Ayurvedic Healing Village
My visit to the Kairali Group’s residential treatment centre at Palakkad began with a tinge of apprehension. Their office in Delhi had warned me that tea and coffee are not available at the Resort. I am a coffee fanatic and my anxiety levels had started to peak. After a short drive from the airport I reached the Resort – quiet, serene and nestled amongst acres of organic Ayurvedic farmland. The room was carefully chosen as per my Zodiac sign. I am told the resort has been designed keeping in mind the principles of Vaastu Shastra, with red oxide floors and a rare Valambari Conch shell in every room, and a gentle water body around every villa.
I grab a drink of water (warm, infused with herbs) and go to see the resident doctor who will chart out my de-tox program for the remainder of my stay. The doctor explains that the basis of treatment is a ‘Prakruti analysis’ which was leisurely conducted and included a physical examination and interview so that my personal health goals were met. Once my presiding dosha imbalance had been ascertained, he prescribed a preliminary detox and some curative medicines and lifestyle education to keep me connected when I left.
Ayurveda is an ancient system of lifestyle, diet and medicines and understand the five elements as the root cause of existence. These five elements are present in different combinations in each of us and are represented by the three doshas, or energies: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance. Every individual has a distinct balance, and our health and well-being depend on getting a right balance of the tridoshas. Ayurveda suggests specific lifestyle and nutritional guidelines to help individuals reduce the excess dosha.
The intense and transformative Panchakarma sequence, the biggest attraction of health tourism in India and certainly Kerala, is done with special medicated oils in combination with purgation, enemas, steam therapy and Ayurvedic massage, to remove toxins and restore balance in the doshas. The quiet atmosphere, special diet and gentle yoga and meditation that was part of the program at the retreat added to the wellness that I felt. Kairali offers numerous other tailor-made detoxification programmes that are oriented around specific health aims like stress relief, arthritis, sinusitis, migraine, post pregnancy care, beauty and weight loss.
Food at the retreat is vegetarian with little or no milk and milk products. It is delightful, tasty and beautifully presented. The cookery classes that are part of the program teach you how to cook recipes that are suited to all body types. After preparing myself mentally for the healthy, wholesome food that was presented to me everyday, I began to enjoy myself. My daily diet included coconut water, fruit (with the exception of bananas), red rice that was native to Kerala, idilis dosas, aapams (all fermented food that provides B12) lots of greens and vegetables rich in calcium, iron-rich foods and food rich in vitamin C (aiding the absorption of iron). The diet is rich in antioxidants and high in fiber.
Kairali has patented medicines, oils and products like shampoos and lotions that they manufacture. Before leaving I did try the Royal Makeover which was a 2-hour head to toe package that included an eye wash, hair pack and body packs and scrubs using Kairali products containing, amongst other things, turmeric, triphala churna, coconut and alma. The Retreat also offers comprehensive courses on the theory and practice of Ayurveda. I left a few kilos lighter and my pangs for coffee forgotten in the warm glow of wellness that surrounded me.
We at Emaho Consulting are communications specialists who are passionate about travel, wellness, nutrition and growing our own organic produce. We travel as often as we can trying out resorts, spas, home stays, restaurants, roadside eating places and specifically, places that allow you to take your pets. Yes we have opinions on all of them and we like writing about them because we know they have a story to tell.