The world fell in love with the touching movie in 2002, it was My big fat Greek wedding. Relationship of the beautiful Maria Portacalos  and John Corbet’s characters seemed to be a reflection of a real idea of love, romance and attitude towards family, yet, with the trace of a fairytale spirit: don’t we all know that a ‘happy ever after’ exists just in movies and books? ‘You don’t’, tells our new columnist, co-owner of Elounda SA Hotels & Resorts, Ilias Kokotos, showing us a true story of love. 

We are quite a big family. I have an elder brother. My mother took care of us and my father worked much. Then five years later my sister was born. I remember the main thing in my childhood, it was freedom. I think that is why we feel safe and sure of ourselves in this world. Parents trusted us and that was their way to love is. They were there for us, protecting, guiding and taking care, we spent a lot of quality time together. But there was no “Stop, don’t do that” in our relationship. We ran, fell down and learnt by hitting ourselves. When you stand up by yourself after falling you learn to do it in your future life. We had a lot of choices, big area to run around and have fun, and they encouraged us instead of scaring about the risks, that would had made us be insecure. We would go to the beach, swim in the sea, run around. I did it alone, with my brother and sister, with children from the hotel. All summer days were relaxing, happy, free of responsibility and now I recall them all as if it was a single lovely moment of my life. Being happy and free as a child is a feeling I remember and miss so much as an adult. 
I strongly believe that real love in every kind of relationship, mother, husband, woman, wife means being happy with the happiness of the other person. Well, as a human being you will always care about someone else. But As an individual I’m very persistent in wellness. So, when my wife and I started our enterprise we both realized that we had a passion for wellness. She had that lovely idea, she felt that taking care of your health should be a celebration. It should be done in luxury. We both really believed in the idea and when we started working on it our philosophy was that we will make every day count in achieving the goal. We went to the day when people will come for the transformative experiences and improving their well being and it took us six and half years to reach our destination. 
Digital detox, new age wellness and agelessness became a trend of today. I feel really happy that everyone wants to look ageless. It sounds funny but If I had to renew Atmantan I’d call it a Center for Anti-Ageing maturity instead of Wellness Centre. There’s so much happening, people are doing many things to take care of their physi-cal body and also the mental body. I do a number of things as well. I think I should live a number of hundred and fifty years, following so many options that are available for us. 
Number one of these options would be to eat natural food in small portions. Second is keeping ourselves active in the form of exercise. It can be dancing, swimming, running, doing yoga. Third is having a good sleep. Sleeping is being underestimated and ignored. Lack of sleeping creates so many problems. Going to sleep at the same time every day is very important. The next is about taking care of your emotional and mental health. Meditation is a way. Achieving a peaceful life is a big part of Indian science. The fifth and the most important thing which is going to make you live the longest life is surrounding yourself with friends and family who are also taking the right decisions. So, if we go to the restaurant, we should be together in our menu choice. And if we go to the market we should decide to walk or cycle. Say, we’d be partners in crime. Decaffeinated coffee should be your common choice as well.  
My philosophy and mission of Atmantan has same roots. There is something very common in all of us. We want to look and feel good. To achieve this, we all do certain things in our life. Like going to the gym in the city we come from. But now when people travel on holidays they prefer to travel to destinations where they can continue their healthy lifestyle. They don’t want to travel to destinations with the excess of drinking, sex, food but they all want to travel to destinations which totally refresh them. They are people who are not ill. They don’t have to go to the hospital. But they are not well either. If they choose to come to us we could teach them breathing, dietary practices, meditation and eventually visualize them. And this is what Atmantan exists for. A destination for holiday of people who want to get even more healthy. Atmantan is very different because whole approach for us means wellness is a science. Wellness is so powerful that it can actually prevent disease and it can also cure disease. A lot of people who visit us, they come for fitness as well. They are taking medicines for a certain treatment and we help them to get off this medication. So, what we do here is very deep and authentic. 
The part of our mission is to be one of the best in the world in wellness and hospitality. We are very multidimensional. Chinese medicine and fitness, very modern approach. There are places with only Ayurveda or only Chinese medicine. But we work with a lot of sciences in our Centre. We give what is best for the client.
I have professional plans and my personal plans as well. First include growing Atmantan. We have opportunities and we are working on it. Second is studying yoga. I’ve been doing yoga for the last twenty years but now I want to study and understand the philosophy of Yoga in a lot more of details. I think it is not just doing asanas. There is a lot of philosophical aspects as well and that’s what I want to understand. I want to deepen my practice in yoga. I’m a Hindu and once something happened in my life which made me think, well, I have to understand my religion better. And that was the point where I started to learn what Hinduism is about. I understood that going to a Temple doesn’t mean being Hindu same as going to the Church doesn’t mean being Christian. Around fifty percent of being Hindu means to understand the alternative route. They say in Hinduism ‘If you read the scriptures you will find God’. And God is an alternative route to be happy. The philosophy of Hinduism says that there’s a divine soul which is God but a divine soul is inside of us as well. And if you understand how to live this life then you will be as happy as your soul. If you are not connected to the soul then you are not happy. One philosophy says, it’s good to be ambitious but don’t let ambition ruin your life. To spend time with yourself and understand who you are is extremely important. And this is what Vedanta scriptures write about. They say how to live your life. They are ancient, they will be a part of my study aimed for mental and spiritual growth. 
If I were allowed to address people of the world, I’d say: ‘Hey guys what are you doing there?’ Health is extremely important. To set as an example, some of my friends are not in a good health, they cannot even spend a good time with their family. Take care of your health even if you don’t want to come to the fara-way places like Atmantan; you can do a lot of things at the places where you are. But you must take care of your mind and your body and understand who you are. The message is, we have one life and it makes it be very precious. And if you want to enjoy the life with your friends and your family and do good work you need to take care of your body and mind. It’s a holistic approach. It’s important for those who work all day long. In the next 30-40 years and robotics are supposed to replace people and we will use this technology and rule it, that’ll be our role. We need good social, emotional, mental and physical health for that.