Somatheeram – my piece of heaven in God’s own country, Kerala

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Somatheeram ayurvedic resort in Kerala, India is not only my piece of heaven in God’s own country but it is THE place that truly had a big impact on my life. See below why.

I first went to Kerala (pronounced Kerr’la ) in  2011, because I wanted to try one of “those” holidays…you know… to get disconnected from the world ….in an exotic world 😉 . My searches led me to Somatheeram Ayurvedic resort,  the first ayurvedic resort in the world. Good enough for me! 😉 Well, that and the pictures I’ve seen on their website! And that was just the beginning of it…

But let me start by telling you a bit about ayurveda.

Ayurveda

The word “Ayur” means  “life” and the word “Veda” means “science”. Ergo, ayurveda is the “science of life” itself.  Ayurveda is also known as the oldest medicine system in the world which I guess everybody knows that it originated in India. However, a lesser known fact is that it originated in Kerala! Yes Kerala is the birthplace of Ayurveda!

The main emphasis in the ayurveda system of medicine is put on preventionwhich is better than cure (duuuh…). But of course Ayurveda also treats diseases.  According to ayurveda science, everybody and everything in the universe is made up of 5 basic eternal elements: earth, water, fire, air & ether.

These 5 elements manifest in the human body as 3 Doshas : Vatha (air & ether), Pitha (fire) & Kapha (earth & water). In ayurvedic science these doshas influence and impact not only our body but also our mind and consciousness.  From birth, we are already genetically build as a combination of these 5 elements which later, can be altered very little by our environment, culture or society. This combination of the 5 elements results in 7 types of  individuals, which are ultimately a combination of the 3 doshas: either a single dosha (very rare), a combination of 2 doshas  or all 3 doshas. The vast majority of people will be a combination of 2 doshas out of which one can be dominant.

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So now that you have an idea about the science of ayurveda, let me give you an idea about of what is typically happening in an ayurvedic resort

Somatheeram ayurvedic resort

After check-in you are immediately accompanied to take the first appointment with an ayurvedic doctor, who, based on discussion and a quick examination, will “diagnose” you with your “type”! For example I am Pitha-Kapha type. Afterwards, depending on your needs or health problems they will prescribe the treatment and propose you the schedule for your stay.  The treatment consists of herbal teas, medication and daily massages (Yaaay!).  There are many types of ayurvedic massages, but each person will be prescribed a combination customised for them. Last time I went there, there were 22 individual types of prime treatments! These treatments are combined into programs which can then be customised based on the personal needs. If you do not have any health issues,  you can  always choose from programs such as: Rejuvenation Therapy, Beauty care programme,  Body purification therapy and so on.

In addition to the treatments , you can also participate in yoga and meditation classes. It is actually advised and encouraged to participate in all these. Ayurvedic courses are also available if interested.

A typical day at the resort

This is how a typical day at the resort looked like for me:

  •  5-5.30: wake up! …either to enjoy that early morning silence disturbed only by the birds and animals of the forest or to take millions and millions of sunrise pictures (see what I mean here)
  • 7.30: 30 min meditation
  • 8.00-9.30: Advanced Yoga class
  • 10.00: breakfast
  • 11.00: 2 hrs  massages/treatments
  • 13.30: lunch
  • leisure time: beach, pool, trips in the surroundings, another  yoga class ( very often for me 🙂 ), shopping etc.
  • 19.30: Dinner. Most of the time the dinner is accompanied by a local artistic program, by far my favourite being Indian classical dance show!
  • 22.00: the end  of another perfect day 😀
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Evening show

The meals are 90% vegetarian but non veg options are also available. However, together with your medicines and massages you will also be prescribed a “diet” according to your type. For example, if you are Pitha type (like me)  you will be prescribed food to balance the “fire” in Pitha dosha. And all food is delicious!

Yoga

There are 3  yoga classes per day for all levels of practice: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Private classes can also be arranged. The type of yoga taught in the resort is hatha yoga and more precisely, the Sivananda form of hatha yoga which is a very  complex and permissive form of yoga. All instructors are certified yoga instructors and are very used to complete beginners as well as with more advanced practitioners. Here is one the best instructors of the resort illustrating some “easy” postures 😉 .

After my first experience in 2011, I knew I would have to come back to Somatheeram. And so I did…3 years in a row… always increasing the length of my stay from 7 to 10 to 14 days.  I guess it is pretty clear how I feel about this place 🙂 .

As I already confessed at the beginning of this post, my experience here has had a big impact on my life. Not only did it introduced me to yoga and meditation, but that’s where I learned and managed for the first time to totally disconnect from everything. It is such a liberating state of mind and it happened from my very first experience there.  So of course I kept going back. And the second time I went there I already felt like home. The people are incredibly friendly and they all remember you, from doctors, to therapists, to yoga instructors and  all the other personnel.

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You can see on the website, that Somatheeram group has a few resorts scattered throughout Kerala, each of them different and each of them special in their own way. I have been only to Somatheeram and Manaltheeram which are next door to each other. The best thing is that you can always walk from one resort to the other and even go for meals, treatments, yoga classes to both of them if you want more diversity.

Just writing about this, I feel a wanderlust growing bigger and bigger so I am already thinking about planning my next trip there. I guess Somatheeram is quite addictive in a way . And I am not the only one feeling this. Many people from all corners of the world come there every year!

You can now enjoy a photographic tour of my little corner of  paradise in India 🙂

 

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Somatheeram

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One Comment:

  1. This is so interesting! I practice yoga but don’t know a thing about Ayurveda. I would love to visit Somatheeram, it sounds life changing.
    Thank you for sharing!

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