Sivananda Ashram

Getting rid of all my crap (literally)


The last time I had an enema was due to a ‘severe blockage’ in Italy when I was 18 years old. At the time, my parents were frantically trying to think of a contingency plan should I have appendicitis (ironic how they didn’t trust the hospitals in Europe and were trying to get an airline to fly me home to South Africa).

Lucky for me though it was a case of serious constipation, which was easily solved by self administering an enema. Unlucky for me was the fact that all the nurses in the hospital were hot Italian males AND the enema process was explained in half Italian, half hand gestures with a super hot nurse.

When I signed up for the detox, the thought of putting myself through the final days of the program were not fun. Thus I’m not sure where to begin and how much detail I should unfold – but rather out than in say I.

The end of the detox was a rather intense one, as I’m sure you can understand. One of my fellow ashram-goers asked me how I felt and the honest truth was that… I wasn’t totally sure! The final part of the detox was 3 days of small oil enema’s and then a final big enema day where a liter and a half of a certain herbal concoction was administered.

The enemas seemed to bring up suppressed emotions that I hadn’t realised I had suppressed. According to the Ayurvedic Doc, we hold a lot of what we feel in our fat cells and within our intestines – and I for one definitely agree with this. Or it simply could have been some pretty uncomfortable days waiting for my intestines to empty. I am sorry to bring this up, but I must remind you that I am in India, and the toilets here are eastern (AKA every westerners nightmare) – I wont explain anymore but I’ll leave you with a happy note that my thighs have had their fair share of workout.

The idea of having someone else administer the enemas was also something I had to get used to, but like any good colonic irrigation – I learnt that my body had gotten too used to processed foods and that time for a dietary change was in order (thinking along the lines of becoming a full on vegetarian).

I thought I would end off the Pancha Karma detox with some more information about the program and the benefits of it (well the benefits it had for me).

According to the pamphlet these are the procedures and the benefits:

Abhyanga (oil massage) – to mobilize and liquefy toxins from the tissues, release muscular tension, improve circulation and give mental relaxation. [as part of my treatment I spent 15 minutes in a steam bath after my massages]

Kizhi (hot bundle) – process by which the whole body or specific parts are made to sweat by the application of warmed medicinal herb powder, leaf or hot rice tied into a cotton cloth. Kizhi serves to liquefy and help eliminate toxins, to release the pain of strained muscles (sciatica etc.) and give flexibility to the body.

Dhara – process by which medicated oil (thailadhara) is poured in a continuous stream on the forehead for a period 20 to 30 minutes. Enhances the effect of Panchakarma and calms the mind and emotions.

3 oil enemas – part of the elimination stage.

1 decoction enema – part of the elimination stage.

Hot water bath is included after each treatment in the ayurveda clinic.

– Increased energy
– Rejuvenation of mind and body
– Clarity of the mind
– Younger looking skin and eyes
– Restoration of regular sleep patterns
– Increased alertness and awareness
– A peaceful sense of well being
– A strengthened immune system
– A restored balance to the body’s constitutional Doshas

And for the most part I feel every single one of those. In fact my skin has regressed so far back into my teenage years I’ve had a complete breakout which I’m still waiting to clear. Besides that I have never felt more incredible inside.

So here’s my hope to return every year for the next 3 years to complete Panchakarma.

P.S. I lost 5 kgs in the 3 weeks of the program… That was a SUPER awesome benefit







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Ashram news: week 2 cont


I’m starting to feel a little bi-polar in the ashram. One minute I love it – the next I want to crawl up in a ball and cry. It has been incredibly good for my soul though, and as I said good bye to my room mate for the past 2 weeks, I sat on my bed watching the down pore of the monsoon rain outside and began to reminisce about the past 2 weeks.

Sure the 6AM Satsung call is a push – but I’m getting used to it. So used to it that I’m singing the chants from memory and even have the odd clap when the chant gets going (I know I’m even surprising myself). My Ayurvedic nurse/ angel, Naleni, asked me to come and chant in the formal temple one evening and I was only too happy to miss the happy clappy western Satsung and head down to take part in the local one. It was a little different, and their prayer books are written in Sanskrit so it was a very cool experience where I essentially just sat back and watched them chant songs I hadn’t heard yet. It also gave me some time to try meditate alone in the temple afterwards. This was not as successful and went something a little like this:

Raine: Ok focus and relax your knees

Ego: Wow my knees hurt, is this normal?

Raine: No I don’t think so.

Ego: Speaking of knees, that pose in class was pretty intense also. I was thinking about the class and I was wondering when I’ll be up in a head stand?

Raine: Ooooh a head stand would be so cool… What am I thinking about?? FOCUS… One, two, three, meditate.

Ego: Ok, Ok… But do you remember…


Ego: [sulking now] I’m just trying to help you out… (at this point I pictured my ego sitting, arms crossed in front of her chest, head staring down at arms and pouting).

This process went on for a good 20 minutes until I was too exasperated to keep trying so I headed to bed.

I have 1 week left here and tomorrow the enemas start. Up and till now the detox has been fantastic. I mean who wouldn’t enjoy a 2 hour massage every day? In fact the pace of things happening, following a simple routine and just not having to think of the mundane day to day things has been absolutely wonderful.

Who would have thought that I would have met some incredible souls at the ashram, found a reconnection to living my life passionately and settled into this travel thing so fluidly?

I’ll check in again once I’ve completed the enema week – joy. Enjoy the pics of the Sivananda Ashram.










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