The Healing Power of Ayurveda and Yoga

This article will be published in the OM Yoga Magazine in December 2013.

You may have seen some information in the press recently about the overuse of prescription medicine, this was the headline on the front page of the Sunday Times on September 8  “Deaths soar as Britain turns into a nation of prescription drug addicts” 

The article went on to explain that prescription drug addiction is now so widespread that more people are dying from overdoses of strong painkillers and tranquilizers than from the misuse of heroin and cocaine.

But there is another way to prescription medicine as the following piece illustrates;-


          The Healing Power of Ayurveda and Yoga

In 2011 and after suffering from poor health for 18 months I had reluctantly gone to the Doctors because I was feeling a little low and run down – within a week-
I had been diagnosed with High Blood Pressure (very high), High Cholesterol and Chronic Kidney Disease stage 3.
One week further on I was taking 4 different types of medications, having never taken any medication previously and was continually being called in for blood tests. 
After a couple of months I was in a bad state. It became clear to me the Doctors were guessing at my symptoms as the medication changed frequently and I was eventually told that my conditions were something I would ‘just have to learn to live with’ and that I was ‘a heart attack waiting to happen’. At this stage, I could hardly walk and was basically getting through my day by taking 2200mg of anti-inflammatory/pain killers.
I was running my own business, working 10 to 14 hours per day, seven days per week. Interestingly or alarmingly, never at one stage did the Doctors ask a single question regarding my life style. The whole situation was heightened by the fact that I was being told that I was not a well man. Unsurprisingly, I began to live up to that belief.
I felt that it was time to do something different and take matters into my own hands – I decided to come away from the traditional Doctor/prescription drug route. I started by taking a serious look at the food I was actually putting into my body. In the course of my research, I became aware of the Ayurvedic way of eating/living. Keen to speak with someone in this country who could explain exactly what was involved and how it might be able to help me – I Googled ‘Ayurveda’. In short that led me to the door of Anne-Marie Burford, based in Harrogate, Yorkshire. At the time Anne-Marie was packing her bags for teaching on an Ayurvedic/yoga retreat to Sri Lanka but thankfully for me, made the time to see me for an hour the following day.
The one hour turned into almost three. Her help and understanding of my conditions were such a relief to me. I was able to put some of A.M.’s advise to work immediately, with a plan to follow up on her return from Sri Lanka. What has happened since has quite simply changed my life in so many ways. Through attending a number of day and weekend sessions on retreat in Harrogate, I have not only met and become friends with some wonderful people, I have been able to throw away the prescription drugs and re-discover the type of health I enjoyed in my 30’s ( I am now 56). I truly believe that the work, help and support that Anne-Marie and James provide at the Retreat (which is also their home) is second to none. May they continue to effect peoples life for the good – for many years to come.


18 months down the line, my life and health is changing dramatically. I don’t take any medication, my diet is non meat and I do try to meditate every day and Yoga Nidra once or twice per week. I go to the gym with a personal trainer three times per week, I have just bought a Mountain Bike, and try to squeeze in a long walk in the countryside now and again. My weight has dropped from 15 stone to 13.5 with energy levels very high and growing.
Most excitingly for me, I have made a huge decision to follow my heart and passion (for probably the first time in my life). I have given notice to quit my business and at the end of October I will commence a long study period taking in NLP, Nutrition and EFT. I still need to work and bring an income in, so I have taken a position at a friends company, working 3 to 4 days per week. This will allow me time and flexibility to complete my studies and then I guess we will see where life leads me.
It’s never too late to change direction….
Lee Kearsley September 2013
Anne-Marie and James say
It’s wonderful to see Lee looking so well and following his intuition and hearts desire. Ayurveda and yoga teach us to make conscious lifestyle changes, we cannot go into depth in class so please do consider joining us on retreat, as we can practically help you to implement these changes.
We only have two more Harrogate retreats this year.
October 11-13 Ayurvedic/yoga 245 non residential, residential options available
November 15-17 Tantra/Kundalini yoga
If you would like to know more please see the outline program on the harrogate yoga retreats website, or to book please contact us.
We are very much looking forward to teaching in Bali and would be delighted if you could join us at this Ayurvedic spa retreat.
But please don’t delay if you do want to join us as places are starting to book up.
For more details or to book please see
Please see our most up to date posts on Facebook or Twitter, or please do “like” us on Facebook ( you do not need to join Facebook to do this but you do need to sign in) as this helps raise our profile.
Anne-Marie and James




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