Learn About Ayurveda
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Learn About Ayurveda

Kairali’s The Ayurvedic Healing Village is one of the few Ayurvedic Treatment centers to be registered as an Ayurvedic hospital by the Government of Kerala, which also recognizes us as the ‘model’ of an Ayurvedic health retreat. Our significant achievements in both healthcare and hospitality has made us an industry leader in both areas, as can be seen in our long list of accreditations and awards.

Training at our Ayurveda College in Kerala

Training at our Ayurveda College in Kerala

Students of Kairali Ayurvedic Group benefit from four generations and eight decades of experience in Ayurveda treatments; giving us a well-deserved reputation for quality and authenticity. Our growing international reputation brings students from all over the world to our Ayurveda College and Training Institute in Palakkad, Kerala; aiming to earn a Diploma from a world-leader in Ayurvedic spa therapy.

Training courses at our Ayurvedic Massage College will provide you with exceptional expertise in Ayurveda theory and practice; a considerable advantage to spa therapists considering the unprecedented spread of Ayurvedic techniques internationally. Studying massage or Panchakarma with Kairali prepares you to provide these treatments at a very high level, enhancing the value of your therapy skills and work resume.

Some of our guests wish to gain introductory training in Ayurveda, Massage, Yoga or Meditation, and we are pleased to provide fifteen day beginners’ courses at our luxury retreat center in Palakkad, Kerala – the home of Ayurveda in India.

Learn About Ayurveda

Those with an interest in complementary or holistic approaches to health should consider starting with the therapy that has the longest lineage. Ayurveda, the ancient health practice of India is thought by some historians to predate even ancient Egyptian medicine. Acknowledged as the inventor of modern day surgery, Ayurvedic Treatments and detoxification methods have remained popular for thousands of years, and their success now precipitates the worldwide spread of this natural and traditional wellbeing knowledge.

The first thing to learn about Ayurveda is that the body must always be viewed as a whole, rather than in its separate parts. This means accepting the body as part of an integrated system, involving mind, body and soul. Ayurveda offers curative, as well as preventative methods of health and understands that a united approach to lifestyle ensures true health and longevity.

While viewing all individuals as part of an interwoven community, Ayurveda also looks deeply into each individual. This is the reason that no two courses of Ayurveda Treatment can ever be the same. Guests undertake an initial consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate Ayurvedic doctors, who remain in a supervisory role in order to tailor their treatments perfectly to their body type and individual health needs.

Part of this initial consultation, or ‘Prakriti Analysis’ is the diagnosis of the individual’s body type, or Ayurvedic dosha. Ayurvedic dosha theory is built upon the ancient metaphysics of the five elements, which appear in different combinations in each of us, forming our unique individuality. The tri-dosha system consists of; Vata Dosha, representing ether and air; Pita Dosha representing fire and water; and Kapha Dosha, representing water and earth.

The Retreat Environment at The Ayurvedic Healing Village

Guests undergoing Panchakarma detoxification or another Ayurveda treatment can expect a transformative procedure a Kairali’s The Ayurvedic Healing Village. Our precisely tailored individual courses of treatment are intense processes, ensuring deep and long-lasting renewal of health. For this reason, guests benefit all the more from our tranquil healing environment and private luxury villas offered at our Kerala retreat center.

Yoga and Meditation

The fundamental healing practices of Yoga and Meditation will greatly enhance your experience of Ayurveda, and provide physical and mental ease when practiced in the long-term. Our excellent Yoga teachers provide daily Yoga sessions and meditation training to guests at The Ayurvedic Healing Village. Those wishing to undertake a dedicated course in these practices should read more about our Yoga and Meditation training.

Ayurvedic Oil Massage

Herbal oil massage is a fundamental part of Ayurvedic therapy, and the ancient scripture recommends that it is performed on a near-daily basis, for optimum health and relaxation!

The Managing Director and co-founder of Kairali, Mrs. Gita Ramesh has written an introduction and practical guide to this transformative method of therapy. The following extracts are taken from her excellent manual, which is available in English and Dutch.

