A Travellerspoint blog

Panchakarm Day #10- last day

musings. a.k.a. "It's yewer ehdventure now, isn't et, Mahgie"

nothing really significant to note here, except that i got some extra TLC on my face in the form of more Ayurvedic herbs. lovely. i will be sad to not start everyday with an oil massage. i will NOT be super sad, however, to not start the day with an oil-mixed-with-herbs-that-feel-like-sandpaper-massage. that i can do without. though i will say, my skin is soooo soft...

this morning, the doorman/ guard told me (kind of, it was more like a game of charades) that he was going home to sleep and i wouldn't see him before i leave. he is the sweetest man: he's about 3/4 my height, has little legs and a big belly, wears his pants up high, has a big white mustache, and always has a huge smile on his face. i will be sad not to see him everyday, as the pleasantries we exchange are well-meaning and light-hearted. he kept shaking my hand and and saying something, moving his fingers from his eyes to his chest. then i realized he was actually crying. how strange a life, though i know it is like that for many jobs- saying hello, then saying goodbye. he made me smile.

so, something i realized: i will remember these places, i will remember the temples and the things i've seen. but mostly, i will remember the people. and oh my, there have been some funny people.

meet Marcel, the German from Varkala. i hung out with him for a few days, and now i cannot quite be sure why. he was fun and nice enough, but after a few days things turned sour and in retrospect, i am seeing the red flags. here are some incidents i have collected form my memory:

- "People always think i am 10 years younger than I really am, it's crazy... by the way, i noticed you have quite a bit of gray hair"
- "Ah, quatsch! Stupid dog" [repeat x10] he was wearing white Aladdin pants (WHITE) to a bar that was in the dirt roads, behind a beach, where dogs roam around all the time. white. pants. get. dirty.
- "look, it's almost the same color". in his swimsuit, he pointed to his chest, then pulled his shorts down slightly to show me that he was nearly the same color- everywhere. everyday he tanned for 15 minutes, naked, in the water, just far enough so no one could see him. it seemed dreadfully uptight.
- whining when the waiter came with a cup of tea, not a small pot. the waiter had been working, at that point, 12 hours already that day.
- Kristin, a girl i met at the airport in KTM, was there, too. these two did not mesh well, it was clear. and it was so funny to watch them avoid each other.
- so i woke up one day and decided i needed to leave. i ran into Marcel on the road and asked if he wanted to have lunch before i left for my train. he said, 'We'll see, maybe.' so i left without saying bye to him. i felt horribly bad, and as if bad karma was headed my way. alas, i have convinced myself otherwise.

i don't remember her name, but there was a woman at my dorm in Varkala from Wales. she was the hottest grandmother i have ever met, and such good energy. i had a funny look on my face and she asked me why adn i told her about the German. she said, in her lovey accent, "It's yewer ehdventure now, isn't et, Mahgie?" Damn straight it is. that has become my mantra now. i will do what i want to do. this is MY adventure.

more characters coming your way in other posts.

i am off to Kochin tomorrow, where there is a place called Jew Town. yes, please.
from there, i will do the Kerala backwaters. grand! i will be sad to be away from a beach, but i am eager to go see and do Indian things. and be away from old couples in their fresh white linen dinner outfits.

Posted by yoganini 01:54 Archived in India Comments (0)

Panchakarma Day #9

a.k.a. i am finally exploring a bit

Jess and Sunavo, the couple from yesterday, became my companions for the day. they came along at the perfect time- i was ready to talk to people again, but not quite ready to put effort in. they are so easy and great- and handy! so full of information. i got to see lots of pictures from the wedding, which was in January- jess looked beautiful in her red sari, and Sunavo was dashing in his white clothes (i can't remember what it is called). so many colors. the pictures were all candids, which was so great- EVERYone ('that's my cousin's wife's sister and that's her uncle) was smiling. it seemed like such a joyous occasion! no fake smiles or serious poses. it was really interesting to hear about all of the customs.

after my treatment, we walked along the beach for a while then went up to the Lighthouse (the beach we are on is called Lighthouse Beach). we went for a swim at a quieter beach, where the waves were just as powerful as they were at the other. it's a little strange being in india at a beach- the Indian women all wear their saris and the men seemingly wear whatever they want, even if it's white and painfully see-through underwear. but the tourists! the Russian women (to be fair, all western women) in their skimpy bikinis, the pasty white, pot-bellied german men in speedos. because all the tourists wear bathing suits, it is fine to wear a bikini, but the men all gawk enough as it is, so i haven't been comfortable swimming, even though i go in my shorts and tank top. what i find uncomfortable is the limited amount of clothing worn AFTER swimming. we may be at a tourist beach, but we are still in India. to be perfectly frank, i find it disrespectful how little is worn. ah, well. i won't gripe about it.

i am feeling much better again today. i am not fatigued, though the heat has not made me super excited about wandering around and exploring. either way, i am happy to be rid of the mental fog, but not worn down by a mind that is running a hundred miles a minute. i am eager to get away from this beach, but i am not yet ready to jump on night trains and walk around with my backpack... in due time.

