Sunday
Jul072013

A Weekend at Ystad Saltsjöbad

Just one and a half hours away from Copenhagen you're in Swedish spa heaven. 

We were celebrating our two year wedding anniversay and as that's cotton, we spent the entire weekend in robes and slippers...

The view from our balcony in the morning

Morning yoga on the water

The room

More yoga

The pool

Ystad beach is beautiful. The small house add a Swedish charm.

Thursday
Jun272013

The Spa Koh Samui - Fasting and Pooing in Paradise

As I was lying on the colema board in a position I would usually only take at a gynecologist’s and thinking that coffee enemas might be just a little too extreme something shifted. Something made me feel light and new. Let's not make it into a spiritual occurrence or some sort of healing; it was just my body being rid of poo that had been in there for a very long time...

I'd done a few detoxes at home and felt like it was time to take it just a little step further. And that apparently means voluntarily pooing my guts out on a bounty beach Thai resort. Welcome to the Poo Farm - aka The Spa Koh Samui.

 

The pool at the beach resortHuts at The Spa Beach

 Why Fast?

Advocates of intestinal cleansing claim our high stress existences and over-processed diets have left us with clogged-up digestive systems, and that makes us disease time bombs, at increased risk from cancer, heart trouble, infertility, diabetes and premature ageing. The solution is to fast: to put nothing in one end, while simultaneously purifying yourself by squirting significant amounts of liquid up the other. Well, pass me the enema bucket and count me in.

 

Disney World for Health Freaks

The Spa is basically Disney World for 30-something health freaks. You go there to flush out toxins from your body with a combination of detox drinks (pineapple juice, psyllium husk and other powdered fibers) vegetable juices, wheatgrass shots, spirulina shakes, herbal supplements and yes -  coffee enemas that go in the other end and make your colon clean as a whistle. You can do different kinds of fasts depending on how much time you can spend. I went for the 6 day juice fast.

 

 

Lunch

Life saver

The Fast

The fast started - or rather the eating ended - with a 'cleansing salad'. My last meal for the next five days. After that it was just juice all day apart from one fruit plate (with watery fruit like watermelon and pineapple) every lunch. Lunch was heaven. The activities at The Spa made my pretty busy throughout the day so I didn't have much time to feel hungry - and it was almost always time for another delicious juice or coconut water (oh, the coconut water!). There was a yoga class every day and a Thai massage that would turn my body inside out and make everything crack. And then there was the pooing.

On the first night of the fast I was to go and watch a video and have an instructional session with Mike, one of the health workers at the venue. It was just me and an Australian girl, who I nervously chatted to before the big show not knowing what to expect. The video showed a guy set up the colema board and go through the ‘technique’ of squirting coffee solution up your bum. After the video, we went to the Aussie girl's room to set up the colema board for real. Mike rigged everything up and Aussie girl felt faint and had to sit down. And then it was time to go and collect my own bucket of coffee extract (the cappuccino) and have a go myself.

The Pooing

You get a 5 liter bucket with coffee and vinegar solution. When in the privacy of your own bathroom, you fill it with warm water and hang it above the loo. You put a long hose in the bucket, attach the colema tip on one end and insert the other end in your (ahem) behind (you've also got your very own jumbo sized tube of lube). Then you lie down on a colema board (a board between the wall and the toilet with a hole in one end above the loo). You use a bulldog clip to squeeze the hose to control the water. I had to take a few deep breaths before letting go of the hose and letting the water run in my backside, but as the water was pretty much body temperature it wasn't that uncomfortable. Turns out filling the intestines with water was the easy part. But it has to get out too. Have you ever tried laying down and trying to.. er...release? Well, it feels very wrong.

 The colema board set upMy very own colema set (and that's coffee in the bucket!)

You start with just taking in half a liter. Massage it around for a bit and then release it. If that went alright you can start taking in more and more until you feel like you really have to go - slush it around for a bit and then let go. The hose stays - to my big surprise - in the (w)hole time and the session takes almost an hour. Imagine crapping for 45 mins straight. Every day for 5 days.

You are encouraged to use a strainer to see what your poo looks like (!) so you can know if mucoid plaque (the bad stuff that gets built up over the years in your intestines) is coming out. I'm aware that this must be totally disgusting to read, but let me calm you down by saying that if you only drink green juices; that's pretty much what comes out (along with watermelon pips). One day it even smelled like wheatgrass... (Too much information?)

The tale of the place is that someone once pooped out a marble that he swallowed when he was a kid. I’m afraid I never evacuated anything very exciting (not eating meat might have something to do with that as it’s often red meat that stays in there for decades). I did feel like I outshat myself a couple of times, and let me tell you the truth - it feels pretty amazing to be rid of all that....stuff. Unfortunately I didn't experience any rubber-like stuff (which plaque is supposed to look like) like some people bragged about. As you can imagine (or actually, maybe you can't) there was a lot of talk about poo when returning the empty bucket at the detox desk and people bragging about what they found in their strainer.

