Ayurveda and Yoga One World Retreats Bali – day 3
After the first 2 days of our Ayurveda and Yoga One World Retreats Bali, I was more than ready for our third day.
A 90-minute yoga class started with Pranayama Snake breath to cool down. We were asked to focus on water element in our body around the 2nd and 3rd chakra in our bellies. So we did loads of twists to activate the energy there, also some Sun salutations and pigeon legs on a pillow (the only pose that was uncomfortable for me as pigeon is one of the few asanas I do not enjoy at all.)We also sang PHAM mantra both in the beginning and end of the class.During the class I felt very calm also because of observing squirrels jumping from one tree to another and all the jungle sounds after the sunrise.
- get up before dawn (before 6 am) – ambrosial hours Brahma Muhurta – the best time to meditate to bring down the vata
- start with a sense of gratitude or prayer (sit in Varjana pose, then put hands in front of me, try to feel the energy ball in between my hands, then clean the energy from the head to the feet around my body)
- Achamana – purification ritual = clean face, mouth and eyes splashing the water to shift the energy; massage the eye lids, blink and rotate the eyes up and down and sideways; brush the teeth; drink a glass of warm water (500 – 800 ml room temperature water; kept overnight in a copper vessel) to flush out the toxins. Coffee makes you go to the toilet because it is warm and not because of the caffeine as that one is constipating. Herbal/detox tea without the leaves can be taken 1 hour later.
- evacuation of bowels and urine – so the toxins do not get reabsorbed into the body again (eat fiber food and drink a lot)
- toilet training – no reading, drink warm water, keep a free mind, clench the teeth, apply pressure and massage on marma (the bone in the middle nose), moola bandha (suck and relax the anal.) Also press the holistic pressure point in between the thumb and index finger (not an Ayurvedic principle but still works.)
- poo – twice a day is normal, or at least once a day (I think it should be after each meal)
- oral hygiene – brush the teeth twice daily; tongue scraping (using coconut tree leaf, make a U letter upside down and scrap; or use metal tongue scraper. It removes dead bacteria and toxins. The cleaner the tongue after waking up, the healthier you are.) When Dr. Aparna was a kid, her grandma was drying up coconut leaves and they would always use one every morning to clean the tongue.
- oil pulling – 1 tea spoon = 5 ml of oil from side to side and up and down in the mouth for at least 5 to 20 minutes (sesame oil is good for vata and kapha type; coconut oil for pitta type to heal the ulcers.) Oil pulling strengthens the gums, jaw, teeth and cleans the bad breath. It removes morning fog and protects against bacterial rot. Sesame is good for sensitive teeth and bones, and bleeding gums. Once you spit the oil out, you can massage the teeth and gums with a finger to help the circulation.
- self-massage = Abhyanga oil massage – mostly in winter season when the skin is more dry. It’s good for circulation. Massage with oil from the heart down (legs and arms) vs. scrub to get rid of the dead skin is in the opposite direction so from fingers to shoulders/toes to pelvis.
- Vyayama exercise: kapha – vigorous jogging, aerobics; pitta – moderate, calming, swimming; vata – slow, flowing, gentle, walking. Ayurveda says you should do that much exercise that you still have enough energy for the same exercise one more time. So use half of the maximum power and capacity is the best one for you. You should not feel exhausted afterwards. The aim of exercise is to energize you, not to exhaust you. Yoga is not a physical exercise only, but also a spiritual and mental one.
- scrub the body – Dr. Aparna made for us a combination of turmeric, cinnamon and orange peel powder (dry orange skin under the Sun) and mung beans; and mix it with coconut milk/water for dry skin or honey/rose water for normal/oily skin. It takes 10 minutes to make this kind of powder in a food processor. We want to remove the dead skin so using any oil would not work as it would stick to it. We need other watery liquid.
- take a bath – pitta cold shower (but not in winter), vata and kapha warm shower. Ayurveda advises us to shower twice a day as we meet too many people and exchange energy with them so we want to clean it and feel fresh again, and cleanse our aura. If you suffer from insomnia and sleep anxiety, it’s great to take a cold shower.
- prayer and spiritual practices – pranayama (Nadi shodana – alternate nostril breathing; Brahmari pranayama, Kriya kapalbhati), meditation, simple yoga
- Sadvritta – healthy social behaviour to balance my mind
- avoid excessive sensory stimulation
- sleep – bedroom is a sacred place for sleep and sex only, nothing else
VATA types might need eye mask, earplugs, nightlight, soft bedding for a good sleep.
PITTA – cooler temperatures, total darkness, less humidity
KAPHA – can sleep anywhere any time
- boil almond milk + cardamom (for pitta imbalance), nutmeg (vata imbalance), dried ginger (kapha imbalance)
- run sesame oil into the feet
- the last hour before bed should be without TV, pc, mobile
- activate left nostril (Moon energy to relax me) so sleep on the right side; you will have less dreams sleeping on the right
We had almost 2 hours of free time until lunch so I decided to focus on the water element as much as possible and went to the pool. Swam 15 pool laps, sunbathed a bit and took some yoga photos. Then enjoyed a quick cold shower.
It was exactly what I was so looking forward to, missing Indian meals way more than I thought I would after visiting Kerala, India. As two meals contained yogurt, I had them without it to keep with my vegan diet during the retreat. We were allowed to drink 1.5 glass of reddish tea before and during the meal but not too much right before as it would delude the digestive fluids.Afterwards, Dr. Aparna explained us what we were going to eat to balance our doshas and we ate in silence. Not speaking while eating is a good old habit in many cultures, not just Balinese or Indian but I also remember when I was a kid, that was exactly what I was taught, too.
”Do not speak, eat. It’s like an eating meditation.”
I heard weird noises when relaxing at the terrace and couldn’t find out at first which animal it was but saw a black and yellow cricket on a branch.
Nature yogic walk
We walked for around 80 minutes up along the main road to the rice fields and practiced walking meditation there for a while – walking slowly step by step, looking down at our feet, putting one heel, then the toes on the grass, and then the second foot. We witnessed an incredible sunset which added to an already romantic moment in the lush greenery.
To balance heavier lunch of more meals we had a pumpkin soup and a simple green salad with green beans, tofu and peanut sauce. We started to talk more which made me feel like part of a family.
Check more photos from our Ayurveda and Yoga retreat in the album.