Massage Book

Ayurvedic Herbal Massages

Written By:
Mrs. Gita Ramesh
Joint Managing Director
Kairali Ayurvedic Group

Mrs. Gita Ramesh, Joint Managing Director of Kairali has written a pictorial manual on Ayurvedic Herbal Massage, published in two languages – English & Dutch.

Ayurveda is the oldest world science and has been serving mankind for the last 5000 years. This book is an effort to acquaint you with the healing methods of the world’s most original Medical Science, which doesn’t just cure ailments but also brings new health and life to your body, mind and spirit.


Ayurvedic MassageA healthy glowing skin, an agile body and a complete sense of well-being is everybody’s dream. In these days of hectic lifestyles, with everyday tensions in a pollution-ridden urban life increasing, there is a ray of hope, a distinct possibility of bubbling with vigour and vitality. For this we must look to our ancient system of healthy living, Ayurveda.

Ayurvedic massage has a hypnotic effect on the body and mind; it is deeply relaxing and boosts the body’s circulation. When the body and mind are both at peace, one’s face reflects the inner calm. Moreover, rubbing the body with medicated herbal oils works as a tonic and increases one’s energy. Much of what we consider to be everyday routine and do mechanically such as rubbing oil on the whole body and taking a warm bath are, in fact, techniques of health care. These are the very routines preached by Ayurveda. Ayurveda advises the practice of daily massage of the body with oil. This is the best way of preserving youthfulness; massaging the whole body has a greater impact: it relaxes, cleanses and creates a harmony between the mind and the body.

The massage is performed by two Ayurvedic therapists working in perfect synchrony. It is followed by a steam bath which helps the oils to penetrate thoroughly, cleanse the body and remove the toxins lodged deep within the tissues. The steam bath is followed by a warm shower. The shower removes all the dirt and revitalises the body. Bathing every day not only removes dirt, but also revitalises the body, stimulates appetite, prevents itching and chases lethargy away. If we do not take time out for these seemingly small things, we will diminish the quality of our lives. Massages are recommended for children too. They assist in growth and strengthen the immune system.

Oil is needed in a massage for the masseur’s strokes to be smooth and flowing. The masseur’s hands must be able to slide against the surface of the skin without friction. Each part of the hand is employed in the massage the heel, thumb, palm and fingers. Only warm oils should be used. Massage helps in loosening muscular tension, opens up the pores of the skin and improves its tonal quality. During a massage, the body is rubbed vigorously to allow the oil to be absorbed; the pressure being firm, yet not uncomfortable. Different types of oils are used for the head, face and the body.

Ayurvedic massages are done with herbal oils only. Various herbs are used in the preparation of oils; some are listed on pp. 72-79. The oils to be used are selected depending on the body type.

Head Massage

Head Massage

The subject sits on the Droni (specially carved wooden bed), with legs stretched out and arms on the side. The room in which the massage takes place should be comfortably warm. Two masseurs stand on either side of the subject undergoing the massage. (The masseurs/masseuses have to be highly knowledgeable and must enjoy doing the massage).

Pour a generous quantity of warm oil into the palm. Slowly pour the oil on the head of the subject who is sitting upright on the Droni. With the palm of the left hand kept flat on the subject’s head and the other hand cupping the chin firmly, rub the palm on the soft spot of the head (or crown) vigorously so that the maximum oil is absorbed by the head. The oil not only cools and relaxes the subject but has a lot of curative values and acts as a healing medicine.

Face and Neck Massage

Apply oil on the subject’s face with the finger tips and rub all over gently.

Dip the fingers into the bowl of body oil. Rub both hands with the oil thoroughly. First spread the oil over the neck area, allowing the surface of the muscles to relax. Holding the arm with the left hand, rub the nape of the neck downwards with the palm and fingers. Do these strokes very gently. Before massaging, spread each area with warm oil. Never pour directly over the body.

Back Massage

Back Massage

Circle the shoulder with the fingers and heel of the hand and massage. Circling helps to release and relax the muscles.

