Ayurvedic Healing Village &
Sanskriti Vedic Retreat featured in Telegraph?s Graphiti
Ayurvedic Healing Village and Sanskriti Vedic Retreat of the
Kairali Ayurvedic Group got featured in a very interesting article on Yoga and
holistic wellness resorts of India in the Graphiti ? a thirty-two page colour
magazine of the well-known newspaper Telegraph.
The Telegraph is an Indian daily English newspaper founded
and published in Kolkata and is the fourth most-widely read English newspaper
It’s all about healing in comfort as
luxury Yoga resorts cash in on the global wellness boom, says Anupma Tripathi
Sit back and imagine
for a moment. You’re at a luxury resort near the beach that has superlatively
comfortable rooms, a pool and a state-of-the-art spa where you can attain new
thresholds of relaxation. And on hand to help you get to into that ultra-relaxed
mode is a brigade of Yoga instructors offering one-on-one sessions tailored to
This is the
self-indulgent health-giving combination at Ashiyana Yoga & Spa Village
that turns the luxury Yoga retreat, a stone’s throw from Goa’s Mandrem Beach,
into a winner. “We’ve tried to create an intimate ‘luxe-village’ where
guests and staff co-exist in beautiful surroundings,” says the resort’s
general manager and director, Chandra Parihar.
Guests at Ashiyana begin their stays
with a consultation with professional Yoga instructors hailing from different
corners of the globe who decide on the therapy needed for each individual.
Now cut to The Shreyas Yoga Retreat,
a sprawling 25-acre spread about an hour from Bangalore airport. Shreyas is a
member of Relais & Chateaux, a group of luxury hotels and restaurants
worldwide. Here there’s plenty of Yoga and other facilities that include
private pools, an outdoor Jacuzzi and a jogging track to keep you fit in style.
Then, supposing you want a bit of other kinds of relaxation, you can unwind in
the library or head to the cricket nets which offer a bowling machine.
“You name it, we’ve got it,” says marketing and sales chief Nidhe
With the global
wellness boom in full swing, luxury Yoga resorts like Shreyas and Ashiyana are
cashing in. They’re targeting an affluent clientele who’s been there and done
it all and now wants more than just to sightsee or lounge on the beach ‘ but
who also want to relax in plush, comfortable surroundings. ‘Earlier, people
would go to ashrams devoid of comfort. But at Shreyas, we believe in a balance
between comfort and good health practices,’ says Sood.
Next, let’s head to
Kerala, where nestled by the Arabian Sea is Neeleshwar Hermitage, a beach
retreat with 18 cottages sprawled over 10 acres. Neeleshwar Hermitage’s speciality
is Hatha Yoga practised inside a big hall with in-house instructors leading
each group. What’s more, the resort has Ayurvedic doctors on call so guests can
up their wellness quotient even further. The resort offers seven-day or 14-day
Yoga/Ayurveda packages starting from Rs 8,000 a day for single occupancy and
include a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor, a daily group Yoga session for
45 minutes, accommodation and all meals.
Then for those who want
an all-round wellness experience, integrated healing is the watchword at Soukya
International Holistic Health Centre in Bangalore that’s built around a lush
green 30-acre organic farm. “We’ve integrated Yoga with other sciences
like naturopathy, Ayurveda and homoeopathy and complementary therapies. And
there are also consultants like neurologists, psychiatrists for the medical
programmes,” says Dr Isaac Mathai, the property’s owner.
Soukya is at the
upper-end of the price scale, offering a minimum seven-day Yoga programme
costing Rs 30,000 a day that involves in-house house naturopath doctors and
programmes customised for each guest. In addition, the centre offers
anti-ageing and weight-loss treatments, among other packages.
Needless to say that Soukya also
offers high levels of comfort with private gardens attached to their deluxe and
super-deluxe living quarters. “Since we have a total of 25 rooms, it makes
everything spacious,” says Dr Mathai.
Again in Kerala, the Kairali Ayurvedic Group has created a
50-acre Ayurvedic Healing Village in Palakkad that has 30 special villas ? all
conforming to Vastu Shastra principles ? and also offers facilities including a
swimming pool, gym, and library. All around the property there are a mix of
fountains and waterfalls and there’s also a huge vegetable garden where exotic
herbs are also grown. The group has its own special USP: ‘We amalgamate Yoga
with Ayurveda,’ says K. R. Abhilash, director, Kairali Ayurvedic Group.
