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Tall Tales of an Adventuring Prima Donna "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So...Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." -- Mark Twain

An Oil Spill

INDIA | Monday, 26 May 2008 | Views [1520] | Comments [5]


The question is:  Did I really know what this means?

Sure, it is discussed highly at my yoga studio in New York as being extremely detoxifying for the body, mind, and spirit; the definition being the "science (veda) of life (ayu)." 

Beautiful.  Sign me up!

But what did I sign up for!???  A three day ayurvedic treatment I thought would be comparable to a weekend at the spa.  Relaxing and pampering...pure heaven. 

Well, what I experienced last night was no spa.  It felt more like a hospital, and I have felt more modest at my Gynecologist's office because at least I know what's coming! 

Also, I should note that this particular Ayurvedic Center -- Santhigiri -- was highly recommended and is mentioned with accolades in my traveller's Bible, the Lonely Planet.  In India, it is recommended that you work with a nurse of your same gender...so female to female, it was.

When I met my ayurvedic nurse, I had no idea of what to expect from the experience.  She did not speak any English and could not answer my questions as to what we were doing for the next two hours.

I was instructed to disrobe in front of her, removing everything until I was completely nude.  She then tied a thin loin cloth to me and smiled at my amazement that I seemed to be wearing a diaper of sorts. 

Note to self:  I do not enjoy wearing a loincloth and feel rather silly, as if I am living in Biblical times or some kind of tribe.

Next, I was guided to mount the wooden table used in all treatments.  Stepping onto a stool, I climbed the table until I lay flat on my back.  

In an effort to keep this journal entry short and saving me more humiliation, I will be brief! 

She doused me with what seemed to be bucket-loads of herbal oil and clumsily slapped it over my entire body in what I think was supposed to be a rythmic motion.  Any and every area of my body that was exposed was attacked with the clumsy hands and oil, until I found myself slipping and sliding across the wooden table.  She had to hold onto my arm when I turned over so that I wouldn't slide right off! 

Now, before you go on thinking this is kind of sexy, I should tell you the the feeling of dirt, grime, and bits of hair covered my oily skin.  The whole time, while trying to relax, I kept imagining how many showers it would take to clean off the oily residue.  

Soon,we were transitioning from an oily massage into an ancient method called Sirodhara, which is the strategic and rythmic motion of warm oil in an earthen pot hanging above your head, dripping its oil onto the center of your forehead for an hour.  She refill it with oil from the pots above a stove, so the oil drip never ceases...the hot oil gently gliding back and forth over your forehead like a pendulum.

This was amazing, relaxing, and put me into a deep, meditative sleep.  Wow...why don't we have this in Western medicine?  It de-stresses, cures headaches and migraines, and helps with scalp conditions. 

The rude awakening was when I was beckoned to get up and bathe with a bucket of water and a tiny bar of soap.  I was supposed to remove ALL of the oil, including my oil-drenched hair with the tiniest bar of soap you've ever seen.

The soap barely cleansed, and as I fell asleep in my treehouse last night, I slept on a towel placed strategically over my pillow to keep the oil from getting everywhere.

I have to endure two more days of this...

Tags: rejuvenation



OY! How did the other two sessions go? (I must say, I'm not so sure that I would be quite as brave as you are. I don't like the idea of being covered in SLIMY stuff!! But then again, you are the one undertaking this adventure; not me...)

  Terry and Mel May 28, 2008 6:00 AM


Definitely jealous! Not of you though :P

Kiku and I miss you!


  Dominick May 28, 2008 10:27 AM


Angie... That sounds amazing and totally gross!!
Can wait to hear about more advntures!
Love and miss you,

  Pamela Sablofsky May 28, 2008 11:43 AM


hi there angel...you are my devine messenger...coming home from the world of BG and having this opportunity to share this enlightening adventure with you offers me much graditude....remember we are all there with you to protect you and guide you each step of the way...


janet c

  janet May 29, 2008 9:59 AM


was that Kanola or peanut oil? boy, i could really make comments heer, but i will be nice. be safe

  terry c Jun 9, 2008 1:20 PM

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