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My course in Ayurveda

Learning the ancient art of Ayurveda, with all its aspects in 6 days is next to impossible but we had a very informative introduction. I find it strange how western culture and medicine have lost so much of the natural healing modalities. Unfortunately the church has to take a big part of the blame. During the time of the inquisition an enormous amount of wisdom was lost due to ignorance and power games. Only now are we slowly catching up with what other cultures have been saying for thousands of years.

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Me and my fellow students

Our teacher, a real Bavarian lady, learned the art of Ayurveda over numerous years in India. She lives according to the principles and has her own Ayurveda practice. She taught us how to distinguish between the different constitutions of humans. Pitta people are full of fire, always on the go and good leaders. Vatha people are normally skinny and pale and always on the move but can be indecisive. Kapha humans are down to earth, maybe a bit overweight but solid and dependable. These different Doshas can also be found in food and spices and even in our life cycle.  We all start off with our Kapha face where we like security and the closeness of the mother. The teenage and young adult years are full of Pitta. We rebel and find our space in society. When wisdom settles in we go to the Vatha stage. We realise that life is too short to follow other people’s dreams and are chilled to do what we do.

We made Ayurvedic coffee and tea with cardamon and cloves and even prepared an Ayurvedic breakfast with Ghee. Pitta people should not eat to much spicy food. They already have enough fire in them. (If your boss is a total pain in the Bee-hind at the 12h00 meeting, he/she is probably Pitta. Just give them a tea and cookies before the meeting or move the meeting to after lunch and he/she will be a changed person. If they have eaten, their stomach will use the fire for more useful things than screaming.) A Kapha however can do with some fire and may put extra pepper or chili on their food for better digestion.

We learned about the Ayurvedic way of massaging. It differs from light stroking to vigorous pushing down on so called Marma Points. These are reflex points on the body. The massages are extremely relaxing to invigorating and painful. It was interesting to hear and see how the different oils do influence people. On the third day, six of the eight students showed signs of detoxing. One lady even started menstruating again after two years of menopause.

All in all it was very interesting.

During the courses I wanted to have a “home base” to come back to at night and maybe do some homework, so for every course I booked myself into a hotel. For this first course it was a family Hotel about half an hour’s walk from the academy. My course ended on the 15th and I was completely convinced that I was booked to check out on the 16th. Until about 23h00 that is! I was already in my underwear, doing some packing and watching TV when I heard a lady trying to come into my room. She could not speak German nor English and at first I did not understand what she wanted. When she left it sort of dawned on me that there might be something wrong with my booking. Luckily I still found the receipt between all my papers and had to realise that my booking was in fact only until the 15th! The next moment the management was already knocking on the door. Of course they where not interested in any explanations or apologies. Within ten minutes I had to pack and vacate the room. And so it was that at 23h20 I was stranded on the street. Ah well, part of the fun I suppose, I thought and made my way to the station to catch the literally last train out of town. At 1h30 I got to Regensburg where the station, the salvation army and everything else around there were completely closed. So into the darkness I went, on the next part of my tour. At about 3h00 I found a little bit of forest next to the river and decided to hang up my hammock for at least a couple of hours of sleep. So instead of waking up in a Munich hotel bed, I woke up to quacking ducks in Regensburg.

Oh yes, according to Ayurvedic philosophy I am a very typical Kapha who did not go through the Pitta time of my life to full potential and am now compensating for some puberty years. So wait for it, there might be some rebellious surprises coming. Maybe a big tattoo or body piercing. ha ha (?)