Topic:   Yoga Psychology
Author: Swami Sitaramananda   DATE: Nov 1, 2017   Comments: 0

Spiritual Remedy: A Success Story

A young student at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Farm, Michaela, suffered from regular panic attacks. These often came on all of a sudden; she would lie down and could not move for a long time. Her classmates tried to help her and one after the other gave her massages to her limbs and head. She came back to herself each time after a half hour treatment. There was a Japanese doctor in the group. She volunteered to look at Michaela but finally gave up unable to decipher her condition when physically she seemed to be perfectly fine.

After a week or so, her classmates knew they could not continue to provide therapies like this; it took so much of their time and energy. They asked me to help. I assumed that it was her young mind that was not used to coping with conflicting thoughts. She must be sensitive, easily receiving external influences and did not know what to do to stabilize herself. Thus, she would panic and become paralyzed.

I gave her encouraging words about her strengths and ability to cope. I taught her that she did not have to collapse every time, that she is supported and is protected by the Divine Mother, Durga. On the spot, I gave her a little picture of Goddess Durga on the lion, looking strong and fierce. "Repeat her name. Call on to her when you feel in need of support; she will come to your rescue," I told her.

I also gave her a bangle where she could count the beads and repeat Her name. Michaela did so well the whole month. The result? Not once did she have another panic attack. In fact, she went on to take another course successfully. When she sat in class she always placed the picture of Goddess Durga in front of her along with her bangle which she often times used discretely. From this inspiring story, I came up with a new definition of Durga: she is the Goddess of your own inner strength!

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