The first morning begins with two glasses of tepid water (filled two-thirds from the tap and topped up with a bit of boiling water) as recommended by Dhara. He had explained that sipping water throughout the day is a bit like grazing when eating and confuses the body into thinking it isn’t thirsty. So it’s far better to drink first thing and at other intervals throughout the day, about 10 minutes before eating and not during or directly after food. Ten minutes later, it’s time to juice 40g of wheatgrass, which I was dreading as the smell was really, really, well, green. it tastes sweeter than I was expecting though and, as it’s only a little shot, goes down fine.
The standard Cloona breakfast is two oranges and a grapefruit as citrus helps to speed up the detoxifying process. However, certain conditions, like psoriasis would be agitated by this so I had signed up for the alternative breakfast of cucumber juice. Wild times indeed. It didn’t taste too bad at all though and I was able to chug it back fairly easily.
After breakfast, there was about half an hour of free time before the lovely Surya arrived for our morning’s yoga. Unlike other types of yoga I have practised before, the variety taught at Cloona (must look up the name) is very gentle and is practised with closed eyes most of the time, which is great as it puts a stop to my usual rubbernecking ways. Surya focused on the importance of the breath and talked us through some gentle postures and before we knew it the hour and three quarters had flown by.
Lunch was served in an adjoining cottage at 1pm, a genuine feast of carrot soup and glorious salads – broccoli with mushrooms in an avocado dressing, mung beans and an assortment of sprouts and a green leaf, tomato and pine nut ensemble. Although I was a little bit hungry afterwards, it was a really satisfying meal and, having had the juice for breakfast, just going through the physical motions of chewing and eating felt great.
Next up was the walk with Dhara but first there was “the talk before the walk”. Assembled outside as the skies opened and rain poured down on top of us, he explained that on these walks we would be loosening up those areas that we usually hold tight – our shoulders and hips for example – and instead of chattering and gossiping our way around the roads, we were to walk individually and keep our focus on our own bodies and physical movement. Suffice to say, I had forgotten what we were supposed to be doing within two minutes so I just took off at a gallop and instead of relaxing my mind, thought through all the usual distractions and diversions. Not great for day one, peut etre, but I had a chat with Dhara afterwards and felt like I understood it a bit better then. Onwards and upwards.
A snooze in the afternoon brought on a bout of hunger and a headache but both were bearable. Dinner at six o’clock was a little jug of cucumber and apple juice, about two glasses. Everyone else had a fruit plate which looked gorgeous (dates! almonds!) so I decided that from the next day onwards I would have the fruit at night and just stick to the juice in the morning.
Seven o’clock was sauna time and I thought the heat would kill me at first but I gradually got used to it. We alternated 10 minutes of sauna with a freezing cold shower three times so this took about 40 minutes in total. Our two massage therapists for the week had arrived at this stage and I had a fabulous back massage with Jackie which was just the right balance between pain and pleasure. I was just about able for a bit of chit chat afterwards and then it was time for bed.