Continuing on from the previous post, today I dive deeper into what a Panchakarma retreat involves.
In case you missed it, read more to discover why I began this Panchakarma healing journey.
After what seemed like a long and tiring odyssey, it was wonderful to finally arrive at the Panchakarma retreat, the Ayurveda Health Home, after many months of preparation.
I was greeted at the door by one of the staff members who presented me with my indoor shoes. Outdoor shoes were to be left at the front door in the neatly organized cupboard. I was taken to the waiting area and offered a cup of refreshing Tulsi tea and a bowl of fresh fruit. Both of which were very welcome.
Shortly afterwards, I was shown into the office where they had set up a Skype call with Dr Rishi. Dr Rishi started the Panchakarma retreat, the Ayurveda Health Home in 2001. His initial centre is in Kathmandu where he spends the majority of his time.
Dr Rumee is the head doctor at the Pokhara centre. Dr Rumee sat with us and took notes while Dr Rishi briefly discussed my program.
I had a full consultation with Dr Rumee the next morning. She would share this with Dr Rishi so he could make any further refinements to my 24 day Panchakarma program.
What is Panchakarma?
Panchakarma is a specialised Ayurveda therapy which consists of five intensive treatment procedures – Vaman, Virecana, Morning and Evening Basti and Sirovirecana. These procedures help with:
- Cleansing and detoxification.
- Balancing and harmonising.
- Immune enhancing and rejuvenation of the whole system-body, senses, mind and soul.
Dr Rishi designed my program after receiving my notes from my Ayurvedic doctor in Australia as well as studying my various health reports. The Panchakarma steps I would be undertaking during my time here will be Virecana, Morning and Evening Basti and Sirovirecana.
I am told that during this process, I may feel various physiological and psycho-emotional changes within myself.
Each of these main procedures has specific pre- and post-procedure therapies which are called Purvakarma and Paschatkarma respectively. The Purvakarma initiates the cleansing and detoxifying with different kinds of oil and powder massages (external oleation) as well as the intake of medicated ghee/ghrita (internal oleation).
The treatment over the course of the next few weeks also includes full body steams, private yoga tuition, neti, oil pulling and eye wash instructions. All to further enhance the cleansing process.
Purvakarmas are designed to circulate the properties of the herbs up to the subtle cellular level as a friendly component. They then dissolve and liquefy the accumulated toxins (ama) in the system and facilitate the expulsion of these ama components through the main circulating channels (srota).
Bring it on I say!
Settling in to the Panchakarma retreat
After a brief call with Dr Rishi, I was shown to my room and other various areas along the way including the dining room, library and rooftop.
All of the guest accommodation was situated on the second floor and consisted of four double bedrooms and one single bedroom. I had the single room, known as Ganesh – the elephant God of good luck and wisdom.
It was fairly small but had a comfortable looking double bed, desk, chair, cupboard and a small attached bathroom. Being on a corner I had two windows with wonderful views to Lake Fewa, Peace Stupa and green fields and jungle. It was a pretty stunning view even though it was interrupted with construction.
After a quick well-needed shower I was ready for my first massage.
How wonderful after my epic journey to relax into a 90 minute Whole Body Cleansing Abhyanga – if this is what the next few weeks will be like, I’m certainly in the right place!
Feeling ten times better I drift back to my room where I rest for a couple of hours before the evening meal.
This begins promptly at 6pm each day. Routine being another important factor with an Ayurveda lifestyle, especially for Vatas.
Dinner was delicious and I enjoy getting to know my fellow guests who are from Germany, Vietnam, Thailand and Sweden. All is varying stages of their own Panchakarma journey.
Sleep comes quite quickly that night despite the party going on in the building site next door and the extremely hard mattress. Nothing is a problem here though so when asked how I slept the next morning, I mentioned the mattress and before I knew it they had replaced it with a much more comfortable one.
The next post in this series dives deeper into what a Panchakarma involves.
- Panchakarma – Snehana
- Pokhara Exploration
- Deeper Dive into Ayurveda
- Let the Basti begin!
- First Glimpse of the Himalayas
- Final Week of my Panchakarma Experience
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