Wellness Retreats in India: Rejuvenate, Reboot, Refresh | Travel - Hindustan Times

Wellness Retreats in India: Rejuvenate, Reboot, Refresh

Mar 28, 2022 01:04 PM IST

As the government plans to establish India as one of the most sought-after health and wealth destinations in the world. We list up destinations in the country that offer you a holistic healing experience

As the government plans to establish India as one of the most sought-after health and wealth destinations in the world. We list up destinations in the country that offer you a holistic healing experience

 (Picture credit: Anandas in the Himalayas)
(Picture credit: Anandas in the Himalayas)

There is a renewed interest in individuals seeking a holistic approach towards achieving health goals in a safe and conducive atmosphere helmed by a coterie of experts after the government’s decision to constitute a National Medical and Wellness Tourism Board. This has led to a rise in popularity of multiple wellness retreats boasting of the latest advancement in sciences. Morning yoga, Kundalini meditation amongst the lush green forests, fresh vegetable juices, plant-based cuisine, divine and holistic spa treatments can all be experienced in a wellness retreat. These retreats help one disconnect and reconnect to mental, emotional, spiritual and physical well-being.

For the uninitiated, the Ministry of Tourism has created a dedicated institutional framework to take forward the cause of promoting India as a medical and wellness tourism destination. The Ministry of Tourism has formulated a National Strategy and Roadmap for Medical and Wellness Tourism. As the government gives impetus to boost the wellness industry in the country, we bring you some ancient healing therapies that India is known for since time immemorial.

“During and post the pandemic, there has been an increased awareness and focus on health and consumers are naturally gravitating towards the ancient science of Ayurveda. With outbound travel being restricted, we are seeing a flood of enquiries to provide a unique proposition that entails culture building and sustainability, coupled with luxury and wellness,” says Shruti Shibulal, CEO & Director, Tamara Leisure Experiences Pvt Ltd.

Sound healing sessions

For those who love bathing in the soothing sounds and vibrations of sound healing sessions aided with instruments to open, clear, and balance their chakras and release stuck energy, Sound Spa by Svatma, Relais & Chateaux in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu is the place to be at. The findings of current research, which shows that sound healing synchronises brain waves to achieve a profound state of relaxation and helps to restore the normal vibratory frequencies of the cells in one’s body. “The Swaram sound bed Nidra Anantar at Svatma has a massage table, and has been orchestrated to have 50 strings carefully tuned and stretched underneath. A skilled therapist uses a resonator to create vibrations, which nurtures the emotional – physical system. The sessions create a deep harmonising effect of pure sound and a deep state of relaxation,” says Krithika Subrahmaniam, owner.

Ayurvedic and Yogic healing

Anandas in the Himalayas,Rishikesh has been trying to recreate the synergy of mind, body and intellect through the rejuvenating and ancient processes and philosophies of ayurveda, yoga and vedanta combined with contemporary international therapies. “We focus on all the elements for a holistic and stress-free lifestyle - optimum health, mental well-being, spiritual awakening, sensory perceptions, and cuisine to complement the entire experience,” adds Mahesh Natarajan, CEO, Anandas in the Himalayas.

Offsetting illnesses

The last 5-10 years has seen a sharp increase in growth for the wellness industry and alternative therapies that work towards preventing ailments. Kerala, with its deep-rooted traditions based on the ancient Ayurvedic systems, is extremely popular for wellness tourism. “Niraamaya Spa is one of the most luxurious Ayurveda wellness centres that offers classical programs for the ailing and also for those seeking leisurely wellness experiences. Each program is carefully crafted by experienced professionals in Ayurveda,” says Allen Machado, Chief Executive Officer, Niraamaya Wellness Retreats.

A team of ayurvedic doctors, skilled therapists, nutritionists, yogis and spa cuisine chefs create a sustainable journey towards a healthier, enriched lifestyle for patrons.

Combination of eastern medicine and western influences

Tiger’s Eye, a therapy session with beautiful bands of gold, helps you to release fear and anxiety, aids harmony and balance at the Six Senses Spa at Fort Barwara. “The expert therapists use a powerful crystal in a full body massage journey that includes stretches to tone the nervous system, breathwork, visualization and healing sound to restore a sense of inner peace and wellbeing,” explains Dr Jitendra Varshney, Wellness Director, six Senses Fort Barwara.

These retreats offer a curated personalized, authentic, and holistic experience for all those looking to embark on a journey for healing and rejuvenation.

A holistic experience

Nestled in the Himalayas, 8825 feet above sea level, ensconced amidst unspoilt acres of meadows and pristine nature, snow -capped peaks around, lies the Khyber spa by L’occitane, “Inspired by Provencal rituals, the holistic journey at Khyber begins with wellness consultation and detox drinks which prepares the body for the treatments. The therapist performs a specially designed massage or exfoliation pack designed as per the guest’s needs to relax, reset emotions and restore lost energies. A fusion of Indian and western therapies such as Swedish, Balinese, Hawaiian Lomi-Lomi, Thai, Tui-na, Shiatsu, reiki, Korean along with hydrotherapy, Yoga, Ayurveda and healthy cuisine is offered,” says Dr. Vijay Aggarwal, CEO Sanghvi Brands.

Detox menus

Ramada by Wyndham Udaipur Resort and Spa offers various mindful activities from meditation centres to yoga sessions, play areas where families can relax and a culinary team of expert’s curate detox menus to meet the needs of every individual. “The wellness retreat in today’s time is not just about timely sessions but about offering a combination of day-to-day getaway helping our guests to reduce stress,” says Nikhil Sharma, Regional Director- Eurasia, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

Jinali Sutariya, travel blogger, TravelStoriesByUs
Jinali Sutariya, travel blogger, TravelStoriesByUs

Reinterpreting ancient scriptures

Vigyan Yoga picks the best ancient scriptures and reinterprets them to make them relevant in today’s world while focusing on logic and rationality. “Each of our retreats is made affordable and accessible and themed around a singular scripture and includes theory, yoga, pranayama, and meditation to facilitate complete growth of one’s mind, body, and soul. We teach people how to incorporate these teachings and practices into their lifestyles,” say Co-founders Jai Singhania and Kaushal Kumar. The retreat at Deer Park Institute, Bir, Himachal Pradesh is priced at only Rs.10,000 which consists of 8 days of Yoga Sutra theory, physical yoga, pranayama, and meditation.

Old-world charm

A century old aristocratic noble house, Pilibhit House has been meticulously restored and presents unique experiences and rituals that evoke the four spiritual stages of life.”Guests can experience the all-natural Jiva Spa that is sure to restore their mind, body and soul with age-old healing techniques and the finest natural ingredients. Our unique spiritual Parthiv Snaan - a Gangetic mud bath is sure to relax and heal, head and heart. To cleanse their soul and nourish their bodies, guests can indulge in traditional Sattvic vegetarian cuisine. Yoga and meditation sessions are also offered, guided by experts in spiritual wellness,” says Amit Kumar Thakur, General Manager, Pilibhit House Haridwar - IHCL SeleQtions.

Jinali Sutariya, travel blogger, TravelStoriesByUs narrates her experience of visiting a retreat in Lonavala, Maharashtra. “I recently went to a retreat and felt energetic again. These wellness centers work very well and are a perfect combination of ancient healing methods and modern diagnostic techniques. Moreover, the immense motivation that individuals get here to adopt a healthy lifestyle is indeed something very important to people today.” These experiences are priced at a range from 20k to 50k per person for 3 days.

Wading through the traumas of the last two years has been hard on all of us and still reeling under the news of a prospective lockdown, self care has never been more essential. A long sauna soak, aromatherapy sessions, hiking and yoga never did anyone any harm.

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