There Has To Be Balance Between Mind, Body And Soul: Ram Wasan, Founder Of Mekosha Ayurveda Spasuites
In an interview with BW Businessworld, Ram Wasan, Founder of Mekosha Ayurveda Spasuites, spoke about Ayurveda, its treatment methods and more.
Wellness as a holistic enterprise---discussing the rising trend and its popularity, what makes it so popular, why now and how best to address it?
The reason is manifold: we live an increasingly urbanised world. Small villages and towns, where family bonds were strong and where the family was the stabilising factor, has given way to city life, with both its benefits as well as its curse. The pace of work and life is too hectic; most of us work awkward timings, and we are constantly sleep-deprived. There is no set routine, no focus on self. What do you look for when you lead a life in which every moment is accounted for, where you have no time to bond with friends and family, or even spend time nurturing yourself? You want to unwind in the company of people you love, and live a life at a far more relaxed pace, or be in a place or moment when time stands still. You want to pause for a bit, recalibrate your mind body and soul, and heal it. Urban dwellers are lonely people, yearning for human contact, for someone to understand and care. Wellness offers a blend of all this – human contact with your spa doctor/masseuse/yoga and meditation guru; an opportunity to just pause for a bit, relax, unwind, eat good, nutritious food; get massages that helps you rid your body of all toxins; stay for a few days in an ambience that is beautiful; and connect with yourself, the world around you, nature and people.
How does Mekosha contribute to providing solutions to furnish this trend; any new initiatives?
The idea to set up Mekosha as a retreat that offers Ayurveda in a luxurious setting was multi-pronged – one, to introduce the world to the benefits of traditional Ayurveda in a modern, minimal, upgraded setting. And two, to offer it in a destination that was pristine, close to a water body since I believe water has a great ability to heal you; and offer the best of wellness practices steeped in our culture. We ensure that our team our experts, particularly the doctor, is at the core of the wellness programmes we offer. India’s first all-suites boutique Ayurveda retreat is a truly bespoke experience – it helps guest to attain holistic physical and mental well-being. Each room is a suite and each spa-suite has an integral private treatment room and a balcony overlooking the pool with delightful river views beyond. The idea was to ensure that the guest, once they get their massage, have the opportunity to unwind and relax in their own private space, and let the benefits of the oil used for massage seep in.
Mekosha is built for the discerning traveller who values understated elegance and attentive service. Sophisticated, stylish and yet earthy warm spaces complete the experience. This holistic hideaway of just eleven suites is located on the banks of the river Attingal Aaru in Kerala. The entire property is designed in a minimalist palette, so there is no sensory overload. The design palette includes subtle materials such as handcrafted teak wood; the interiors are elegant and clean, with no clutter to strain the mind. The property epitomises the best of minimal design, but the hospitality is new-age and unobtrusive.
Mekosha creates a skilful synthesis between age-old therapies and a modern environment. Personalised, bespoke treatments are the key and the all-inclusive therapies and health treatments come as standard. High-quality food based on the theme of Ayurveda, or what we refer to as the satvik or Ayurveda diet, is freshly prepared daily and carefully balanced to give your digestive system the opportunity to return to perfect health. All the vegetables and ingredients are sourced locally and are in-season since we believe that the most nutritive food is made from ingredients available in that particular season.
Our chef encourages you to learn the science of Ayurvedic cooking to enable you to continue therapeutic healing at home. Communal dining allows you to meet people from all over the world. We have communal tables where guests sit together and dine, bond and sometimes, form lifelong friendships. The idea is to foster the feeling of being part of the community, since we believe that loneliness is one of the biggest silent killers today.
The destination, an hour drive from Trivandrum, plays a large role in the wellness programme – the river flows through our property; we have several sit-outs where you can unwind to the sound of the river and the birds; there is lush greenery; we are in a small, quiet village, off the main grid, but not too far from it; and we have a lovely butterfly garden where we attract a lot of indigenous butterfly species.
What are the things to incorporate into one's life to ensure that wellness is prioritised?
There has to be a balance between mind, body and soul. The first thing you could do is adopt a routine: a time to wake up, a time to sleep, a time to work, a time to exercise and meditation, a time to bond with friends and family. Your days could include things you like to do: maybe go for a walk, meet a friend, oil your hair if enjoy that, listen to music, read a book…we need to ensure that all this is built into our lives, We call it the ‘Tridosha daily routine’ or one that helps you balance all the doshas in your body, according to Ayurveda – Vata, Pitta, Kapha.
Treatments at Mekosha that are a must-do, must incorporate for any stay at there?
So, the entire Mekosha experience is bespoke, customised one. Our expert doctor meets each guest and they are required to fill an extensive form and answer questions, to judge their mental, emotional and physical wellbeing. He also judges your Prakriti or your body type depending on the dosha. Besides, he speaks to you about your physical and mental issues, if any, and judges which dosha could be in an imbalance in your body (an illness, affliction is largely the result of the imbalance). He then draws up a wellness plan, which includes what kind of massages and treatments you would undergo. The thing to understand that under the broad treatments that we offer, which spans an entire range of traditional (and some of them rarely offered in modern-day spas that offer a component of Ayurveda), we ensure that everything is bespoke and customised. We are also one of the few in Kerala which offers the Marma therapy, an ancient practice, which focuses on the manipulation of subtle energy in the body to support the healing process. It is based on the utilization of 107 points in the body, which are considered access points to body, mind and consciousness. This is particularly good therapy for healing orthopaedic disorders, sports injuries and musculoskeletal problems like back pain, spondylitis and arthritis.
What is the best way to make the most of your stay at Mekosha?
Ensure that you tell our wellness experts and the doctor what your problems and objectives are. Share your health objectives, which they can then incorporate into the relevant treatments/therapies. Also, get enough sleep because that is what we lack the most. Unwind in the beautiful ambience; go for a walk; bond with other guests; have a communal meal over a friendly conversation; bond with nature. Do things that you do not have the opportunity to do in cities.
Share any interesting statistics concerning luxury wellness or the wellness industry in general?
The global wellness economy is $4.2 trillion strong, and India has the ability to play a rather large role in this economy because of its traditions of wellness and healing.
More and more people are looking for transformational travel and wellness is a large part of this desire for transformational experiences. You can put the surge in the demand for wellness travel in the context of the growing number of medi-spas that offer therapies and counselling.
Add to that the growing interest in architectural wellness, or spaces that are not just physically beautiful but also have the ability to heal, as well as food that is seen as medicine, with the power to nurture the body.
Mekosha fits in very well into all these parameters.
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