Learnings from my Sri Lankan Yoga and Ayurveda Retreat

Suz Stokes

Suz Stokes

Founder of the 35 Day Detox.

Learnings from my Sri Lankan Yoga and Ayurveda Retreat

Ulpotha Yoga and Ayuveda Retreat

Back in 2011 I was one stressed out corporate executive, ready for change, and with no idea how to go about it.  Ulpotha was in my news feed but I couldn’t make it my reality.  Fast-forward 7 years of learning and teaching Yoga, and exploring it’s sister science Ayurveda, and finally I made it.

mosquito netting

Ulpotha, an eco-retreat in the Sri Lankan Jungle

This retreat was different for me in so many ways.  First it was the only time I’ve taken time just for me.  Usually I’m learning – or teaching – “being” was a whole new experience.  Secondly my version of camping does not stretch to jungle (snakes, spiders, monkeys) and no electricity.  Sadly I did not get past the idea of crocodiles and elephants to explore the local area.

Taking the leap of faith was a matter of not thinking about it too much (and this became the way forward for all the new experiences over the next 14 days).  Just one step at a time.

My definition of security was quickly re-established as a mosquito net, curtain for a door, and burning incense to ward off anything unwanted.  My affirmation had a lot to do with now being immune to mosquitoes.


Most of the insights relating to the benefits of the retreat occurred after I returned home, and I’m sure will continue for some time yet.

flower arrangements

Many can equally applied outside the retreat environment. 

  • Taking time each day to reflect on your journey
  • Having delicious healthy food that nourishes
  • Regular movement through Yoga or Dance
  • The support from a community
  • How we all have a unique story to tell
  • The amazing energy of being in nature

Ayurvedic Therapy
Our first day included a talk from the resident Doctor.  Explaining the attributes of the Doshas (life forces/energies) that make up our individual experience.  The 3 main ones being Vata, Pitta and Kapha (plus combinations).  I fall into the Pitta/Vata category, which turned out to be the majority of those that check themselves into this retreat 😉

Based on the Doshas we were each given a list of suggested food to include/avoid, and a schedule of treatments.  

Detox symptoms were inevitable – and here I can call myself an expert – so it was interesting to watch it play out in a controlled environment.

As the days progressed the treatments reached into deeper layers of stored toxins.  I experienced some skin rashes (albeit in milder form than I previously had them), but that was about it.  Then I returned home – and felt like I had been hit by a bus for about 3 days.  Which is no fun on top of jet-lag.

wood fired sauna
massage table
Pictures are of the Ayurveda Centre.  Including the massage table, wood-fire sauna, steam basket and open shower.  Seriously it could’ve been some other-reality weird kitchen set-up!
outdoor shower

Suz during treatment

 Here’s where we started to dive a bit deeper into the healing practices.  First warm oil poured on the forehead for 30 minutes to reduce tension in the mind.  The next day it was followed by inhalation to clear the sinuses.   
Thankfully my dairy-free diet made this treatment easy. 

14 days of Yoga, twice a day, it was a testament to Samanta, our instructor’s amazing depth of knowledge and experience that we did not repeat one class!

So what does all this mean – absolutely a renewed sense of commitment to the 35 Day Detox – as it too is based on the ancient Indian traditions I now have had the privilege to experience firsthand.  A confidence in the modern system we have developed to help us evolve within the context of our busy lives.

Let me know what you think – I’m curious to know.  Email or message me if you would like to discuss this or any other subject related to your journey.

Suz Stokes

Suz Stokes

Founder of the 35 Day Detox.

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