For thousands of years, people in India have turned to the holistic, traditional system of Ayurveda, one of the world’s oldest health care systems, for various preventive and curative therapies. Today the country remains synonymous with time-tested solutions like Ayurveda Yoga and Meditation, making it the most sought after destination to experience a wellness holiday. The country is also home to other ancient wellness practices like Siddha, Kalari and MarmaChikitsa, which like its popular peers is focused on leading a healthy lifestyle.
The 2000-year old system of medicine, Ayurveda is known to have originated in South India but has become popular with residents and visitors coming into India, because of its innumerable benefits. One of the biggest selling point for Ayurveda is that it works on balancing the body’s energies (or doshas) while tackling the root cause of the problem rather than its symptoms. This holistic approach is known to show long-lasting results with minimum side-effects.
Similarly, Yoga has been a part of India’s ethos for over 5,000 years and is better known as the birthplace of Yoga today. Studying Yoga in India allows one to connect to the history and traditions of yoga, helping students study from Gurus or spiritual leaders and deepen their practice. Meditation is practiced as an extension to Yoga, with sessions that include breathing exercises or pranayama.
India is also home to ashrams, meditation centers and yoga retreats that offer a spiritual experience to visitors. Visiting ashrams in India became popular in the 1960s and ’70s, with the Beatles who went to Rishikesh with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1969. Today, India is home to many Meditation ashrams most popular for the traditional Meditation technique, Vipassana. Besides its ashrams, India is also home to many renowned Gurus who have brought about some of the most prominent forms of yoga these days. These include BKS Iynegar whose main centre is the RamamaniIyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, in Pune, Maharashtra. Another popular course of yoga is taught as Ashtanga yoga by K PattabhiJois in Mysore, Karnataka and Swami Vishnu Devananda who established the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre. The list is endless.
With 32.7 million trips and rising India sits in the top 5 in the number of wellness trips it gets each year. This number continues to grow as there is a growing interest and knowledge about Ayurveda and Yoga, which is being actively marketed by Incredible India and the Ministry of Ayush. Today the country offers a wide variety of wellness centers and Spas, catering to different budgets. While traditionally most Ayurvedic centers we located in the southern state of Kerala, due to the climate and abundant supply of medicinal plants and herbs there, this trend is changing with authentic centers run by professional Ayurvedic doctors opening across the length and breadth of the country.
Today there are several upscale destination spas in India that have further boosted the country’s name on the global wellness map. These include the Ananda in the Himalayas, Soukya Holistic Health Center in Bangalore, Somatheeram Kerala and Swasaraa in Gokarna near Goa among others.
From the yoga-capital of the world- Rishikesh in the Himalayas, the mesmerizing beaches of Goa to the birthplace of Ayurveda, Kerala, the country has a wellness experience suited to for everyone.