Do you know that you have to continue working to reap the benefits from the ayahuasca trip you have attended? And do you know that post-ayahuasca process is equally as important as the ceremony itself?
Yes, there are certain things that you have to do to integrate what you have learned from the ayahuasca retreat you attended in Peru or elsewhere. Several said the plant medicine from the Amazon jungle changed their lives, but there is also a number who said that it didn’t have any effects on them and the answer could be this post-retreat must – integration process.
Integrating the process is not a one-time activity. So, if you wish to learn more about how to make the most of your experience post-ayahuasca trip, then this page is for you.
What Is Ayahuasca Integration
The ayahuasca integration process means taking the knowledge and lessons learned during a ritual experience and put it into practice in your life. When one integrates their ayahuasca experience, change in habits, relationships, community, perspective and approach in life are imminent.
Integrating ayahuasca into one’s life is not easy that’s why several ayahuasca centers offer this to their participants. They know that many need support in integrating their learning and the process continues after the ceremonies.
The post-retreat integration support sessions are led by highly qualified guides who have decades of experience working with those medicines and a deep understanding of ayahuasca teachings in the modern world.
Joining community groups or organizations to help one integrate their ayahuasca experience from the jungle or retreat centers will be very helpful because by doing so, one can find support and resources with their fellow guests who have undergone similar experiences to help them find their footing as they navigate their journey.
Why Integrate Your Experience Post Ayahuasca Ceremony
The true healing that comes from Mother Aya doesn’t end when the ceremony ends. Instead, you have to learn how to apply the lessons you learned when you return to your daily life and this process post-ayahuasca is as important as the ceremony itself. Once you properly integrate it, you will see a huge improvement in your life particularly in your job, relationships, mindset, habits, diet and more. Yes, change is inevitable when ayahuasca starts to work in your life.
But then again, one has to work on integrating the learnings from the ceremony into their lives to make the most of it. The experience will only be life-changing when one lets the spirit of ayahuasca in and allows it to work its course. It is recommended that you take the post-ayahuasca integration to maximize the healing process.
At the basic level, it is a process of growth and evolutionary change. It’s a natural process, but if you don’t have a spiritual background or limited experience with self-inquiry and introspection for healing and personal growth, it can be a lot to take in. So you might need other people or the experts for guidance to make something out of the ayahuasca retreat you just attended.
Tips for Post-Ayahuasca Integration
For those who wish to maximize their ayahuasca trip, there are many things that one has to do to allow the plant medicine to work far beyond the ayahuasca centers. The process is not easy and not everyone gets to make it on their own effort.
You can do your research online to understand it more. Chacruna Institute of Psychedelic Plant Medicines(1)https://chacruna.net/what-we-do/ is a registered California non-profit organization founded by Brazilian anthropologist Dr. Bia Labate. It produces high-quality research on plant medicines and psychedelics.
Chacruna promotes a bridge between the world of plant medicines and the emergent field of psychedelic science. It merges the traditional ceremonial use and clinical and therapeutic settings and brings knowledge of the social sciences to health care professionals and practitioners of psychedelic-assisted therapy. It’s a good source of information when you need additional information about the topic.
If you struggle and really need help in applying the learnings from the retreat, then we have some recommendations for you. Here are some of the things that you can do post-ayahuasca.
1. Book a follow-up integration session
Ayahuasca centers are aware that participants need support to integrate their experience, so most of them already offer follow-up integration sessions. Centers that offer this take accountability because they know that many need some guidance to integrate the practice to be better suited to their lifestyle.
The retreat using plant medicine could untangle deep traumas that can be difficult for one to handle. If the experience is not processed well it might do more bad than good.
For instance, Arkana offers a Post-Retreat Integration Program (PRIP) guidelines and suggestions that help you maintain your connection to the medicine, including in-person discussions during your time to help maintain your connection to the plant spirit.
The Temple of the Way of Light(2)https://templeofthewayoflight.org/ also offers the same integration sessions. Their courses are led by a team of integration facilitators including Dr. Tanya Mate, its Integration Director. Each of the facilitators is qualified in their own way to offer the kind of support you need after the retreat.
Each of them has a first-hand experience of ayahuasca and can draw on their personal experiences to help others like you with your journey. Most of them are also trained therapists and healthcare professionals while some are qualified in other ways. But all of them are compassionate, skilled, and dedicated to helping people with ayahuasca integration.
By booking a post-ayahuasca integration session, you can expect to find someone who will listen to you compassionately and understand what you are going through. It will also allow you to reconnect with your own inner guardian.
2. Follow the recommended post-ayahuasca diet
Normally, one has to follow a particular diet weeks before joining an ayahuasca retreat. The same applies after the ceremony because there is also a recommended post-ayahuasca diet that aims to maximize the effects of ayahuasca healing.
The post-aya diet has been used by the local indigenous people to boost the power of plant medicine and make the healing process more efficient. Thus, it is in your best interest to follow it because your body needs time after the ceremony for the body and spirit to heal.
The ayahuasca diet guidelines may also serve as a catalyst to bring your insights into reality as you go back into the world and into your daily life with your friends, family and jobs.
3. Listen to your body
It is very important that you take the time to ask yourself “what is the most loving thing I can do for myself today?” And let your body provide you with the answer. You will discover that you need physical rest, nourishment and even hydration.
Yes, listening to your body means giving what it needs especially if you need rest. A well-rested body is more susceptible to welcoming the healing from the brew.
Also, remind yourself that you turn to ayahuasca because you want healing. You can tune back into the body to find body-based healing from trauma. By listening to your body, you can re-establish the connection necessary for your continued healing. So, listen to your body on how it wants to be nourished with food, how it wants to move or rest and how it wants to connect spiritually.
Remember this, your body knows how to speak to you. It knows what you need and only you can take the healing journey to re-learn how to tune in.
4. Practice to connect to yourself
Each day, you need to carve out a time to keep your mind still. You can seat and meditate or watch your thoughts as you do the dishes.
Aside from watching your thoughts, it is important that you also dedicate some time to feel your emotions because that can be very helpful.
However, this practice can also be anything that you do regularly, especially one that encourages reflection and introspection.
Practicing yoga, art, journaling and cooking are among the activities that you can do with intention. It’s also highly recommended that you take the time to devote a little time to an activity that nurtures connection to self.
5. Practice gratitude
Aside from reconnecting with yourself, you have to welcome the power of ayahuasca and claim healing by having a thankful spirit. Yes, practicing gratitude could help you big time to continue the healing process weeks after going home from your aya trip.
According to Healthline, gratitude offers a number of benefits to your health. For instance, it boosts the immune system, improves mental health, increases optimism, and improves relationships.
Gratitude’s positive benefits to one’s health are given. So, it’s best to practice t daily and incorporate it into your daily routine as Deepak Chopra says, “Gratitude is a divine attitude in the wisdom traditions. It takes you out from the ego-self and takes you into the higher self. That higher state of consciousness initiates self-repair, self-regulation and healing.”
6. Find a community or organization for support
Another helpful thing you can do is to find a community or organization with people who go through the same thing as you. In fact, those who travel to Peru find almost immediate connection and develop lifelong friendships.
So, surround yourself with a community of people who are on the same journey as you and as committed to their own healing as you. However, when you return home, it might not be easy to find a group of people who share the same experience. But, it is important that you stay connected to a certain community that supports your journey because a lack of understanding and connection could have a negative impact on your healing process.
To make this possible, it’s best to open up with your friends who are into ayahuasca. If you don’t know anyone, just try to open up about it to people who you trust who can be supportive of your journey. You can also try communities focused on spirituality or personal work. So, you can reach out to people in yoga studios, meditation groups or retreat centers.
7. Spend time with nature
If you don’t go out to enjoy the scenery out of your home, it’s probably time to change your mind. Take nature breaks because it naturally relaxes your mind and will leave you feeling refreshed with a renewed sense of energy.
Get out and enjoy the fresh air and include all your senses. Touch the grass and tree bark, breathe deeply of the fresh mountain air, dip your toes in the stream and look up at the birds in the sky. There are a lot of things that you can enjoy in nature that can contribute to your healing.
Green environments naturally uplift spirits. You can also bring nature into your office or home by hanging a picture of nature or by simply installing wallpaper on your computer screen. You can also head outside the lights of the city and gaze and enjoy the stars and night sky to feel connected with the rest of the universe.
8. Take care of your body
Many thought that they only have to look after their soul and spirit, but it’s also important that you look after yourself. Yes, you need to take care of your physical body because stress can hit it and it will make things worse.
Take care of yourself by following the post-ayahuasca diet. Do not eat the restricted foods and exert effort to only eat healthy food. Also, be kind to yourself. Always remember that you are what you eat.
Cut down on junk food, and red and processed meat. Instead, consume more vegetables and go easy on refined and processed flours and sugars. Also, reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake.
Aside from being conscious of your diet, you should start exercising. The activity need not be vigorous, you just need to move around. Activities like yoga is a great way to stay connected to ceremony experiences. It also helps you feel comfortable with your feelings and sensations.
Activities like walking, swimming, biking, running, hiking and whatever that keeps you moving.
Moving your energy through and out of your body can help calm your mind down. If it’s impossible for you to move around, you can try a sauna or steam room to stimulate sweating and promote physical relaxation.
9. Change your previous routine
Remember, you are no longer the same person when you return but in the same body and returning to the same norms. So, when you return home it’s easy to fall back into your comfortable patterns.
First-time ayahuasca drinkers reported experiencing major spiritual awakening after taking the powerful brew. However, the experience may translate into a sense of aloneness after leaving the maloka.
For those who have chances of suffering from self-imposed isolation, you can adopt a dog to join you for your new activity whether it’s daily walking or running the trail. Improve your way of spending and focus on simple pleasures like gardening.
The integration process can be too much for some and might trigger anxiety and depression from time to time. So, if you find the experience overwhelming, maintaining a journal can be helpful. In fact, many have turned to therapeutic writing for comfort, perspective and to express and work through their emotions.
Positive journaling practice can support your path toward healing and well-being. Keeping a record of your thoughts and feelings encourages reflection for self-awareness and will enable you to develop a new perspective that may initiate change that will lead to your healing.
Journaling also offers advantages because it is private and could serve as a safe place for you to express yourself. You do not need to choose your words because there is no judgment, so you are free to share your insight without the fear of criticisms.
11. Meditation Practice
“In meditation, healing can happen. When the mind is calm, alert and totally contented, then it is like a laser beam – it is very powerful and healing can happen,” said Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Practicing guided meditation for self-healing is effective in warding off stress and anxieties. Once your consciousness expands, you will enter a positive state of mind that affects your brain and nervous system to kickstart your healing.
Meanwhile, for some, it works because it can activate your chakras or energy points and influence the different aspects of your emotional well-being. By activating the chakras through meditation, you can start self-healing.
Meditation alone offers a lot of benefits from promoting relaxation, developing emotional regulation, improving response to stress, enhancing sensory perception and human performance, and more.
Also, based on the research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, meditation helps reduce heart diseases by 45%, lowers high blood pressure by 43%, reduces cholesterol levels significantly, and slows down the aging process.
12. Reading a good book
For those who love and enjoy reading, you will surely love this! Reading a good book could help in the integration process because literature has been used in helping people with psychological, social and emotional problems.
The concepts dated back to 300 BC when library entrances were inscribed with statements that the building was healing for the soul. In fact, Aristotle considered literature to have healing benefits and reading fiction as a way of treating illness.
Francesca Baker is convinced that literature transforms one and the process of reading is a “very healing process.” However, the way it works from one person to another may be different. Words can help people realize their emotions and enable deep emotions to be expressed and shared.
13. Cultivate spirituality
Religious and spiritual practices are positively related to your mental and physical health. For this, the most common gesture is prayer. You do not need to clear about your religious or spiritual identity to ask for external support, guidance and reassurance.
Those who pray said it elicits a relaxation response among them and gives them feelings of hope, gratitude, love and compassion. The thought of having someone who can provide a sense of comfort and support in difficult times. There was a study among clinically depressed adults who believed their prayers were heard by a concerned presence and they responded to treatment much better than those who did not believe.
Overall, spiritual fellowship like attending church or meditation group is a good source for those looking for social support because they offer a sense of belonging, security and community. Spiritual people tend to make healthy choices from choosing kindness over unhealthy behaviors. They also rarely smoke, drink and don’t commit crimes involving violent activity. Lastly, people with strong spiritual life had an 18% reduction in mortality.
Post-ayahuasca integration is as important as the ceremony itself, so participants should not skip it after their trip to maximize the effects of ayahuasca and to ensure that the healing process will continue. Ayahuasca retreat centers are aware of the need to support the participants and many have been offering integration services post retreat. You can research for them online and see what centers offer the said program.
You’ve got to be conscious of your daily life routine and change it if necessary to allow the plant medicines to work. Working with ayahuasca is not easy and always remember that the healing process goes beyond the ayahuasca ceremonies you attended. Just spend time nurturing yourself and enhance your spiritual practice. You can turn to your friends or people close to you for support. You may also find people who share the same journey because, with them, you can motivate and support each other.
No matter what you do, take the challenge and let the plant spirit work in your mind body and soul. Soon the transformation will be evident in your daily life!
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