Discovering Ayurveda in Kerala Through Unique Ayurvedic Experiences
Kerala is well known for its backwaters, tea plantations, delicious food and its friendly people. But it is also known for Ayurveda, which means ‘science of long life’ and is a big part of the intrinsic cultural heritage of the area. So if you are going to choose somewhere to try authentic Ayurvedic experiences, Kerala is the place to do it.
But before we look at what sort of unique Ayurvedic experiences Kerala offers, let me give you a little bit of background.
What is Ayurveda and why in Kerala?
Ayurveda originated around 5,000 years ago in India, but it was in Kerala where it continued to thrive over the centuries. It is the oldest healthcare system that offers a completely natural way of treatment that offers holistic wellness of mind, body and soul by detoxifying the human body with the help of herbal combinations and remedies.
Nowadays, Ayurveda has become part of a way of life outside of India too, and more and more people travel to Kerala in search of authentic and unique Ayurvedic experiences. So here are a few recommended Ayurvedic experiences and treatments you can have in Kerala, tried and tested by expert travel bloggers.
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Visit to the Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum in Thrissur
By Teresa Gomez from Brogan Abroad
A visit to the Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda Museum is the perfect place to start on any journey that will focus around this science and philosophy. Opened in 2013, the Museum is the first of its kind in the history of Ayurveda and it narrates the story of its evolution through a variety of artifacts, scriptures and displays.
It is housed in an old traditional two-storey building with separate galleries that include presentations about the history of Ayurveda from mythological through to modern times, along with displays on Kerala’s Ayurveda tradition. It also has a 3D photographic gallery for traditional education, treatments, medicine manufacturing and its present developments, a library with a massive collection of ancient scripts and texts, and a multimedia touchscreen digital library with a large collection of videos of Kerala Ayurvedic treatments, and digital palm leaf manuscripts.
The Museum is located 8 kms from Thrissur Train Station, and it’s open everyday from 10h to 18h, except for Mondays.
Ayurvedic Massage at Ramada Cochin Resort, Kochi
By Karla Ramos from Karla Round the World
After two hectic weeks of exploring Kerala, my friend and I decided to take time off and stay in Ramada Cochin Resort. Here, we got an Ayurvedic Massage. What I loved about it is that prior to the experience the doctor asked me if I had any pains. At that point, I had said that I had back pains and a tender ankle – I’d hurt it during the trip.
My therapist took note of this and made sure to tend to it during the massage. The massage was very relaxing, not to what I was used to back home. It wasn’t deep tissue but it was tender and soothing – the aroma that they used was very relaxing. Ayurvedic massages use a lot of oil, which left my skin feeling moisturized and feeling like a baby in the end. After 45 minutes, my therapist woke me up to take a shower.
To make the experience even better, when I was done and feeling refreshed, the therapist came in and rubbed a powder on my head. She said it was to prevent me from having colds since I already felt quite run down and exhausted from the adventurous trip that I’d had. All in all, this massage was perfect. That’s when I realised that even a light pressure massage done right with all the aromas can relax and rejuvenate our bodies – not everything has to be deep tissue. I loved my ayurvedic experience. I left the center feeling healed, moisturized and revived—just what I needed.
Abhyangam Ayurvedic Massage at Vythiri Village, Wayanad
By Bo Saldaña from El Mundo Ok
I do not remember if I’d heard about Ayurvedic massages, or maybe I listened without much attention, since neither Spain nor Peru offer this type of treatment, and I don’t know if there are specialized centers for them. It was only on my trip to Kerala, in Southern India, that I learned more about Ayurveda treatments, and even I saw places where you could learn how about it. In fact, Kerala is known as the land of Ayurveda.
My first experience of this wonderful treatment was in the Vythiri Village, a luxury spa resort, located in Wanayad, in the North of Kerala. My appointment was at 7 am, and the technique used was Abhyangam. At first, I felt strange since I had never received a massage with the application of oils and hot essences, I was told that this serves to relax the nervous system and detoxify my body.
The massage was given on my head, face and almost all my body, including fingers. It was the first time I got almost fully undressed for a massage, since I had to be like this and stay in a somewhat transparent pair of paper briefs, but that was the least important part. It was so relaxing that I was almost asleep when Aquil, the masseuse, took me to a steam room. When I saw the device it ‘scared’ me a little because the steam ‘cupboard’ was individual and looked like some sort of torture chamber (I’m exaggerating a little), with my body inside and my head sticking out. I felt somewhat uncomfortable at first. The treatment lasted 1 hour and a half, but after this time I left as new – I was s0 relaxed I wanted to go to sleep. That day I felt an incredible peace.
Stay at Kadappuram Ayurvedic Beach Resort, Thrissur
Located by Nattika beach, Kadappuram Beach Resort is amongst the best beach resorts in Thrissur.
It is built in the traditional architecture style, with natural materials such as the inner walls, which are made with traditional mats. There are 12 cottages across seven acres overlooking the sea, that are surrounded by eco-friendly items such as the vetiver roots and aromatic herbs.
The main reason people visit Kadappuram Beach Resort, is that it is an ayurvedic treatment centre. Here you can enjoy the benefits of Ayurveda through a variety of customized packages. Every treatment offered focuses on the elimination of toxins from the body, with particular emphasis on excellent nutrition and self-discipline. Here you can also enjoy the healthy cuisine, which goes along perfectly with the ayurvedic routine. And the lake view restaurant within the resort offers the most delicious South Malabar vegetarian dishes along with authentic traditional Kerala cuisine.
Take an Ayurvedic Course at Kerala Ayurveda Academy in Aluva
By Juliana França from Eu Ando Pelo Mundo
I recently went to Kerala, with the Kerala Blog Express, and after our expedition I stayed 23 more days at the Kerala Ayurveda Academy in Aluva, near Kochi. There, I did a training program in Ayurveda to learn more about the procedures and dietetics, not only for myself, but also because I want to work with this science at some point in my life, to help people. It was an incredible experience! I learnt so much about the healing power of so many plants and I had the opportunity to see patients from all over the globe going through the healing process during my time there. This experience was amazing because I could go deeper into this millenary science and understand how important a conscious diet can be for us.
The setting of the ayurvedic hospital is amazing. It was surrounded by nature, and all the medicines are plants in the garden. The treatments are based in natural oils with herbs that are used based on your unbalanced ‘doshas’. Also, a combined diet is used to help reestablish the balance in your body. Yoga and pranayama sessions are also offered as part of the treatment, because Ayurveda combines body and mind. So, if you want to experience a detox and a completely change in your lifestyle (for the better!), Ayurveda could be a good option!
So don’t wait any longer and get yourself to Kerala on an Ayurveda journey of discovery!
Have you ever had an Ayuvedic experience? What was it like?
Let me know in the comments!
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Disclosure: A big thank you to Kerala Tourism and the Kerala Blog Express Season 5 team, who hosted me and my fellow bloggers on our trip around Kerala. As always, all views are my own and the contributors’. This post may contain affiliate links, that earn me a small commission but come at no extra cost to you. Thanks as always for your support!
Featured image credit: Veronica Pototska from Siniciliya