Day 20 – Mountain Ayurvedic Retreat

20 Jan

1980-01-08 06.25.48

I Was woken pre-dawn with promised cup of herbal tea, had an actual hot shower! and headed off for yoga. The sky was a hazy purple over the lake as the sun began to come up, but I didn’t appreciate the true beauty of the place until an hour later when the surroundings became clear in the crisp morning light.

Tropical birds and trees and a open vista over the lake. Colour and light and bird song. Divine.

I arrived at the fully equipped yoga hall to be told by Jenny that, really we would be better off doing our own practice and the teacher may or may not come.The retreat prides itself on being led by BKS Iyengar and his pictures adorn the walls of the studio (I think he may have opened the building when it was built). There were actually quite a lot of resident students there who all began with 12 sun salutations (rather aptly as indeed the sun was rising). When the teacher did come he taught a very interesting beginners class – not at all sure you could have called it Iyengar. Still I appreciated the studio, the views, the space and so much equipment – an Iyengar students paradise!

Breakfast!

Breakfast!

1980-01-08 04.51.18
After class went for breakfast followed by Ayurvedic consultation. It was my first one and I discovered I am strongly Pitta type. I was given a list of foods to avoid / seek out and told I need good yoga / excercise and good sleep to be balanced. Well yes.
Headed off for my first treatment – a full body massage. Haha not for the faint hearted! First stripped, then given string and paper loin cloth, smothered in fragrant oil from head to toes (even face and hair), then thoroughly pummelled, then steam cabin which – well I had to laugh – it’s a kind of wooden box you get into with a hole for your head, fed with steam coming through pipes attached to a pressure cooker on a gas ring!! Still was very effective, finally covered in salty brown goo and washed off in shower. Skin was smoother than a baby’s bottom and I was completely relaxed.
So relaxed that I lost my insulin pump and had the whole staff including the manager searching high and low – they insisted I chill out and eat lunch while they looked for it, so nice. Just as I was fearing the worst and praying that one of my insurances would cover it, one of the housekeeping girls found it. Made her day and mine! and of course left her a nice tip too.
1980-01-08 06.25.57
I saw the strangest bird in the trees. It’s chirping attracted me and then I noticed it had along curled tail that it rolled forward when it chirped – it was so coordinated it almost seemed to be the tail that was emitting the chirp. I watched it for some time and was most surprised when it scampered up the tree on four legs – so not a bird at all, some kind of squirrel / chipmunk / bird? Can anyone enlighten me on this one? Never seen anything like it – Oh and Jenny did see it too, incase you’re momentarily considering madness / hallucinogens.
My stay finished with a second treatment that involved hot oil and alternately being whacked with a hot poultice bag and chopping hands. My muscles were quite tender after the amount of yoga I’ve been doing, but still was great. Arrived home feeling rejuvenated and ready for the next week of classes. Finished the weekend with a lovely dinner at The Ambience with Nicky and Cindy and planning on going to visit Women’s Shelter and Orphanage tomorrow – would be great to organise things so that it’s easy for people to give something back while they’re here.
.1980-01-08 07.00.02

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