine-tuning and refining.
Then we started the practice sessions and quickly moved into the research projects with real patients and the magic began! It was so touching to work with these women and to see them literally evolve and become more powerful over the eight-week period. They gained a heightened sense of what was intuitively good for them on many levels and how important their role was in terms of influencing their healing journey. In addition to the treatments that they were undergoing, I felt them start to realize how their everyday thoughts and actions could either contribute to or slow down their inner healing journey. They began to realize the importance of surrounding themselves with positive, supportive people. They were empowered to speak from their heart and ask for what they needed – whether it was emotional support or help in arranging the furniture so they could have a comfortable place to do their daily yoga routine. Many of the women came to realize that they had to give themselves the same love, attention and compassion that they were so used to giving to others. They had to learn to acknowledge, embrace and to see their own needs as being important – as their priority.
The classes quickly became a very positive source of hope and encouragement in the lives of these women. Some women gained strength and hope from the more the physical side of the practice while others appreciated the more spiritual, self-reflective aspects of Dr. Bali’s holistic approach. Without a doubt, they all gained from the wisdom and insights so eloquently expressed in the Dr. Bali Method through the use of metaphors and real life examples.
Teaching and being in the presence of these courageous women was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Also feeling that, with the Dr. Bali Method, I was helping transform their lives in some way, whatever way was right for them, was moving and very inspiring for me. In fact, this experiencing ignited a passion in me to continue to coach cancer patients using a holistic approach based on Dr. Bali’s teachings and my life purpose coach training.
I refer to Dr. Bali as the Deepak Chopra of Canada! Dr. Bali and his wisdom are a gift to everyone he touches. A gift that empowers people to realize the amazing healing power of their body as well as the importance of the emotional, spiritual and intellectual aspects of healing. He is such an inspiration to me; approaching ninety he is not slowing down, propelled by the energy that comes from serving others in such a meaningful way and from helping people realize their own magnificence. It is a real privilege to work with such a positive, peaceful and insightful spiritual being and I sincerely hope that the results of his work, the PhD research project and this book will continue to reinforce the benefits of yoga and meditation and the necessity of approaching wellness and healing in a holistic manner.