Posted by yoganini 01:45 Archived in India Comments (0)

Panchakarma Day #8

a.k.a. almost back to normal

up at 6am or so (prompted by the clanging of symbols at the temple), i went for a nice long run. my belly felt so much smaller this morning, which was nice because it felt bloated in all the days leading up to yesterday. then i went swimming, which felt even better.

i met a couple today- the girl is from kansas, and the guy is from india. they live in delhi. they were so great- i had tea with them while they gave me advice about what to see and do, and then they invited me to stay with them in Delhi, which came at a great time, b/c i was considering skipping it altogether (in one day, i'd heard from three different and unconnected people stories that made me question going there). we ended up hanging out the rest of the afternoon and then met up again in the evening. they were totally grand- really fun, kind, generous, and easy. i'm definitely going to hang out with them in Delhi, and possibly stay with them.

i also went to another yoga class. Sivananda again. it was just me in the class and i was super pliable b/c it was afternoon, i'd stretched in the morning, and i was already drenched in sweat. he pushed me into poses i didn't think i could do, but i also hurt later, so i don't think it was good for me.

it felt so so good to have energy again today. i was almost back to normal. my negative feelings have subsided a bit, though i still get strange energy from this beach. but it is an improvement, and for that i am grateful. the doctor has given me lots to think about, and without giving you too clear a look into the window of my soul, i am feeling good about things.

Posted by yoganini 01:37 Archived in India Comments (1)

Panchakarma Day #7

a.k.a. the big day

i know, you've been DYING to know how it went. i was so exhausted that i didn't have it in me to do anything that day, and then internet and electricity have been erratic since then. so now i will recap: (please do not read if others have made you at all squeamish)

i started at 7am. i only did the oil massage - so no packets of herbs were pounded against me, no eye drops, no oil in the ears or nostrils. i did a short steam bath, only about 5-10 minutes. then Dr. Sambhu came in and gave me directions and told me what to expect from the big enema (which i promptly forgot) and he went to go prepare it while Rada massaged my back with more oil as i laid on my side. Rada is a perfect match for me- she does things that are very maternal, but not coddling.. Dr. S. came in (up until this point, only Rada had been with me during the treatments) and rubbed my back a bit then administered the enema. he explained that in it, instead of the usual oil, was oatmeal, gooseberries, honey, and more nutrients. i had to wonder why i wasn't just eating it and was instead putting it in another part of my body. but i didn't question it. there was soooo much of it and it was strange to watch my body respond to it. it was like a time lapse of eating too much and getting full, then constipated, then the fullness moved up and up into my belly. it wasn't painful, but it was extremely uncomfortable. i then laid on my back, was told to bring my knees into my chest seven times (i don't know why), then i was instructed to head straight to the toilet, which didn't need any prompting.

we'll skip the details of the next part; i'm sure you can guess what happened.

so this is essentially what was going on: up until this day, the oil was, as i explained, leeching toxins out of the cells and loosening them up, releasing them into the bloodstream. so the toxins were collecting in the digestive system. the oil enemas were bringing these collected toxins even further from the cells. so imagine all of these toxins have assembled in the colon and are just hanging out, wondering what to do and where to go next. so here comes the big enema of oatmeal and other goodies. this enema gathers around the toxins and ushers them out of the body.

the result was more frequent trips to the bathroom and complete, utter exhaustion. i slept for three hours afterwards, had some lunch (the only place at the thali place was in the sun, so i was dripping with sweat, worried that i would explode, and nearly falling over with exhaustion- a winning feeling), then went back for another 4 hours of sleep. i had some dinner, came back, and was asleep again by 9pm, only to sleep 9 more hours.

my mind was calm- it was certainly still going, from this thought to the next, but it was slowing down quite a bit, which was nice for a change.

i had some funny realizations which i will share in another entry.

Posted by yoganini 01:23 Archived in India Comments (1)

Panchakarma day#6

View pre-real-life hoorah on yoganini's travel map.

i took a sivananda yoga class this morning. it was nice and relaxing, behind a maze of guesthouses and rice paddies, coconut trees, breezes, and the sea in the distance. he put us into plough pose early on and I pushed it, so I'm a bit sore, but no worries: Radna worked most of it during the oil massage. today was more of the usual- eating when I'm not hungry just to give structure to the day. but I think I am starting to get some people to smile now, which is fun and way harder than it was in varkala! I think it's because I flirted there and here I have my guard up and don't feel like dealing with people much.. anyway, met a girl who told me about an intense vinyasa class, so I will try that as soon as possible. the treatment today was also same as usual. but tomorrow, oh tomorrow, is big enema day. Dr. Sambhu spreads his fingers out like fireworks, like an explosion, when he talks about it. so that's something to look forward to. he said earlier is better, so we will do it at 7am. I then am expected to take it easy the rest of the day, as it is meant to wear you out from all the cleansing you are doing. nice. I met a Swedish woman who says she had taken sleeping pills for five years and had no need for them after this. pretty cool. but what about people like me who aren't dependent on drugs and who are in good general health? time will tell. people have told me they feel the effects long after they finish. I have shown signs, though, of malabsorption on my tongue (grooves that line the edge of my tongue where it pushes up against my teeth) for several years now, consistently, and they are noticeably less pronounced, so that is fun. so hopefully tomorrow I'll have enough energy for swimming, yoga, or surfing, but I imagine i will be limited to waddling over to the tailor's to pick up my new, tailor-made pants for $5. my life is so hard.

Posted by yoganini 07:03 Archived in India Comments (1)

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