On my travels, I decided to give Panchakarma a go.
Increasing fitness and weightloss are two of the physical benefits that Panchakarma can bring. It doesn’t stop there; panchakarma can also provide us with mental clarity and peace of mind.
For me, it was a positive experience and one I am glad I did, and would do again. Maybe you’re wondering:
– What is Panchakarma? –
Panchakarma (Pancha = 5, karma = treatment, in Sanskrit) is basically a 5 day detoxification process in which you purify and rejuvenate the body, mind and soul. This is achieved through:
- Drinking ghee (indian butter)
- Drinking herbal, mint and ginger tea
- Eating ayurvedic food suited to your body type
- Cleansing the digestive system.
All of this is complemented with daily full body massages, using sesame seed oil, as well as a program of yoga and meditation every morning. On the 3rd day, a steam bath is used.
This is what I did at a Veda Yoga Temple for 5 days, along with Yoga and Meditation in Patnem, Goa, with a Brahmin called Ajay.
– Purpose of the Detox Ingredients? –
The purpose of ghee and sesame seed oil is to lubricate the body so fat-soluble toxins can be removed through steam bath and digestive tract cleanse. Fat soluble toxins are found in fat cells, they need a fat source such as ghee or sesame seed oil to dissolve into, so that they can be removed. Water-soluble toxins can be removed by drinking water, where as fat soluble toxins differ.
On the 4th day you take ayurvedic medicine which clears the digestive tract of toxins which are easily removed through drinking ghee.
The 5th day is a gentle introduction back to food with porridge and banana for breakfast and other ayurvedic food.
Something to consider: Panchakarma can affect people differently, depending on your mental and physical state when you start the process. It is quite intense, both mentally and physically. However, as challenging as it can be, most feel the benefits after the 5 days.
If it’s something you’re interested in, I would recommend having a consultation before to make sure it will suit you.
If you’re on holiday and not in the right frame of mind, it can be a challenging 5 days.
Ghee is used in ayurvedic medicine and indian cooking. It is made by boiling off unsalted butter, only leaving the oil behind. It is good at removing fat soluble toxins from the digestive tract as it causes them to dissolve in the ghee, these toxins are usually more difficult to remove from the body, where as water soluble toxins just pass out in urine.
Ghee also promotes natural weight loss as it activates fat metabolism. Eating a no fat diet during the cleanse, promotes fat to be metabolised by the body.
You have treatments and eat at the temple on mornings and evenings, then get given a packed lunch to take away so you have free hours during the day.
The aim is to feel restored, rejuvenated and balance mind, body and consciousness, I definitely feel all of this! Others who completed it felt the same. It is intense, but worth it. It was a weird experience at times (especially clearing out digestive tract of toxins on day four!), but it definitely had the desired effect.
– 5 Benefits of Panchakarma –
1. Challenge Yourself both mentally and physically
It is a challenge to cut out sugar, caffeine and alcohol; all the stuff our body is used to having. It is also a challenge regulating when you eat and what you eat.
It is demanding on the mind and body, but rewarding also. Your body will thank you for it after and you will be surprised at how well you cope.
2. Yoga & Meditation Focus
Focusing on Yoga and Meditation early morning will help relieve stress and bring balance to your life.
It is a discipline your body will thank you for later. No-one has ever said ‘I regret going to Yoga today!’
3. Cleanse your body
This 5 day detox will help to cleanse your body of toxins, give your digestive system a break, as well as reducing stress and promoting relaxation.
4. Improve mental clarity
Meditation, as well as a pure diet that is free of processed foods and the relaxation that is required when detoxing, will definitely have a positive effect on mental clarity.
5. Lose weight
It is possible to lose up to 4kg with this detox. I lost 2kg when doing this. I didn’t do it to lose weight, but it’s a nice added bonus.
There are many other benefits, if you are interested, why not give it a try! In the beautiful setting of Patnem Beach, with its famous sunsets and chilled out vibes, its definitely worth checking out.
Ajay, who runs the veda temple (Gurukul) can be found on Patnem. His page is on facebook, if you search Gurukul, Patnem, you will find it. A brief search on google will bring up a host of places that also offer the same thing.
Done it before? Thinking of doing it? I’d love to hear from you!