India, often referred to as the land of yogis, is home to the ancient sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda, the two separate but related disciplines of medicine. Yoga and Ayurveda are among the world’s oldest medical systems that trace their origins back to over 5,000 years ago. In treatment, both yoga and ayurveda advocate for the regular practice of pranayama and meditation as well as the use of herbs, body purification procedures, food and chanting of mantras for physical, mental and spiritual health. Yoga and Ayurveda can be termed as inseparable sisters. It is also said that Ayurveda is the science and Yoga is the practice of the science.
Yoga, based on ancient Indian wisdom and culture, is not only a physical science as taught in the West, but is an art of living a healthy balanced, peaceful and contented life. Literally meaning harmony, Yoga is the harmony of body, mind and soul, harmony in relationship with living beings, and harmony with the entire universe. According to Yoga, health is not just a mere absence of disease, but a positive feeling of well-being.
Derived from the Sanskrit word “Yog” which means “To Join” or “To Unite”, Yoga is a Union with God to live a contended, peaceful and balanced life. Yoga is a philosophy of life, a code of conduct and an attitude which helps to achieve the physical well being, mental peace, harmony, moral elevation and also spiritually uplifts man.
is a practice or training through which we attain constant observation of the mind. In this regular practice, we strive to focus our mind at one point and make it still in order to perceive the self, to achieve a greater sense of purpose and strength to achieve balanced thinking and will power.
Being one of the five principles of Yoga, Meditation helps achieve a clearer mind, improve concentration, and discover the wisdom and tranquility within you.
Yoga and Meditation, if practiced regularly, help enormously in preventing and treating modern day lifestyle diseases like stress, heart diseases, diabetes, disturbed lipid patterns, arthritis etc. Regular practice of Yoga and Meditation improves focus levels, resulting in better concentration, enhanced memory and learning abilities. It also decreases anxiety, stress and depression, which can be aptly called the mother of most of the modern day lifestyle diseases.
dating its roots in India 5000 years ago, is perhaps the oldest system of medicine in the world. Ayurveda tends to restore, rejuvenate and revitalize body, mind and soul, through holistic healing by using remedies offered by nature. It is considered to be the science of longevity, helping in prolonging life span, while at the same time promoting health, peace, and happiness. Ayurveda strives to maintain health in a person by using the inherent principles of nature, resulting in achievement of overall balance by cleansing the body, reducing stress and building immunity. Besides having practically no side effects, Ayurveda helps in treating diseases as well as preventing the occurrence of diseases.
Derived from two words of Sanskrit language “Ayur” meaning life, and “Veda” meaning knowledge or science, Ayurveda can be defined as “The Science or Knowledge of Life”.
As per Vedic theory, everything in this universe, including our body, is made up of five elements – Space (Akash), Air (Vayu), Fire (Agni), Water (Jal) and Earth (Prithvi). The composition of these five elements varies in everyone, which defines the body type (prakurti) of an individual. Ayurveda classifies three body types – Vata, Pitta and Kapha – which control our body functions. Imbalance of these three forces, is called Tridoshas, which leads to diseases. Ayurveda is concerned with achieving balance in body and mind by restoring the balance of these three forces or Tridoshas.
is the prime ayurvedic process of treatment to balance the Tridoshas. Panchakarma is a purifying therapy to enhance the metabolic process through food and herbal medicines. It is actually a process for cleansing the body by getting rid of the accumulated toxins in the body. As the toxins are eliminated from the body, the balance of Tridoshas is restored and the person becomes healthy. Panchkarma is the basic procedure of Ayurveda, after which a number of specific treatments and therapies are available for prevention and cure of various diseases and illnesses.
Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda, although being originated and practiced in India since thousands of years, have caught the fancy of the western world too. More and more people in the US, UK and other parts of Europe have realized the immense potential of the preventive and healing prowess of these ancient Indian medical systems. As these sciences treat the cause, unlike others which treat the symptoms, the combination of Yoga, Meditation and Ayurveda, has emerged to be an effective alternate therapy all around the globe.
