Barbara Klein, lives and works in Basel,
Switzerland and loves to share her life of food and recipes, travels, writing and
photography. The following is an interview in her own words as told to
Rockying. Lets dive into her introspective voyage to India:
I have always been fascinated with India, its people and history and when my friend and I decided on a four weeks Ayurvedan therapy it was clear from the start: only India would be the perfect place for our venture. After long planning we found the ideal resort in Kerala and were very happy to have chosen Somatheeram for its tradition and spectacular settings.
The resort is close to Trivandrum
(now thiruvananthapuram), an hour’s drive to the south. Overwhelming first
impressions of the vivid colors of blossoming trees and shrubs, traffic noise, flavors,
especially after a practically sleepless night on the plane.
Coming into the resort is like the entrance to paradise: all noise of modern civilization is blotted out and we hear the sound of breaking waves, birds and smell the wonderful scents of thousands of flowers.
My home for the next three weeks was a lovely cottage directly above the beach, 120 steps away from the main buildings.
After the first of my daily consultations with the doctors on the premises I am told my dosha (fundamental bodily humors that constitute the body) type: Pitta, the most common of the three types, this is very important for the therapy we will follow the next three weeks: apart from the daily treatments of massages we will adhere to a strict diet, abstain from drinking alcohol, fizzy beverages, coffee and only eat vegetarian dishes. I have also decided to refrain from smoking. It is advised to stay out of the sun and swimming in the pool or in the sea is not recommended.
I am advised to take some Ayurvedic medication (including ghee) to help the detox. Not too pleasant but who says medicine should be sweet?
The first days were difficult: constant headaches, hardly any sleep, feeling hot and sweating a lot. My body certainly tells me how much I have abused it before.
SUNRISE AT 6 AM.
Photo By: Barbara Klein
Slowly we get used to our new daily rhythm, we start the day before sunset with
a leisurely walk along the beach watching the sunrise, followed by a cup of curipathi
(probably this is cheating, but we do not really want to know what’s in it) in front
of my lovely cottage.
Breakfast and then treatments, general massage with hot oil, rejuvenation massage, and all the other treatments according to our treatment sheet such as: Nasyam, Dhanyamly Dhara, Virechana, Pizhichil Sarvangadhara etc., lunch, the daily doctor’s visit, some more treatments, Yoga, Chakra meditation, dinner. Early to bed.
Ayurvedan Therapy at Somatheeram (That's not me in the picture though)
I enjoy our Ayurvedan food, you help yourself from a huge buffet. And between us: this helps me to cheat with my Pitta diet as I 'steal' snippets from Vata and Kapha dishes!
We love to eat dinner outside, sometimes there is a very welcome slight breeze of
We have little free time between treatments and meals but we sometimes venture outside and go to the local shops. I am a very popular customer (I have this gap between my front teeth!) and a hard bargainer but I end up with far too many things from tailor-made clothes, jewellery, saffron and other spices, spoons made of buffalo horn to tons of textile materials from Parthas, a colorful dreamland for shopaholics in Trivandrum. I buy a Churidar (stretchy fitted trousers) that is not only beautiful and comfortable but ideal to be worn in this heat.
The days weave into weeks, one highlight is our trip down South to Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu, visiting temples on the way and taking a boat out to the rock memorial.
It is time to leave and fly back to Switzerland, heavy suitcases (we have more than 20 kilos overweight) filled with our Indian treasures and lots of lovely memories in our hearts. I will be back!
So that was Barbara, with her revelation of experiences, good and bad. Kerala is
unwinding indeed. We suggest you undertake our
exclusive photographic journey to the place and accomplish mission Kerala!