Many years ago, I began seeking alternative healing modalities, as I wanted to stay well and healthy in natural ways. Throughout the years I have explored many such modalities: homeopathy, vegetarianism, shiatsu, therapeutic dance, breathwork, meditation, yoga practice, and more.
Then in the early 1990s I discovered Ayurveda, India’s ancient system of wellness and healing. Ayurveda takes into account the whole person: body, mind, and soul. I was delighted that it fit perfectly with the yoga and meditation practices that I was already doing. Ayurveda helps to heal the body; yoga helps to heal the mind. When your body is well it is much easier to meditate.
As I began to study Ayurveda and incorporate it into my daily life, I experienced first-hand how it was able to cleanse and renew my body. Naturally, then, I wanted to share the experience with others—and I wanted to do that in the birthplace of Ayurveda: Kerala, India.
Each year for the past 10 years, my husband and I have taken a group to Kerala for an ayurvedic healing and yoga retreat at Kerala’s finest ayurvedic resort. The combination of yoga practice and ayurvedic treatments, being right near the ocean, a loving and nurturing environment, and delicious meals have contributed to the healing that many participants have experienced. Each person’s treatment regime begins with a thorough examination by two ayurvedic physicians.
This includes an in-depth personal interview and a special ayurvedic pulse reading, which is much more sophisticated—and much more telling of the state of one’s health—than mere heart rate. The physicians then prescribe therapies unique to the individual: massages, cleansing treatments, healing herbs, diet suggestions, yoga postures, breathing and meditation techniques, and lifestyle changes.
Everyone receives at least 7 ayurvedic treatments, according to what the doctors prescribe for each person.
Treatments begin with another interview with a physician to stay on top of the person’s response to the preceding treatments, so the treatment regime can be adjusted as needed. Then comes the treatment itself, with one to three therapists (men for men, women for women) carrying out a variety of treatments.
The therapists—in fact, the entire staff at the resort—are very loving, compassionate, joyful, and always available to assist with whatever is needed. Having gone to the same resort every year, my husband and I have developed many deeply enjoyable friendships with the doctors, therapists and other staff.
By the time my treatments concluded on this year’s trip (2014), my body was feeling so well that it was pulsating with energy and joy. I felt 25 years younger. It helped me to understand how much the stress of daily life blocks the flow of the energy that is so crucial for wellness.
If one wants to stay well, it’s essential to take time out to recharge body and mind by giving them the full spectrum of what they need——not rest alone.
The experience is well rounded: yoga practice each morning, 3 delicious meals each day, classes on Ayurveda, outings and fun, quality relaxation, evening Indian music and dance—and very important: being together, eating, sharing, developing friendships, and feeling supported.
See our Ayurvedic Healing Retreat Video that we created to share the experience of those who came with us on the 2014 trip
I highly recommend that you join us for your own healing adventure in February 2015.