I lived the ancient Ayurvedic life for a week and here’s how it benefited me



It’s always a big decision and often confusing one to choose where to go for a holiday. I decided to do something different, something that had me headed to an Ayurvedic resort called Ayurvedic Healing Village in a small town called Palakkad in Kerala in south India to explore the Ayurvedic way of life.

I took this trip in a hope to relax both body and mind and it was everything I had hoped for and much more as it turned out to be a healing and a learning experience too. But it also had me thinking about how little we know about India’s own ancient healthcare system, Ayurveda. The Ayurveda doctor at the resort told me that almost 70% of the people visiting the resort are from out of India from countries like Germany, Russia, Japan and 70% of them are repeat guests. You’ll be surprised (or maybe not) but least number of guests in this Ayurvedic resort is from India. I certainly think you should go for what I now call a Vedic Vacation and experience the Ayurveda way of life.

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Reaching there

Reaching there

The closest airport from the Kairali Healing Village is the Coimbatore airport. And from the airport it’s about 2hrs by road to the resort. It’s a good drive from one state to the other and you will know exactly when you hit Kerala without even the sign boards. The resort is located in a small town called Palakkad. Your healing process starts almost as soon as you enter the giant gates of the resort.

Meet the Doctors

Meet the Doctors

Yes that’s right, this particular holiday starts with meeting the doctors. Kairali medical team is headed by 78yr old Dr. Chandrashekharan with 50yrs of experience in Ayurveda medication. Post the consultation the doctor will schedule your therapies and prescribe Ayurvedic medicines that can be bought from their own pharmacy within the resort and then your Ayurvedic way of living starts.

Yoga

Yoga

Be prepared to start your day really early for this particular holiday as you should be up and on a yoga mat in the meditation room by 6.30am. One hour long yoga session may come down heavy on you not just because it’s early in the morning but you are on a holiday! So if it’s a longer trip who knows it will be a habit you carry back home, sadly it wasn’t that long a trip for me!

Morning Therapy

Morning Therapy

Any and all Ayurvedic treatment starts with Abhyangam, mine was scheduled for 8am after the Yoga session. It is essentially a head to toe oil massage followed by steam bath. Not all therapies are relaxing you will know what I mean after your round of a ‘Podikeri’ therapy. But they are all extremely therapeutic. Almost 70% of the guests at the resort come to tackle three main lifestyle problems, stress, insomnia and obesity. But there are quite a few who come for de-addiction and serious diseases like extreme case of arthritis and neurological disorders.

Breakfast

Breakfast

Breakfast starts at 7.30am and they follow a canteen system which means everyone is served the same meal. No À la carte and its all pure vegetarian food. But trust me, you’ll be fine. I am a pure non vegetarian and I survived just fine. Breakfasts are the best meal of the day at the resort as its mostly south Indian cuisine. So you can have your dose of dosas, idlis and upmas after a glass of fresh fruit juice.

Know more

Know more

After breakfast the resort usually plans various activities to keep you entertained like village walks, cooking session on Ayurvedic food, informative walk around the herb garden and even a session with an astrologer! I learnt how easy it is to put together a super healthy Ayurvedic meal that tastes exceptionally good.

Lunch

Lunch

It is here that you realise how much variety there is in vegetarian food. In my week long stay they never repeated a single dish. And they were all extremely palatable barring one or two that too due to my personal preference. Lunch starts from 1pm and it’s mostly two different vegetables and a ‘dal’ served with super light ‘rotis’ and red rice along with colourful herb induced drinking water.

Evening Therapy

Evening Therapy

You can either go for one or two therapies in a day. I opted for two which meant an evening therapy too. All your therapies are charted out by the doctors there but I suggest you must try the ‘Shirodhara’. It is mainly for stress relief and who isn’t stressed these days! I have never experienced a more calming and relaxing therapy ever.

Meditation

Meditation

Meditation is a major part of living the Ayurvedic life, it is an integral part of the healing process. It allows you to experience inner calm and deep relaxation. At the resort there is a specific time and a special place for meditation. We meditated for an hour starting at 6.30pm, don’t get worried if are not able to concentrate from the word go it takes time, lot of it.

Dinner

Dinner

If you are a hardcore non vegetarian, may be it will be tough for you if you are staying for a longer period of time. I was totally content with the variety of the food served for the week I stayed there and they serve desserts every single day for god’s sake!

Night

Night

And you are in your room, ready to sleep by nine! Well, if you want to. Or else you can go for a walk, chat with other guests or just watch TV in the room. I usually sleep really late and sleeping by 10pm is an achievement for me. I don’t know what it was, maybe the therapies but I managed to sleep at a decent hour, something I try to do even now.

Rise and repeat

Rise and repeat

The next few days that you are there will be similar to your first day. Depending on your consultation with the doctors, your therapies will change each day but the schedule will remain the same. While it can get a bit monotonous after a couple of days but there is a great sense of satisfaction after this trip like no other trip you have ever taken.

Back Home

Back Home

It is not possible to continue practicing the Ayurvedic lifestyle the same way after you return but even if it is one new practice you bring back with you, it’s a huge achievement. You can try to integrate the practices in your life one by one, I have continued sleeping early and I realised it wasn’t that difficult. As for the Vedic Vacation or experiencing the Ayurvedic life, you can ‘rest assured’ it will be a holiday that your body, mind and soul can enjoy in complete harmony and you will return healed, happy and healthy.
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