The growing acceptance of the ancient Indian Medical Systems, is prompting an ever increasing number of people to visit India, for learning Yoga and Meditation, as well as taking Ayurveda treatments. Every year lakhs of visitors from the developed world including USA, Canada, South America, and Europe throng to India for taking advantage of this natural medical system for prevention and cure of most of the modern day lifestyle diseases.
Although centers for Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda and Naturopathy are spread across India, but there are specific areas which offer various therapies, considering the conducive climate and environment beneficial for those therapies. Yoga and Meditation are mainly practiced in the Himalayan region, while Ayurveda treatments are mostly centered around the South Indian state of Kerala.
located just 225 kilometers from New Delhi, in the North Indian state of Uttarakhand, is sometimes referred to as “The World Capital of Yoga”. Rishikesh has established itself as a world famous center to study, learn and practice Yoga, Meditation and Spirituality, for maintaining perfect mental and physical well being. Located at the foothills of Himalayas, Rishikesh has a pleasant, continental climate throughout the year, which is an added advantage for learning and practicing these sciences, while being close to nature. Moreover Rishikesh is well connected by Air, Road and Rail.
Of the many international Yoga centers in Rishikesh, Parmarth Niketan is considered to be one of the most sought after and known Yoga retreats. Spread over an eight acre campus, the ashram has 1,000
rooms, and conducts extensive programs of beginner yoga, Vedic heritage and spirituality, and teacher training courses. Daily classes are also open to visitors. A popular attraction is the week long International Yoga Festival held at the ashram every March. The ashram also performs the sacred Ganga aarti every evening.
Ananda Spa in the Himalayas, the luxury yoga, meditation and ayurveda resort near Rishikesh is the most popular retreat among international visitors. Restored from the Palace of the erstwhile Maharaja of Tehri Garhwal, Ananda is a statement of style, with five star amenities and luxuries. This splendid resort has carved out a niche for itself as the world’s most luxurious center of ancient Indian sciences, offering the ultimate experience of Relaxation and Rejuvenation, promising a memorable stay.
a narrow state in the southern most part of India, is home to world class Ayurveda centers. Its equable climate, natural abundance of forests and the cool monsoon season are best suited for Ayurveda's curative and restorative treatments. Being in the coastal region, the prevalence of moisture in the air and on the surface of the skin makes it the ideal place for natural medicines to work effectively. The land is also blessed with innumerous medicinal plants which provide the continuity and consistency needed for effective treatment procedures. The same herbs with the same potency are available year after year across every season.
Kerala Ayurveda offers two types of treatments – general rejuvenation packages catering to tourists, and intensive medical treatments administered by specialized ayurveda centers. Ayurvedic Spa Treatments provided by many resorts are fine for anyone just wanting to get some pampering, a massage, or an overall feel for Ayurveda.
Another novel way of getting Ayurveda Spa treatments is to avail them while traversing through the famous backwaters of Kerala. Bamboo Lagoon is one of the most popular destinations in which you can enjoy the backwaters and also have ayurvedic treatments.
However, those who are serious about receiving quality Ayurvedic treatment for medical reasons should go to a proper Ayurveda Hospital.
has introduced the "Green Leaf" and "Olive Leaf" grading for Ayurvedic institutions in order to ensure quality service. "Green Leaf" is given to those Ayurvedic centers that provide five star facilities while "Olive Leaf" is for the three star categories. These classifications ensure the credibility of service providers and the quality.
Popular Ayurveda Centers in Kerala include, Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort, Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health Resort, Ayuryogashram, Beach and Lake Ayurvedic Resort, Ayurtheeram Ayurvedic Resort, Manatheeram Ayurvedic Resort, etc.
Karnataka, another South Indian state also has some world renowned Ayurveda Centers. Ayurveda Gram Heritage Wellness Center in Bangalore, and Soukya Holistic Health Center in Bangalore offer complete Ayurvedic treatments, and have become immensely popular among international visitors, wanting to live a disease free, long and blissful life.