The Ayurveda Experience
Our Regional Manager Sofia Lund is very focused on her health and wellbeing, taking pride in looking after herself from the inside out. This year she decided to take it one step further and actually experience an Ayurveda retreat in India (we were very jealous too!). Fully immersing herself in the culture, diet and treatments, Sofia has shared her diary with us and it makes for fascinating reading! “I decided to do something completely to honour myself and signed up to an Ayurveda retreat in India, the first ayuervedic retreat in the world (I'm all about authenticity) called Soma Manaltheeram. Here is my Ayurvedic journey.” – Sofia Lund Arrival I am greeted by a very friendly team who arrange my room for me early. After a couple of hours on the beach (which is right next to my hotel!) I meet with my Ayuervedic Doctor for a long consultation and she informs me that I am a dosha type 'Pitha Vatha'. This means I am mainly controlled by fire and thereafter by air and ether. The Programme – Daily Yoga, meditation, massage treatments and medical herbs. Purely vegetarian diet with herbal tea, three times a day. After getting settled in I am treated to a firm massage with herbs, followed by a few drops of oil in my nostrils which opens congestion from the 11 hour flights and leaves me feeling amazing! Treatment verdict – 10 out of 10 for relaxation. Wellbeing – 7 out of 10 upon arrival, feel tired from travelling but much better after the massage. Days 2-4 The next three days begin in the same relaxing way; a 90 minute yoga class and a swim in the sea. I experience more treatments, including having hot oil poured onto my head which is meant to be very soothing for stress, and enjoy three delicious vegetarian meals a day. I begin to feel relaxed and sleep soundly each night. Treatment verdict – love the oil on my head, supremely relaxing and must be doing wonders for my hair! Feel very reflective following each treatment and enjoy the time by myself. Wellbeing – 10 out of 10, I feel calm, energised and rejuvenated. My stomach feels slightly irritated as it adjusts to the vegetables and lots of rice. Days 5 – 7 My days pretty much start the same and follow a pattern; however I have started to feel slightly weak, which is most likely a symptom of detoxification. I make an effort to up my protein intake and treat myself to a lovely cashew nut dessert after dinner. I experience a new treatment, a four hand massage followed by smoke blown in my ears! It isn’t uncomfortable but does feel strange, and it is meant to reduce any bacteria in the area as a healing treatment. I am also given herbal medicine after dinner to cleanse my system. Treatment verdict – extremely relaxing, if a little odd! Wellbeing – 10 out of 10 my sinuses feel so much clearer and I feel calm and at ease. Days 8-9 I feel fantastic! I can feel the effects of fruit and vegetables, the detox and yoga sessions and my morning walks on the beach keep me feeling calm and relaxed. I have my astrology reading, which turns out to be very insightful and leaves me feeling upbeat. I am really going to miss the daily structure I have here, especially the treatments, and I sit and reflect on my time here drinking coconut water on the porch. Treatment feedback - I enjoyed my massage and experienced a herbal bath, which was lovely. Wellbeing – 10 out of 10, feeling wonderfully relaxed! Back in London Back home in London, I reflect on my amazing Ayurvedic holiday. I had a consultation with my Doctor before leaving who advised me on maintaining the results when back in my hectic lifestyle and gave me herbal medicine to take to support me. I feel like I have truly gained an insight into approaching my daily life with a balanced mind and body. I was already very health conscious, however I have taken away with me some new skills:
- I should eat according to my dosha type, which means focusing on cooked food rather than raw.
- I should eat smaller portions, eat three hours before going to bed and never eat whilst walking or watching TV.
- Drink hot water not cold, as warm water assists the digestive system.
- Eat less red meat and more chicken.
- Exercise at least 3 times a week; Yoga is my exercise of choice for relaxation.
- Stop checking emails when I am not at work. I have learnt this is important for giving my mind a much needed rest.
- To have regular massages, which is fantastic for detoxifying my system.
- Try and meditate daily.