Ayurveda is the raison d'etre for Kalari Kovilakom. It sits physically at the centre of the complex and provides the structure for the day.
The heart of Kalari Kovilakom is the ayurveda centre located in the centre of the garden beside the traditional summer dipping pool. It is a measure of the approach that visitors must stay for a minimum of 14 days to enjoy the benefits of treatment. Kalari Kovilakom is not a place for a tester with a few massages. Visitors come to escape the world and undertake meaningful treatments. The Ayurveda team comprises two doctors a team of therapists who oversee the treatments according to the directions of the medical team.
Generally, treatments take place once or twice a day and are accompanied by a specific vegetarian diet prepared for you by the kitchen team served in the social dining room with its row of small tables that face across for a highly convivial and conversational meal time conversation. During my first visit I sat opposite a french photographer, two novelists and a pair of travel writers from Delhi which made for a stimulating and enjoyable meal time.
Early morning before the heat rises, there are yoga sessions in the Yoga pavilion in the grounds which is a wonderful and relaxing way to start your day and prepare you for a light breakfast. Seated cross legged in the morning light, it was easy to think how peaceful the world could be if only everybody practised yoga!
Treatments depend on the course you are undertaking. Whilst most people associate Ayurveda with massages, ayurveda also includes medicines, steams and diet. The classic Pancha Karma treatment which is strongly associated with Kerala is typically a massage and steam course of treatment, but visitors looking to lose weight usually have very specific diets as well.