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Health Trend Ayurveda

187,000,000 results are returned by Google when you ask the search engine for information on Ayurveda. Translated from Sanskrit, the word means something like "knowledge of life" - and that is clearly in vogue!

24 November 2021


Doctor Firoz studied Ayurvedic Sciences for nine semesters, completed a one-year internship and specialized in Panchakarma (an Ayurvedic discipline) for six semesters. He graduated with an MD in Ayurvedic Sciences from a state university - and yet every treatment the doctor gives begins with a prayer. Not only he, but all Ayurvedic doctors and therapists recite the same Sanskrit lines. This is the Dhanvantari prayer, named after the Hindu god of medicine and alleged founder of Ayurveda teachings. The vibration of the words is supposed to focus the consciousness of the practitioner on the patient, the therapy, the disease and the remedies. So science meets experiential, philosophical and herbal medicine in Ayurveda. Mental, physical, emotional and spiritual aspects play a major role in the over 3000 year old healing teachings, of whose origins only little has been handed down in writing. When a patient hears the Dhanvantari prayer for the first time during a genuine Ayurvedic treatment, he or she has already undergone a comprehensive anamnesis: fingernails, tongue, eyes, teeth, hair, pulse and weight are examined in detail, and in addition to the visual diagnosis, there is an extensive questioning about lifestyle habits, health problems and medical history. In India, the astrological horoscope is also consulted. Only then does one receive one's therapy plan. As in orthodox medicine, in genuine Ayurveda you do not choose your treatment yourself - it is prescribed exclusively by the doctor.

Natural ingredients. Ayurvedic treatments use oils, fragrances, herbal stamps ("kizhi"), rice bags ("njavarakizhi") and herbal powders. ©Stocksy

Ayurveda is a matter of type

According to Ayurveda, everyone is born with a mixture of the three "doshas" Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Dosha translates roughly as "that which can cause problems". The individual composition of the doshas at birth is called prakriti. It is the healthy norm for the individual. If, however, the composition of the doshas differs from that at birth, illnesses arise. If Vata predominates, it'll lead to restlessness, among other things; patients are prone to joint and immune diseases. Inflammations, skin and blood diseases are consequences of an excess of Pitta, while an excess of Kapha promotes obesity, diabetes and colds. Massage and cleansing techniques, yoga and meditation as well as findings from herbal medicine are used as central methods to achieve this inner balance. A diet that is appropriate to the type and Dosha is the basis of every Ayurvedic cure, on which the individual therapies - also always adjusted to the Dosha - are built. Booking an Ayurvedic treatment now and then as and when you feel like it without a prescription by an Ayurvedic doctor may be relaxing and lead to a feeling of well-being on a short term basis, but it is not sufficient for a noticeable improvement of the constitution. The expertise of the doctor is important to avoid undesirable effects and side effects. During a serious Ayurveda cure, the patient's state of health is constantly monitored and the therapy plan is adapted if necessary. Ayurveda is especially suitable for the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases - in case of acute complaints it is advisable to consult a conventional doctor.

Caressing. The name of the full body massage Abhyanga means "great oiling" - with loving hands. ©Stocksy

Good to know

Panchakarma cure

One of the many Ayurvedic forms of therapy is the Panchakarma cure, in which the body is cleansed in five different ways: through therapeutic purging from the intestines, enemas, nasal rinses, drainage through bloodletting or leeches and therapeutic vomiting. The therapy is supported by expelling massages and steam baths. So-called "ghee days" introduce the cure: patients drink clarified butter in increasing amounts to dissolve waste products. During the subsequent cleansing phase, the therapist determines how the released toxins should leave the body. Once the cleansing phase is complete, the rebuilding phase follows, during which Ayurvedic medicines are taken to strengthen the body. Panchakarma cures should last at least three weeks and be carried out under the supervision of professional staff.

Principle

Those who fall back into old patterns after an Ayurveda cure do not benefit from the positive effects of the treatments for long. It is important to also incorporate healthy habits into everyday life.
The daily self-care routine - known as Dinacharya in Sanskrit - includes getting up with (Vata types), just before (Pitta types) or far before (Kapha types) the sun. This is followed by cleansing the tongue before drinking a glass of warm lemon water. Oil pulling, oil massages
(Abhyanga), conscious eating without distractions, yoga, breathing exercises, meditation and going to bed before 10 pm are further components of a healthy life according to Ayurveda principles. Everything it takes in terms of dinacharya and self-care is offered by the Ayurveda beauty brand Uma.

