I am indeed fortunate to learn Nature Cure/Natural Hygiene from Dr Arun Sharma who needs no introduction to Naturopathy and nature cure practitioners worldwide. He is the grandson of Acharya Lakshmana Sarma who is regarded as the father of Nature Cure in India. He is the founder of IMAHAH (USA) and I have been his (virtual) student attending his lectures/webinars online.
So getting to learn from him in person was a dream come true opportunity for me. This camp is one of the many in a series of camps that aKarma Life volunteers organize. Our camp happened from Dec 12th to 19th 2020 at Sadhana Forms, Pollachi. The beauty of it is that this camp is offered to us as a gift from the previous participants whom we never met. And whatever we contribute from the heart will benefit the attendees of the next camp (coming up soon) whom we may never meet. aKarma Life volunteers host such camps, year after year, consistently, with the spirit of Giftivism which has helped many many people over the years cutting across financial and other boundaries.
The size of the camp was kept intentionally small to be in sync with the times.
I am a mother of a toddler and thankfully my spirited mom stepped up to accompany me for this camp and thanks to aKarma volunteers for accommodating us. I must say all my apprehensions regarding taking my baby with me to the camp was put to rest the moment we reached the farm. We were greeted with such warmth that I no longer felt like an outsider. This camp felt like home. I also met the other participants of the camp who are all such lovely people. And I was relieved to see 4 other kids join the camp.
The first evening we had our sathvic meal so tasty, thanks to Suguna amma. After dinner on the day we arrived was an orientation session by a volunteer where we got a fairly good idea about the space and the upcoming week.
Every morning we started our day with jogging. Dr.Sharma starts jogging promptly at 6.30 am everyday. It is immensely motivating and remarkable to see his fitness levels at his age (He is close to 80). This was followed by Yoga Asanas, Pranayama, Sungazing and lots of learning from Dr. Sharma. Then we drink our Alkaline juice (Ash gourd, Nightshade, Vilvam/Bilva leaf and the like). We learnt to eat our liquids and drink out solids after chewing thoroughly. Now it’s a habit. Post this we had our therapy sessions where for the first time I experienced Sunbathing, Hip Bath, Spinal Bath, Herbal pack, Mud pack etc.
We had 2 classroom sessions, each lasting 2 hours – one in the morning and one after lunch.
Our breakfast consisted of one type of fruit. Lunch was raw vegetable salad. I really looked forward to dinner for the rest of my stay which comprised of such an interesting line up each evening like Sathvic Chappati, Sathvic Idli, Sour Dough Bread, Upma, Aval/Poha etc which were all super yummy and healthy. I must mention here that I was following a similar diet plan as the camp. So I found the food awesome and had no problems whatsoever with it.
On Monday we fasted (on water), with Dr.Sharma’s guidance and encouragement, till late afternoon. For me, like many others, it was the very first time. I was really surprised at how energetic and rejuvenated we felt.
We also worked in the garden to the best of our energies and abilities as a part of connecting with the earth, a connection that is not part of everyday life for many of us.
The concepts of Nature Cure are simple, full of common sense, empowering and universal. Empowering because after learning Nature Cure/Natural Hygiene, we can focus on improving health, for when that happens whatever be the disease/discomfort, they disappear without trace, like how with light, darkness goes away.
Students from a nearby Nature Cure college dropped in with their mentor on one of the days and it was nice to see this youthful energy aligning with Nature.
On the last day, we had a gratitude circle and continuity circle which set us on a good trajectory for integrating our old world with the new after the camp. We also had a valedictory event and all of us, participants, put up a skit about “camp experience”. We also shared other performing talents. These programs were thoroughly enjoyed and filled the room with laughter and applause.
If I have to name a personal challenge, it was the accommodation. Although I was informed that it was ‘Basic’ and ‘Shared’ before I made my decision to attend the camp, and it was pretty decent, I was not used to staying in a shared space, especially with my son. We were sharing a dormitory space with 4 adults and one other kid who was of the same age as my son. However the warmth and love of the hosting team and fellow participants and the shared purpose that brought us all there, helped me adapt and adjust without any qualms.
Overall, the camp to me, was a divine experience that I will cherish forever.