Making an ayahuasca trip is a big commitment. You’ll be travelling a considerable distance, moving into a culture that’s unfamiliar to you and opening yourself up to emotional and spiritual revelations that are beyond anything you’ve ever imagined. There’s a lot you should do, and a few things you shouldn’t, that will help you get the most benefit from the experience.
Do your research
Every person experiences the medicine in a unique way, so reading ayahuasca retreat reviews won’t tell you how it’s going to be for you, but there are some general themes. If the likely physical purging or the possibility that the experience may reveal things you’re uncomfortable with fills you with fear maybe this isn’t the right time for you.
Reading reviews will also help you avoid retreats that have been set up more for financial gain than out of a genuine desire to provide an opportunity for healing and spiritual growth, and since different centers have different approaches, identify the best ayahuasca retreat for you.
The purging effects of an ayahuasca trip will be greatly reduced if you minimize the toxins in your body ahead of taking the medicine. Retreat facilitators recommend a clean diet for at least five days before drinking the tea, longer is better. Avoid:
– Spicy foods
– Fermented or pickled foods
– Meat, particularly pork and red meat
– Dairy products
– Dietary supplements, protein drinks, vitamin tablets
– Limit your intake of salt, caffeine and processed sugars
– Drugs, tobacco and any other substances that alter your consciousness
A light vegetarian diet with lots of vegetables and fresh fruit is ideal. If you must have meat, chicken and fish are the best options. Eat organic food whenever possible and drink lots of water.
Quite apart from reducing the negative physical effects of the medicine, following this diet will help you to focus in on and demonstrate your own commitment to your iowaska trip.
Emotional and Spiritual Preparations
Just as it makes sense to detoxify your body before your ayahuasca trip, it also makes sense to detoxify your mind. Both yoga and meditation are recommended.
You don’t need to be fit or flexible to practice yoga, though once you do, you’ll inevitably become more fit and flexible than you were. The aim is not to learn to stand on one leg with your hands over your head, simply to become more conscious of how your self sits in your body. The breathing cycles of yoga will also help you when you start to practice mediation.
Anybody, from any religious background including those with no formal beliefs can learn to meditate. Most people find it difficult at first, learning to empty your mind, let go of everyday concerns and be present in the moment isn’t something that you can pick up in an afternoon. Find a class, read a book like The Power of Now, or check out one of the many videos on youtube. Frequent practice in short sessions on a daily basis is the key.
Starting your spiritual spring cleaning even before you arrive at your retreat and having some familiarity with mediation will enhance your ayahuasca trip. If there’s a point when things feel uncomfortable, meditation techniques will help you stay calmly in the present and trust in yourself and the people around you to find your way through.