In this fourth post in my Panchakarma series, I begin to explore Pokhara further.
If you missed the previous three posts, you’ll find them below:
Day 3 is much the same, I begin my day with the medicated ghee at the increased dose of 50ml. I perform my daily routines that I was shown the day before including eye exercises and eye wash, oil pulling and mouth washing, pelvic exercises, breath awareness, yoga, breathing practices, meditation and neti – phew, how will I find time to fit all of this in when I’m back in the real world! Some of this I do alone and some I have the guidance of Dr Rumee again.
In between these routines and breakfast I wander down to the lakeside for a pleasant walk and to check out the surroundings.
Pokhara is a naturally beautiful city, the second biggest in Nepal after Kathmandu and most probably ten times more peaceful and clean. It has a prime position beside the deep green lake Fewa, nestling among forested hills with a picture-postcard backdrop of gleaming Himalayan peaks.
I have yet to see these peaks. Since I’ve been here they’ve been covered in misty clouds so I’m hoping for at least one clear day so I can head up to Sarangkot for sunrise. This is supposed to be spectacular.
The scene at Lakeside Pokhara, which is a short 5 minute walk from the “Happy Home”, is very chilled out. I notice lots of funky cafes and restaurants as well as some pretty interesting shops that I will definitely need to return to.
There are lots of yoga schools and adventure sports shops. I read somewhere that Pokhara has the best paragliding venue on the globe. No wonder I see so many every day from my room or whenever I’m down at lakeside.
One thing I notice the first time I head out for a walk is my shortness of breath on the most gentle of hills. I Google the altitude of Pokhara and discover it’s 1,400m so quite different to the 46m I’m used to in Noosa.
Let the Treatments Continue
Also on the agenda for today is another wonderful 90 minutes massage and a Picu treatment – ahh, another relaxing day.
Day 4 and final medicated ghee day. This time I get two cups of hot ginger tea to mix my ghee concoction with making it a bit easier to get the increased dose of 60ml down.
I head back to my room to finish off my morning routine activities. Afterwards I meet Dr Kristina downstairs for my morning breathing practices and neti.
I’m feeling a bit dizzy today so she takes my blood pressure which has dropped slightly from 120/80 on my arrival to 110/80. Nothing to be concerned about but she said Dr Rumee would take it again tomorrow morning.
Time for breakfast which is the usual yummy porridge and steamed apples. I could definitely get used to being cooked for at every meal. The chefs lovingly prepare for me exactly what my body needs.
I enquire about cooking classes during my stay but unfortunately they don’t offer this. I’m welcome to hang out in the kitchen whenever I want to observe though. The ‘homeladies’, as they are affectionately called, are all very nice as are all the staff here.
The homeladies take care of all the cooking and cleaning, then there are a number of office staff who look after our schedules and anything we need during our stay.
Naturally there are also many therapists both female and male. Female guests only get treated by the female therapists and the male guests the male therapists. They are all highly skilled in Ayurvedic therapies and I’ve had some of the best massages here I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot! Plus I’m a trained Aromatherapist so I’m very familiar with the various massage techniques.
There are four doctors – Dr Rumee, Dr Kristina and Dr Samichha who are based here in Pokhara permanently. Dr Rishi co-founded the Ayurveda Health Home, first in Kathmandu almost two decades ago and later the Pokhara center in 2009. I have not yet met Dr Rishi but he is due to arrive in Pokhara in a few days. We have a long consultation scheduled in for then, which I look forward to.
I don’t have a private yoga session today so I do my own practice. The yoga room is busy so the office staff prepare the roof top room for me which is very pleasant and there’s an even better view of the lake up there. It’s directly above my bedroom and slightly above the new building that blocks a lot of my view.
Lunch is another delicious delight – tasty pigeon pea soup followed by extremely yummy vegetable burgers, sweet carrots, fried cauliflower and onions and a beautiful green tomato chutney.
I think I’m finding food particularly exciting as I know today is my last ‘real food’ for a few days. I am soon to embark on Virecana – the main procedure of the first stage in my Panchakarma. More on that in a later post.
My afternoon therapy today is another goodie. A full body scrub by two therapists then immersion into a hot steam tub. Nothing like a good detox to get me further prepared for the big purge.
I have another wander down to the lakeside and check out the New Year’s Eve scene going on down there. Tomorrow begins a new year in the Nepalese calendar and the year date is 2074.
Dr Rumee explains to me that the Nepalese calendar started 57 years before ours. I’m wonder if that makes me 110 years old? Or am I still 52? Either way I know this Panchakarma will do wonders for my longevity.
That evening as I drift off to sleep, I hear the wonderful sounds of Nepalese music and chanting. In fact this started quite early in the day. At one stage the chanting then turned into a huge group singing ‘Wonderwall’ – not what I was expecting! There is the usual chorus of dogs barking in the night too, not quite as relaxing as the chanting!
In the fifth post in this series, you’ll discover the Virecana. This is the main procedure of the Panchakarma. Pretty full-on to say the least!!