Updated: May 21, 2019
First stop, Kerala. Instead of going straight into a Yoga ashram, I decided to first detox the body with a 2 week ayurvedic retreat. Ayurveda has been around for thousands of years and provides natural therapies to eliminate toxins and dysfunctions from the body. I wanted a hardcore detox and so I chose a place called Dr. Franklins Panchakarma to give myself a well overdue MOT.
When I arrived, I had an initial consultation with the Doctor who asked me many questions about my lifestyle. He told me that typically there are 3 thirodoshas (biological energies) and that the goal of Ayurveda is to ensure the level of each thirodosha is the same. They are called Vatha, Pitta and Kapha. For me, my Vatha was in excess, which meant that my digestive system was not functioning, as it should be. My Pitta and Kapha were normal. To reduce this, the Doctor prescribed a bespoke treatment and dietary plan. There are about 20 different treatments, involving massages, oil therapies, scrubs, baths and colonic irrigation.
I spent the first couple of days preparing for the main purge. This prep lasted 4 days, until Thursday and involved drinking a glass of ghee at 8:30 am everyday and no fruit what so ever. Ghee is essentially purified butter and is supposed to have many health benefits one of which is to reduce cholesterol. Every morning I entered this ghee room (a room with literally no other purpose but for people to drink ghee) and had to emotionally prepare myself to drink this unappealing, viscous liquid. To make matters worse they increase the dose every day. For lunch and dinner I was only allowed rice soup and boiled vegetables. Over these 4 days, my energy levels were so low even the smallest task felt like a mission. I got desperate and thought if I stay in the sun more, I’ll absorb more energy and hopefully feel better. Then I realised I wasn’t a reptile and was just burning up. So I migrated to mooch somewhere cool.
Friday was the main purgation day and I had to drink special herbal juice in the morning (no idea what it was). I was told I couldn’t have lunch until I went to the toilet at least 5 times. Surprisingly, the purge was not too bad. Lunch came around and I finally got my first sugar fix of the week. Banana, papaya, pomegranates and fresh orange juice. So good! After lunch I got some very relaxing treatments and a steam bath too. It almost felt like some kind of reward for surviving the ghee torture. This was a good day.
Saturday comes and the ghee has returned. Only this time in a different form. I’m told I must take 200ml of ghee via colonic irrigation (for small colon) and 900ml of medicated water (for big colon) on alternate days. I’ve done colonics before in a Thailand but only with coffee. I’m a big fan of colonics and now the doctor said I need to sort my digestive system out, I was actually well up a little ghee action. I took the whole 200ml and was told to hold it for 5 hours. This was easier than I expected, although during this time I had zero confidence in my farts, as I knew they were just cheeky sharts in disguise.
Sunday, time to clear out my big colon. I receive 900ml of medicated water and lie flat on the table for 5 minutes. The therapists then rub your stomach quite aggressively to ensure the fluid makes good contact with the colon. During this time, I’m just surviving with what feels like turbo diarrhea. Once the 5 minutes are up, I relieve myself with great satisfaction. A couple of hours after the treatment a lot of gas passes and I hear some big tummy grumblings. I feel the need to go for a deuce and so I take a seat and release. I’m pretty sure there was lift off as there was some serious high velocity, SpaceX Falcon Heavy thrust. I looked down and I saw this yellow, stringy thing. It almost looked like seaweed. One thing was for sure, it definitely wasn’t food. I spoke to the Doctor about my eventful experience and he said that it was likely some sort of parasite and that the medicated water is provided to primarily weaken and kill any parasites in the colon. Uncooked meat, sushi and unwashed vegetables/fruits supposedly provide an environment for parasites to develop and grow. I wasn’t a belieber but now I am.
Throughout the week and energy permitting, I’ve been doing some Yoga and Selfisio. Started off pretty casual as I know the intensity will soon increase when I hit my first ashram. For my Yoga I watched many videos from a YouTube channel called Yoga with Adrienne. Her way of teaching is super cool and is very casual so she makes you feel at ease. Highly recommended if you want a quick Yoga fix. Overall a relatively chilled opening week and a nice way to start off my journey here in India. I’ll see you all next time, peace out!