It’s been a good week of healing: my tongue which had oral lichen plants since mom’s passing, has almost healed- the central groove on the tongue is there but the colour and texture has normalised and I fully appreciated it when i accidentally took a spoon of chutney with green chillies and had no reaction- not snivelling, no tears…no discomfort.
The lip too is better – less scabbing and not as tender. I am sure it is a cumulative effect of all the weeks and now having begun Panchkarma, I am more confident of returning home much better.
At Sivanand Ashram
Panchkarma, so far has been an hour of dry powder body scrubs and steam – some meds for the lip and some bitter drinks. The food (unlike the ashram meals- which also i was overeating!!) is completely oil free, almost no spices but wonderfully tasty to me. The other northern indians hated the food – we get two meals and i am somewhat over eating still. My focus is to be slower with every bit and fully attentive. Silence while eating is an ashram rule but most people are addicted to talking…
I can’t praise this place enough. Set in a forest with a lake, it is breezy all day long. A beautiful rhythmic life – a yoga vacation as its called. It will be hard to return and not have this clean air and peace and greenery. Everything looks and feels natural… yoga is getting better in tiny ways… wonderful lectures and a kindness i have not experienced in other ashrams. The place is efficiently run by Nataraj, a South African volunteer who also gives wonderfully simple talks on Yoga. For the first time I am not so engaged in people and conversations but soaking in the energy of this place.
Fridays are the day off: I went to trivandrum to see this naturopathy restaurant- Pathayam- of course i over ate- all food is organic, fresh and lightly cooked if not raw. In the thali i ordered half the food was raw- two salads, three chutneys and the four drinks – raw payasam, wheatgrass juice, an interesting bitter drink with a twist of jaggery and a mango drink. Despite ordering 7 different things, my bill was 225!
I decided to take a short tour of the kitchen which became one long learning session- they dry roast and steam the cooked items- no oil, no heavy spices. Lovely big steaming colanders, copper cooking vessels and stone grinders- the staff looked ethnic and professional- big mammas who wrap the pastes in banana leaves and create delicious concoctions.
I salute the person who started this place. May his tribe grow.