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I did not fail. I improvised for success.
I have been doing 10-day instructor led Ayurvedic spring and fall cleanses, but this fall I decided to try a 21-day home panchakarma [PK].
Think of it as a cleanse on “steroids.” Kind of scary and yet intriguing at the same time.
Pancha is five and karma is action, in this case, therapies. Typically, it is only done as a 30-day inpatient stay. I found three Ayurveda schools offering in home, with online supervision.
Initially, I considered an eight-day one at the current Ayurvedic school I attend. Then I heard about this 21-day one at another school I would love to consider, but the cost was too prohibitive for my paltry budget. So, their 21-day PK won.
First, several attachments dropped in my inbox, and I perused the instructions and purchased more items I needed. Then the detailed instructions on the how-to and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. Seven basti enemas, 10 capsules a day for seven days. Ten daily servings of plain soupy kichari for seven days, seven days of medicated ghee.
Yikes. I already knew from cleanses that my activity level would be low, so yin, restorative, and yoga nidra, and slow walks. Okay, that part sounded cool. None of my usual supplements. Fine, I do that during cleanses.
At the end of day one, I felt that I was withering away. I know, silly, but it’s a mental block that comes up during routine cleanses. I decided to sleep on it to finalize a new plan. In the morning, I knew it would be successful if I split it into two 15-day PKs, one now, one in spring. It was doable. Even with low activity and lots of rest, I felt more vitality surging through my meridians. I did add chyvanprash in week three. Chyvanprash is a rasayana, a formula that uses 35 ingredients added over a 21-day period, following the ancient recipe. It increases vitality and strengthens the immune system.
Every morning, I started with about five ounces of hot water with lime juice added to it and took three elimination capsules and two alternative ones. These included several herbs; some I was familiar with, others I was not. Based on its name, the elimination capsules had me close to the bathroom, as I was emptying my bowels several times a day. Large, healthy, well-formed stools had my colon the cleanest in my city.
I failed the basti enemas. Day one, I forgot to strain the mixture of 98.6-degree sesame oil and more herbs unknown to me. Hence, the solution would not leave the bag. Day two, I strained it and it left the enema bag but only went a few inches into the tubing. Not one to give up, I changed it to a dough dam basti and poured the solution on my pelvis securing it will a hand towel wrapped around it. It felt wonderful, and I am going to do this every waning and waxing crescent moon. I used a hot water bottle on my abdomen every evening to add external heat and still incorporate this every evening.
I ate my kichari daily for most of the days, which was easy since I love it. Kichari was my lunch and dinner. My morning was warm-cooked fruit. No bread. Oh, I used the supplied medicated ghee, which is triphala added to ghee. Ghee is clarified butter from ethically treated cows, and triphala is a combination of three fruiting bodies and adds gentle laxative perks. I take plain triphaal every evening before bed.
My exercise was light; on the negative, I lost strength and am still working to regain it. I will soon, I hope. All in all, this super-charged cleanse gave me a feeling of good health; my gut felt cleaner. I felt lighter, and luckily, I did not lose weight. I actually gained two needed pounds.
Will I do this next spring? Yes. One needs to be healthy enough to withstand the intensity of the treatments and group support is key. This treatment is not a walk in the park. It felt like a cleanse on “steroids.” For this one, we have a coordinator, an ayurvedic physician, and each other.
Curious? Try a fall or spring gleans first, then the following year, try the panchakarma.