The main classical Ayurveda treatises begin with legendary accounts of the transmission of medical knowledge from the Gods to sages, and thence to human physicians. We can find historical evidence of Ayurveda in the ancient books of wisdom known as the Vedas. In the Rig Veda, over 60 preparations were mentioned that could be used to assist an individual in overcoming various ailments. The Rig Veda was written over 6,000 years ago, but really Ayurveda has been around even longer than that. What we see is that Ayurveda is more than just a medical system. It is a Science of Life. We are all part and parcel of nature. Just as the animals and plants live in harmony with nature and utilize the Laws of Nature to create health and balance within their beings, we, too, adhere to these very same principles. Therefore, it is fair to say that Ayurveda is a system that helps maintain health in a person by using the inherent principles of nature to bring the individual back into equilibrium with their true self. In essence Ayurveda has been in existence since the beginning of time because we have always been governed by nature's laws.
Principles of Ayurveda
Let's move at some of the principles of Ayurveda and how they might affect us.
Ayurveda names seven basic tissues
- Which are plasma (rasa
Mamsa - Muscles
There are also twenty qualities or characteristics which are considered to be inherent in all substances. These are organized in ten pairs of antonyms: heavy/light, cold/hot, unctuous/dry, dull/sharp, stable/mobile, soft/hard, non-slimy/slimy, smooth/coarse, minute/gross, and viscous/liquid.
Ayurveda also names three elemental substances, the dosha
s (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), and states that a balance of the doshas results in health, while imbalance results in disease. One Ayurvedic view is that the doshas are balanced when they are equal to each other, while another view is that each human possesses a unique combination of the doshas which defines this person's temperament and characteristics. In either case, it says that each person should modulate their behavior or environment to increase or decrease the doshas and maintain their natural state.
In medieval taxonomies of the Sanskrit knowledge systems, Ayurveda is assigned a place as a subsidiary Veda (upaveda
). Some medicinal plant names from the Atharvaveda
and other Vedas can be found in subsequent Ayurveda literature. The earliest recorded theoretical statements about the canonical models of disease in Ayurveda occur in the earliest Buddhist Canon
Benefits of Ayurveda
The Ayurvedic approach to illness is holistic and therefore after an Ayurvedic treatment a patient will find an improvement in their mental, physical and psychological conditions. The ingredients utilized in Ayurvedic medicines are mostly derived from plants, herbs, flowers, fruits, etc. making it a remedy close to nature.
· Helps Lower Stress and Anxiety
· Helps Prevent diabetes
· Lowers Blood Pressure and Cholesterol
· Reducing Stress
· Weight Loss or Maintenance
· Helps with Hormonal Balance
· Cleansing the Body
· Helps with Recovery from Injuries and Illnesses
For thousands of years, people in India have turned to the holistic, traditional system of Ayurveda for healing and relaxation. Purported to be the world's oldest health care system, Ayurveda helps patients achieve full-body balance and wellbeing, using everything from custom-made meals to personal massages, bespoke oil treatments to other hand-picked methods of care. Though Ayurveda has its origins in the south of India, these days top resorts can be found all over the country. For a good introduction, begin with some Ayurvedic retreats in India.
Kairali Ayurvedic Healing Village Health Resort, Palakkad
Located in one of the popular tourist destinations in India, Palakkad in Kerala, the Kairali Ayurvedic Healing Village Health Resort upholds an authentic principle of Ayurveda in order to propagate health and wellbeing worldwide. With traditional therapies paired with modern amenities, it is one of the few Spa and Ayurvedic resorts in India that specializes in the use of vast range of specific Ayurvedic treatments, vedic knowledge, Ayurvedic diet, Ayurvedic medicines and oils, and Ayurvedic Spa Equipments. Besides the wellness centre, the Kairali Ayurvedic Healing Village Resort, which is set in the midst of an eco friendly nature, maintains contemporary villa style accommodations. Nonetheless, the National Geographic Traveler magazine recognises Kairali’s Ayurvedic Healing Village as one of the ‘Top Fifty Wellness Meccas in the World’, as well as the ‘Top Ten Wellness Meccas in Asia’.
Somatheeram Ayurveda Resort, Kerala
Nestled on a hillock a few kilometres south of the Kovalam beach is the world's first Ayurvedic resort Somatheeram. Spread across a wide expanse of greenery, Kerala prides in Somatheeram as a getaway destination for those in search of an Ayurvedic haven away from the cacophony of city life. Established in 1985, Somatheeram has emerged as one of the frontrunners in encouraging a culture of Ayurvedic holidays and meditation tours among travel enthusiasts. The serenity of the resort by the sea, goodness of traditional Ayurvedic therapies and a healthy diet routine help people unwind here.
Acute health conditions of paralysis, fluctuating levels of blood pressure, arthritis, high cholesterol and breathing problems are first examined by a team of yoga experts and doctors after which a series of corresponding healing exercises and diet regime ensue.
Ananda in the Himalayas
A location in the unspoiled wilds of the Himalayan foothills. Gorgeous open-air meditation and teaching areas. A relaxing outdoor swimming pool. Nature treks and safari adventures. And, oh yes, a huge spa facility with nearly 100 treatments available and a number of qualified Ayurvedic doctors on-staff. No wonder Ananda in the Himalayas
ranks among the finest Ayurvedic retreats in India.
