Across the world, communities are coming together to find a more balanced way of life. The stresses of modern day living are taking their toll and people are searching for deeper connections with each other and the natural world. Many are feeling a pull to go back to the roots and lead a simpler day to day routine, getting in touch with a mindful approach to being.
Kiran is one of these people. He has become disillusioned with the typical capitalist model of economic growth and projects centred around profit so he returned back to his home village after working in the city. He had a dream to create a healing space where he could practice therapies based on ancient Ayervedic wisdom. As a yoga teacher, and ayervedic practitioner with experience treating people with injuries, illnesses, disabilities and special needs he wanted to have his own land where people could come to heal.
So he founded Anahata healing arts centre, situated in Ravandur, not far from Mysore in South India. His focus is on a holistic approach to health, cultivating balance between the body, mind and spirit with the belief that this will help people to heal naturally from within and prevent certain illnesses developing in later life.
The yoga classes, Ayervedic massage and meditation classes that he runs are all part of finding this balance. Another essential component to holistic health is the food we eat. Organic fruit, vegetables, grains and herbs are grown on the grounds at Anahata and are cooked from scratch to make healthy vegetarian meals. Anahata also has juicing and detoxing programmes to cleanse the body and focus on getting certain nutrients.
One of my favourite nutritious foods here is the gluten free roti (made with jowar flour which is full of protein) as well as the delicious broken rice and grated coconut vegetable dishes bursting with flavour from different spices and fresh herbs.
Anahata welcomes local people, international guests and volunteers from around the world, forming a global community. Currently there are various different projects running such as the construction of new rooms, made with natural materials such as mud, water and wood. Kiran says it’s important to be as sustainable as possible in order to work alongside nature and have respect for the environment around us.
Another ongoing project is the development of a rehabilitation centre where people can come to get back in touch with their inner strength and work with treatments such as physiotherapy, yoga and massage. For children there is a strong focus on play and sensory stimulation to enable them to enjoy the movement of their bodies and gain confidence in themselves. Kiran says that in the village it can be difficult for kids with special needs to get out and socialise so he hopes to provide a space where they can come and enjoy spending time with others, feeling part of the community.
Kiran, has a lot of experience working in this way and has helped visitors to move forward from pain. Kamalamma, an elderly woman from the local village had damaged both her knees and the hospital said she must get a knee operation for each leg which would have been very expensive. However instead, she came to Anahata and with rehabilitation therapy there and no surgery she found a way to walk again.
Kiran told me that his philosophy is to put people before profit and ensure that all those who need it have access to the right care and treatment. This is why he runs his centre on a donations basis, as well as offering volunteer exchanges through the international site “workaway”.
It’s always inspiring to see people living in a way that is aligned with their principles, working hard to benefit both the local and wider community. Spending time here at Anahata, I have been reminded that another way of life is possible and we can carve a path that is right for us, being sure to take care of our health.