through the looking glass
Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of natural and holistic medicine. When translated from Sanskrit, Ayurveda means “the science of life” and longevity. It combines the profound thoughts of medicine and philosophy, encompassing physical, mental and spiritual growth; a complete naturalistic system that depends on the diagnosis of the body’s humours – vata, pitta and kapha – to achieve the right balance. Kerala’s equable climate, natural abundance of forests and the cool monsoon season are best suited for Ayurveda’s curative and restorative packages. Escorted by a practitioner from Kerala specializing in Yoga, this tour is ideal for beginners and those already practicing a holistic approach to life. Traverse through Kerala’s emerald green paddy fields, groves of coconut trees swinging in the gentle breeze, rolling hills with acres and acres of tea plantation, eternal rainforests, and the maze that is Kerala’s backwaters located tantalizingly close to sandy beaches of the Arabian Sea, in an incredible journey of the body, mind and soul. Judge less, love more, and open the heart like a blooming lotus!
- This itinerary is best done from mid-October till March.
- It rains in Kerala from June to September and is actually considered very good for Ayurveda treatments.
- The quirky Cochin Carnival is held at Fort Cochin on January 01 every year. It was started by the Portuguese in the 16th century as a celebration to welcome the new year.
- During January/February, the Mahadeva Temple of Ernakulam in Cochin celebrates a seven day festival. The festival is dedicated to Shiva, the ‘destroyer’ in the Hindu Pantheon who maintains the cosmic balance.
- Should one opt for a structured Ayurveda session, in consultation with the in-house specialist, we recommend at least seven nights in Marari at the end of your trip for effective results.
- Ayurveda therapies such as massages are on offer at each property in the itinerary and one can choose these at one’s own preference and time
day wise itinerary
Enjoy a Yoga session in the morning and learn about the science of spirituality. Embark on a guided tour later to get acquainted with Cochin’s history and heritage which is a wonderful mix of Dutch, Portuguese, British and Jewish ifluences. Partake in an evening meditation session and introduction to some of the tenets of Hinduism – Karma, Dharma and Rebirth.
Drive to the cooler climes of Munnar – south India’s largest tea-growing region. Relax, breathe in the crisp air, and enjoy the views of the rolling tea gardens. Enjoy an evening session of meditation followed by an introduction to the history and mythology of Kerala.
Followed by a morning Yoga session, learn about Tamasic, Rajasic, Sattvic food of the Ayurveda philosophy and their effect on body and mind. Enjoy a nature hike with a local guide learning about the various flora and fauna of the area. Spend the evening listening to stories of the Trinity of the Hindu Pantheon: Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer.
Drive to Thekkady with its rainforest, spice plantations and canopies. Spend a relaxed afternoon. Evening meditation session and chanting of mantras is followed by a review session with the yoga guru.
Yoga session this morning is followed by an introduction to the Bhagvad Gita and the Puranas. Visit a spice plantation, interact with the hosts and enjoy an organic local lunch. In the evening, enjoy meditation followed by stories from the Upanishads.
Drive to the backwaters with its drenched greens and coconut palms. Take a day cruise on a Kettuvallam. Originally these boats were used to ferry rice in the backwaters. Lunch on board. Disembark and continue to the resort. Enjoy a private Mohiniyattam dance performance in the evening.
Morning Yoga session and a deep dive into Ayurveda – an ancient method of healing which was developed in India, thousands of years ago. Later, join the host for a cooking class followed by lunch. Evening meditation session, satsang and chanting is followed by another review session with the yoga guru.
Drive to Mararikulam, a quiet fishing village by the Arabian Sea. Later in the day meet the in-house Ayurveda specialist who will customize the next two days for each guest.
Ayurveda is based on the premise that the five elements of the universe: air, fire, water, earth and ether are also present in the human body which makes for a unique Prakruti (constitution) in each one of us. The sessions are tailored according to each person’s Prakruti. Evening: meditation and dancing.
Morning Yoga on the beach followed by an Ayurveda session (optional and on direct payment) later in the day. Evening Meditation, Silence and Contemplation on the Mahavakyas of the Upanishads – and what each person understands from it.
Morning Yoga on the beach followed by an Ayurveda session (optional and on direct payment) later in the day. Evening meditation and introduction to practicing gratitude, appreciation and boundless love followed by a final review and feedback session with your yoga guru.
Transfer to Cochin airport for your onward flight or extend your stay at Mararikulam.
In yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda, Chakra refers to wheels of energy throughout the body. There are seven main chakras, which align the spine, starting from the base of the spine through to the crown of the head. To visualise a chakra in the body, imagine a swirling wheel of energy where matter and consciousness meet.
om (pronounced AUM)
OM (pronounced AUM), when chanted, vibrates at the frequency of 432 Hz, which is the same frequency found throughout everything in nature. Not only is it said that we are elevated from our everyday minds, the vibrations of rhythmic chanting of OM is also said to have a physical effect on the body by slowing down the nervous system and calming the mind, similar to meditation.
south India from the journal
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