KP Khalsa and I began the work of transitioning my body for this year of living an Ayurvedic-Yogic lifestyle at the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in the Bahamas.
Proper digestion, proper body waste elimination, and an uninterrupted, good night’s sleep are three of the long standing issues that I’ve pretty much ignored for most of my adult life. These issues gave me discomfort from gas to constipation to rarely getting more than 2-3 hours of sleep at a time.
WHAT I AM TAKING RIGHT NOW
KP Khalsa Prescriptives: (I’ve not included doses, as they are customized specifically for me. Even for me, we will try short periods of trial and error to see what dosage has the best impact, while still being comfortable and workable.)
KP has advised that I select foods from the vegetarian offerings at the Ashram, that are Vata pacifying - mostly cooked foods that are hearty and easy to digest. I also am eating root vegetables for 1/3 of my food intake. More will be explained about the Vata imbalances I have in future updates. Find out about your constitution on Banyan Botanicals website.
Vitamin D3, Chyavanprash, Gokshura Powder & Triphala with oil - each are one dose daily
Poppy Seed Tea - before bed
Trikatu Powder (with meals) and Tea made with Cumin Seeds, Coriander Seeds and Fennel Seeds (simmer for an hour and drink after meals)
Banyan Botanicals has generously provided many of the herbs and supplements. The high quality of their products are consistent and certified organic. Thus KP Khalsa suggests them as an excellent resource and provider of products.
My idea of good nutrition and being healthy was maintaining an average weight and not having much pain in my daily living. I am grateful for my ancestry and genetics that allowed me to digest any and all that I put into my body - hot/spicy, large quantities, sweets and salty both, starve and binge eating - I like to eat and have a healthy appetite.
Little did I realize that while I could put the food and drink in with no burning sensations or problems, much of it was not being properly digested and remained in my body in the form of toxins.
I also loved my daily coffee and its dual purpose for me as a laxative. My son called my coffee “nuclear strength” and my daughter in law laughed that it made her have to eliminate just smelling the coffee:)
Red wine, Margaritas and Martinis - all were favs and fun drinks that I enjoyed drinking. Late nights and sluggish mornings were normal for me - and for millions if not billions of people in the world. My coffee could always be counted on to get me going. Coffee for me was a NEED that I developed into a ‘want’.
My work for the last 15 years was the bulk of my life. I worked very hard, had great drive and stamina for long hours and highly stressful situations. Pinched nerves in my lower spine manifested and caused sciatica to the point of doctors suggesting surgery to alleviate the pain. I refused the surgery.
That was when I first began yoga.
I typified the work hard, play hard American. I’ve always enjoyed life and am an eternal optimist by nature. Again, that constitution is genetics and a gift from God.
So, what is someone like me doing in an Ashram Yoga Retreat for a year?
I’m not sure why I was compelled to be here, but there was no doubt in my mind as I set the plan in motion, that I was meant to come here. I still feel that way today, after my first week.
I’m generally a more thoughtful and intellectual type of person, being intrigued with learning and interested in new approaches and ways of looking at things. In school and in business, I knew that the intellect was respected. In an effort to conform and to succeed, I tended to bury the softer side of me within, showing unconditional love and vulnerability to a very select few.
I think this dual nature and daily need to show a ‘me’ that was tougher and more business oriented are rather common. We have our work personalities and our family/friend personalities. Unfortunately, what I’ve found is that the work personality was visible so much of the time, that it had a strong impact on the softer me. I also believe that the need for party hearty, excess was in part the result of so much build up of stress.
It isn’t easy maintaining a distinctly separate professional image for so much of our lives, besides the long hours in front of computers and dealing with fire after fire in our usual workplaces. Eventually the work personalities tend to take over.
Some interesting observations from my 1st Week at this beautiful Sivananda Ashram:
The ocean breeze and sound of waves are so peaceful and rejuvenating.
A mantra we learned in class is Each day, in every way, I feel better and better. It is true:)
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