The Inner Engineering concept fell on my lap at a time when I needed it the most. 

I was undergoing chemotherapy and mortality was staring me in the face luring me to the other side. My life was hanging on a thin thread and at that point, my main concern wasn’t even my health. I had a burning question inside – “where am I going?” Literally “Where am I going after this life?”  – and I HAD TO KNOW the answer! I had to know the answer NOW and THEN! As the time was ticking clear and loud. 

No religion or belief system would give me an answer. The concept of Hell and Heaven never made sense to me, as I would never want to resign to either of those places. 

I always considered myself a spiritual seeker. But I could never find my place within spiritual or religious communities, no matter how much I tried it just didn’t feel right. I always had too many questions, and the answers offered wouldn’t satisfy my thirst to know.

So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, that when one of my friends offered me a link to listen to some guru speaking online, I rejected it immediately. Moreover, I wrote a whole rant bursting with “Why would anybody listen to an uneducated person?!!!!!” and “Nobody can tell me who I am – I know who I am!!! I am who I am because of all the things I went through” and so on.

Well…. 2 weeks later I had a Guru, LOL, I had MY guru. I had a person that I could listen to day in and day out, as everything he was saying in such an uncomplicated way made perfect sense to me. And interestingly enough, for the first time after listening to someone I had no follow up questions. Whichever topic it was I felt like a clear answer was given. It seems like that was THE PERSON to ask THE question.


And that is what led me to Inner Engineering. Because of the chemo my immune system was incredibly weak, it was essential for me to restrict physical contact with other people. So, the Online Inner Engineering Program I found seemed “just what the doctor ordered” It looked perfect and I took it.

And that is how I would describe my experience of the program – I felt like it was a library after an earthquake in my head. All the books with the knowledge are there, inside, in a huge pile on the floor. And someone just came and placed them neatly, in perfect order on the shelves that they belong to. 

As I was going through the program, I gained certain clarity of perception.

The biggest shift for me was switching an outlook from exteriority to interiority. Realization that I had deep internal questions on which I was searching for answers on the exterior dawned on me. It is so easy to get caught up in external situations and seems natural to start fixing yourself from outside. 

I realized that all my life I tried to fix my happiness by fitting myself into set social molds, beliefs and expectations in which I completely lost myself. I had so many identities stuck to me. I was a daughter, a sister, a mother, a lover, a wife…. But when I looked deep inside… I had no idea who I was.

It became clear to me that happiness, and joy are things that radiate from within me and are not dependent on outside situations. No one can be in charge of it but me.

And that wasn’t just a philosophy, or idea, or a topic for discussion. To me It was a living truth. 

After completing the program I felt liberated, free, overflowing with happiness and joy. I didn’t even care anymore where I was going. I was extremely content with my life the way it was and if I had to go and transition to another form of life it was absolutely fine with me. I was ready to stay or go. Either way was just fine. 

In this intoxicating state of being I found myself sunset gazing while walking along the ocean, letting the mischievous ocean breeze caress my bald head. And suddenly it dawned on me. “How do I know it is my time to go?” Even though my body was badly broken, I felt so alive!!! 

“Ok, ok, girl, Hold your horses. Time out. Hang in there. You are not ready to go yet.”  I told myself. But HOW would one know when it is THE time to go? IS THERE a right time?  And if there is, How do I know it is my time?  All these questions rushed through me at once like a school of fish chased by sharks, and I knew for sure I had to postpone my departure, until I see THE guy in person. Yet again, I NEEDED an answer and I needed it NOW, as my clock was ticking loud and clear.

Being realistic, I couldn’t travel far with the port for chemotherapy sticking out of my chest. So I set myself a goal – I had to live for at least one more year, so I can take this device out of my body, and travel to India to see THE GUY with all the answers. 

Little did I know, he was much closer to me for all this time. And that I wouldl meet him much sooner. 

Soon after I set my departure on hold I found out by casually scrolling through the newsfeed on my phone, that THE guy himself, (I’m talking about the creator of the Inner Engineering program – my guru – Sadhguru) was going to give a 4 day program in Tennessee. That news made me jump! I CAN DO THAT!!! Even with this stupid port in me. YES< YES< YES!!!!

I got to my computer and started filling out the forms without thinking twice. I didn’t care what kind of program it was or how I was going to get there. All I knew was that the person with the answer was there and I MUST see him to find out. 

