A feast for the senses

In August we went to do Panchakarma in Kerala, South India. Panchakarma is an Ayurvedic means to purify your body in five different ways and Kerala is the classic place to do it. Those ancient Ayurvedic techniques are still practiced today in India and they still work.Panchakarma is perhaps even more important today with all the toxins that we are exposed to. I really felt in need of an overhaul for my health and looking forward to some ‘me’ time. August is usually the hottest time in India but we didn’t mind too much and we were very lucky that the monsoon had started when we arrived which cooled everything down. I read that monsoon is the perfect time to do Panchakarma.

Saj Earth Resort near Cochin airport

We arrived late in the night in Cochin and after a whole day (almost 24 hours on the plane) decided to stay near the airport for the night. The hotel we originally had requested was booked out but then we ended up in an even nicer place. It had a pool right outside our room. The best thing after a long travel is waking up in the morning to a swim. Wohooo!  

After a long swim and breakfast, we traveled to a place further inland called Maitreyi Vedic Village, just to relax for a few days and get used to the heat. They had a beautiful organic garden and I was fortunate to get a tour of it. I learned how amla, allspice, ginger, henna, teak wood, lady finger, custard apple and other plants grow. We also saw the traces of a snake that crossed our path and in the night we would hear the elephants in the nearby tiger and elephant reserve. In the photos you can see the monsoon clouds approaching…

When we finally arrived in the Aatma ayurvedic clinic and started treatments the monsoon was in full swing and the temperatures quite pleasent. Dr Ravi Mooss, his wife and father are amazing ayurvedic doctors from a long lineage of doctors dating back to the time of the Maharajas. The procedures were super professional. I have done Panchkarma before in Delhi, which was good, but this was supreme. And so were the technicians, they took such good care of everyone. And the food was delicious, made to heal, with lots of ginger and coconut, traditional south Indian dishes. Mealtimes were also times for good conversations and stories and even though we weren’t supposed to gorge ourselves on chai, it was everyone’s highlight of the day. A little sugar (or more), a simple life! Yummy food, daily oil massages, the fragrance and beauty of the flowers, and listening to the rain and birds… a feast for the senses!

And then they started making those beautiful flower mandalas everywhere for the occasion of Onam, so beautiful… and the background story.

Of course, I had brought some painting supplies along, watercolors, oil pastels, my new glitter gel pens, glue and scissors, a sketchbook, a few pieces of paper, some magazine that I picked up on our stop over at the Abu Dhabi airport, with Arabic script and fancy glossy pictures. And I found a sweet spot by the window of my room overlooking the rice fields and the Havan shalla. Not that much time in-between all the treatments but having fun and keeping the creative juices flowing…


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