Ayurveda has been of particular interest to me over the years. As a holistic health and wellness coach, I enjoy exploring new ways and approaches to maintaining health and wellness. With that in mind, I decided to visit Ayurveda Parkschlosschen, a serial award-winning resort in Germany. I was filled with excitement and anticipation of what to expect from an Ayurvedic facility in Europe. Reading this, you may be wondering as I did: ‘Ayurveda in Germany’?! Indeed, as I found! In Germany!!
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I took a flight from London to Hahn Airport, then a short 15-minute drive to the Spa’s location at Traben-Trarbach, a picture post-card town situated about 90 minutes’ drive from Frankfurt city.

The trip came at the perfect time, when I needed to totally relax and de-stress after moving house, whilst juggling a busy work schedule, and I certainly was not disappointed.

On the approach to the Parkschlosschen, situated in the middle of a large parkland area, it looks like a beautiful yet small hotel. However, once inside, it opens up to this sizeable operation, and a zen-inducing facility – all of which was a pleasant surprise. First impressions were good.

Walking through the front doors, you feel a sense of calmness, which makes you ready to leave the chaos of the world right outside the door. In addition, there is no Wi-Fi in the facility, however there are a couple of laptops in a small computer room which guests can use so long as they can read German. After the first day and the initial shock of no email access wore off, it didn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, as I got into my various treatments. I found that I actually welcomed the peace, away from technology. I had taken my laptop with me to do some work but didn’t even turn it on, which says a lot!

Food for Thought

My first lesson at the Parkschlosschen came at lunchtime. Once seated at my table, I was served a small glass of what I would describe as a warm tea. I learned that it was a digestive aperitif made with cumin and ginger. This is usually served 15 minutes before eating, designed to make the food more wholesome while stimulating the digestive power. The next lesson came in the order that food courses were served: In the Ayurvedic way, dessert is served first and then other courses follow because sweet foods are difficult to digest therefore best eaten first. According to an ancient Ayurvedic principle, eating heavily indigestible foods first gives the stomach time to adjust to them, which is then able to digest other foods easily. Following the dessert was an array of gourmet vegetarian dishes that were so delicious, and I wondered if I could actually become Vegetarian…. if only I had a Parkschlosschen chef on stand-by to create those lovely recipes!

As with health coaching, Ayurvedic Programs are specific to every individual as we are all different and our bodies function differently. My next insight into the world of Ayurveda came during my personal consultation with the in-house Ayurvedic doctor. I had already filled in a health Q&A form, which the doctor used during my consultation. We went through my health history and a physical check from which the doctor determined the ‘dosha’ bio-energy that I lead with, and the appropriate treatment Program.

Understanding your Dosha bio-energies

Ancient Ayurvedic medicine is founded on the principle of homeostasis, which means a balance in all bodily functions that constantly adjusts itself to the ever-changing inner and outer circumstances. This Ayurvedic belief is understood to be a balance of three bio-energies known as Doshas, which are called Pitta, Vata and Kapha. They are believed to be active in every individual and form the personality, character and disposition of the person.

Vata is known as the principle of movement, and controls all movement processes in our body; Pitta represents the principle of metabolism that controls the digestive system as well as metabolic processes in the body that regulates body temperature. This in turn controls the mind and processes all our experiences and perception. Kapha is the principle of structure that provides the body with cohesion, resistance, relationship and stability.

With my Program set to begin the next day, I had time to join “The Art of Ayurvedic Cooking” class to learn about cooking the Ayurvedic way. One thing that was made very clear by our Chef-teacher is that herbs and spices play an essential role in Ayurvedic cooking, and these are included in teas which are drunk throughout the day…. and I thought Brits drank a lot of tea!!

The class was really interesting although I think I would have enjoyed it even more if I understood German. Luckily I got some translations from a fellow student – a German lady who spoke fluent English. I loved the four-course recipes we made, which the class enjoyed together (I will be writing another article on the food at the Parkschlosschen so look out for that).

Total escape into Spa Haven

the001The next 48 hours at Ayurveda Parkschlosschen was absolutely delightful. I got into my Program of Ayurvedic treatments, eating super healthy gourmet vegetarian dishes, drinking spice infused teas, and getting wonderful massages. Also, taking a yoga class, using the sauna, steam room and having a swim in the thermal pool. This sheer bliss was just what the doctor recommended. I also attended a lecture on the history of Ayurveda, so took in quite a lot during my three-day stay at the Parkschlosschen. All of it: relaxing and enlightening. The only thing that I missed was having my daily fresh juices.

Ahead of my visit, I imagined that I would take time to go out and explore the picturesque town of Traben-Trarbach and its surrounding parks ad woodlands. In the end I did not venture out. I loved being at the hotel and didn’t feel a need to step out of the Parkschlosschen until it was time to leave. I was made to feel totally relaxed, and was very well looked after by the Hotel and Spa staff. Perhaps if I had stayed for more than 3 days I would have stepped out to explore the stunning surroundings…. already I sense another visit, for a longer stay.

Until then, I shall enjoy implementing some of the cooking styles and practices that I have learned so far.

The award-winning Ayurveda Parkschlosschen offers different types of programs from stress to detox, healing etc. however these programs are tailored to each individual’s needs and body type. It is one of my favorite places to go and previously mentioned, will definitely be returning.

For more information about the Spa Hotel and their programs, click here: http://www.ayurveda-parkschloesschen.de/en/

Peace & Fabulous Health!

Gloria x

 


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