For decades I identified myself as Jack of all trades. My corporate roles propelled me to wear multiple hats. Which enabled me to get skilled and execute in myriad areas. My epiphany occurred during my most recent trip to India in Spring of 2019. Being newly diagnosed diabetic, I was struggling emotionally and logistically navigating an unfamiliar medical landscape of America. A lot had changed in the decade that I had been way from the US. I was committed to seeking natural, holistic care with the lofty goal of restoring my cells to good health and my sensibilities to good cheer.
Enter Ayurvedagram. Established in 2000, this healing retreat addresses ailments like diabetes, obesity, arthritis, fibromyalgia, severe depression, stress, psoriasis, post surgery rehab and rejuvenation to name a few maladies that plague our planet.
A dear friend introduced me to Dr. Manu of Ayurvedagram. It radically changed my life. The abundant support, encouragement, expert guidance and unlimited TLC that I received from his team at Ayurvedagram restored me and how. The transition occurred just as I completed my 50th revolution around the sun.
Located on thirteen acres of lush and diverse green, dotted with 18th and 19th century heritage cottages, I found Ayurvedagram to be a deeply spiritual abode. Not surprisingly, it is among the top ten healing retreats in incredible India. Their holistic approach to healing all sorts of maladies is head and shoulders above any medical or energy healing methodologies I have encountered so far. I learned the gentle, disciplined way of life here, which is what is essential if you want to row, row, row your lifeboat, gently down the stream.
The kind souls and sacred, secure grounds that comprise Ayurvedagram provide the infrastructure, healing modalities, ambience and skilled, dedicated experts under whose tutelage I first hand experienced a lifetime of accumulated stress in my gross body start to melt away.
The environment is such that one can shed ones guard, take off any and all masks we don to function in the outside world of today and find liberation in being completely authentic. Beyond the body, the kind doctors and yoga faculty provide ample and much needed life guidance and counseling and continued support as they encourage you to adopt and develop a spiritual practice by self healing methodologies like yoga, meditation and the most important, our diets. Our digestion and a clean gut are key to be able to rise to our fullest potential as human beings, since we become what we eat. These practices and a disciplined approach to self preservation of our mind, body and spirits, enable us to deal with the ups and downs, trials and tribulations of the roller coaster called life.
Ayurvedagram passionately follows the traditions of Kerala’s herbal Ayurveda. Kerala (land of coconut trees) is a sliver of state in South India all along the coast of the Arabian Sea. Ayurvedagram is history come alive since much attention and loving care has been bestowed on conservation of the manas (homes) of the 18th and 19th century kingdom of the Travancore kingdom (1729 – 1949). The worlds beloved, Gandhiji visited Kerala five times. During one of those visits, it is believed that he stayed in a Kurur Mana. This original structure was dismantled in the last decade of the 20th century and transported to the neighbouring state of Karnataka.
In the grounds of Ayurvedagram, located near Whitefield in Bengaluru (Bangalore), this historic home of our world stands tall, steeped in the rich and vibrant history of the struggle for India’s independence.
People from various walks of life from all over the world seek refuge here to restore their health and sensibilities to be able to function at an optimum level with ease in the world of today. Celebrities like Anoushka Shankar, Sri Sri Ravishankar & Javier Moro are among the luminaries who have been patrons of this magical healing space.
The vastness of green and being in nature promotes an environment where the body can relax and the mind is at ease. Fifty percent of the patrons return to Ayurvedagram. One of the healing modalities, Panchkarma is a cleansing technique is employed to flush out toxins that have been built up in our bodies due to unhealthy dietary habits, high stress levels, poor sleep habits. sedentary lifestyle. It is a preventive maintenance and is highly recommended annual detox practice to balance our constitutions.
The building blocks of every human, plant and seemingly inanimate object in the universe are the five elements of earth, fire, water, wind and space (ether). Just as our bodies are comprised of trillions of cells, each entity including humans has an individual existence. Every cosmic force that exists in the universe, has a counter-representation in an altered form in plants, animals and humans. The sages of the Vedic era describe how these five elements condense to the three doshas – Vata (Air, Kinetic energy), Kapha (Water, Potential energy) and Pitta (Fire, Balances Kinetic and Potential energies)
The perfectly balanced state of these energies in us is the state of health. The grossly imbalanced state of these three energies is called the state of disease or illness. In life, it matters how we are able to find an equilibrium, or equanimity of these three inherent energies and more importantly, maintain it. It equips us with the thought process and control it takes to navigate the trials and tribulations and triumphs of our experiences that comprise our life. More often than not, we are enslaved to the consequences generated by our responses and knee-jerk reactions to those circumstances, invariably putting these three energies out of balance. The treatment programs at Ayurveda Gram helps you to uncover the depths of your authentic being, learn more about your energy levels and how best to help maintain an equilibrium in them
At the heart of Ayurveda is the fact that the food we eat has profound implications on the physical, mental and spiritual bodies (koshas in Sanskrit). That we are all interconnected. Everything we eat has an energy quotient (Prana) that is the life force, positive, negative and neutral. We may have progressed by leaps and bounds on the technology front, but regressed a great deal in our eating habits. In the name of convenience, we eat frozen, dead food that has zero life energy. Besides nutrients, our trillion cells need Prana or life energy too. There are five layers to our bodies – Physical (Annamaya Kosha), Energy( Pranamaya Kosha), Emotional (Manomaya Kosha, Mental (Vignanmaya Kosha) and Bliss (Anandmaya Kosha). One cannot only focus on the Physical body to achieve holistic wellness.
