I hope this email finds you very well. Guess what! I'll be home in less than a month! I leave India on May 1st for Portugal, and then get home on May 10th. My adventure is over halfway over already!
This week my classes have gone well and I'm learning a lot. I saw an Ayurvedic doctor for a consultation on Thursday afternoon and it was so cool! I've seen Ayurvedic practitioners before, but never an actual doctor of Ayurveda. I also really wanted to experience that here, in its birthplace.
I love Ayurveda and plan to study it when I get home. It's the sister science of yoga, originating around the same time, over 5,000 years ago. While Rishikesh is the supposed birthplace of yoga, Kerala in southern India is the birthplace of Ayurveda. Ayurveda means "the science of life" and is a surprisingly accurate approach to holistic health.
My consultation revealed imbalances that I was already aware of, and the doctor suggested I try a 3 day treatment called panchakarma. The treatments were wonderful! They consisted of a lot of massage with luxurious oils, steam baths, and various other treatments for various major body parts. For the eyes, they place some dough around the entire eye area, and then drip hot medicated water inside the eyeball. After that, they pour melted ghee in. Ghee is clarified butter, and is considered very pure, healing, and even holy here. That experience was pretty unpleasant, but I did feel the intended result of cleaner eyes the next day. My least favorite treatment was a nasal one that started out pleasantly enough, with warm oil being dripped into the nostril. I tend to have a dry nose, so that actually was quite nice. Unfortunately, after that they set a bouquet of herbs on fire and place it near your nose, telling you to inhale the smoke through the nostril, then exhale it through the mouth. It. Was. AWFUL. I thought the ghee in the eyes was torturous until that part, then it seemed comfortable in comparison.
One of the biggest parts of panchakarma is the colonic portion of the treatment. It happens each day of the cleansing, and surprisingly, it wasn't nearly as bad as I'd imagined.
I'm so glad I took the time and spent the money to do that, even with the uncomfortable parts. I feel much better in my body, and my understanding is that I will continue to for the 30 days following it as my cells continue to regenerate with new life.
On Sunday, my friend Sushila and I decided to go to the beach (at the river - it feels weird to call it the beach!) to read, relax, do some yoga, and swim. It was a gorgeous, sunny day, and we had a great time. I got a little too much sun and wound up with one of the few sunburns of my life, which surprised me. I think that the altitude here may make the sun stronger than in Florida! It's turned into a tan now, but it was pretty painful for the first couple of days.
We spent most of the rest of our day off outside of the school, wandering around the city. We found an adorable puppy to play with at a cafe, ran into some friends, and just had such a nice time together.
The next day, I woke up feeling more tired than normal, only to discover by lunchtime that I have food poisoning for the third time since arriving in India. Since Monday I've been taking it easy, trying to recover, and I went to the doctor today to for medicine. I should be back to normal in no time.
I'm starting to make plans for once I'm back, and so far it looks like I will be hosting a yoga nidra (yogic sleep meditation - it's AMAZING) workshop at Yoga Lemon toward the end of May. I will keep you posted on the details and hope that you can make it if you're local!
Thank you for following my adventure.
Lots and lots of love to you,
w e l c o m e