November 29, Ghee Day 4

Dr. Suhas decided that my body wasn’t ready for detox yet since it’s not showing any effects of the ghee.  That meant I had to take more ghee this morning, which makes 4 days in a row.  I know yesterday I wondered whether I could continue this course for days to come and well, I’m getting a chance to find out.  I don’t think anyone currently at the Yoga Villa has had more than 3 days of ghee so everyone is a bit surprised that I am still on this medicated clarified butter treatment.  This morning it was Bijina, my favorite therapist who administered the ghee for me.  Her singing voice is confident and assured, and I loved seeing her sweet smile so early in the morning.  I was able to catch up with her on Sunday when she gave me my oil massage and steam.  I didn’t know that when she worked on me last January I was her first patient.  She remembered my treatments from almost 2 years ago; she said “oil massage and Shirodhara.”  She’s was just a newby then!  That make sense… when I think back, she was more timid of the two and she always sang a bit softer than Sumathi.  Sumathi who got married since last I saw her, gave birth to a baby boy two days ago on November 27 in the town nearby.  Bijina is now paired with a woman named Nimisha who was the other therapist for me on Sunday.  I wonder if they couple new therapists with older ones…

Back to my ghee.  Oh my cup of ghee was full this morning (~5oz/150ml?).  To avoid a repeat performance from yesterday I took smaller sips and went about it more slowly.  It was definitely a lot of ghee.  But I figured if I stopped halfway it would make things more difficult, so I took a big breath and went in.  Mini gulp, mini gulp, mini gulp, mini gulp, mini gulp…  I didn’t take another breath because I didn’t want to smell the liquified butter.  I counted 8 mini gulps before I could see the bottom of the cup.  Bijina quickly gave me some sultanas and looked at me as if to say she understood my pain.  She asked, “last day for ghee?”  I smiled sheepishly and said “I don’t know.  I hope.”  But what can I say?  My skin is as dry as ever and I don’t smell of ghee.  My hard and tough New York constitution doesn’t want to process the ghee or let it flow and penetrate my system.  I’ve heard that some people only need one day of ghee before their skin becomes oily and glow with the essence of ghee.  I draw a line with my fingernail down my leg every now and then to see if there is any sign of ghee-ness but alas, all I see is a flaky white line staring back at me.

I want my body to move along and there are moments when I feel a bit frustrated that I can’t get started with this detox process.  But as my neighbor R said to me, the better I am prepared with the ghee in the beginning more effective the overall program will be.  I decided that I would fast today to see if that helps.  I’ve barely had even a sip of water since those raisins and ghee this morning at 7AM.  But luckily I don’t feel hungry so that’s that.  In hindsight I think I should have fasted yesterday but that’s also just that.

I know that I’m not supposed to do anything while taking ghee but I really had to move around a bit after 3 whole days of inactivity.  So this morning I slowly and quietly did my morning yoga practice, meditated, and went for a walk.  I then sat by the river for an hour listening to the water and watching the local ladies do laundry.  There were three brown cows and one black calf grazing on the other side while a half dozen Indian women busied themselves with brightly colored cloths on this side.  They would first dip the piece of cloth in the water a few times; I pictured my body getting soaked in ghee.  Then using a bar of soap they vigorously scrub the cloth over a flat river rock.  They then rinse the soapy cloth in the water, fold it over a couple of times, and hit the rock with it.  Hard.  Thwack, thwack, thwack.  They literally beat the stains right of out these cloths.  Sometimes they repeat the whole washing process with the scrubbing, rinsing, and hitting, like the five step detox program I will be having here.  Other times it’s just another rinse in the water, tight wringing of the cloth, and they’re done.  The cloth is spread over some tree branches or over the green weeds to dry under the strong Indian sun- hopefully there is enough time left after my cleansing process for a period of rejuvenation.  Oh, and I thought about whether they apply the same washing technique for their clothes with buttons and zippers…

That’s all for now.

Today I am grateful for the multitudes of butterflies, the beautiful light blue sky, all the birds that chirp to wake me in the morning, and something that coos in the trees all day long.  I am grateful that I can sit here in the warm sun and have this time of reflection.  I may have been a bit melancholy yesterday but I am beginning to find more clarity this day.

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