Article by : Melanie | Good Morning World
The soothing sound of the golden singing bowl wakes me up softly from my dreams. I slowly open my eyes, it is 6 o’clock in the morning and the sun is about to rise. This reminds me of my yoga retreat in Bali two years ago, and makes me smile; already then, I found it so nice not to be woken up the nasty alarm but by the jingling of a small bell. And just like then, it is now also about healing: I am doing an authentic Ayurveda Panchakarma program at Oneworld Ayurveda close to Ubud in Bali.
ONEWORLD AYURVEDA BALI – AUTHENTIC PANCHAKARMA
Ayurveda is an over 5000 years old science of healing or life from India, originating in the Himalayas. It defines health as the sum of the balance of body, happiness of mind, clarity of intellect, feverishness free senses and a pleasant soul. The philosophy of Ayurveda also says that being in harmony with the nature and having a balance between body, mind and soul contribute to a long and healthy life. The word Ayurveda consists actually of two parts: Ayur means life and veda knowledge. Thus, Ayurveda is about knowing about life. Wonderful, isn’t it?
EVERY PANCHAKARMA BEGINS HERE WITH A PURIFICATION
Every Panchakarma program at Oneworld Ayurveda in Bali begins with a magical purification ceremony, the so-called Purification Ritual in one of the holiest temples in Bali, the springs of Pura Tirta Empul. Accompanied by lovely Tekok, who explains the whole ceremony to me very nicely, I step into the crystal-clear spring water for a spiritual purification and letting go of all that no longer serves me.
It is only in the beginning that I feel the quite cold water in the temple pool but just a few seconds later I am already totally fascinated and absorbed by this enthralling ritual. At each jet of water I pray, concentrating on my thoughts and my intention, holding my head under the cleansing spring water.
Next comes the blessing by the Balinese priest, and I am given by Tekok, as a present on behalf of the whole Oneworld team, a small silver Ganesha. During the ceremony it was placed right in front of the priest and was blessed. Immediately, it becomes clear to me that this small statue will be my steady travelling companion from now on!
THE FIRST CONSULTATION WITH DR NINNU, THE AYURVEDIC PHYSICIAN
Your initial in-depth consultation and the Ayurvedic pulse diagnosis take place early in the first morning. Here, you share everything; from your medical history to the decision that lead you to this Ayurveda Panchakarma. You will also find out from Dr Ninnu which Ayurvedic type you are, which dosha (constitution) is predominant and which should eventually be balanced. There are three doshas in Ayurveda: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. I am totally Pitta predominant which is a good explanation for why I for example can never go long without eating, this is typical for Pitta.
Your personal treatment program and medication plan for the next few days are put together based on these results. There is a short follow-up consultation every morning where you can ask questions and talk about how you are experiencing the diverse treatments.
All treatments here are absolutely divine. In the beautifully set up Treatment Centre you can enjoy a view to the nature while you receive a four-hands synchronized massage, relax in a herbal bath of Moringa leaves or sit in a small steam cabinet. I really loved that the therapists said a short prayer before each treatment, asking the gods to help them and you with the treatment!
PANCHAKARMA IS DETOX AND PURIFICATION FOR THE BODY
Pancha means ‘five’ and karma ‘actions’. For a Panchakarma, there are five efficient therapeutic methods that can be used to detox the body. Vamana: You will be given medicine orally to bring about vomiting. Virechana: You will take laxative medicine to completely empty our bowels. Nasyam: Herbal powder or medicinal oil is dripped into your nostrils to make sure that the ingredients end up very close to your head. Vashti: This means that you get an enema with medicated oil. Rakthamoksham: Through diverse methods (for example by specific pinpricks or using leeches) impure blood is removed from your body.
Dr Ninnu gives several lectures during the week, patiently and enthusiastically explaining everything about the ancient Indian health system of Ayurveda. By the way, each Ayuvedic medicine consists of 100% herbal ingredients exclusively. For this reason, there are several small herbal gardens here at the centre where plants are grown to make many of the medicines, pastes and masks used for the guests. On some days, there will be a little walk in the gardens during which explanations to the various medicinal plants will be given by Dr Ninnu.
AN AYURVEDIC DAY BEGINS WITH A MORNING RITUAL
Every guest receives on the first day a small introduction to a beautiful morning ritual. After being woken up by the sound of the singing bowl you do not open your eyes immediately but visualise the coming day, thinking positive thoughts. What do you expect from this day, what are you looking forward to?
Once out of bed, you will intake your morning medicine; phew, mine is quite bitter. Then, depending on your dosha, either coconut or sesame oil is prepared for your oil pulling (sesame for Vata and Kapha, coconut for Pitta). And then you only have to clean your tongue with a piece of bamboo and you are ready for the morning yoga at 6.45!
Yoga sessions, mostly combined with a short and beautiful meditation, take place twice daily at Oneworld Ayurveda because soft movements strongly support the cleansing of the body.
BALI IS A MAGICAL PLACE FOR AN AYURVEDIC PANCHAKARMA PROGRAM
You feel a very special magic here. It is not without reason that Bali is called the Island of Gods, spirituality is present everywhere and is constantly lived by the Balinese. Besides that, there could be no better place in Bali for a Panchakarma than bordering the amazing rice terraces of Tegallalang, probably the most beautiful and best known on the whole island.
From the relaxing area of the Treatment Centre you have a fantastic view to the unbelievably green rice terraces and, while sipping on a cup of herbal tea, can watch the farmers at their daily work and listen to the many different birds. The small, iridescent Kingfisher really captured me!
There is also the possibility to go with Tekok on a daily walk in the rice fields. A perfect opportunity to discover even more of Bali’s natural beauty!
AYURVEDIC RECIPES AND COOKING DEMONSTRATIONS FOR BACK HOME
Following my question if only one week is really enough for an efficient Panchakarma, Dr Ninnu tells me that when I am back home after the PK, it is of utmost importance to integrate the guidelines received here into the daily life. Doing a 28 days Panchakarma but then forgetting everything immediately after will bring you less results than spending seven days here and integrating most of it into your life from then on.
Food plays a very important role in Ayurveda. On the first day I am given a small, nicely done booklet containing very clear explanations of the basics of Ayurveda and especially Panchakarma. In addition, there are recipes for all the dishes that I was served during my stay here. This, I find a great idea!
There are also several cooking demonstrations taking place every week where you get additional tips and tricks to use back home!
And by the way, the food here is a dream! The meals are prepared exclusively based on Ayurvedic principles, sometimes combining western elements. This way, cooking the dishes at home will be even more fun! During the day you can enjoy Ayurvedic herbal tea which helps your body to become nicely alkaline.
THE PERFECT ENDING FOR AN AYURVEDA PANCHAKARMA PROGRAM
On the last day there is something very special in the program for each guest: the Letting Go Ritual. In your desk, you will find a small note pad and a pen to write down all the negative thoughts that arise during your Panchakarma. These notes will then be burnt in the private temple of the centre. A truly perfect ending, is27n’t it?