Feeling clean (inside but not out)

The dust floats thick in India. I do my laundry by hand in my bucket (the same that I use to wash my body). After cleaning just one item of clothing, the water is thick and black. I can’t lie, I miss the luxuries of my damp basement washer and dryer.

We’ve learned many cleansing techniques. Simple ones like clean and delicious vegetarian eating. Hippie dippie ones like the Neem stick toothbrush, which consists of taking a branch, chewing it and scrubbing my teeth with the wooden fibers bristles. It takes bitter. It wasn’t terrible but I prefer my toothbrush.


Me and my neem toothbrush

We had our usual Saturday cleansing “party”. I don’t feel comfortable talking about the methods to practice shankprashalam. Let’s just say everyone at the party was a party pooper.

Other than all the cleaning, I had an exciting week. I gave my first craniosacral treatment to someone who is not my Mattmatt. It was interesting to let my fingers and hands to the listening in an effort to heal a friend. I look forward to studying this more when I get home. I’m sure I can find a course in the coming year to actually be certified, not just initiated.

We had another guest teacher this week, Yogiraj, payed us a visit. I was introduce to Bhim Power Yoga. I think I would describe it as cardio and breath work, which was slightly problematic seeing as one of my nostrils was blocked from the cold that was rampaging the Ashram. The exercise themselves don’t look like any yoga we practice in the west. We did practice trikonasana and a few abdominal back bends that I’m familiar with, but most of it was various forms of jumping jacks with kapalabati style breathing (forceful exhales). I should add that I was a bit of a disaster because jumping jacks are not my strong suit. Those of you who go to gymnastics class with me know…

After 2 failed attempts, the 3rd time is the charm, I have finally had my meeting with Dr. Harsh, the local Ayurvedic doctor. I have taken the many online tests to determine my Dosha, which is my Ayurvedic body type, but this professional can determine based on my pulse which supplements the questionnaire that he also has me fill out. Well, the diagnosis is in! Drum roll please… I’m a healthy balanced Pitta-kapha. Which means I’m ambitious, athletic (pitta qualities), yet chill with a steady stamina (kapha qualities). If I was out of balance I might get angry easily or have digestive issues. Pitta people are put out of balance by spicy foods, coffee, alcohol, etc. So, basically too much fun will put my pitta outta whack. Good thing I’m a homebody (totally a kapha trait). Enough about me though, what about you? Have you ever taken the dosha quiz? Do you know how to balance your body type for optimal health? Take a quiz online or book an appointment with your local Ayurvedic doctor.

Splashing around in the holy Ganga

As a treat for being good little devotees (they obviously don’t know how often I leave the ashram to get my chai caffein and Internet), they took us on an outing. We went to visit the Himalayan hill jungle ashram where the oldest yogi from Rishikesh lives. He’s a funny man. He kept making references to google and his famous one liner is “Close your eyes, and get high”. After the jungle ashram they took us to the beach by the holy Ganga. The sun was bright and we celebrate a fellow trainees birthday with snacks and lassis. Just what we needed before the practicums started.

Melanie and I post practicum

After a month of being off teaching, I’m back in the saddle. I taught my first practicum, a lovely Akhanda Hatha yoga class with my awesome friend Melanie. We totally kicked ass. I’ve saved the great sequence to teach my awesome students back home in early January.

Much love and shanti.