India The Wellness Destination

Cultural Diplomacy

The Ayurvedic diet is one that not only nourishes the body but also restores balance of ‘Tridoshas’, which is very much essential for maintaining good health

The Ayurvedic diet is one that not only nourishes the body but also restores balance of ‘Tridoshas’, which is very much essential for maintaining good health. Depending on our dosha, or constitutional type, some foods can be beneficial, and others should be avoided. These same foods may have the opposite effect on another dosha. The science of Ayurveda teaches that the right diet is the foundation of healing. For maximum health and vitality, the ideal diet is one that balances our doshas.

Ayurveda categorises food under three kinds: Sattvic, Rajasic and Tamasic.

The main consideration when categorising foods as Sattvic, Rajasic, or Tamasic is their effect on the human organism. Do they create heat or dryness in the body? Do they create extreme cold? Do they stimulate the human organism —including the glandular secretions and the psychic centres (chakras)? Do they have an extended nourishing effect? What are the after-effects? Are the foods readily digestible, or do they take some time and energy to digest?

Sattvic is a trait of the mind which induces harmony, balance and clarity. Fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, dry fruits, nuts, honey, jaggery, herbal teas are some of the foods that promote sattva.

Rajasic is the feature of mind which induces energy and action, and the need to create. Ready to eat canned food, ice-cream, paneer, garlic, vinegar, pickles are examples of foods that promote Rajas.

Tamasic is an attribute of the mind which evokes darkness, inertia, resistance and the need to stop. Alcohol, all meats and fish, eggs, tea, coffee, fried food etc promotes tamas.

Food not only nourishes the body, it affects the mind and consciousness as well. As our physical constitution is characterised by different proportions of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, we also have a mental constitution determined by the sattva, rajas, and tamas. These three qualities are universal and equally necessary to maintain our psychological balance.

Spa Breaks

India is a hot favourite wellness destination among tourists. Seeking Ayurveda and other alternative therapies, many tourists plan spa holidays across various places in India. Some of the must visit places to recharge and rejuvenate are:

Ananda in the Himalayas

Located near Rishikesh, Ananda in the Himalayas is the world class destination spa. It is the finest spa in the country and has beautifully blended the traditional Indian system of Ayurveda with the more contemporary western spa approach. The spa provides unique and exotic massages, spas and water therapies. Body treatments here include various types of exfoliation and body wraps treatments.Once the residence of the then Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal, it is dedicated to today’s traveller, who is looking for the ultimate escape.

Kaya Kalp
In close proximity to the Taj Mahal is the ITC Mughal, Agra which houses Kaya Kalp — The Royal Spa. This premier resort and spa, is spread over 35 acres and offers a truly royal Mughal experience with its exquisite interiors, impeccable service and extraordinary cuisine. Kaya Kalp — The Royal Spa, is India’s largest spa at over 99,000 square feet. With a harmonious blend of Mughal and contemporary design, it offers an oasis of tranquility, where holistic therapies and services are offered in royal style. Eight luxurious treatment suites provide varied experiences of opulent luxury, including a Royal Mughal Hamam — the first luxury hamam in India, outdoor rain showers in enclosed gardens, a regal beauty salon, and a water therapy room with steam, whirlpool, and sauna.

Contact details: ITC Mughal, Agra,
Taj Ganj, Agra, Uttar Pradesh-282001

Sereno Spa
Located in the Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, Sereno Spa is a unique health and wellness oasis that offers holistic treatments through a blend of unique therapies. A visit here promises to be a transformational experience, integrating mystical traditions and philosophies of old world India with the contemporary spa principles of aromatherapy and energy healing. Spread over 36,000 sq feet, it is an award winning wellness spa destination set in the lush beachfront gardens in the idyllic regions of south Goa.

