Hi Kuli’s

I have been lucky enough to spend a good few months of my life in Ashrams in India and Sri Lanka and have found this way of living and approaching spiritual life to be really insightful. As I write this, I am in India right sitting in a café overlooking the sea and wanting to tell you all about my most recent Ashram experience while it is still fresh in my mind!


Angela // AshramWelcome to the Ashram!

I arrived in the dead of night to a sleeping Ashram – the only sound was the deep roar of the jungle lions. I was tired after a long journey and was asked to sit and wait in the dark reception. As I was hungry and thirsty so I went in search of some drinking water and then sat down and waited. After a while a sleepy looking volunteer came and gave me a sheet and a pillow case and showed me to my dorm – I lugged my massive case along in the rocky ground (why did I bring so much?) up the hill to the shared dorm. My lovely volunteer could only take me so far, as it was the women’s dorm so I wheeled my bag into the pitch black dorm past row after row after row of full beds until I could just make out through the darkness an empty bed.

After a long trip it is really lovely to take a warm shower and settle into a comfy bed isn’t it? Well here was my first lesson – that wasn’t going to happen today! I made my bed in the dark as best I could and tried to put up my mosquito net. I had a toothbrush in my hand luggage and brushed my teeth and splashed my face before getting into bed and falling asleep for a few hours.

Each Ashram has a programme of activities you can take part in such as Yoga, Satsang, silent walks, chanting, classes, talks and meditation. The Ashrams tend to be mainly staffed by volunteers who are dedicated to a yoga path of a particular lineage – in this case Sivananda.


Starting my Ayurvedic DetoxAngela // Ashram

In the morning I went to find the Doctor to start my programme and he asked where I was staying. I explained where I was and he said I was to move to another dorm and then come back and see him. I went to my home for that one night and moved to a smaller dorm nearer the Ayurvedic centre. As I wheeled my bag over I took in the location! The ashram is set in the jungle hills of Neyyar Dam in Kerela and is absolutely stunning. My new dorm – less so. It was very dark and didn’t smell great but hey I can do this!! I have lived in a cave for goodness sake! I unpacked, settled in, and heading to the doctor for my first consultation.

He explained that my VATA dosha was out of balance and that he would design a programme for me which would balance this. As VATA dosha imbalance tends to be the route of disease it is important to get it back into balance. I started right away with a nourishing Ayurvedic meal and once that had settled I went for an oil massage and a steam bath.


Treatment

The next day I started to take detox medicine – twice a day 7.30am and 3.30pm. The medicine tastes very very bitter and unpleasant but I knew it was good for me so down the hatch it went! Each day I had treatments all designed to bring VATA back into balance. I started with an oil massage, followed by power massage and then shirodhara (oil poured onto the third eye).

A few days in my started my oil ingestion which was the most unpleasant part! Each morning I drank a cup of oil which would lubricate my body from the inside out and bring me back into balance. During the 5 days of oil drinking all I could eat was rice soup and boiled vegetables as it is very easy to digest. This first part of the programme is bringing all of the toxins to the colon so they can then be purged out.


The Purgutation

Once the oil ingestion is over you start your purgation – getting it all out! On the morning of my purge I went to the Doctor’s office and was given a huge cup of thick, green oil to drink which wasn’t a fun moment. I was then sent to my room with a big kettle and told to rest for 2 hours. After two hours I was to start drinking the water and then a purge would begin. This process takes a while so I settled into a combination of drinking water, resting and purging. When the whole kettle was finished and the purge had ended I went to the dining area for some rice soup.

 


Enema, and final consultation.

The final stage is to oil the colon and nourish the body with a series of enemas. As VATA collects in the lower back I also has hip and lower back baths. I was coming towards the end of the programme and really excited about the beach! Even though my body was tired I could feel some of the VATA related stiffness had gone. In my final consultation the doctor took my pulse and let me know that my doshas were back in balance. He said I need to come back next year and the year after and then following that every other year.


Rest and Recover!

As I finish writing to you, I am now in Varkala, which is an idyllic beach resort in Kerala, India. I am resting and recovering (and writing!) from a recent Ayurvedic cleanse in the Sivanada Ashram. I am feeling good now but as always India tests you in various ways, and is your mirror to showing you how to step onto your power, get aligned and stay humble.


If you’d like to learn more about Ayurveda, we have books available to purchase in the Yoga Kula Studio, as well as some great workshops coming up which will allow you to deepen your knowledge and balance your doshas through diet, practice and lifestyle.

Love, Angela x

#seeyouonthemat