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Pancha Karma for River House

The purchase of River House for Rasa Ayurveda was completed in December, 2010. For our small company to acquire this lovely building was an awesome feat, only accomplished through the involvement and support of many women who have experienced the healing and self-renewal that can be found at Rasa Ayurveda, and who want our small clinic to have a permanent home.

Preparing materials for River House rejuvenation.

It was explained to me that once we owned the building, we would have no problem getting a bank loan for renovations. Well, as many logistical, financial and legal processes go in India, it was not that simple. After much effort, inquiry and frustration I finally accepted that a bank loan was not possible, a huge disappointment and set-back. But not the end of the story!

At last, we’ve gathered up enough paise together – (one paise is 1/100th of a rupee) – that we are now beginning work on River House! We are delighted to share our hard-won progress with you here:

‘Sanju’ – manager of Rasa Ayurveda, with our favorite roof tile.

Just as when a woman comes to Rasa Ayurveda with a hope of awakening into her best healthy and happy self – her vision gathering clarity in her being even as she makes her plans to come to Rasa Ayurveda–we’ve have a clear sense of the beauty and function we hope to realize through this “treatment” for the River House. Not every detail has been decided upon, but as we move into the transformative process, we come upon elements we recognize will bring goodness to this home for Rasa Ayurveda, and when we do, we say “yes!”

Here, Sanju holds a sample of a clay – or “mud”– roof tile. Simple and traditional Kerala clay tile, yet with an uplifted line that reflects a pleasing attention to detail. We said “yes!” to these roof tiles, bought them and set them aside. Just like a woman starting in on her experience of pancha karma–the Ayurvedic process of detoxification and rejuvenation which will certainly bring her greater function and beauty inside and out – our house project does NOT begin with applying the decorations! First, we have to loosen up the undesirable elements we want to remove: the areas of decay, the ugly excesses.

Removing cracked cement which held the old decaying roof tiles.

Working together to clear out the old, strengthen the new.

We’re got to lighten up on the functional requirements temporarily–purify and strip down to the essentials–even if this leaves things looking a little plain for a short while.

A classic beauty bathed and stripped of her ornaments.

Removing superficial excess is always a part of the healing and transformative process. And it feels so good to simplify!

Two unnecessary walls have come down. Now there is easy visual and locomotive access from the front entry of the house into the main hall, and beyond to the kitchen. What an improvement simplification can bring!

Next, we clear away any complications or blockages so all can move freely and easily through natural pathways.

The old wall and iron grates have been removed. The back sit-out remains protected, but with much more connection to Nature.

We invite more intimate contact with the 5 elements of Nature – Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space.

Once this rubble is cleared away, all can easily absorb the grace of the medicinal trees, the big bamboo and the river.

We create expansive sattvic, sacred space to welcome physical and mental/emotional learning and creativity. A place dedicated to healthy connection with others and to a deepening realization of Self, and self-worth.

With the old stairwell and damaged walls removed, materials are in place to build the new outdoor yoga & meditation hall!

Strong new half-walls and a roof-bearing framework are installed.

This structure will hold the yoga & meditation hall roof.

New bathroom, shower and wash basin area off the yoga & meditation hall.

As in good Ayurvedic treatment, abundant time is a necessary element of a powerful and positive transformation. While we look forward to the day we can wrap River House in her gorgeous sari and a few touches of jewelry and show her off to the world, we are enjoying the entire process and all it brings, day by day and step by step.

We look forward to your continued support as the rebirth of  River House continues. We will share all the details of the finished project with you soon!

With kind regards and all blessings for your health and happiness ~

Niika Quistgard
Founder & Director
Rasa Ayurveda Traditional Healing Centre for Women