Day 137 – eating too much

I have been looking all over India for an Ayurvedic massage and finally found a place that I actually wanted to set foot in. I am getting classical abhyanga– the oil massage. I lie down on my back and she begins with my legs, focusing on pressure points around the body. When she gets to my head, she presses hard into my skull and seems to be trying to squeeze my brain out of my eyeballs. This actually feels really good! She rolls me over and begins at the legs then moves up to my back.

By now, I am completely relaxed and by the time I come out of the massage I realise my head was completely empty of thought for that last part of the massage. I wonder back out into the dusty Jaipur street feeling balanced, relaxed and a little hungry so I wonder over to a Veg restaurant for my favourite dish, Paneer Butter Masala. I order a green salad which is just sliced onion, cucumber and tomato. I can’t wait for leafy greens when I get back to Sydney! The problem with Indian food is that it is never just a snack. It is always ridiculously filling, regardless of how small the plate is. They always seem offended when I refuse the third chapatti and the rice, but I still have to walk back to the guesthouse so I don’t want to be too full. Later in the afternoon I eat again when Rupali orders a delicious curry of chickpeas and vegetables. We eat it with garlic naan and some kind of deep fried roti. Every mouthful I keep saying, “Ok, this is my last bite.” Why do I do this to myself? I am so full I feel sick. I lie down on my left side with my arm tucked beneath me to activate my right nostril and kickstart digestion but it doesn’t work. The rest of the day I spend rolling around in agony as my poor belly tries to digest all the food I have put in it.

I always get like this during my last few days in a place. I think, soon I won’t be able to eat this so I better get in as much as I can now! This is terribly short sighted and really, eating more food won’t prolong the enjoyment. The great yogi’s and Rishi’s survived on less than one meal a day. In fact, most had little more than a glass of milk each day. Despite their enormous bellies, they gave up their attachment to food a long time ago. Apparently what I am lacking is nurturing and I am searching for this in food so I am overeating. It’s probably true. Well, soon I will be home and mum can pat me on the head and make me her vegetable soup. For now, I just need to be stop eating so much! Tomorrow I am fasting, I promise myself.

Day 66- fasting, meditation app and detox tea

I wake up to the sound of cats. I am surprised it is morning, since I fell asleep at 4pm yesterday. I think I can hear a cat screeching, but it sounds strange, almost like a child. Then I hear Pat barking and I hope he doesn’t get it. I slept all the way through dinner last night but I am surprised to find that I am not hungry. There is always a part of any detox that encourages a fast, for digestive and spiritual reasons. Many religions practice regular fasting as it is believed to bring greater mental clarity and help one feel closer to the divine presence. I am happy that most of it happened while I was sleeping anyway since I have never actually gone a whole day without food because I find it so difficult. Watching Top Gear, Mark Hammond said something about “a heart of stone and a soul made of custard…” and all I could think was how much I wanted my soul to be made of custard. When I get up, I find Sooly awake. He says that dinner was loaded with MSG so I am glad I missed out on that. He asks if I heard the commotion- apparently the cat I heard was actually a Palm Civet, known for its expensive pre-digested Luwak coffee. Sooly managed to get Pat away from it while it escaped, but unfortunately it didn’t leave any droppings behind. If there is one thing I miss about Sydney it is a good soy mocha!

I start the day with Oil Pulling and then brush my teeth. Once again I am tricking my iPhone into thinking that I care about it by using it for meditation. I have downloaded a free meditation app called Silva Meditations. The morning meditation is only thirteen minutes, but I am not worried about the time anymore, especially since watching this video by Swami Rama. As long as I sit down and close my eyes for some time, I know it makes a difference. The guided meditation is quite motivational and sounds like it would be really good for someone going to work with a lot on their plate, as it encourages visualisation of the accomplishment of goals. After the meditation, I move straight into asana. I am still sore, so I go easy on myself and build energy slowly. I can’t seem to get my mind to be still. I am thinking about India, wondering about transport methods, ashrams, money, do I have enough long sleeved tops and pants? Finally I just shut off the music and lay down in Savasana. Could it be that the meditation on ‘getting things done’ has made me believe that I actually have a lot to do? I don’t know, but I feel like I am itching to get started on some study, which is always a good thing.

I add a little coconut oil to my smoothie, since it provides good fat and has so many health benefits¬†including improved digestion, which is great during a detox. Although it is a saturated fat, the type of triglyceride makes it healthy for the heart and has been shown to help with weight loss. After breakfast I sit down for some peanuts and a nice detox tea. I have two types of detox tea. One that I have in the morning is from Mighty Leaf, the Detox Tea Infusion, which has peppermint, burdock root, dandelion root, spearmint, liquorice root, red clover flowers and basil. It tastes quite minty which makes it a refreshing morning tea. The¬†other tea is Clipper Organic Detox Infusion, which is bright fuchsia when you steep it and is it made of hibiscus, nettle, liquorice root and aloe vera extract. It tastes delicious and makes for a good 3pm tea. Both teas are very delicious and gentle (don’t worry, the liquorice root doesn’t have you running to the bathroom!) Although I might miss coffee, tea has a soothing and comforting nature. Many have philosophised and meditated over the culture of tea and it is easy to see why. In Australia, there is a lot of importance placed on a good ‘cuppa’ and there are some days when it is the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. There is a special kind of serenity that comes from wrapping both hands around a hot cuppa, closing your eyes and gently breathing in its delicate aroma. The ritual of tea can provide a stillness, a pause in the day, and even though my mind was swimming after the morning meditation, these gentle herbs bring me right back to my centre.