Few mornings back, I got up from sleep feeling dizzy. My eyes hurt, mouth was super dry, as if I didn’t drink water for a month and most of all, I felt I didn’t sleep for an entire week. I tried to think back, I remembered, I slept for well 7 hours, drank enough water the day before and well did the usual things. This fatigued brain and body was beyond my comprehension.
In office I couldn’t concentrate on my work. I got myself a good steak and some vegetable for lunch. Instead I exchanged lunch with my colleague and ate her fried chicken. Whenever, I eat wrong, I feel like leashing up myself. The wrong lunch choice made me more depressed. In the evening I wanted to balance the extra calorie intake, so I skipped the dinner, and took little yogurt. Went to bed early than usual and fell asleep. Suddenly felt a tremor in my body, got up in the middle of the night, feeling hungry. Though I kept sugarless chocolate bars in fridge for my midnight hunger pangs, but I completely forgot and ate, well, a handful of nuts, some cheese and few other things. This unregulated munching made my mood even worse.
This pattern went for few more days. I got up middle of the night, sometime I drank some water and went back to sleep hungry, my fatigued body wanted to munch so I ate some chips during day, felt bad skipped diner and repeat. After a while I realized, my body wasn’t functioning well, eyes were hurting like someone has shot an arrow in the eyes and entire head felt just heavy and dizzy. I wanted to go to gym but felt so weak in my knees, I felt, I couldn’t run even if I wanted to.
Usually when I feel bad and tired I hibernate for a day or two, pamper myself with a facial, little shopping and I feel better. This time my body wanted or rather needed some deep overhauling. I planned for a five star yoga retreat. A retreat that will have a daily morning yoga session, meditation twice a day, ayurvedic oil massage, acupressure therapy, walking or running, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam, healthy meal plans, sleep on time and last but not the least some beauty pampering too. A retreat like this will cost me a fortune. Hence, I alternatively planned a home yoga retreat. You wouldn’t find many people, who understand this idea. Only people who need a lot of space for themselves would understand you. Still you might sound bizarre to your friends and family. Hoever, I planned and designed my self-tailored personal home yoga retreat.
I booked my masseur and acupressure therapist for four consecutive days. Booked my saloon for two days and switched off all my gadgets. I read the yoga retreats available and what services they offer. Then I felt to begin even at home, I need to take care of certain things. There are few pre-requisite for a home yoga retreat, they are:
- Planning – Proper planning is vital. Plan exactly what you want to do, how long and how frequently. Planning here means, structure a schedule of activities. The schedule should have a time plan of when to wake up, when to meditate, when to go to bed, eat, sleep, yoga, therapies etc. Ask the service people to maintain their schedule and be on time.
- Unplug – Yes, you have to unplug if you want absolute bliss and freedom of your soul. Here unplug is essentially switching of your social networks. The phone can be on airplane mode for you to call people as and when required. Switch of your television too, or limit the time for like an hour each day to the max. The idea is to take enjoyment only from meditation, yoga, reading, therapy, resting, breathing, walking and eating.
- Prepare your requirements – List and prepare the props and materials you need. Keep handy the fund to pay your service people, the hair oil and massage oil, the detox juice grocery, books, yoga mat, yoga and meditation music, food supply, aroma oil and diffusers etc.
- Being mentally ready – You will know when you are ready. For someone like me, I will exactly know when I need to hibernate and practice mindfulness. For others, you need to listen to your body, how you breath, your mind. Focusing on your body you will know you need to detox. People around you are not supposed to understand your need; they might joke or just make rude remarks. Ignore and do what you must. Once you are ready, book your weekend, plan and unplug.
After 4 days of yoga, meditation, massage, acupressure therapy, spa treatments I think I have added up a year to my life. I feel happy, content and most of all relaxed. I just wish I did more yoga and meditation. May be as this is the first time I am doing so, I couldn’t do it more. Unplugging from the world made my eyes so happy and I felt they thanked me. My eyes were tired and overworked from looking at the computer and iPhone. This little break gave me a lot of hope.
I did have a brief acid reflux on day three, this is due to the golden milk I drank night before for my cold and skipping my food after my gym session. As I had to get into my spa, I skipped my food. Bad idea. Also on day two at night I got a bad headache, I skipped the medicine (the long game influencing kids view of substances) and slept instead. But the headache was still there in the morning. This was sinus attack due to staying in wet hair for long. Apart from these two incidents my health was more or less great.
One thing you really need to focus on, your goal for doing this retreat. Focus what you would like to change, improve or discontinue after you complete this blissful retreat. Mine was to calming my eyes, nerves and senses, being more mindful in action and being able to breathe to my heart’s content. All my activities, evolved around these goals. So for me the schedule was like:
7:00 – wake up, brush teeth, face, yoga and meditate.
8:00 – break fast and relax with a book.
10:00 – start gym, walk, do weight as usual and after an hour sit in Jacuzzi for 20 minutes and wash then steam for 10 minutes. Shower and head back home. On day 2 and 3 I went to the adjacent saloon for a facial spa, pedicure and hair oil treatment.
1:00 – Lunch
2:00 – Acupressure therapist
3:00 – Massage (on day 1, I used gram flour mixed with lentil powder and turmeric with rice flour and made my own body glow mask)
5:00 – little movie session, little googling on topics that came to my mind during this retreat, reading the book of ayurveda and listen to casual music and favourite songs.
7:00 – dinner
8:00 – meditation, yoga, practicing no talking session and sleep by 9:30.
I wish I did all that in my village home amongst the green and hear birds chirping. But the heavy city rain and thunders made the retreat more dramatic I must say. I stayed home all day, apart from the time I spent in the gym and spa. I refrained from talking much. I wish I could just practice more quietness. May be next time. If anyone of you, want some calm in your system, please go ahead with a meditation retreat, home or away. Our body needs a overhauling, every once in a while. Give space to your mind and body.
Many of you will think I am lucky to have such support system for which I could do what I wanted; some will envy my peace of mind. Some will talk behind my back and create conspiracy theories. Many will say, you don’t have the time or luxury to so all these. Well, opportunities come to everyone, you need to know when and how to grab it and above all, everything depends on your priorities. My priority is to have peace of mind.
Photo curtesy: Iffat Nawaz