Contact details: Park Hyatt Goa Resort and Spa, Arossim Beach, Cansaulim, South Goa -403712

Jiva Spa
Located at the Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, Jiva Spa is in a league of its own. The place offers exquisite suites with special arrangements and décor for an opulent spa experience. Most of the massages and therapies are offered on the boat. The royal boat blends the aura of the Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur and the rejuvenating experience of the Jiva Spa. This majestic vessel offers a dramatic lake view of the hotel. A true floating spa, on board is a double spa suite, relaxation lounge, steam room and shower, while on deck you’ll find a soaking pool, day bed and dining area. Spa journeys combine Indian-technique massages with treatments like scrubs and wraps, using local herbs and spices.

Contact details: Taj Lake Palace, Udaipur, P.O. Box No 5, Lake Pichola, Udaipur-313001

Kairali Healing Village
Experience Ayurveda in the land of its origin, South India! At the Kairali — The Ayurvedic Healing Village, the Ayurvedic treatment is also about getting back to nature. The resort is set amongst 50 acres of lush land in the Palakkad district of Kerala, and there is even a stream running past each cottage. Like a refuge among the wilderness, this health resort has pollution free surroundings with soothing waterfalls and fountains. Designed to be the first of its kind in the world, this resort combines the healthy integration of healing, Ayurvedic and fitness programmes that restores vigour and zest back into your life.

Contact details: Kairali — The Ayurvedic Healing Village, Olassery, Kodumbu, Palakkad District, Kerala-678551

Ayurveda believes that the right diet is the foundation of all healing.

Yoga: A Practice for Life

It was none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi on whose behest the United Nations decided to declare June 21, 2015 as ‘International Yoga Day’, thus firmly establishing India as global spiritual capital.

Yoga has evolved over thousands of years to embrace a wide range of styles and disciplines. The word yoga means ‘union’ in Sanskrit, the language of ancient India, and its significance has never been more relevant today. Many people think that yoga is just stretching. But while stretching is certainly involved, yoga is really about creating balance in the body and mind through developing both mental strength and flexibility. This is done through the performance of poses or postures, each of which has specific physical benefits. There are many types of yoga that are practiced but almost all styles are based on different postures and it’s important to find the right style for you.

Jnana Yoga is the Yoga of Knowledge

This is not knowledge in the intellectual sense, but the knowledge of Brahman and Atman and the realisation of their unity. There are seven stages to Jnana, involving study, self-realisation, desire, and protection of the mind. This form of yoga develops indifference to objects and non-attachment with the world.

Hatha Yoga

It is the most popular form of yoga practiced in the western world. It is the use of yoga postures or asanas. Hatha yoga attempts to balance the mind and body via physical postures or ‘asanas’, purification practices, controlled breathing, and the calming of the mind through relaxation and meditation.

Kundalini Yoga

It is the most powerful form of yoga and focuses on awakening the energy which is found at the base of the spine. Kundalini is, without a doubt, one of the more spiritual styles of yoga. It focuses on breath and movement and challenges its students both physically and mentally.

Swara Yoga

Swara yoga focuses on controlling and manipulating the flow of breath into the nostrils. It demonstrates that the flow of breath dominates each nostril alternately and regularly. The flow of breath changes from one nostril to the other periodically, thus balancing the entire system, which is the key objective of Swara Yoga.

Raja Yoga

The aim of Raja Yoga is self-realisation or liberation. However, the masters simplified its technique so that everybody could practice it easily and safely to improve their physical as well as mental health. Raja Yoga focuses on directing one’s life-force to bring the mind and emotions into balance. The aim is to focus on an object of meditation or on the lord himself.

Kriya Yoga

The practice of Kriya Yoga is based on breath, the brain and the spinal cord. The goal of Kriya Yoga is union with the divine. It works with the spiritual energy located deep within the spine. Since Kriya Yoga is based on breath, you can practice this special technique during the whole day and in whatever activity you do.

Mantra Yoga

Mantra yoga is an exact science where the mantras are signposts to the wandering mind, steering it to an ideal state for meditation. Repetition of mantras completely engages the mind, offering a means of getting closer to the divinity within.

