It was dark when I entered Kairali the Ayurvedic Healing Village in Palakkad, Kerala. I was greeted by the sound of rustling tree leaves which soothed my city-frayed nerves. I can’t remember when I last saw so many trees outside a forest. The welcome drink was a refreshing tender coconut.
The Kairali Ayurvedic Group was founded in 1989 with a day center in Delhi. The Village is the culmination of the demand of customers for an experience of holistic living. The current management comes from a family of Ayurveda professionals. The wellness center is spread across 60 acres in lush green surroundings and has just 30 rooms.
Life at Kairali the Ayurvedic Healing Village
The next day, I had an early start. My yoga session was at 6.30 am. I have to admit I am not an early riser and I was dreading the three days of waking up early.
The yoga session was held in an open space next to the swimming pool. The sun rose in front of me as I was doing suryanamaskar. Anil, the yoga instructor has great knowledge and was very patient.
After yoga, which ended at 7.30 am, I was actually hungry for breakfast! Breakfast consisted of fruits, juices, and tasty idiyappam.
I had a consultation with the doctor, Dr. Sarvan, in the morning. He briefed us on the philosophy of Ayurveda and its approach to healing. Ayurveda classifies prakriti(nature) as a mix of three- Vata, Pitta and Kafa. After a discussion with me, he happily told me I could have wellness based massages as I have no major aliments. But I met people who were undergoing treatment for insomnia, obesity and sinus among others. For such patients it is strict for patients to practice what the Doctor tells them to do inside the “Kairali – The Ayurvedic Healing Village”. Once they leave the Healing Village it is up to them to follow or not.
Evenings involved meditation and relaxation. We practiced yoga nidra in the evening. I saw people falling asleep during the session when otherwise they were taking medicines for insomnia.
Dinner would be over by 9.30 pm. There is TV in the residences but I did not switch it on even once during my stay. I am proud to say that I woke up early on all three days and stayed fresh throughout!
The Food at Kairali the Ayurvedic Healing Village
I found the food at Kairali to be wholesome. I quite enjoyed all my meals and understood the logic behind it. The philosophy of Ayurveda is moderation, unless and until there is a reason for placing restrictions, all food can be enjoyed. I thoroughly enjoyed my dosa, rice, chapatti and desserts along with the vegetables and dals.
We had a demonstration of Ayurvedic cooking and it was an eye opener. The emphasis was on using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Using everyday things and less oil, they made delicious soups, toransand desserts. In desserts -jaggery was favoured over refined sugar. There is a cookbook by Mrs. Geeta Ramesh- The Ayurvedic Cookbook, get fit in just two weeks that has easy, practical Ayurvedic cooking recipes.
The Therapies at Kairali the Ayurvedic Healing Village
It was at Kairali I realized that massage was a part of therapy and in isolation it had little meaning. I also realized that originally spas were meant to be in natural surroundings where you could see trees and hear birds naturally, and not through a speaker. Kairali has that setting. I would never view a city based spa experience with air-conditioning and piping music kindly again!
I went for four massages in three days. Abhyangam is the most common rejuvenating Ayurvedic massage and it was my first one too. Combined with the exercises and diet regime -they did wonders for me. Even my family who always fails to notice anything new about me, noticed the glow that I came back with!
It was a fabulous experience for me overall. I realized that it is better to enjoy the village in health than in illness. Kairali the Ayurvedic Healing Village offers both wellness and treatment packages. They are absolutely clear about their philosophy. If you just pay the money and don’t make any lifestyle changes, unfortunately the short-term gains of the stay would be wiped out in the long run! I hope I will be able to use the knowledge I gained, in my day-to-day life.
- The wellness center has a swimming pool, recreation room and a gym.
- It is an oasis of calm.
- You can go bird watching within the premises, same is true for butterflies.
- There are many water bodies within the wellness center.
- It serves organic food.
Things to Know
- The staff is firm about the diet instructions they get from the doctors.
- The resort serves vegetarian food only.
- There is a ban on alcohol and smoking within the premises.
- They expect you to drink medicated water throughout the day.
- The therapy rooms are not air-conditioned as it interferes with the treatment. The residences have air-conditioning.
- Ayurvedic massages use a lot of oil.
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