We’re headed into our last day in India. We’ll have the entire day tomorrow, and then leave in the wee hours of the morning for the airport—travelling back in time to the U.S. (at some time during flight, it will become a day earlier)!
I must admit as we end our retreat, I’m feeling calm and relaxed. I’m sleeping well. Other than one brief start of a migraine a few days ago—no headaches. And my complexion looks very nice. I had my final consult with my Ayurvedic doctor this afternoon. She agreed I was pretty darn healthy (I saw a bit of her humor for the first time today—she’s not as stern as I originally thought). I leave with just one medicinal herb that is supposed to help with hormone balance (a non-ending struggle over the last four years or so). I actually lost a kilo (I think that’s about two pounds). I wasn’t attempting to diet or anything. In fact, I only had her re-check my weight because I’ve been enjoying the food so much here.
I have gone ten days without alcohol or television—and both were hardly missed (doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy both in moderation when I return, but it’s nice to know they weren’t needed). I’ve learned a lot about Ayurvedic philosophies on body types and how to balance your own body type (Dosha). In doing that, I’ve learned that I could probably stand to slow down a bit—add a little yoga into my life—focus a bit more on what my body tells me it wants and needs.
I’ve spent 11 days straight with my mother—first on an airplane and then in a small cabin—and we’ve gotten along really well. We typically do get along fairly well, but I’ll admit there was some apprehension about sharing a small cabin for that amount of time. I am simply a person who likes a fair amount of space and alone time.
I’ve spotted two resort cats. I find cats everywhere I go—ask my husband. Sadly, they were not tame kitties, so I did not get my kitty fix while I was here. I did enjoy watching these tiny squirrels that are all around here scamper around the restaurant (open air restaurant) trying to find treasures to eat.
The people in our group (I believe 22 people in all) have been wonderful to meet—each adding a unique prospective to this experience.
We’ve been immersed in a culture totally unlike our own, and it’s been an amazing awakening. I love to see and learn about other cultures. It makes me on one hand, appreciate my own a bit more, but on the other hand, yearn for something a bit different (which is one reason Mark and I are exploring retiring to another country at some point). It can also be a little unnerving. You are a foreigner who does not know the language, who is unfamiliar with the religion, dress and culture. So if you’re a control freak (I do have some control freak tendencies) it puts you a bit out of your comfort zone. In fact, I deduced that that’s what made me so uncomfortable with the treatments here—the lack of control I felt.
The part of the country we are staying in is primarily Hindu and Christian. We actually took a class on Hinduism and visited a Hindu temple during a holy ceremony. I am someone who has struggled with religious beliefs pretty much my entire life—and typically shy away from anything to do with religion. But here, religion seemed a much more beautiful thing. In the U.S. I associate religion with people telling you what the bible says is wrong (i.e. homosexuality, abortion etc.). Here religion seems to more about being loving, nurturing, accepting and thankful for everything the Earth has given you. It’s just a part of people here. It’s peaceful (well, until they get in a car—then it’s just insanity).
So would I come back and do this again? (My Mom asked me this the other day). I’m so glad I did it, but probably not. There are just too many other countries I want to explore and experience. And parts are sad—it’s over-crowded and so much poverty. I do not enjoy bartering and pressure. And every shop you walk into here there is bartering and pressure. We visited one department store—no bartering there—but staff everywhere. When you started browsing through the clothing, they would stand right next to you picking things out and handing them to you. You literally could not just be by yourself and browse. That’s just too much for me.
If I were having some chronic health problems I would definitely consider it. I do have strong belief in the way they heal here—using what nature gives us to create medicines/cures as opposed to the chemicals pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. try to put in us. I truly believe I am much less toxic than I was when I arrived (although compared to many, I lead a fairly toxin-free life in the U.S. I will continue to keep as many harmful things out of my body as possible).
And while I think yoga is a valuable practice—and can certainly be incorporated into my lifestyle—I still crave adventure and adrenaline. Yogis believe too much stimulation and excitement is harmful to our Doshas—that it causes imbalance. I believe it is part of what makes life worth living. That’s one I’m not willing to budge on. How can something that makes me feel so alive be harmful?
(I guess the fitness instructor in me has trouble believing that high intensity intervals can be bad for you, when they’ve done such good things for me!)
I miss my husband (this is the longest we’ve been apart since we met), and my furry kids, but I am not looking forward to the 20+ hour journey home. I dread it. But it will be nice to land in Columbus and see Mark.
I will work on posting all my photos on The Fit Life, LLC facebook page. It may take me awhile to caption everything. For now, I am signing off and preparing for departure.