Daisy’s First Panchakarma Experience
I have not heard of Oneworld Ayurveda (OWA) three weeks prior to my booking. I just knew I wanted a yoga/meditation retreat in Bali. That said, I have no clear expectations coming in, as I have not done a Panchakarma before. All I knew was that I could do yoga and meditation along with some specific healing diet and treatments in this retreat. While I have read a book on Ayurveda before, my knowledge of the subject was limited to the Doshas. Other than that I really had no idea what goes on in a Panchakarma.
Expect to eat an Ayurvedic diet, which means cooked vegetarian meals. On my first two/three days, I felt hungry most of the time. My regular diet is healthy/organic that includes fish and lean meats. My diet was defined as it was. I knew what worked for my system and so the first two/three days were a throw-off for my system. There would be an adjustment period so please expect that. Also, please don’t hesitate to ask for your specific dietary requirements. I am intolerant to yeast and gluten, OWA kitchen team honored that. Also, I requested food at 4 PM, sort of a snack because I normally get hungriest around this time of the day. The retreat would have you on schedule including wake-up time and dinnertime. Dinnertime at OWA is at 7 PM. That eating schedule would have been harsh for me without this snack.
Regarding the treatments, unless you are used to Ayurveda and Panchakarma, it would mostly be a new experience for you. The treatments are normally done by same-sex therapists, meaning if you are a female then you would have a female therapist; a male, or a male therapist. Except for foot massages or specific body part therapies, you would be barely clothed, just like in regular massages. You can expect though to be treated very well, covered in the areas where you need to keep warm. There is a solemn aspect to the treatments here. There is a brief chant at the beginning and end of each treatment. There is incense burning too in the treatment rooms. Depending on your preference, this could be a good feature or not.
There are two treatments each day you are in the retreat. What treatments you get would depend on what you and the doctor, who you would get to meet for consultations every day, discussed and agreed upon.
The doctors in this case are key. They are fantastic at what they do. Dr. Ninnu and Dr. Haritha are both Ayurvedic doctors from Kerala. You would have a thorough consultation with the doctor(s) on your first/second day in the program. Don’t hesitate to tell them everything. This is the place where everyone becomes accustomed to talking – even about poop 🙂 their poop, it just becomes common at some point during the retreat so just give it a go! You would be at a round table with people from different parts of the world discussing – your treatments.
Now about the yoga and meditation, which was the main idea of how I got into this retreat, to begin with. Their yoga teacher, Tekok, is super. His class tends to be gentle and very mindful of the fact that everyone in the center is there to detox. I did love his classes very much. I loved that he varies it every day and has some special features like Chakra clearing. Tekok has a good voice too so enjoy!
The day at OWA is structured. You can do as much or as little as you want. You can decompress and even enjoy a silent day. If you want to have a day of silence, you can tell the doctor/ the staff and everyone honors your silence. You can do digital detox too. It’s up to you but this is another feature of the retreat for me that I enjoyed so much. What do you do during silence day? Well, you can just watch the birds, write if you so please, or do absolutely nothing.
From what I have written above, I hope it gave you an idea of how well-run OWA is. During the time I was there, I met with the founder and owner who were doing his Panchakarma as well. I got the inside story of how OWA was researched years in advance before the center was built. The program is run like clockwork. The therapies were well-curated and the therapists were very good. The food is Ayurvedic and served in courses and white napkins, by the way. Along with goblets without the wine just different herbal teas each time.
Panchakarma is a deep cleanse. Upon departure please bear in mind that you would have to readjust to your regular routine. In my experience, it was very important to stay warm. I would recommend staying a couple of days more in the area of (Ubud) Bali before flying out, that way you don’t shock your body from the change in time and temperature after undergoing an intense cleanse.
Panchakarma delivers a deep cleanse. Oneworld Ayurveda does it very well and it felt gentle enough. Kudos to OWA and my warm greetings and gratitude to the amazing staff, Dr. Ninnu, Dr. Haritha, Tekok, Ulla, Claude and my batch mates, if you are reading this, my detox heroes.
By: Daisy, USA