Every five to seven years according to Ayurveda, you are meant to give your mind, body and spirit a huge spring clean, which lasts 21 – 28 days is termed a Panchakarma. The Panchakarma consists of different treatments, which aid in the complete detoxification of ama or toxins from the body. I decided (with a little trepidation) it was time to embark on my first body overhaul in August last year.
I spent much time researching different resorts and decided if I was going to get it done and go through all of that, it had to be in India. The southern state of Kerala in India seemed to be where the majority of the resorts were located. But, I found you can virtually find some form of Ayurvedic centre anywhere in India. Through a recommendation, I found out about the Ayurveda Yoga Villa (AYV), located in the surrounds of lush, tropical forests in a beautiful little town called Wayanad. It was monsoon season when I arrived. It rained and poured. I don’t think I have ever experienced that much rain. But I soon came to realise that this was perfect, soothing weather for what I was about to embark on.
Detoxing is a full-time job
I opted to get the monsoon package, which meant I had a pretty hectic schedule – mostly spent getting a treatment (I had 3 hours of treatments a day), which were sometimes relaxing, sometimes uncomfortable, at times strange! After an initial consultation, the Doctor’s tailor a program for each person’s needs. Most of the day we spent in special, colourfully printed treatment gowns, drenched and dripping in all kinds of funky smelling oils and other concoctions!
Treatments included special massage with medicated oils, sweating therapy, vomiting and purgation therapy, nasal administration, enemas and rudraksha therapy. There were some treatments that I dreaded more than others and some that I really enjoyed, such as the shirodara treatment, which involves warm hot oil being poured onto the area of your third eye. It is heaven, so relaxing… For more information on these various treatments click here.
There was morning and afternoon puja (prayer), yoga and meditation, Doctor appointments, medicinal herb consumption, one on one classes/discussions with a Yogi Master and time to just be, which is very important during this time. Often after dinner a group of us would go on a moonlight walk along the river and through the village streets, on the look out for fireflies, or as our Italian contingent would call them ‘lucciole’. We ended up coming across a few fireflies and even a few snakes and other night creatures. On Wednesday and Saturday nights we had Bhajan, which is devotional singing. That was probably the highlight for me each week. Oh, actually I can’t forget Sunday lunch too! It was an amazing spread of different Ayurvedic curries and we even had dessert, which my mouth waters now thinking about it. We indulged in Payasam, which is a traditional spiced sweet rice dish. Yum!
The place had such a great vibe, the staff went above and beyond, the food was amazing and I met many beautiful people from all over the world and once you share something like a Panchakarma together, you quickly become close friends!
It is a rollercoaster on all levels, there were days were you have no energy, days you are fasting, times you feel so clear headed and filled with vitality. By the time you reach the rejuvenation stage (or Rasajana), the very fact that you got through the program made me feel so much stronger and resilient. It is something that I would recommend without a doubt if you do have a month to spare.