Interview about sustainability at Hotel Engel

Ayurveda is a health science that is based on sustainability, and that already at times when this term did not even exist. Because Ayurveda is a health system that works preventively. In the interview, the Ayurvedic doctor Dr. Mishra and Carmen Kohler talk about how sustainability is lived in the Hotel Engel and in Ayurveda.

Dr. Mishra, Ayurveda doctor from India, practices at the Hotel Engel and looks after the Ayurveda spa guests

Dr. Mishra, Ayurveda is a millennia-old health system. Why is Ayurveda a sustainable medicine?

Every human being is guided by the three doshas, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Vata is movement, Pitta is transformation and Kapha is that,
what holds together. These three principles correspond to the nervous system (Vata), digestion (Pitta) and the immune system (Kapha).
When these three energies are in balance, we are physically and mentally healthy. All that needs to be done is to keep the doshas in balance.
Then disease has no chance to spread in the body. Ayurveda is a preventive health system and therefore sustainable.

How can one keep the three doshas in balance?

You have to recognize where the hurdles are in life, what brings you out of balance. It can be mental or physical disorders that imbalance the doshas. Over time, you no longer have a good body feeling. The sooner one recognizes this condition, the easier it is to get back into balance. Through nutrition, the mind is calmed - in Ayurveda, the mind, that is, the mental, plays a very important role.
Only if the mind is clear, healthy and pure, then the body is also healthy.
Poor sleep, for example, is caused by increased Vata. Digestion becomes irregular, one does not come to rest, sleep is restless.
Diseases can arise from this. That is why Ayurveda attaches great importance to purification through a Panchakarma cure.
Through the Panchakarma cure, the doshas are brought back into balance, the body channels are cleansed,
the energy can flow again and there are no more deposits. These deposits are called Ama in Ayurveda and are the beginning of any disease.

What medicines are used in Ayurveda?

Ayurveda is a completely natural medicine, it is completely chemical free. Ayurveda strengthens the immune system and pays attention to how you eat.
This is the basis for staying healthy. If you take pills all the time, you weaken the immune system, the body is already waiting for it,
the body is waiting for another tablet to come, but it continues to disrupt the immune system. In Ayurveda, it is believed that man comes from nature and nature heals man.
In Ayurveda, rasayanas are used, which are mixtures of herbs that are prepared very elaborately.
Rasayana keep the body young and healthy, not in the visual sense, but in the medicinal sense.
They bring back lightness, one feels again more energy and joy in life. Also the sense organs become more alive again, one tastes better and more intensively.
The Rasayana are made in India, you can buy them here at Engel Ayurpura and also reorder them.

How does Ayurveda help when a disease has broken out?

Ayurveda always treats an illness with internal cleansing. A Panchakarma cure is a detox cure.
At the same time the body is strengthened and rebuilt. As soon as there is more energy again, you can also start to
to feel oneself again. Since every person is different, it always depends on the constitution what is useful.
Sustainability is shown in the art of pulse reading. By reading, or rather feeling, the pulse, an Ayurvedic doctor can detect any disease in its earliest stages. Ayurveda knows 7 stages in the development of the disease. The 1st stage is the imbalance of the Doshas. If one already counteracts here, then a disease does not break out at all. The orthodox medicine can recognize a disease only in the 6th stage,
when it has already broken out. But even now, Ayurveda has good healing results.
Sustainability in Ayurveda means that the health of a person is considered holistically from birth.
In this way, diseases can not arise in the first place.

Carmen Kohler, has a passion for sustainability

Ayurveda says, "You are what you digest." How do you cook at your hotel and who does the cooking?

We are very fortunate that our chef has traveled widely in the world and is also a South Tyrolean. He is familiar with both Ayurvedic spices and also knows from an early age which foods thrive particularly well here in South Tyrol. In our kitchen only regional food is used for Ayurveda Dolomites. A farmer in the neighboring community grows fruit and vegetables in organic quality especially for us.
So everything is always fresh and particularly nutritious.

Avoiding plastic is a very big issue for many people. What can you do in your hotel to save plastic?

To strengthen sustainability in our hotel, we focus very much on naturalness.
At our buffets, nothing is packaged; a lot of things are made here in the hotel itself.
All our employees and guests are given drinking bottles made of a biodegradable material.
The bottles can be filled with fresh water anywhere in the house and we use them to support a well project in Ethiopia.

Many guests notice that the water from the faucet tastes completely different than at home. How do you account for this?

Grander water flows everywhere in the house. The tap water is levitated, i.e. revitalized, according to the Grander® principle and thus acquires almost spring water quality. Not only does it taste much better, it also reduces our detergent consumption and the laundry stays nice and soft. In the spa area, we have been able to significantly reduce chlorine consumption. Our guests also notice it when showering, the water is vitalized and you can feel it.

Heating a hotel at an altitude of 1200 meters requires a lot of energy. How do you solve this in a sustainable way?

Since 2008, we have been heating all buildings with our wood chip heating system. Since then, our guests and also we enjoy a completely different, a really cozy warmth. We live in a very densely wooded area here, and a lot of wood accumulates for further processing. Some of it is processed into wood chips, which we use for heating.
Our electricity comes from the local hydroelectric power plant, which every guest should visit once.
It is very interesting to see how sustainably here the many water is transformed into energy by the strong gradient.

According to Ayurvedic teachings, man comes from nature and is part of the universe.
So we want to be grateful for all that we experience and receive daily from nature.
At the same time we see it as a beautiful task to take good care of ourselves and nature.