Then apply oil on both the shoulders with the palms flat and fingers together. With the fingers resting on the shoulders and pointing downwards towards the chest, massage the shoulders in an outward direction, giving a push to the shoulders.

Divide the back into two portions (each masseur concentrating on is assigned portion). Apply warm medicated oil all over the back with the finger tips. Massage the back with the hands placed flat, one beside the other. From the top of the shoulder downwards, massage vigorously, exerting pressure with the palm while going downwards till the buttocks. The subject sits erect throughout this step of massage and the whole back is massaged, emphazising on the vertebral column. The posture is very important. The back is the largest and the most important area. While massaging it, the subject feels very comfortable and is able to relax easily as the back contains many nerves and nerve endings. Any massage done on the back has a direct and profound effect on the subject’s body.

With one hand on the shoulder rub in and out sideways in a circular motion. Circling the hip, place the heel of your hands on the curve just above the hip. Slowly circle away, pressing in for the oil to penetrate even more. Pressing also relaxes the muscles over the specific area.

Applying steady pressure, move your flat palm in circular motion over the sacrum or the last vertebrate.

Chest Massage


Using the palm and fingers in a circular motion, massage over the entire front of the body, moving upwards and outwards from the body mid-line. Glide your palm smoothly out towards the shoulder.

Moving your hand on the neck in a circular motion, slide down with a firm and steady movement to give the muscles a good stretch. Repeat this in a flowing sequence. These ‘ease’ strokes release tension from the joints such as the neck, shoulders and pelvis.

Legs and Feet

Leg Massage

The thigh is an area where fats and toxins collect easily and get trapped due to sluggish circulation. This is mostly due to a sedentary lifestyle. Most problems relating to the thighs are due to accumulation of cellulite, the skin being dry, and flabby thighs. Apply oil on the thigh. Massage the thigh kneading and squeezing with the palm and thumb to ease tense muscles and tone up the sluggish system. Massage the inner surface of the thigh with your palm and fingers. The fat deposits on the thighs can be broken down by improved circulation and eliminated.

Next do a synchronised massage of the legs. Using both hands with fingers pointing inwards and thumbs, one on top of the other, massage the outer surface of the leg, starting from the hip and going down to the toes, applying pressure as you go downwards. After reaching the toes, proceed upwards again, using very little pressure as you go upwards.

Massage the inner surface of the legs with your palm and fingers.

Tackle the knees next. With your palm, massage clockwise around the whole knee in a circular motion. Exerting pressure, massage the top of the knees. With four fingers below the knee and the thumb on the top of the knee, keep stroking the inner region of the knee from side to side; this releases tension. Extra care should be taken to massage below the knees.

The calves need to be toned regularly.
With one hand massage the calf vigorously, starting from the top and going downwards.

Foot MassageCupping the ankle with the fingers and the thumb, rub the oil in a circular manner vigorously into the whole ankle joint, emphazising the areas around the bones on the inner and outer side of the ankle.

Next move down to the feet. Using the thumb and fingers, press both thumbs over the entire surface of the foot, one spot at a time, while supporting the foot with the other fingers. This normally relaxes the tension in the area. Massage the top and sole of the foot simultaneously by allowing the heel to rest on the Droni and rubbing the top and sole with both the palms.

Using oil liberally cup the heel with your palms and massage in a rubbing action from left to right. Foot massage prevents and cures dryness, numbness, roughness, fatigue and cracking of the heels. It gives you strength while walking and running.

Stretch each toe from the big toe to the little toe, using a good quantity of oil. With one hand holding the heal firmly, press all fingers of the other hand at the back of the toes, exerting pressure forwards

Note: All the massage instructions are directed to the masseur; the person being massaged is referred to as the subject. Thong!: two masseurs are always used in Ayurvedic massage, for clarity of photographs, the massages have been shown with one masseur only.

Note: The entire leg from hip to toe is massaged with both hands kept flat one beside the other and applying steady pressure in a smooth flowing movements. This makes for a synchronised massage.

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Kairali - The Ayurvedic Healing Village
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