Ayurvedic retreat at Faasai Resort and Spa

07:18pm, Wednesday 8 April 2020

Ayurveda is an ancient healing tradition which originated in India more than 5000 years ago. It has influenced many other traditions including the ancient Greek, Chinese and Thai.

It is holistic - encompassing medicine, nourishment, yoga, massage, spirituality and self-knowledge - and in Sanskrit means science of life. Not long after we bought the land where we built Faasai we met Mani Veerappan who is a Vaidar, a name bestowed upon those who practice Ayurveda in its traditional and authentic form. He comes from a lineage of both Ayurveda and Siddha practitioners on both his mother and father's sides of the family, with his grandfathers and great-grandfather renowned Vaidyars in Tamil Nadu, India. He was also tutored in the classical way by his father through practical daily lessons from early childhood. Mani trained our staff in Ayurvedic massage and inspired us to plant many healing plants and trees used in Ayurvedic medicine. In December 2019 he provided a Pancha Karma treatment at the resort. Katy le Blanc describes the experience.

My husband Hans Vriens and I recently did a Pancha Karma treatment at Faasai in Thailand under the guidance of our Vaidyar (a Traditional Ayurvedic Teacher) Mani Veerappan. Hans is the Managing Partner of Vriens & Partners, a government relations consulting firm, and I am a contemporary artist, who is also trained as an Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant.

We have been following an Ayurvedic lifestyle since we met Mani in 2008 and have benefitted a lot since we started this journey, both in physical and spiritual wellbeing. We choose to do our Pancha Karma treatment together in a place which was quiet and away from our daily work and chores to be able to totally let go and surrender to the treatment of cleansing our body and mind.

We prepared ourselves a week beforehand by eating rather simple food to train the mind and give the body already the possibility to start cleansing. We arrived the day before the treatment started to adjust to the new environment and have a pulse reading done by Mani to check the latest status. The coming 7 days were going to be all very similar. Waking up at 5am, doing our practice of breathing and loosening, going for a walk and starting at 7am with the treatment. This consisted every day of Abhyanga (full body oil massage), nasya (nasal cleanse) and sweat treatment in a steamer.

For the first four days of the treatment we took a purgation prepared by Mani to purge the toxins from the upper part of the digestive system and the last three days an enema to cleanse the lower part of the digestive system. Otherwise we mostly rested and eliminated toxic material. Hans slept many hours during the days, especially in the beginning, I mostly just rested and towards the end of the week I also slept one or two hours each day. We are all different, and the same type of treatment affects each person in a different way.

We ate simple food and had some walks in nature or along the sea. In the latter part of the day we also did our breathing exercises as well.

At the end of the seven days we felt cleansed and calm, but also a bit wobbly as we still had to build up our strength after the elimination of a lot of toxins and eating little food. This period of recuperation takes quite a bit of time. After two weeks Hans felt a real change and had a lot more energy. For me the whole treatment could have lasted longer. I started to feel a lot more ease and clear in my mind at the end of the seven days treatment and probably would have gained more if it had gone on for longer. So that's the plan for next time.

Ayurveda works on three different levels: physical, mental and spiritual. During Pancha Karma we go through a physical treatment. We endure it mentally by refraining from eating and doing activities in a normal way. This clears the body and the mind and the early rising and breathing gives rise to a spiritual experience.

Faasai is a great place to do this type of treatment as it is surrounded by Nature. It is simple and located in a quiet area, within walking distance to the sea. It provides the perfect environment to not be distracted by noise, food or crowds. It has a lovely pool where we could swim, and the people are very friendly.

The Spa was perfect, surrounded by lots of beautiful trees and the therapist was very professional. She gave great massages and we felt totally safe in her hands.

Mani has been our teacher for many years. We totally trust his way of working. He has a deep understanding of the Dosha and how to treat everyone in a specific way, balancing and stabilising their constitution based on their individual needs. He never works on the symptoms but always on the underlying disturbances.

We can highly recommend the treatment to anyone who likes to take care of their wellbeing and gain better understanding of themselves. But one needs to have the determination to commit to lifestyle changes as Pancha Karma is one step along the way to a complete change in lifestyle.

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