I return to the Ayurvedic clinic in 3 days time to evaluate my progress and see whether all these potions and strict diet regulation has had its desired effect: has it brought down my pitta, and brought my Vata-Kapha constitution back into balance?

Anticipating the spectrum and detail of questions that lay ahead, I think I might start monitoring these next three days closely, and see where I’m at.

As an overview, I can say that physically there still seems to be some imbalances happening.  Trips to the toilet are still rather frequent and unceremonious, and my sinuses are playing up, (Pitta and Kapha traits), but my skin is clear and soft, where it was dry and flaky (Vata), and my eyes, whilst still a bit heavy in the morning, are no longer blood-shot (Pitta).  I have more energy, sleeping better, but my body is cracking and popping a lot in practice (Vata).  So what I’m seeing are elements of each dosha flaring up at different times and now I’m starting to be able to recognise that, it really is quite wonderfully liberating.  Ayurveda translates as life knowledge, and even if I’m not completely in balance, my awareness of my body and my surroundings is becoming more sensitive and finely tuned.  Maybe that’s not down to Ayurveda in itself, and more a combination of the yoga and meditation, but I think they’re all just incredibly useful tools, that when used in collaboration, are truly empowering.

So – take my practice for instance.  90 minutes spent with such close attention to my physical body, my breath and its movement allows me to identify any differences, changes…how am I responding to the intensity, the heat?  Do I feel energised or lethargic?  Would I prefer moon or primary?  Am I feeling dense and heavy, or light?  What’s the state of my mind?  Am I  focused and have my teeth clenched, or a bit scatty with a silly smile on my face?   Am I getting angry about the poses I can’t get into, skipping them all together just to get to Savasana, or dreading Savasana with crazy monkey perched gleefully on my shoulder, waiting with strumming fingertips to dive into my brain and create a whole bunch of chaos?  Each variant of the above tells me what particular dosha is in excess, or depletion, and even though I’m at the beginning of all of this, I am starting to get an inkling, or have ideas of what I can do to help to reign it all in.

Ayurveda isn’t just about diet (although I think that is where my greatest gap in knowledge is in this particular moment), but our surroundings and environment.  Is it a stupidly hot day?  (Probably not  – it’s the UK). But just imagine it is, then a really intense, faster paced Primary series probably isn’t my best choice.  If it’s a bit cold, and I need a bit of a jump-start then primary it is.  The people around us.  How are we reacting to them?  One of the first triggers that got me to the Ayurvedic clinic in the first place was an uncharacteristic irritability and misplaced frustration.  i was aware enough at the time (largely due to the meditation) that it wasn’t about anyone else or my situation…it was about me.  My inability to cope was an imbalance somewhere….and I needed help from someone to put it right.

Putting the physical symptoms and effects to one side, in just 11 days I’m a new person emotionally and mentally.  My circumstances haven’t changed.  Employment still eludes me, with an incrementally higher degree of pressure….(checked my bank balance yesterday), weather’s still shit, and I’m as single as I was when I turned 30, but I can process it.  Deal with it.

On Sunday I was travelling back from London on the train.  A rare blast of sunlight penetrated the glass and washed my face with heat.  I could have been in Burma in that moment, riding the bus from Inle Lake to Bagan, two monks sitting across the aisle, that light inside
me beaming away.   I opened my eyes.  This was England, and I can still feel that joy.

It’s not been easy coming back.  It still isn’t.  There are elements of my trip that I miss sometimes.  Such as the undercurrents of compassion and acceptance of a Buddhist society, the hilarious jokes about opening chakras and gate-crashing tantric workshops, that can only really be appreciated by the circle of friends I grew to love in Bamboo.  But there’s always skype, and for fear of pulling you into a world that really doesn’t make sense, when I close my practice with Metta loving-kindness meditation, I can feel other people doing it too.  It’s a connection above and beyond social media, its something that you feel right there in your centre.

I guess where I’m at, 11 days into my Ayurvedic treatment, and one month back from my incredible adventure, is back to a place of acceptance.  The lessons I’d learnt, I feared I’d lost, and yet with all these challenges I’ve faced and knock-backs, I’ve come back to  “This is my body, and this is real.”  How amazing it feels to know inside, without a doubt, that despite everything, I’m on the right path and I’m still moving forwards.