The purpose of working with Ayahuasca is to heal the whole that is you. This includes your physical body, emotional body and energetic body. To maximize your chances for a succesful healing, it is essential to properly prepare for your retreat.
Different types of diets
Some may have already looked around the internet or have heard about Ayahuasca diets, plant diets, etc. There just seems to be a whole lot of dieting going on in the world of Ayahuasca. This is indeed the case, and this article will shed some light on what different types of diets there are, which one you should do when preparing for an Ayahuasca retreat, how to approach a diet and finally why it’s essential to a successful healing retreat.
First of all, there are roughly two different types of diets. The first is the Ayahuasca preparation diet, that prepares you for your journey with Ayahuasca as well as your return to the “normal” world. The other type of diet is a so called (shamanic) plant diet. This is done by people with some more experience with Ayahuasca to build a relationship with the spirit of a certain plant. Even though there are many similarities between both diets, each plant has different requirements as how to approach a diet. Chiric Sanango and fruits don’t mix well for instance, whereas on a diet with Noya Rao food restrictions are more lax.
For people preparing for an Ayahausca healing retreat, the diet that’s important is the preparation diet.
The Ayahuasca Preparation Diet
Now, when we think of a diet it’s usually about losing weight. You eat less and more healthy in order to lose weight. Well, the preparation diet is similar, but there’s more to it. When working with Ayahuasca, what will happen is that everything that doesn’t serve you is extracted and purged, if you’ll let it. In order to help Ayahuasca help you, you need to get your body and mind into a certain state.
Food contain contaminants, a lot of sugar, salt ,unhealthy fats and additives. People love coffee, some use drugs, which puts a strain on our nervous system. Our body being the marvels of adaptation that they are will cope with it for a long time, but it would rather not have to deal with it. Furthermore, western society is very achievement oriented, high paced, extremely impulse and distraction rich. This puts a strain on both the mind as well as the body.
Once you cut out all these bad influences from your life, your body will start to heal itself. Isn’t it marvelous? It’ll set the gears in motion to eliminate the toxins and to restore the imbalance that it has been in. The point of the preparation, is to get your body into this healing state before you start your retreat. Now, you may find that the first couple of days are very rough. Food tastes bland, you may get irritable, low on energy, low blood pressure, etc. Hang in there, it’s only temporary and will balance itself out. Find some support to pull you through it.
Just as important as the physical preparation, is the mental preparation. Ayahuasca has her own way of communicating messages to you and in order to hear these messages, you need to be able to concentrate. As in, not get distracted. It is therefore essential to cut out all distractions during the diet period. No aimless browsing, youtubing, or whatever your vice is. Also, if you are a student, or work with brain, hold off studying for this period and leave your work at the office. The active rational mind severely impairs the ability to communicate with Ayahuasca. It is highly recommended to take up a mindfulness practice, like meditation on yoga during the weeks before and after the retreat. Furthermore, go outside! Find a forest, a park, a beach or a mountain and spend time there. Just be, listen, sense, feel.
So should you do the diet before and after the retreat? The answer is yes. The diet is done after the retreat as well, but for a different reason. Where you are preparing for a cleansing before the retreat, you will be preparing for re-entry into the normal world again. After a retreat, you may find that you are emotionally very vulnerable, pure and pristine. Exposing yourself to the dynamics of industrialized society too fast and too soon may severely shock your system, resulting in crisis. Think of it as having had heart surgery. You wouldn’t want to stress yourself too much right after, right? Ramp up slowly. If you can get the time off from work, we advise you take it. Otherwise, request you perform a task that allows you to withdraw from time to time to recuperate. Step by step. Take it easy.
How long should I diet?
We require all our guest to commit to the preparation diet for two weeks before and after the retreat.
Restricted foods and activities
Below you will find the list of all restricted foods and activities. On the list are also medication as well as street drugs. Before you alter your medication, you must consult your doctor as some medications require a ramp-down. Take this into account when planning a retreat. In the case of drug addiction, it may be worth while checking into a rehab facility to get the drugs out of your system and then coming in for a retreat to treat the underlying cause of the addiction. Further note, marihuana is also on the list of restricted items. Please don’t think that because marihuana is also a plant medicine that it’s ok to smoke, as Ayahuasca and Marihuana don’t mix well.
You will also find that sex is on the list. This includes masturbation. Sexual energy is a very powerful energy that you’ll need in your healing process. Furthermore, you might damage the work done on the retreat by engaging in sexual activities after the retreat.
The following foods and activities are restricted during the diet
- Red meat
- Fermented products
- Salt, including canned and processed food
- Refined sugar like sweets, cookies, soft drinks, processed food
- Artificial sweeteners like aspartame
- Nutritional supplements like proteine powders, creatine, weight loss pills
- Soft drinks
- Spicy food
- Dairy products
- Oils and fats.
- Street drugs (including marihuana, amfetamines, xtc, lsd, cocaine).
- Antidepressants like SSRIs
- Sleep medications
- Alpha- and beta-blockers
- Compulsive behaviour like excessive use of technology, gambling, video games and apps.
The Ayahuasca preparation diet is more than just a physical approach to prepare your body for the work to be done, it includes a mental preparation as well. By abstaining from certain foods, drugs and activities the body will be prepared for the healing to take place. By abstaining from activities that distract you and engaging in activities that will keep you balanced and centered, you are preparing your mind for communication with Ayahausca so you may receive the lessons she will teach you. By following these guidelines strictly, you maximize your chances of a successful healing with the absolutely amazing, loving and loved plant medicine Ayahuasca.