Ayurveda doctors and experts answer your questions.
Kerala is consider the home of ayurveda, because when compared to other Indian states, it has never lost its connection with ayurveda. Other states, specially northern part of India, were invaded by other nations, which brought their own culture and healing systems. But the ayurvedic tradition of Kerala was kept almost untouched. It was lifestyle and part of the practices in every family, passing down to generations. Kerala retained in its pristine form the ayurveda as it was written in the ancient texts. That's why we say, that Kerala is a cradle of ayurveda, although it is connected with healing traditions of whole India.
Being honest, Kerala is probably one of the few places in the world where we have a varied geography like beaches, backwaters, plains and mountains all close together just within a span of 100 kilometer radius. Thanks to our history, we have rich culture and well-educated people, but still Kerala is a tricky place to do business.
When we have opened Somatheeram, the infrastructure was very poor, we didn’t have proper roads or electricity. There was no single window clearing system for government approvals. Also the process for obtaining permission from several authorities to run an ayurveda resort was long and cumbersome. Today Kerala Tourism has elaborated ayurveda certification system, but that time it did not exist.
Above all, every business, especially ayurveda, needs to contribute something back to the society. The social structure in Kerala is very intricate, that is why one of my primary tasks was to build a business that will give jobs to the local population and create very close relationship with local community.
Ayurveda is inspired by lifestyle in Kerala, but our society has changed last years. My grandfather used to oil-massaged himself everyday evening. He had dinner at 6:30 pm. He went to bed around 9:00 pm and woke up at 4:30 am. That was a lifestyle 30-40 years ago. Nowadays people in Kerala doesn’t use much oil for bath, nobody has time for it. We have a different lifestyle influenced by different organisation of the society. The good sign is, that people are trying to come back to their roots and practise healthy lifestyle. It is almost impossible to return completely to all ayurveda practises, but we should try as much as possible.
There are lots of factors, which are influencing lifestyle. The environment, climatic conditions, food and habits are different in Europe. You should not think, "Whatever I did in Kerala I should do in my country." Ayurveda tells us, that you should do whatever is good for your body. There should be different approach for each country considering its natural resources, but also social and cultural habits. Each person is different, but also a country.
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