Skip to Content

After the Ashram

Diana and I have successfully made our re-entry from the Ashram.

We are both thinner, fitter, full of energy and practically vegan.

The days were just as described on the website—up before dawn, yoga before breakfast, hike as many as 14 miles, four fitness classes, yoga, dinner, bed. The food was delicious, but what food wouldn’t be when you’re getting around 1,000 calories a day? The place itself is Spartan, but comfortably so. Here are some of the lessons we learned:

  1. A comfortable bed is all you need if you’re really tired. A roommate and shared bathroom are no problem. You don’t need all the creature comforts they give you at a hotel; you won’t even miss them.
  2. If you’re really hungry, two almonds and a piece of dried fruit is enough to boost your blood sugar and keep you going uphill for a couple more miles. If raw, shredded squash with marinara sauce for dinner doesn’t sound GREAT, you aren’t really hungry.
  3. The best way to clear your mind is to take a week and work so hard no other thoughts can enter your head except how to survive the next hour. When you get back and start thinking again, it will be with remarkable clarity.

The Ashram is a wonderful place. It’s quaint, and you spend your days being encouraged by really sweet guys with names like “Yarrow” and “Basho,” who are incredibly fit and who live and breathe holistic, organic food and healthy lifestyle. But the real fun is getting to know the other guests. There are men and women, and all fitness abilities. That makes for an interesting pack. One of the guys was a far-from-sane action film director, whose eyes lit up whenever he got to talk about crashing cars or anything involving fire. He has a multi-media room in his house that is going to be featured on the reality show “Million Dollar Rooms.” I honestly never knew people had rooms with 16 big-screens, partitioned down the middle, so two teams of eight buddies could duke it out on a video game, apparently through the night and all weekend long. My real favorite was the “Hairdresser to the Stars.” She told us about the time she went up to a new client, ran her fingers through her hair and said “We’ll have to fix this Sarah Jessica Parker thing you’ve got going.” The woman’s response: “I AM Sarah Jessica Parker.” Her goal for the week was to not throw up, which I had to admire. It showed a degree of honesty that the rest of us never mustered, because we did all feel pretty sick through the worst parts of the hikes. It didn’t get her a lot of sympathy, though; I don’t even think they gave her an extra apple slice or almond, and no trail guide carried her to the top of the hill.

The hardest part of the Ashram was not being away from Blackberry, laptop, cell phone and iPad. It was coming back to the real world, and immersing ourselves into those devices again. We are back, though, and fully engaged again. I’m happy to report that nothing went wrong at the Hill. In fact, it seemed like things went extra-smoothly. It must be that part of the Ashram’s good energy flowed over to Allonhill.