In Kerala, an Ayurvedic experience across the mountains, beaches and backwaters of Kerala, India

In Kerala, an Ayurvedic experience across the mountains, beaches and backwaters of Kerala, India

  • Travel
  • January 13, 2023
  • No Comment
  • 4

Even in the scorching summer heat, Kerala’s terracotta soil is lush, its trees teeming with jackfruit, bananas, papayas, cashews and coconuts. Bougainvillea adorns pathways in a riot of color, from coral and yellow to magenta, Jaipur pink and mauve.

Here in this Eden, I sought some kind of pandemic self-prescription filled with naturopathy and slow living. I also planned to pursue Ayurveda, which I turned to more than a decade ago to deal with the emotional aftermath of two physical traumas – severe endometriosis followed by unsuccessful fertility treatments.

I began my journey at Prakriti Shakti, a naturopathic clinic on the Panchalimedu hills, part of the densely forested, mountainous Idukki district. A wellness center for purists, the clinic has a minimalist, elegant structure built with locally sourced materials. Glass panels bring warmth and light and views across the valley.

Peeling curry leaves for a cooking class at Kayal Island Retreat in Kerala

Ana Luis

A former artists’ residence, Kayal Island Retreat sits on the shores of Lake Vembanad

Ana Luis

On my first morning I woke up to birdsong and a session to greet the five elements of nature – earth, water, fire, air and space. I dipped my feet in the pool, then walked barefoot across the grass and stared at the morning sun while doing breathing exercises. According to Ayurvedic theory, the five elements are represented in our body: flesh and bone, for example, mean earth, while space is our total length and breadth. And yet we are separate from these elements even when we live among them.

Reconnecting with nature is the ultimate goal, which is also reflected in the treatments: In my honey and banana leaf body wrap, I was anointed with Epsom salts and coconut milk – the former to remove impurities, the latter to moisturize – and then in Banana wrapped leaf and wrapped in cotton to allow the ingredients to penetrate deeply. My hair was drenched in coconut milk, my face lathered with wild turmeric and sandalwood. Lying under the brilliant southern sun, hotter than a sauna, I felt like a caterpillar in a pupa.

Traditionally, Ayurvedic treatments are best performed during the changing seasons or monsoons. But the optimal window really depends on the disease itself, as I was later to learn at Sitaram Beach Retreat in Kerala’s cultural capital, Thrissur. After Prakriti Shakti’s restraint, Sitaram Beach felt like maximalist indulgence: Opulent traditional architecture framed a lush garden filled with coconut palms, orchids, and medicinal plants, while waves pounded on a nearby beach.

“Changing seasons are better for allergy sufferers,” said Vignesh Devraj, a fourth-generation Ayurveda practitioner, founder and chief physician of Sitaram. “The monsoons are better for those who have sore joints and arthritis because it prepares them for the winter.” I was suffering from nasal allergies at the time, which made it an ideal time for me. I also have an overactive imagination (thanks to my combined vata and pitta doshas, ​​two of Ayurveda’s mind-body types), so I was prescribed treatments to ground my mind.

Shallots, garlic and curry leaves are among the ingredients used in the cooking class at Kayal Island Retreat

Ana Luis

Related post

New geoscientific study reveals Triassic fossils that reveal origins of living amphibians – Zoo House News

New geoscientific study reveals Triassic fossils that reveal origins…

The tiniest new fossil found could upend what paleontologists know about our history. A team of paleontologists from Virginia Tech and…
Driver arrested in south LA hit-and-run that killed 2 children

Driver arrested in south LA hit-and-run that killed 2…

The suspect in a hit-and-run accident in south Los Angeles that killed a 13-year-old boy and his little brother has been…
Loneliness is an epidemic – Dr.  Joseph Mercola

Loneliness is an epidemic – Dr. Joseph Mercola

25 questions with Dr. Mercola | FULL VERSION He may be a bestselling author and one of the most visited doctors…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *