Would you like to do Panchakarma from the comfort of your own home? Panchakarma at a retreat center is less accessible and more expensive. As we want everyone to have the opportunity to benefit from the powerful detox and deep rejuvenation that Panchakarma can provide, we created this guide for you on how to do Panchakarma at home.
In addition to saving time and money, many people also experience that they are able to carry the peace and stillness gained from Panchakarma into their daily life more easily when they do it at home rather than at a clinic, as it is easy to think, “Oh well of course I was calm and content there, but I can’t be that peaceful at home.”
We recommend following one of our Ayurvedic cleanses along with the guidelines below on how to turn your home into a peaceful retreat.
Step 1: Choose Your Cleanse
An important ingredient for a successful Panchakarma is to follow a cleansing diet and herbal protocol to decongest the lymph, heal the intestinal mucosa, reset fat metabolism and boost digestion.
You can turn any of our at-home cleanses into a Panchakarma retreat by following these guidelines for all or part of your detox. You can do this for ½ a day, one day – or the whole retreat.
You can also receive a massage locally during your detox. Any type of bodywork will be supportive, but you may get the most supportive results from a lymphatic massage or shirodhara.
Learn more about our at-home Ayurvedic cleanses, which range from 4 – 14 days, and one of them is even free: https://lifespa.com/cleansing/.
Step 2: Schedule an Ayurvedic Consult to Customize your Cleanse and PK Retreat
Step 3: Schedule a Skype or Phone Consult with Dr. John for support with Ayurvedic Psychology and Self-Inquiry
How to Maximize Your PK Retreat
Your Panchakarma journey is an incredible and rare opportunity to dive deep into yourself, to quiet your mind, and disarm your nervous system. This will facilitate a deeper detox of toxins, molecules of emotion and old patterns of behavior. To gain the most benefit from your Panchakarma, the key is to enjoy being quiet and inward. We recommend:
You are in a Land Far, Far, Away
Inform those you talk to regularly that you will not be accessible during your retreat. You can leave emergency contact info for anyone who may need to reach you. Though you are at home, pretend like you are taking a trip to the Amazon, or somewhere else as removed from phones and the internet.
Unplug the TV and Computer
Keep your mind and senses calm and clear by staying as far away as possible from anything with a screen, such as your TV, phone and computer (no internet, smartphone or email!). Set up an auto-reply message on your email. Hide your computer or TV, or at least drape a cloth over them or place a friendly reminder sign.
Turn off the Phone
Ideally, turn off your phone during your entire retreat. It is incredibly freeing and spacious to take a break from texts, talking on the phone, and looking at the screens on our phone. Our retreaters like to change their outgoing message to say that they will not be answering the phone during that time. If that is not possible, let anyone know that you will look at your phone at only a specific time each day, or every other day – such as at 3pm.
Books Stay Closed
This is your time to dive into your own story. We suggest that you keep any books, novels, projects or magazines closed. We rarely, if ever, have the opportunity to just stop and read the writing on the walls of our own mind. Be inspired by your own story – it’s a must read!
Be In Silence
Let anyone you live with know that you will be talking less than usual and perhaps just writing notes. If you have a young child, simply be present and mindful when talking. This is an amazing opportunity to bring your attention inward and to quiet your mind. Family members have reported that they enjoy the silence as well. Keep in mind that sometimes it is more ‘noisy’ to stay in silence than it is to just talk simply to a neighbor that knocks on your door or when out running errands. The goal is ‘inner silence’ more than ‘verbal silence’.
To get the most out of your retreat, we encourage 3 – 5 hours per day of yoga, meditation, breathing and self-inquiry.
Avoid Leaving the House (Except for Nature Walks)
Before you start your retreat, plan ahead to make sure you have everything you need so you can minimize driving and errands as much as possible. Being in a car or navigating public transportation – or even walking down a busy street – can activate the nervous system. This will support the cumulative benefit of reducing all outward stimulation and being still.
Enjoy Peaceful Walks Outside
Though we suggest you reduce errands and other activities outside the home, it can be nourishing to take quiet strolls in nature or through your neighborhood. Enjoy this opportunity to walk mindfully and breathe through your nose. Become aware of your feet on the earth, the movement of your arms, the light on the leaves, the sensation of the cool or warm air, the sky. Thich Nhat Hanh, a joyous monk, invites us to massage the earth with our feet.
Hide any Projects or Temptations
Hide any projects such as hobbies, taxes, closets to be cleaned, etc. You can put up a reminder note to yourself that says “Enjoy Panchakarma, Stay Away!” During resistance to this inner process, some of us can get tempted to distract ourselves rather than face our emotions or do the yoga or meditation.
Clean the House and Organize Beforehand
Buy everything you need, do the laundry, make a vat of kitchari to last a day or two, etc.
Send someone else out to run the errand, cook the meal, drop the kids off at school, or do the laundry. Some of our patients have done trades with friends or family, such as asking for help during their retreat week in exchange for helping them with something later.
Lights Dim after Sunset
To cultivate your inner stillness, keep the lights dim after sunset. This will naturally support a quiet, restful mind. You can light candles, the fireplace, or simply keep the lights low before bedtime. Keeping the lights dim after sunset keeps you in rhythm with nature’s cycles, reduces stimulation and encourages quiet activities.
If you need to be in activity, be mindful and present. Do one thing at a time.