I was done, I had totally given up hope and felt so exhausted to keep trying on my own, my situation was bad, mind hopeless and all over the place. But then a miracle happened.
I got the opportunity to go to Oneworld Ayurveda in Bali for a full 28 days Panchakarma (PK) and this totally turned my world upside down – positively. I come from years of eating disorders, anxiety and depression. Countless unsolved issues and constant denial had brought me to a point where I had to decide whether to live or die. After my retreat at I definitely decided to live and learn to love life and myself again. And I got the tools for that here.
Prior to my arrival I felt restless, super scared and excited and did not know what to expect.
I was prepared to be mostly alone in my room, eating alone, not being at all social, feeling super anxious and uncomfortable, but all these thoughts quickly vanished after my arrival. It is such a safe, healing environment in the middle of jungle and rice fields, beautiful scenery and with very unique music offered by the nature; I could not imagine a better place for healing. The first morning waking up to the sound of the gong…I almost could not believe that suddenly I was in a peaceful paradise just to concentrate on myself. As scary as it felt, I had not had this kind of feeling of peace before. I will also never forget how I felt on the first day after the purification ritual in Tirta Empul, one of the biggest water temples in Indonesia. I knew I was in the right place and it was the right time to start fighting the negativity with which I had surrounded myself for such a long time.
My first day started with my pulse being taken by Doctor Aparna and followed by the first consultation to determine my doshas and my current imbalances. It was a very comprehensive discussion that dug deep throughout the whole life, taking into account all the factors that affect one’s body or mind. I was very nervous, a bit scared and still not able to open up truly; yet I felt quite comfortable talking to Doctor Aparna, I could immediately feel her warmth and true professionalism. Honestly, this was my easiest ”first meeting” with a doctor ever. Usually I feel ashamed, judged and misunderstood in similar situations but here was no judgement at all. Ayurveda is such a comprehensive medical science, there are no separate parts, a person is taken in as a whole. Everything is connected; body, mind and soul and both doctors at OWA, have such a deep understanding, patience, professionalism and warmth in them that you do not feel forced to go to your daily consultation. On the contrary, I felt relieved to see them daily, it made it easier to understand myself when I was able to express my thoughts directly. There were days when I wanted to give up and was not doing any progress. This is normal, yet might make you feel so down, but usually the daily chat with the doctors made me rethink and put things into perspective.
During my Panchakarma I went through major emotional roller coaster. There were days when I felt I was flying and others when I was falling deep without energy; this all is a part of PK. It is not a light and easy spa vacation and that was clear to me from the start. I knew that I had come here to work on my issues. It was much more intense than I had imagined, but I came up with a better understanding of myself. There was some homework that I had to do that made me dig deep in my past and present. At the end of my stay I did a letting go-ritual in the temple of healing and got to burn the things that I wanted to let go of. It was such an empowering and emotional experience and I felt huge relief afterwards.
An important part of the PK are naturally the treatments performed twice a day by the enormously professional, sweet and loving therapists. At first, I was super nervous and scared as I had never before experienced even a neck massage, but quickly my fear faded. It is so beautiful and peaceful, a ritual kind of experience, when you step into the treatment room, almost like leaving yourself outside the door and picking yourself up again afterwards, renewed and relaxed, ready to enjoy herbal tea on the terrace of the treatment centre with an astonishing view to the rice fields and the jungle. Some of the treatments may not be so pleasant but it is important to understand that everything is tailor-made for one’s needs, to work on the imbalances and to obtain the best results for healing. It is not a ONE thing, but many things combined that manifest the power of Ayurveda and you start to see changes happening.
Very helpful were also the yoga and meditation classes. I went from an akward, task-oriented and terrified yoga student to a patient, peaceful and delighted yoga lover – and I had never had a yoga class before! Just to step into the amazingly beautiful yoga shala facing the jungle and the rice fields gave me enormous inner peace. Adding to this the incredibly talented and devoted yoga teacher, Tekok, you really cannot go wrong. These classes helped me a lot to calm down, find my inner peace and open some physical and emotional locks I had been holding on to for years.
I was totally committed to all the practices: I took my ayurvedic medicines (gave up all my anti-depressives and sleeping pills from the start), went to yoga and meditation (gave up my excessive exercise routine), ate my meals even though it sometimes felt impossible, was honest with the doctors in the daily consultations and showed up to my treatments. In OWA everything is handed to you on a silver plate; committed staff working towards your well-being, full support system, chance to meet interesting people, forge special friendships and feel group support. But in the end it all comes down to you, are you willing to give your 100% in order to get the best results? The key is to continue with the healthy routines back home. The final consultation with the doctors prepares you to go back with a tailor-made ‘program’ and recommendations to follow in order to maintain or work towards your full balance. This helped me a lot since I do not feel alone, now I know what I should do, and if I have any doubts, I can contact either one of the doctors for some guidance. This is truly a priceless gift that is offered by OWA.
It is almost impossible to put this experience in words as my Panchakarma at OWA was such an intense, amazing, eye-opening and life changing process for me. I have become to understand that I have had a long period of imbalance which affected my mind, body and soul. This caused the many poor and harmful decisions and actions that I took over the years, not being able to be present, or basically not able to live with myself. Now I really understand that I am stronger than my mind; the key is to separate your bad believes and sudden harmful thoughts from your true self, understand the meaning of those feelings and let go of harmful things in your life. With the help of this kick start process back to life I have learnt so many techniques to tackle anxiety and negativity; I know that practising yoga, meditation and maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet suitable for my body will help me get through any obstacle and live in peace with myself.
Clarity of mind, lightness and energy in my body, peace and positivity in my soul was what I felt afterwards. Panchakarma is an intense journey of self-discovery that I wish everyone could experience at some point of their lives. Me having the opportunity to do it at this age, in this place, I cannot help but bring my palms together in front of my heart and say Namasté. I am eternally grateful to ONEWORLD Ayurveda, thank you for bringing me back to life.
by: Silja, Finland
Let us know if you would like to get in touch with Silja.