Shraddha Mayekar, a 25-year-old airhostess, and her beautician friend Pooja Mehta (47) recently took a 10-day break from work and family to go to a hill station. But this was a vacation with a difference.
There was no lazing in bed till noon, no midnight sessions of girlie gossip or gorging on junk food. Instead, they would be up by 5 am, practise yoga, go for long walks and meditate through the day. Meals comprised fruit juices and raw vegetables. Bedtime was 7.30 pm.
Mayekar and Mehta were on a ‘health vacation’ at the Coral Naturopathy and Yoga Centre at Deolali, near Nashik. While Mayekar wanted to de-stress and detoxify her body — she flies six days a week and regularly skips meals — Mehta was looking for relief from hyperacidity, hypertension and backache.
“In Bombay, one is always so busy. This was time for ourselves — our minds and bodies,” said Mehta. The friends are among a growing number of Mumbaiites, who are heading to quaint ashrams, ayurveda or naturopathy centres or trendy health resorts to detoxify and rejuvenate themselves.
At Coral alone, at least 30 Mumbaiites check in every week. “There has been at least a 20 per cent rise in visitors over the last one year,” said Dr Jivanlal Gandhi, a naturopath who heads the centre.
Shanku’s Natural Health Centre, near Ahmedabad, gets a regular stream of people from Mumbai during summer. “Eighteen people have come here from Mumbai since April,” said Dr Chirag Adhariya, medical officer at the centre. The five-day health package at Dr Modi’s Health Resort at Karjat has also found many takers.
And — unlike the past — it is not only the ageing and ailing that head to health centres. “Five to 10 per cent of those who come here are in good health. Others come when regular medicines fail to cure their illness,” said Dr Gandhi.
But health vacations are not meant to get pampered. “This is not a hotel or a spa,” Adhariya added. “We cure lifestyle disorders here.”