As I was sprinting through the forms, i stumbled on the required field – Prerequisite – 

When did you complete Shambhavi Mahamudra? Shambhavi what????  Whyyy? 

I don’t need it. Can I just see the guy!!!! I just want him to tell me is it my time or not! 

I called the center, they wouldn’t budge. There is no way I would get in without this Shambhavi thing up my belt. 

I was extremely relieved when I found out that right in my area for the first time there would be an Inner Engineering Total program conducted by a teacher trained by Sadhguru with initiation to the Shambhavi mahamudra practice. YESSS! I was able to sign up for both programs at once in 15 min. I was on a roll!!!!


Let’s face it, I wasn’t excited to take this Inner Engineering program at all, because I thought – I got it by now. Moreover, to learn some yoga practice that I never heard of seemed unnecessary. Boy, was I wrong! 

I bought myself a floor chair, as I rightfully assumed that we will sit on the floor the whole time. It was definitely needed to support my battered-by-chemo body. After my battle with cancer I was left with what was thought as permanent neurological damage that affected my reading and writing abilities, along with speech, fibromyalgia, and my joints were taken by arthritis, and the rest seemed minor compared to those three. 

So in this condition I went… and let me tell you, it was THE BEST GIFT I could receive in my life. I can’t express how grateful I am for all this program had to offer. 

Everything about this program was completely different from any of my previous encounters with yoga or meditation. From the setting of the hall to the way it was conducted it was a unique experience for me. It was the most strangely comforting, motherly caring, nerve racking, shell braking, joyful experience wrapped into excruciating pain coming from my broken body. 

The program was amazing, even though for me it was extremely physically challenging. Towards the end of the third day, as my body pain was reaching my tolerance level and all I could think of was “when does it end!!!” So I could pop some ibuprophen; there was a special process offered. During which something profound happened. To try to put this experience to words is to say nothing. To describe what I felt is to say nothing. 

All I can tell you is that I was left drained to tears, no pain at all, feeling very confused and overwhelmed with unexplained things that just happened to me. It felt like a lot of my body limitations were broken right there and then. I crawled down to a corner with my face to a wall, as I was extremely embarrassed, because I couldn’t stop my tears from flowing. I thought that they would put me in a straight jacket and send me out 🙂

By the last day of the program I knew I was lucky. Lucky to be alive to be able to receive what was offered there, even though I had no idea what it was, but by my experience I knew it was something VERY SPECIAL. 

By the end of the program I was initiated into a powerful practice, called Shambhavi Mahamudra, designed by Sadhguru. WHAT A GIFT!!!.It was magical !  I conducted this practice twice a day for 28 days, and once a day thereafter. 

I noticed the effects of this practice quite quickly. At first on an emotional level. Things that would irritate me would bother me no more, I was pretty much at ease most of the time. The physical benefits were undeniable not only to me, but to the doctors as well. I was recovering rapidly, gaining back control over my body and its functions, leaving doctors in awe. 

The most amazing and exciting part for me was restoring my neurological health. Shortly after I was initiated to Shambavhi I was told that I might have to learn how to live with neurological damage, as it might be permanent. I remember, as I was driving home, I was talking to myself and reciting it in my head over and over again, with the tenacity of a yorkshire terrier “Permanent, you say! Right! Just watch me! Just watch me!”

And here I am, 5 years later writing again, and talking to you through the camera lense. Telling you about this amazing program called Inner Engineering and amazing practice called Shambhavi Mahamudra. 

I’m feeling very lucky that I took both IE programs – one online and the other one in person. They are similar but structured in a different way, and both of the programs touched me and benefited me in different ways. 

Oh, yes, 30 days after this program I went to Tennessee, where I was fortunate to spend 4 days with Sadhguru, after which I insisted on removing the port for chemotherapy out of my body (doctors were insisting on keeping it for 3 years) and several months later I was traveling solo to India… but that is another story…. 🙂

Be Alive🌱,
❤ Love, Julia

3 thoughts on “Recovering From Chemo – my Inner Engineering Story

  1. Dr Anand sarkar says:

    Namaskaram akka! Its great to see you enjoying and instilling IEO. I am a Hatha yoga practitioner plus i am a Doctor. So just curious to know your case. Hope we have a chat someday. Pranam.

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