 

And yes, it is extreme. But it's also liberating to rid yourself from old crap. I definitely felt something shift. I felt that I could relax in a different way. I know it sounds weird. And it is. But there you go.

 

The detox counter

The Spa

The place is beautiful. White sandy beach and palm trees. And then of course it’s Thailand where everybody is so darn cute and helpful. We stayed at The Spa Village, which is in the mountains, in a lovely hut and went down to The Spa Beach - the main venue - during the day. Our bathroom had it’s very own colema board, but if you don’t want to crap where you sleep you can rent a colema room. We were very happy staying at the Village away from the noisy main road and the people. There was a free shuttle bus running back and forth every hour.

 

The beach

Our hut at The Village

The view from our balcony

The Spa Restaurant is amazing. Well, the menu looks amazing and what Lara had looked delicious (although she mostly opted for the Pad Thai at the Thai place across the road). All of it is vegan and lots is raw. Of course I didn’t have any of it so I'll have to go back, do the fast again and then stay on to try every single thing on the menu. There's a special fasting menu with broth (ew), coconuts and herbal teas that I could order from. The coconuts got me through the day. Then there's a Breaking the Fast menu with stuff you can eat as your first meals on a completely (literally) empty stomach.

Me getting way too excited over salad

I broke the fast on the 6th day with another cleansing salad and treated myself to a raw chocolate and orange shake from the Breaking the Fast menu. It made my toes curl with pleasure. All the flavours were stronger than ever and I got so excited over every little vegetable in the salad. I didn't poo for three days, though. But they say that's normal and to tell you the truth it was quite nice to have a break from it...

I love Thai

The fast was an amazing experience. Only once I was a little grumpy, but most of the time a had lots of energy. The yoga and massage and just laying at the beach kept me busy and the drinks kept me full. The enemas weren’t horrible at all once I got used to the feeling and felt that I knew what I was doing. I left The Spa feeling light and energised and I can’t wait to go back. Or go to the resorts in Changmai and Koh Chang as well.

Go try it. Happy pooing.

The pool at The Spa Village

Tuesday
May142013

Restorative Practice

I spent last night at Sattva Yoga with three of the yoga teachers I did the restorative yoga therapeutics teacher training with last year. For three hours we taught each other and exchanged experiences with the restorative practice.

Thank you girls. I feel restored and I'm looking forward to doing it again.

Friday
May102013

Bikram’s Lawsuits: When is it time to stop separating the practice from the guru?

After being accused for sexual harassment back in March, Bikram Choudury has now been accused of rape in two new lawsuits. According to Yogadork.com and yogajournal.com two women have filed separate lawsuits earlier this week claiming they were raped by Bikram Choudhury and that Bikram’s inside circle actively recruits women for him - knowing abuse is a possibility.

'“In one of lawsuits filed this week a Jane Doe alleges sexual battery, false imprisonment, discrimination, harassment, and other counts in addition to the rape allegation. It describes a cult-like atmosphere where Bikram’s followers help him find young women to assault. “Other persons in defendant Bikram inner circle, were aware of defendant Bikram Choudhury’s pattern and practice of causing, inducing or persuading young women to enroll in teacher training classes to become yoga instructors only so he can sexually assault and/or rape them,” the lawsuit claims.'

Until proven otherwise the man is innocent – of course, but I just wonder when enough is enough?

I used to love Bikram Yoga. You can read about that here and here. But after meeting Mr. Choudhury at his talk at The Black Diamond here in Copenhagen I got enough and had to leave. As said in the blog post about the event (here) the man is more of a mafia boss than an Indian guru. I went back to my Ashtanga practice (I’d rather have a dead Guru than a crazy one) and started doing hot yoga. I wasn’t the only who had enough of Bikram’s Bentleys and his patents, but wherever I turned I heard: you have to separate the practice form the man. I agree to a large extent. Bikram Yoga is a beautiful practice. It has helped thousands of people around the globe. But it has also made Bikram a very powerful and rich man. And do we really want to support that?

If there’s any truth in the rape accusations – and without knowing ANYTHING about it - I am not going to support Bikram by going to his studios. I think it’s about time we stop separating the practice from the man and see Bikram for what he really is: a very good business man who apparently can’t keep it in his speedos.

Friday
May102013

Drishti

Have a wandering eye while practicing yoga?

Sri K. Pattabhi Jois taught drishti to thousands of practitioners. On a simple level, drishti technique uses a specific gazing direction for the eyes to control attention. The practice is connected to Pratyahara - withdrawel of the senses - the fith limp of yoga as well as Dharana - concentration - the sixth limb.

In every asana in Ashtanga you are to direct your gaze to one of nine specific points:

Credit to alliscoming.com

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