BEAT THE RETREAT PART 2

BEAT THE RETREAT PART 2

Part two.

Day 2. The alarm rang at 5.30.  Time for daily meditation, after two hours’ sleep. Walking up the hill in the pitch black to the yoga space, I was grateful for the torch in my cell phone. The swami’s voice was low and melodious as he guided us through the 45-minute meditation accompanied by bird song. When I opened my eyes, dawn had broken over the jungle. Delicious fresh fruit for breakfast.

Over the years, I’ve never been a fan of communal meals, and my recent experience hasn’t changed my view. During my first week, I found some of the guests quite strange, bizarre and some downright rude. If I sat next to someone and had a conversation, it didn’t mean they would want to converse with me again. A couple of times when I sat at a table, nobody spoke to me and despite attempting to chat, I was ignored. 

However, there’s always an upside. You might notice I’ve become more positive!  I wouldn’t have met this great cast of characters, if I hadn’t come to Swan. A thought came into my head. Why don’t I write a book incorporating them in a murder mystery?  Think Ten Little Indians!

On arrival at Swan, I had agreed to have an enema. I must have been very jetlagged. I’ve given plenty of them, but never been on the receiving end of one!

After my massage, I asked to see it. Big mistake! The fluid in the syringe was about 500 mls, and the part which would be inserted roughly 6 inches long. For a few moments, I debated whether to bail, but I closed my eyes and tried to relax. It wasn’t a pleasant experience and I spent the rest of the day hovering near a toilet.

Day 3.

Meditation again at 6am after a few hours’ sleep. The scrabbling on the roof, seemed to turn into stamping and yes, I did have earplugs! The tapping continued most of the night. Apparently, the stamping on the roof came from squirrels, and the tapping from flies eating the wood in the hut.

 I said.

“You mean termites?”

“No, flies. They burrow into the wood. Every few years the huts must be replaced. We are in the jungle.”

I forgot to mention day 3 was cleansing day. We were instructed to assemble on the fake beach. Firstly, we would clean our nasal passages. This involved bending over, putting your head to one side, inserting a two-pronged tube up a nostril, filling one end with water and cleaning your sinuses. You had to be careful not to swallow the water.

Next on the agenda was cleansing the stomach. Our instructor informed us we had to drink 5-6 large glasses of water, until our stomachs couldn’t hold anymore which would induce vomiting. At this I balked, after Bali I simply couldn’t face any further vomiting.

Some guests went along with it with no consequences. A couple of people I spoke to were very unwell. One English guy spent the day holding onto the toilet, and the next day he was still suffering.

Another treatment awaited me. This time I was pummelled like a steak with two sticks with muslin attached to them for 30 minutes, and then had a gritty substance rubbed into me. Then I was steamed in a Turkish box for ten minutes. The sweat poured off me, I thought I’d faint when I clambered out, but a few deep breaths and a lie down revived me.

After dinner – Yoga Nidra – which has helped change my thinking from negative to positive. More in my next post.

 

Best wishes

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