Ayurvedic food

Which foods are included in the diet is determined by the dosha; even how warm, how often and with which spices the food is consumed depends on the individual constitution.
However, it is true for all that drinking is not allowed at meals and the stomach should only be filled to three quarters. According to Ayurveda, cooked and warm food is healthier; it is important to chew well, to eat calmly and mindfully and to avoid snacks. In the morning and evening only a small, light meal is consumed, at noon it may be more.

Contraindications

... also exists in Ayurveda. Those who suffer from serious illnesses should clarify every part of a planned Ayurveda cure with their attending physician. Different contraindications apply to different measures.

Best of Hotels

Como Shambhala Estate Bali

Ayurveda combined with luxurious surroundings, exceptional accommodations and personal assistants

The leaves of the Bali jungle rustle above you, the waters of the Ayung River murmur in the distance. And in the middle of it all: the Como Shambhala Estate Bali, which combines deep-rooted wellness traditions with state-of-the-art facilities. The estate sees itself as a "Retreat for Change" - whoever comes here should leave this peaceful place like a new person. This is ensured by various offers for regeneration and revitalization of the mind. Not only Ayurvedic treatments and principles are used, but also acupuncture, facial care, hydrotherapy, yoga and Pilates. Ayurvedic programs include a daily consultation with the Ayurvedic specialist, an individualized treatment plan based on the dosha principle, a suitable diet plan, daily activities, one 60-minute Ayurvedic treatment per day, and the services of a Personal Assistant. The property itself is surrounded by lush nature, and all rooms and suites are located in detached residences. All accommodation has access to swimming pools, relaxing lounge areas and shaded pavilions. The villas and residences can also be booked in their entirety, complete privacy included. At "Kudus House" guests enjoy aromatic Indonesian cuisine, while at "Glow" the balanced, nutrient-rich and refined dishes of the healthy "Como Shambhala" cuisine are on the menu. Wherever possible, the ingredients come straight from the field onto the plates, many of which are prepared raw; meat, fish, fruit and vegetables come from local organic cultivation. A variety of activities are offered during the stay, such as rice field walks, rafting on the Ayung River, cooking classes, cycling tours through the surroundings, a blessing at the holy spring or a visit to the nearby town of Ubud. Double room including full board from € 225,- per person.

Como Shambhala Estate*****, comohotels.com
Br. Begawan, Desa Melinggih Kelod, 80571 Payangan, Indonesia
T: +62 361 978888

Sacred Healing Spring. A spring bubbles up on the property. It is considered sacred and revered by locals for its healing properties. ©info@martinmorrell.com

Underneath the Mango Tree

Under the Sri Lankan sun, the experts offer Ayurveda made to measure: from Ayurveda Intense to Ayurveda Pure. 

Completely without dogmas - this is how Ayurveda is to be lived in the "Underneath the Mango Tree". Those who opt for the intensive variant will experience the typical Panchakarma cure during a ten-day stay. For purists and those who have less time or would like to familiarize themselves with the subject slowly at first, there are other cure packages to choose from, including three-day getaways with Ayurveda elements. All treatments are accompanied by a team of doctors - and by the gentle sound of the Indian Ocean, whose waves break on the beach at the southern tip of Sri Lanka. The boutique hotel is situated on a small hill like a small village surrounded by coconut trees. The stress of everyday life is quickly forgotten here, and not just because everyday life is on the other side of the world. The wonderfully relaxed atmosphere, the warmth of the people under the mango tree and comfortable rooms and suites do the rest. No matter which room category you choose, they all score with cheerful colour accents and are located between mangroves and palm trees. The pool rooms are particularly popular, and for maximum privacy there are five pool villas with their own swimming pool and terrace. The Grand Villa is the ultimate retreat, accommodating up to six adults and also featuring a pool. Guests will also want for nothing when it comes to culinary delights. The three-course breakfast is served on the terrace, accompanied by wonderful sea views. For dinner, a culinary cross-over of Sinhalese and European cuisine is served - even the Austrian roots of the hotel's founder Robert Hollmann come to the fore here and there: in the morning, for example, there are jams made according to an Austrian recipe with Sinhalese fruits, and in the afternoon pastries that taste like they were made by Grandma Hollmann. Double room including half board from € 190,- per person.

