Panchakarma Benefits - My First Panchakarma Experience


August 18, 2016

I've had a lot on my mind since my return home from Panchakarma. I know I should have expected it but I didn't. I made a silly assumption that it wouldn't be as life-changing as it was. I was talking with my husband last night and he reminded me how often I am disappointed by outcomes because I imagined them happening differently. It reminded me of this quote from Swami Swoopananda that was shared to me by my Ayurvedic Body Treatments teacher at the Sivananda Ashram, "Expectation is predetermined disappointment." That couldn't feel more true right now. 

I know I've been talking a lot about the mind/body connection and how much I realize how often physical discomforts are a result of emotional blocks or upset. I know that and feel it within my own body/mind. The Panchakarma really illuminated that and I feel that one of the greatest outcomes from the experience is its effect of my mind. 

Shirodhara is the Ayurvedic body treatment where a stream of warm oil is poured over the forehead and it is used to help with mental blocks, past traumas, issues of the mind, samskaras or mental patterns & stories we repeat about ourselves. Many people feel profound effects from the treatment. I received Shriodhara daily on my Panchakarma cleanse and on the 2nd day I had a very profound experience. About 3/4 of the way through the treatment, my hands started clinching the side of the massage table and I felt like I was seconds seats from jumping up and running to who knows where. It felt like I was holding on to something so tight and I didn't want to let it go. I felt my body clenching with all my might like some force inside me was saying, "not yet! I'm not ready for you to let me go." And then the tears came and out they poured. I didn't know why I was crying but I allowed the tears to come, not that I had any power to stop them. As my therapist walked me down the hall my tears subsided some, but as the door closed to the steam room, tears began flooding out again. As I sat there my mind felt empty, clear. I felt no particular thought or feeling attached to the crying. I really just felt like I was releasing something or maybe even everything.