Today begins the second main procedure of my Panchakarma – Basti.
I am to be given two types of Basti, one early in the morning and another on the next day in the evening. During these Bastis, cleansing and rejuvenation work simultaneously to clean and habour the function of the colon. This is a deep healing procedure that works into the subtle cellular level.
The morning Basti, Asthapana Basti, is cleansing and is an irrigation of a medicated concoction of herbs into the colon. The procedure starts with Doctor Rumee taking my blood pressure and pulse. On this first day my blood pressure is 100/60 and pulse 62. She then gives me a stomach massage for around 10 minutes then places a couple of hot water bottles onto my abdomen (hot fomentation). These both stimulate the stomach to help the flow of energy.
While Dr Rumee prepares my individual herbal concoction, a therapist, Sarita today, gives me a foot massage, also lasting around 10 minutes. This is followed by the colon irrigation then I am to rest for 15 minutes on my right side before letting nature take it’s course!
After a while, I am sent to my room with a thermos of Cumin and Ginger tea which will help with any stomach cramps. The rest of the day I take it easy and relax with some more wonderful afternoon treatments.
The evening Basti, Anuvasana Basti, is the irrigation of special herbal oils into the colon. The goal of this evening Basti is rejuvenation. It helps to improve tissue health and give the necessary healing information to all the tissues.
For the next eight days I have four morning and four evening Bastis on alternate days. I also have a special diet on these days as my digestion is weak so the food that is prepared for me will restore my weak digestion and soothe the alimentary tract.
The morning Basti day is very similar food to the Virecana food I had previously. Soupy basmati rice that gets thicker as the days goes on. Breakfast is a very thin rice soup with no spices and lunch gets a bit thicker with the addition of ghee, ginger and rock salt. In the afternoon I get a bowl of boiled apples with spices then a couple of hours later I am allowed Kitchari (rice, lentils and vegetables with various spices). This is always very welcome!
On the evening Basti days I get a light to normal food diet. Boiled apples and porridge for breakfast and lunch is lentil soup, rice, some sort of vegetable dish and a raw chutney. Dinner is early so I have time to digest it, usually one hour before the Basti, and this is plain basmati rice with steamed carrots and zucchini. Later in the evening I then have a bowl of vegetable soup.
It’s not too bad but at the end of the eight days I’m very much looking forward to ‘normal’ food again!
The afternoon of my first Basti I enjoy more pampering of yet another 90 minute oil massage, then a Picu followed by the super relaxing Siro Dhara. This somehow makes the shock of my first ever Basti quite bearable.