Did Somebody Say Poop?
by Joanna D.
Everybody poops. At least most do. There are books and websites devoted to the elimination of bodily waste. That’s what poop is. It’s the part of everything you take in that the body can’t use. In my case, it’s been a troublesome area.
Coming to India I was super scared I was going to get food poisoning and not be able to stop pooping. Turns out, that didn’t happen.
After four weeks of being here I hadn’t gone to the loo more than four times. And they weren’t happy times. Blocked up like you would not believe. So, in desperation I came to the Dixit Health Clinic – a home for ayurveda panchakarma specialties. This place is the real deal. The staff was sweet, understanding, caring and supportive – all in their own way. That helped a lot because it was crazy intense.
Here are some of the daily details as pulled from my journal… enjoy.
First day panchakarma cleanse. Not really what I was hoping would happen here at Dr. Kumars. It was not my intention to do this cleanse. Drinking ghee. So gross. Plus… an enema. Yep. That’s right. Tube up the anus and some solution of tea and herbs and ghee sent into my intestines. Talk about an interesting sensation. It was given to me. Not so much a gift. Two Indian women walk into the waiting room and say, “please come” holding up a bucket and tube. Not subtle. Then go into the room, they tell me to take off my pants; I’m half naked with the two of them about to do this to me. So embarrassing. Seriously. Aren’t I supposed to be here all blissed out or something? I mean – I’m in India, practicing yoga for fucks sake! Later… have milk and ghee in my hair and the smell is horrid.
Day two at the ayurvedic clinic. Second enema; more movement but still feel the block. More ghee. The only cool part of taking ghee is they sit you down in front of the Puja and sing a little prayer before you take it. In fact they sing a little prayer before every treatment. Makes it kind of sweet. But got to drink that stuff fast and not think about it. Lots of hot water to follow it up. Next… Shirodhara, the treatment where warm ghee and milk are poured over the third eye, relaxes the mind. It’s true. The smell wasn’t as bad this time.
Day three. The woman doctor asks me, “did you move your bowels today?” Again I’m in the waiting room and it’s totally full. I could swear the Indian woman next to me stifled some laughter. I responded honestly with a NO. Third enema. Can’t believe I’m so backed up I would need three enemas. I better poop by tomorrow; otherwise I’m going to lie. More ghee – larger quantity… gross. I think I stopped breathing during Shirodhara today. Now that’s relaxed.
Day four. The last day for ghee. I was given 120ml. Gagged halfway through it. The ladies were right there with me. Rubbing my back, giving lots of support. Thought I was going to break down and cry. That came later. No enema. It was only half a lie.
Day five. No ghee! Instead I was brought this lovely tea made of Cumin and Jaggary. It was light; a little sweet and somewhat of a dream come true. Then, my first Ayurvedic massage. Sarvanga Abhyanga. This is how it works. I’m told to strip down, again in front of two lovely women, put on a pseudo loincloth and lay down on a wooden table. No padding, no modesty. Get covered in hot oil – everywhere except the vajayjay. After more oil getting rubbed, or slightly beaten, into my scalp they start in on my body. It’s not particularly soothing. They synchronize their movements, sliding their hands along my torso and limbs and kind of beat the oil into my skin. Including my chest. Which, luckily I was warned about. Relaxing? Not exactly, but in the end it’s pretty awesome. Then it’s into the hot box. A steam bath called Bashpa Sweda. The set up looks a little like something from medieval times, but mostly enjoyable. Now a bath and time to relax before lunch prepared by a lovely woman who makes the best chapatis in Mysore. Shirodhara and a rickshaw home.
Day six. Another enema. For cryin’ in the night.
Day Seven… totally cried when she told me we were to do another one. Enema number five. Today was a downer. Strait up. Even after the massage, steam box, awesome chapatis and shirodhara. Just wanted to curl up and quit.
Day eight and nine. Purge day. It wasn’t so bad taking the herbs that were meant to induce a day of sitting on the pot. A bit thick, but not bad. The difficult part? Not knowing how it would actually affect me. Spent the day sucking on raisins to help the nausea and enjoying the view from the bathroom. Watched a few movies in my off time… day nine – It ended up lasting through to the next morning. Missed practice; so dizzy. Possibly a few days of recovery left – getting back on solid food and such. Feel lighter so far but quite fatigued.
Over all, this whole thing was a drain. It was uncomfortable, I didn’t really want to do it, and I missed out on a few things I really did want to do. It wasn’t hard being on a restricted diet. I already was. Missed coffee and morning coconuts though and definitely didn’t like missing practice. Today, Sharath asked, “why not coming yesterday?” and when I told him I was sick he asked for my doctor’s note and gave me that sort of side grin. Kind of like I’m watchin’ you. I was thinking, you’ll see my doctor’s note when I pass the hell out! As my plans changed and seclusion enveloped my body, mind and space, I found a little patience and some quiet. And that was beautiful. Had time to think about what I need to put into my body to promote good digestion. Plus, clearing out the goods was a positive priority… and they appear to be quite clear. Tomorrow, it’s coconuts and coffee. Delight…