Underneath the Mango Tree*****, crazyhollmann.com
Walawwatte, Batheegama West, Dickwella, Sri Lanka
T: +43 5 7778300

Unconventional approach. Sinhalese-European cuisine and Ayurveda made to measure: this is how the "UTMT" presents itself. ©Underneath the Mango Tree

Ananda in the Himalayas

Situated on the slopes of the Himalayas you can enjoy Ayurveda on the estate of a Maharajah.

Around 500 metres below the palace of Tehri Garhwal on the slopes of the Himalayan foothills, 75 rooms and suites await guests seeking peace and quiet. The highlight of the complex are three pool villas, the largest of which is 160 square metres in size. There are a variety of programmes to choose from, including the typical Panchakarma cure, but post-Covid rejuvenation retreats for Ayurvedic rejuvenation, immune system boosting and stress management are also on offer. Each of the packages is customized to personal needs after a comprehensive diagnostic assessment by an expert. The "Spirit of Ananda" also includes healthy and sustainable Ayurvedic cuisine. Renowned visiting masters regularly come to "Ananda" to offer workshops. Double room including full board from € 372,- per person.

Ananda in the Himalayas*****, anandaspa.com
The Palace Estate, Narendra Nagar, Uttarakhand 249175, India
T: +91 137 8227901

Tranquility in the mountains. The resort is set on a 40-acre estate overlooking the Ganges. ©Ananda in the Himalayas

Vana

The wellness retreat sees itself as a refuge that rises above conventions.

Modern, flooded with light and beyond all conventions - this is how the wellness retreat "Vana" in Dehradun, India, presents itself. It is not far from the city, but is nevertheless a refuge of peace and quiet. Trees, plants, birds, butterflies and monkeys form the backdrop against which life takes place at "Vana". It follows its own rhythm; the focus of the team is the absolute well-being of the guests. This is achieved with a wide range of ancient, traditional healing methods and contemporary therapies from around the world. Most guests come to undergo the Panchakarma cure - allegedly, the "Vana" is one of the few establishments where the procedure is not only effective but also pleasant. The great "Vana" cuisine makes sure of that. Double room including full board from € 199,- per person.

Vana, vana.co.in
Mussoorie Rd, Malsi, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248001, India
T: +91 135 3511111

The suites are modern and flooded with light. ©Vana

The Clover Mill

With ayurvedic techniques, the guests find new inner balance surrounded by the English countryside.

Even during her first Ayurveda stay in Sri Lanka, scientist Julie Dent was taken with the ancient techniques. She saw the benefits and successes of the healing teachings, which is why, back in England, she looked for a resort to visit in her home country. Not finding what she was looking for, but stumbling across Clover Mill, an old 17th century mill in Worcestershire, she decided to open her own resort offering Ayurvedic treatments and meals. After a year of renovations, the time had finally come for Julie to welcome her first guests. Today, the idyllic hideaway is one of the best Ayurveda resorts in Europe. In the midst of beautiful nature, guests find more well-being with the help of a team of experts - through Ayurveda, yoga and organic cuisine. After the tailor-made treatments, guests relax in their Eco Lodge, one of a total of six modern accommodations. The furnishings are in earth tones, the rooms are spacious, flooded with light and follow the principle of Vastu Shastra. This refers to the Ayurvedic principles of building, according to which man must also give the five elements of nature a suitable place when building, in order to be able to exist harmoniously with them. Private terraces provide views of the lake, and all accommodations have a small private garden. Speaking of gardens, the ingredients for the Ayurvedic cuisine come from the hotel's own vegetable and fruit cultivation. In addition to the year-round offer, special retreats are offered several times a year on different topics, for example on the subject of a healthy digestive tract or regarding yoga. Guests can expand their Ayurveda knowledge in in-depth workshops. The "Clover Mill" is also open to day guests - they also begin their stay with a consultation with the Ayurveda experts. Double room including breakfast from € 117,- per person.