Power Yoga

Power yoga is the western version of the Indian Ashtanga Yoga which emphasises on developing one’s physical flexibility and nurtures the desire for self-discipline. Power Yoga moves more quickly than regular Yoga, and as such gives more cardio output. In regular Yoga, the focus is on holding one’s posture, but in Power Yoga the focus is on the movement.

Bikram Yoga

Bikram Yoga class is a 26-posture (Asana) series that is done in a heated room set to 105 degrees. Every posture is intended to be practiced in a given order, to the best of one’s ability. The heated rooms ensure the flushing out of toxins, among other benefits. This yoga is a medicine, a process by which the individual can reverse the effects of poor posture and chronic ailments. In a relatively short period of time and with regular practice, the body will transform, gaining in strength, stamina and flexibility.

Ayurveda - The Science of Life

Ayurvedic medicine — also known as Ayurveda — is one of the world’s oldest holistic (whole-body) healing systems. Derived from its ancient Sanskrit roots — ‘ayus’ (life) and ‘ved’ (knowledge) — offers a rich, comprehensive outlook to a healthy life; its origins go back nearly 5,000 years. Ayurveda was expounded and practiced by spiritual rishis, who laid the foundations of the Vedic civilisation in India. They organised the fundamentals of life into proper systems.

Ayurveda offers a unique blend of science and philosophy that balances the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual components necessary for holistic health. The best thing about Ayurvedic treatment is that they are individualistic. The treatments are based on the five elements of the universe — Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Space. According to Ayurveda, each person will be influenced by certain elements more than others. This is because of their prakriti, or natural constitution.

Ayurveda categorises the different constitutions into three different doshas:

Vata Dosha: This is where the air and space elements dominate.

Pitta Dosha: This is where the fire element dominates.

Kapha Dosha: This is where the earth and water elements dominate.

An Ayurvedic physician takes into consideration these doshas to measure the equilibrium levels of the body and accordingly a wellness path is organised. For each element, there is a balanced and imbalance expression. An important goal of Ayurveda is to identify a person’s ideal state of balance, determine where they are out of balance, and offer interventions using diet, herbs, aromatherapy, massage treatments, music, and meditation to re-establish this balance.

Spa treatments that are based on Ayurvedic knowledge work at a very deep level to thoroughly cleanse the body of toxins and remove physiological imbalances. The treatments can be for general health and wellness or catered toward treating a specific ailment. Some of the well-known ones that assure radiance and invigoration include:


The Abhyanga therapy treats the whole body physically, mentally and emotionally while balancing the doshas. Its rhythmic motion helps to relieve joints and muscles from stiffness and makes all body movements free.


This is a powerful Ayurvedic treatment that calms the nervous system and restores the body’s natural ability to heal. Lukewarm oil is poured in a continuous stream onto the forehead, while one receives a gentle massage on the head.

Snehana Therapy

Snehana is a warm oil therapy that is applied to the client. Snehana means ‘love’ and through this nourishing, nurturing, warming therapy the vata dosha is brought back into balance. It is also called the ‘potli massage’ or ‘herbal pouch treatment.’


Swedhana is a traditional steam therapy designed to open tissues with the saturation of heat and moisture. Once the tissues are open, deep seated toxins can be released through the pores of the skin, thereby reducing inflammation, improving circulation, and promoting healing and restoration. 


This is a typical deep and dry massage using herbal powders. The dry powder massage helps to reduce blood cholesterol and obesity, while imparting mobility to the joints and strengthening the muscles.


Panchakarma (five actions) is a cleansing and rejuvenating program for the body, mind and consciousness. It is known for its beneficial effects on overall health, wellness and self-healing. The Panchakarma therapeutic process appears quite simple in its application. However, its effects are powerful and effective. It is a unique, natural, holistic, health-giving series of therapeutic treatments that cleanses the body’s deep tissues of toxins, opens the subtle channels, and brings life-enhancing energy thereby increasing vitality, inner peace, confidence and well-being. It is important to note that the expertise and guidance of a Panchakarma specialist is a must for the diagnosis and therapy for optimal results.

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