“The food we eat becomes the foundation of our bodies, seeds of our thoughts and essence of our consciousness” – Deepak Chopra
In Ayurveda, food is classified into two depending on its inherent qualities (Veerya). These are Ushna (heat generating) and Sheeta (providing cooling).
Those who have pathologies that is caused by excessive heat are advised food that are Sheeta in Veerya (such as all dairy except yogurt, cucumber, fruits like watermelon). Similarly, those pathologies that manifests due to a lifestyle in which a person is unduly exposed to food that has an inherent quality of cooling, the dietary advice from the physician would be to have food that are heat generating (such as honey, pepper, chilly, spices, ginger, garlic, fermented food like curd, alcohol, vinegar).
Ayurvedic doctors regard physical and mental existence and personality as one unit, each element being able to influence the other. Feelings, thoughts and emotions play a vital role in defining our individual energy signatures or auras. A peaceful individual with spiritual waves sends out into the world, thoughts of harmony and peace which are absorbed by the minds of people and produce in them, similar thoughts and positive vibes. Thoughts, good or evil, give rise to vibrations in the mental atmosphere and travel far and wide. In addition, every thought or impulse is conveyed to every cell in the body. Negative emotions impact the functioning of the cells, secrete harmful chemicals in the body, drain energy, cause a weakened immune system plus a host of psychosomatic diseases.
Thought is the most vital, subtle and dynamic force in the universe. By choosing our thoughts, we determine the emotional currents and electromagnetic frequencies we release. We can control our energies, quality of life, the effect we have on others and the nature of experience of our lives by thought control.
There are three highly competent, capable and kind doctors that have the patience and listening capacity of saints at Ayurvedagram. I had the good fortune of crossing paths with one – Dr. Manmohan. His gentle approach perfectly suited my sensitive soul. A 14 – 21 days transformative Wellness program was identified as the treatment plan for my condition – Diabetes II, Fibromyalgia, Stress and Obesity.
“Only Fools live in the past” – K. L. Sharma, Vipasana Guruji
I received very valuable customized instructions not only on how to eat and the right natural remedies for my altered state of cells due to Diabetes, but also sound advice on life lessons. By focusing on the NOW and reinventing the rest of the days by living a clean life in thought, deed and action moving forward, one can stem the effects of karma (What goes around comes around) that one accumulates over eons. The guiding light in the Ayurvedic methodology is a careful analysis of the individuals constitution.
It is bewildering to explore the landscape of so much contrary information regarding what to eat in the millennial world of today. A stay at Ayurvedagram is the best investment you could ever make for yourself, in yourself as a Human being, and hence to the Universe that you inhabit.
I found the food served by the gracious and welcoming staff at Ayurvedagram to be delicious. I also received a lesson from the head chef , Sri Ganesh on how to make chapatis. On my return back home to California, I promptly embarked on gathering the kitchen tools I needed to recreate it and after just a few attempts, I was successful. All this happens because one feels supported by Doctor Manu and his team at Ayurvedagram, long after your stay there.
By focusing on the NOW and reinventing the rest of the days by living a clean life in thought, intent and deed or action moving forward, one can stem the effects of karma (What goes around comes around) that one accumulates over eons.
Kerala Ayurveda healers use Kerala massage techniques to detoxify and break down blocks and eliminate toxin buildup that get accumulated over a lifetime.
It is bewildering to explore the landscape of so much contrary information regarding what to eat in the millennial world of today. The onus to be healthy solely rests on the consumer, which seems unfair. A sea of unhealthy options flood the markets and our senses, tempting us with convenience, affordability and taste. These unhealthy options loaded with simple carbohydrates, unhealthy fats and sugars lead to debilitating diseases. In our mid-life we tend to realize the damage due to our irresponsible, unconscious choices and eating habits. A stay at Ayurvedagram is the best investment you could ever make for yourself, in yourself as a Human being, and hence to the Universe that you inhabit. The education and nurturing I received here restored me and gave me the protocol to follow a disciplined methodology, unique to my constitution. It is never too late to reverse the ravages we invariably do to our fragile mind and bodies. Highly recommend a stay here. Worth every penny and paisa.
(Shivan Shantam Advaitam)
Ayurvedagram – the Heart of Healing
Hemandanahalli, Samethanahalli Post
Whitefield, Bangalore 560067
Books that contributed towards this blog:
Sadhguru: Mind is your business; Body, the best gadget
Prakriti – Dr. Robert Svoboda
Eat Feel Fresh – Sahara Kitabi
The Art of Living: Vipasana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka
No Ifs. No Buts – Dr Vijaya Venkat, The Health Awareness Center