The Clover Mill, theclovermill.com
Cradley, Malvern, Worcestershire WR13 5NR, England, UK
T: +44 1886 880859

Digital Detox and therapeutic knitting. Unusual, but effective: one of the programs is dedicated to therapeutic knitting. It works on the mind like yoga works on the body. ©The Clover Mill

Live Free -The Lion

The family-run hotel in Leogang, Salzburg, offers moments of pleasure in the midst of breathtaking mountain scenery.

In the LEONARIUM, the hotel's adults-only spa, guests experience relaxation above the rooftops of Leogang. The view of the Kitzbühel Alps and the Steinberge and Grasberge mountains has a calming effect and provides strength. In addition to classic healing massages, Lomi Lomi Nui and individual massage therapies, the ayurvedic treatments Abhyanga and Garshan are also on offer. The former is a full body massage with warm oil that is part of the Dinacarya, while the Garshan massage involves rubbing the entire body with raw silk gloves. It is used especially to activate and stimulate and is considered particularly suitable for Kapha constitution. The hotel also scores with modern rooms, à la carte restaurant, saunas, pool and natural bathing pond. Double room including pampering board from € 140,- per person.

LEBE FREI Hotel The Lion**** Superior, loewe.at
Leogang 119, 5771 Leogang, Salzburg, Austria
T: +43 6583 7428

The magical view. While recharging your batteries in the "Steinbergkino" relaxation room, the view falls on the Leogang mountains. ©Peter Kuehnl

Ayurveda Resort Mandira

In the midst of the Styrian hills, Indian splendour of colour and Austrian hospitality come together  

When Far Eastern traditions and noble Mediterranean woods, thermal water, culinary delicacies and nature meet in the green heart of Austria, the special concept of the "Mandira" is created. With "Holistic Ayurveda", guests enjoy a new start without having to travel far and wide, without jet lag, without a change of climate. The traditional Indian art of healing has been made individually accessible and adapted to the needs of the western world. Relaxing with pleasure, strengthening the immune system, more balance and regeneration from head to toe are the goals in the "Mandira". The holistic approach includes nutrition, conventional and alternative medicine, mental training, sports, exercise and spirituality. Double room including full board from € 141,- per person.

Ayurveda Hotel & Resort Mandira****S, mandira-ayurveda.at
Wagerberg 120, 8271 Bad Waltersdorf, Styria, Austria
T: +43 3333 2801

Far Eastern traditions and excellent cuisine are the hallmarks of the "Mandira". ©Ayurveda Hotel & Resort Mandira

European Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof

At the Tyrolean pioneer of European Ayurveda, the Indian healing teachings are tailored to Western needs. 

The Mauracher family has always relied on the power of nature. A deep attachment to the Ayurvedic teachings joined them at an early stage. Convinced that life in Europe brings different challenges than life in Asia, the Maurachers became pioneers - and the founders of the Ayurveda Centre at the "European Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof". Here they use a unique symbiosis of the knowledge of far-sighted orthodox physicians, the power of millennia-old Ayurvedic teachings and the regional connection to the Western world. In European Ayurveda the focus is on European needs, life circumstances and situations. This makes perfect sense, after all many of our common diseases are hardly known in the Asian world, such as burn-out, migraine and depression. At the "Sonnhof", guests find their way back to the rhythm of nature, and just as in India, this also plays a major role in the cuisine: instead of unfamiliar ingredients, only local, fresh and regional produce is used on the plates. Many of the products come from the Maurachers' farm, the Lindhof Ayurveda Farm. The resort itself, located about twelve kilometers from Kufstein in Hinterthiersee, is also a combination of two worlds. Here, Tyrol and India meet in the most beautiful form: not only in the décor, but also in the team. Trained Ayurvedic doctors from India work here side by side with local experts. In addition to the traditional Panchakarma cure, there are other cure offers such as the immune power cure or a rebuilding cure. In between, you can make use of the themed saunas, heat cabins, a panoramic indoor pool with a view of the Wilder Kaiser mountain range and a fitness room - when you're not recharging your batteries in the wonderful natural surroundings of the Tyrol. Double room including half board from € 170,- per person.

European Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof****, sonnhof-ayurveda.at
Hinterthiersee 16, 6335 Thiersee, Austria
T: +43 5376 5502

Individual treatments. The massages with warm herbal oil touch body, mind and soul. ©European Ayurveda Resort Sonnhof

This article appeared in the Falstaff TRAVEL issue SPA Special 2021.

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