Providing an unparalleled propinquity to culture, spirituality and myths, Aalia that is set on the bank of the River Ganges is an epitome of luxury, elegance and hospitality. Build with stunning slate – clad exteriors and state – of – the – art interior, Aalia houses contemporary accommodations at the Chila Suite, Garden Suite and River Suite and Villa, corporate board room and the Cigar Lounge. At the health and spa centre one can pamper oneself with a blissful massage and also go for all sorts of Ayurvedic and health therapies.
, founded by holistic health expert Dr. Mathai, certainly ranks among the most intensive retreats for Ayurveda in India. Based in Bangalore, the centre counsels attendees in the healing arts while pursuing only the most traditional practices. During massages, hot oil treatments, sessions with herbal poultices and other therapies, individuals are treated with oil and herbs specifically chosen to suit their humours. Yoga classes accompany the sessions, while other naturopathy therapies - from mud baths to breathing exercises - are sure to enliven.
The Leela, Udaipur:
The city of lakes and palaces, The Leela's ESPA Spa is yet another hot spot for Ayurvedic retreat. The 'haveli' style architecture of spas, tents done up in shades of royalty and opulence and the welcoming gardens contribute to the development of a relaxed mind and soul of the human body. From hot stone massages, facials, yoga and meditation, The Leela also features private yoga studio for visitors.
Vana Malsi Estate
Opened only last year, the supremely elegant Vana Malsi Estate - located remotely in Uttarakhand, outside of Dehradun and approaching the foothills of the Himalayas - is a wellness retreat that aims to explore guests' physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing. Underlying that goal is a resolutely bespoke Ayurvedic approach: from meals and consultations to therapies and guests' daily itineraries, every last detail of a visitor's stay is personalised. When it comes to Ayurveda in India, it hardly gets more intensive.
Carnoustie Ayurveda & Wellness Resort - Kerala
Amidst the palm groves, the tropical climate, the stunning backwaters and the photogenic shorelines of Kerala, lies Carnoustie Ayurveda & Wellness Resort
. But it isn't only its languid setting that makes this retreat such a destination. In its lavishly appointed spa, outfitted with traditional architectural touches and lovely fountains, guests have access to experts in yoga, Ayurveda, and naturopathy, and treatments that seek to assist with everything from purification and detox to anti-stress and relaxation techniques.
Devaaya, The Ayurveda and Nature Cure Centre, Goa
If beaches and nightlife are the first things that come to mind upon hearing Goa, then probably it's time to widen your horizon. As much as it is a 'party' destination, Goa as a city has carved an identity that appreciates art, culture and holistic living. And speaking of holistic living, the city has emerged as one of the potential tourist spots on the map of Ayurveda tourism in India. Coconut palms swinging to the rhythm of the breeze and the Mandovi River flowing alongside one of the islands in Goa complete the scenery at Devaaya Ayurveda Centre in Goa. Naturopathy becomes a way of life at this Ayurvedic paradise that brings together the essential elements of 'Panchakarma' treatments with yoga, meditation, music, lifestyle correction, diet planning and medicines for tourists. The centre has been designed on the science of 'Vaastu Shastra' that adds to the harmony of the overall rejuvenation process.
Sawadhee Traditional Thai Spa
Sawadhee is an award winning luxury spa in Delhi. Situated in Vasant Kunj, the spa with its 5,000 sq.ft area boasts being the biggest Day Spa in the city. Offering a range of services including Full Body Massages (International massages like Deep Tissue, Aroma Therapy, Traditional Thai, Signature Massages) to Foot Reflexology, Full Body Scrubs and Wraps and Facials, Sawadhee is an authentic Thai spa with skilled staff from Thailand and North East India. The spa is appreciated for introducing five private rooms with each room equipped with steam and shower and two exquisite couple rooms that have Jacuzzi. Sawadhee Traditional Thai Spa has Geo Spa Asia Spa Award for Most Luxurious Spa (Day) (2015), Geo Spa Asia Spa Award for Best Spa Interiors (Day) (2014) and several nominations in various categories under their belt. They are presently being featured at No. 2 position under Spa and Wellness by Tripadvisor. Does this give you a good enough reason to try out Sawadhee?
Shinshiva Ayurvedic Resort, Kovalam
Last but not the least, Shin Shiva Ayurvedic Resort, which is close to the Kovalam beach, is far – famed for providing effective Spa facilities and Ayurvedic treatments for a host of ailments. Besides it also provides therapeutic packages and conducts yoga and meditation.
Wildflower Hall, Shimla
Atop a hill at an altitude of 2,580 meters and tucked in the midst of 22 acres of lush green landscape that is dotted with pine and cedar trees, Wildflower Hall, Shimla is no doubt a one stop retreat. With perfect interior, wood paneling and original artwork, displaying the grandeur of the colonial era and amenities that mark the modern trend, the property simply burst out a fusion of quaint charm and contemporaneity. Besides the terrace restaurant, Cavalry Bar and 85 rooms – deluxe garden view rooms, premier garden view rooms, premier Mountain View rooms, deluxe suites and Lord Kitchener suite, Wildflower Hall boast off the classic Oberoi Spa… redefining ultimate luxury and holistic Ayurvedic treatment. One can unwind oneself with the array of massage, revitalizing body and Ayurvedic therapies that are available here, embark on a luxury journey by taking specialty baths and yoga sessions and even relive at the outdoor whirlpool. Nonetheless, the award winning property – Travellers’ Choice Award by Trip Advisor – is a perfect hideout for honeymooners where one can frame myriad quixotic memories.