Part I – A Season for Rejuvenation by Suneetha Balakrishnan

This is actually not a fresh post but something I wrote a couple of years ago for the Monsoon edition of a magazine. And considering that the South Asian region is in the spate of Monsoons right now, I thought this post would interest many people. This is not just the monsoon for us, it is also a season for rejuvenation. So read on …
 
In the first week of June every year unvaryingly, ‘the heavens touch the earth’ and the first rains transform my homeland Kerala in South India  from a parched, dust covered, hot tropic to a cool, clean green land. The days are rainy and with a little sun now and then and the nights cold and wet. When the monsoon heralds in a cooler climate, Kerala celebrates yet another unique episode of the ultimate in health care- a season for rejuvenation. Ayurveda, which is a way of life in Kerala, takes over the health care, of the people and their guests in a whole some manner.
 
The Sanskrit word “prakriti” has a dual meaning. It refers to Mother Nature as well as the constitution of the human body. The abundant rains benefit and affect both the ‘prakritis’ immensely. Monsoon reduces the immunity of the body considerably and consequently renders it most amenable to any sort of treatment. Therefore tradition has it that the human body is most acquiescent to the restorative and therapeutic powers of Ayurveda in this season. The herbs are fresh and green and the atmosphere pure and dust free. There is also a geographical specialty to Kerala in June. Kerala receives perpendicular sunrays in June; and on the other hand luxurious rains too. This unique situation too helps. Therefore whether one looks at the rejuvenation program or therapeutic aspect, Ayurveda is most effective in this season.
 
Although Ayurveda prescribes diets and routines for all the seasons or “Ritus”, there is a special emphasis on the rainy day routine. The Malayalam calendar month of “Karkitaka” which is from mid July to mid August is celebrated as a season of intense rejuvenation routine since very ancient days. Ayurveda is a panacea, never out of season but it is all the more in season in the month of “Karkitaka” and at its effective best. It is also called the “Oushadha Masa” or the month of medicines. Whatever treatment you intend to take under the auspices of Ayurveda, will prove most beneficial when taken in this month. The unique cultural and geographical components of the state contribute to this therapy.
 
The idea of the monsoon therapy has caught on and there are guests who book a therapeutic month in Kerala in advance. The established Ayurvedic centres now enjoy full booking even months before the monsoon visits. The concept of monsoon therapy enjoys an extended season even into the retreating monsoon season in October- November but the fact remains that the ideal choice as per scriptures is still mid July- to mid August.
 
So let’s take a quick look at what Ayurveda advocates for the rains. More in the next letter.
 
(11 July 2012)


Suneetha is a writer by passion, profession and hobby. She writes fiction in English, poetry in her native tongue Malayalam and journalistic features in both. She can be contacted at yashovathi@gmail.com

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