It was wonderful to finally be at the Ayurvedic Health Home after such a long and tiring journey. The short taxi ride had us at the center within about 15 minutes of my touching down at the airport. I was greeted at the door by another lovely staff member who presented me with my ‘indoor shoes’ and asked to remove my trainers which I could leave in the neatly organized cupboard of guest and staff shoes at the door. I was taken to the waiting area and offered a cup of refreshing Tulsi tea and a bowl of fresh fruit both of which were very welcome.
After eating my refreshments I was taken into the office where they had set up a Skype call with Dr Rishi who was still in the Kathmandu center. Dr Rumee sat in also and took notes while Dr Rishi welcomed me to the center and explained that Dr Rumee would take good care of me and I was to sit down with her for an initial consultation the next morning and she would share this with him so he could make any further refinements to my 24 day Panchakarma program.
Panchakarma is a specialised Ayurveda therapy which consists of five intensive treatment procedures – Vaman, Virecana, Morning and Evening Basti and Sirovirecana. These procedures help with:
- Cleansing and detoxification
- Balancing and harmonising
- Immune enhancing and rejuvenation of the whole system-body, senses, mind and soul.
Dr Rishi designed my program after receiving my notes from Dr Pradeep in Brisbane and studying my various health reports. The Panchakarma steps I would be undertaking during my time here will be Virecana, both Bastis and Sirovirecana. I am told that during this process, I may feel various physiological and psycho-emotional changes within myself.
Each of these main procedures has specific pre and post-procedure therapies which are called Purvakarma and Paschatkarma respectively. The Purvakarma will initiate the cleansing and detoxifying with different kinds of oil and powder massages (external oleation) as well as the intake of medicated ghee/ghrita (internal oleation). I will also get a whole body steam, private yoga tuition, neti, oil pulling and eye wash instruction to enhance the cleansing process.
Purvakarmas are basically designed to circulate the properties of the herbs up to the subtle cellular level as a friendly component and to dissolve and liquefy the accumulated toxins (ama) in the system and facilitate the expulsion of these ama components through the main circulating channels (srota).
Bring it on I say!
My call with Dr Rishi was fairly brief and he said I could talk to him at any time I wished via Skype until he arrives to the Pokhara center on Saturday when we would sit down together with Dr Rumee for a long consultation.
Finally I was shown to my room and other various areas along the way including the dining room, library and rooftop. All of the guest accommodation was situated on the 2nd floor and consisted of 4 double bedrooms and 1 single bedroom, I had the single room, known as Ganesh – the elephant God of good luck and wisdom. It was fairly small but had a comfortable double bed, desk, chair, cupboard and a small attached bathroom. Being on a corner I had two windows with wonderful views to Lake Fewa, Peace Stupa and green fields and jungle. It’s a pretty stunning view even though it’s interrupted with construction. After a quick well-needed shower I was ready for my first massage.
How wonderful after my long journey to relax into a 90 minute Whole Body Cleansing Abhyanga – if this is what the next few weeks will be like I’ll certainly fit in well. Feeling ten times better I drift back to my room in the provided robe which I will come to live in much of each day, then I chill out briefly before dinner. I pop downstairs around 6pm and meet the other current guests staying – first Petra and Helga from Germany then Kim and Jonas from Vietnam and Sweden/Chiang Mai. All very nice and interesting people. Dinner is delicious and I enjoy getting to know my fellow guests.
Sleep comes quite quickly that night despite the party going on in the building site next door and the extremely hard mattress. Nothing is a problem here though so when asked how I slept the next morning, I mentioned the mattress and before I knew it they had replaced it with a much more comfortable one.