Each time I went to study Ashtanga Yoga in Mother India, I would stay for a minimum of 2 months and set up an apartment very close to Guruji’s Yoga Shala. 16 visits later, I have developed many survival skills for enduring unsanitary conditions and air pollution. Some of these daily health regimes are based on the principles of Ayurveda. Ayurveda is the traditional Hindu system of medicine, which uses diet, herbal treatment, and yogic breathing.

Survival skills

  • Drink only bottled water. Wash your teeth with bottle water.
  • Use a tongue scraper first thing in the morning – gets rid of toxins.
  • Do neti (nasal irrigation), or use medicated sesame oil so you wash out debris from pollution.
  • Drink detoxifying tea:
    • Boil two quarts of water in the morning.
    • Add 1/4 tsp whole cumin, 1/2 t. whole coriander, 1/2 t. whole fennel and let steep for ten minutes with the lid on.
    • Strain out the spices and pour water into a thermos and sip throughout the day. Start fresh by making a new batch of tea each morning.
  • Do nadi shodhana (alternate nostril breathing) practice daily.
  • Apply natural deet-free insect repellent, get an apartment with mosquito net on windows and mosquito net over the bed. Mosquitoes carry disease.
  • Never eat off the roadside. Find places which have a good reputation to avoid food poisoning.
  • Take Vitamin C and Kyolic garlic tablets daily for the first 2 weeks to boost immune system as you acclimatise.
  • If you have a fever or illness use a combination of 3000mg Vit C and 3000mg garlic tablets a day. If it got worse I did the same but added a dose of high quality liquid Echinacea. Purchase all of these from a reputable health food store.
  • If you can’t sleep (insomnia) then Brahmi Oil helps calm and clear the mind, enhancing peaceful sleep. This can be purchased at a local Ayurvedic dispensary. If this fails, seek out the guidance of a local Ayurvedic Doctor. In Mysore it is Dr Kumar.
  • Leave shoes outside the front door and always have a good foot bath and wash on returning from outside of apartment. Dust on your feet can be finely ground animal dung and or human urine. We never got any inoculations – ever, never.
  • We eat well and practice yoga and thus have strong immune systems. Buy fresh foods from the local market – fruit and veges (Devarajs Market in Mysore) and wash in bottled water.
    Cooking at home ensures you get a wholesome diet.
  • Hire a motor scooter so you can get around to the fresh food markets, and quiet river banks of the Kaveri River – but PERHAPS NOT BEFORE  READING ANOTHER BLOG CALLED HOW TO SURVIVE DRIVING A MOTOR SCOOTER IN INDIA!!!

(Image credit: homeremedieslog.com)