So, here I was at the insistence of my grandmother at the Patanjali Yog Gram in Haridwar due to my ailment. Well, it was obesity. I am 97 kg which is almost 20 kg overweight according to my height. The registration process is fairly simple and one can do it all online. Even the payment can be done online and the forms are simple and easy to follow. But the real magic of Baba Ramdev’s Patanjali Yog Gram really begins when you arrive at the centre which is situated in a dusty farmland on the outskirts of Haridwar.
It is a vast campus with gardens and flowers. The rooms are basic but clean and well maintained. I parked myself in the maharishi room. Our bags were checked to see that we have not got any cigarettes or gutka into the ashram. The evening passed with a meeting with the doctor and a quick briefing for everyone new to the ashram. Each was given a health card which carried details of our diet and treatments during our stay. The ashram consisted of a huge yoga hall at the centre with a bhojnalaya (dining room), a store to buy all the Patanjali yoga products and treatment centres behind the residential complex which houses all the patients.
Man, life is tough here especially for a smoker and someone with no specific routine like me. I had to get up at 4:30 in the morning for a morning enigma and cleaning of the bowels. Here, one is made to drink lots of water to cleanse the bowels so that the morning ritual is done. Yoga and Pranayama start in the morning and go on till 8:00 am. Breakfast is juice with almonds, dates and fruits. I, per say, have been on a diet of fruits and juice throughout the day. I have not eaten rice, dal, vegetables or roti even once.
Morning treatments consist of various massages, steam baths and other therapeutic razzmatazz like peet lappet where a cloth is tied to your calf muscles and stomach. Following these is the neem lapse where the concoction of neem is put on body parts that suffer from allergies. Evening treatment comprises of much the same with a thanda garam treatment and gargling with steam. All the treatments are very stimulating and ensure that the body is rejuvenated and get the blood circulation going.
The yoga hall is active all day with various yoga teachers performing their exercises and rituals. There are laughter therapy, meditation and even bhajans and artis to top it all. The spirituality adds a lot to the place’s halo and has a psychological impact on the patients.
Guess what? They have given me permission to shoot a documentary on the ashram which I will do as the course moves along.