The Kairali group also owns another property in Rishikesh on
the banks of the Ganges that offers five treatment rooms, one big Yoga hall
overlooking the river and one organic caf offering both vegan and global
cuisine. ‘We also invite renowned Yoga instructors from time to time to hold
retreats,’ says Abhilash.
All of these healing
resorts have rules about minimum stays. At Ashiyana, for instance, guests can
opt for packages ranging from Rs 4,000-a-day to as high as Rs 18,000-a-day, for
anything between seven and 21 nights. The price tags include accommodation, two
large buffet meals, and three two-hour drop-in Yoga sessions daily. In
addition, a meditation class is also thrown in.
Shreyas, on the other hand, offers
both long and short-duration packages from three nights to 14 nights. The
package includes accommodation, a wellness consultation on arrival and three
gourmet vegetarian meals daily. Besides that, there are two group Yoga classes
lasting for two hours. The
longer-duration package includes city incursions, round trip
air-transfers, body care services, and even chances to take part in community
services like farming and cooking.
For all those who love their spas and
massages, these retreats offer a wide variety including Ayurvedic treatments
and massages to spa and beauty therapies. For example, Shreyas offers a range
of massages such as Balinese, Thai, Swedish, aromatherapy and a clutch of
Ayurvedic massage treatments like Shirodhara, Udhwarthanam, Choorna Pinda
Swedam, Abhyanga, and Virechnam. ‘Facials and scrubs are also offered, all prepared
freshly from natural ingredients that are largely from our organic farm,’ says
The variety of Yoga
treatments on offer at these resorts can be quite mind-boggling. At Ashiyana,
guests can choose between Asthanga Vinayasa Yoga ? a vigorous form of Yoga. Or,
alternatively, they can try Iyenger Yoga, which is a form of Hatha Yoga and
Kundalini Yoga. The sessions are held at one of the four Yoga shalas.
Some resorts also offer
Yogic and Ayurvedic treatments aimed at specific illnesses. Take the seven-day
Silent Retreat at Shreyas designed to help guests suffering from ailments like
insomnia, high blood pressure and stress. This package involves a daily Yoga
nidra ‘ deep relaxation ‘ session for an hour, four rejuvenating massages and
two 60-minute Pranayama sessions.
Or, look at Ashiyana,
which offers week-long programmes for
detoxification and rejuvenation. ‘We offer various programmes like the Sublime
Wellbeing Detox and Rejuvenation Retreat & Yoga and ozone therapy to stimulate
the production of white blood cells,’ says Parihar. He adds: ‘Then there’s
Ayurveda Detox that involves consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor and the
Urban Antidote Rejuvenation Retreat that involves Yoga and meditation for one’s
emotional and physical well-being.’
And once guests finish
their healing treatments, they can retire to lavish levels of comfort. Shreyas,
for instance, offers Poolside Cottages with an infinity pool and Jacuzzi and
Garden Tented Cottages with en-suite bathrooms opening into private walled
courtyards. There are also three-bedroom cottages with spacious living rooms
great for families and groups.
Ashiyana, on the other
hand, offers the option of its presidential suites called the Raj rooms and
suites or the luxury eco-friendly lounges and tree-houses. “We get a lot
of guests from the West and so to make their stay comfortable and memorable,
we’ve got five magnificent suites and three double-rooms with a separate dining
area and living area,” says Parihar. And for those who like their scenery,
he adds: “The suite is dotted with antique Rajasthani furniture and soft
furnishings and offers stunning views of the Mandrem River.”
It’s not all work and
no play at these resorts ? after all the guests are on holiday. So, Neeleshwar
Hermitage offers all manner of other recreations including one and two-night
cruises on the Kerala backwaters in their two-bedroom houseboat, the Lotus.
And for those keen on
self-improvement, it offers lectures on Indian art, architecture, religion,
philosophy and history. There are also music concerts, film shows and dance
performances and visits to local temples with expert guides. “This is also
a perfect destination for bird lovers as there are many varieties, including
babblers, drongos and kingfishers that can be seen from the cottages,”
says Purnima Vishwanath, the resort’s head of marketing.
And while you’re
rejuvenating on your luxury Yoga vacation, there’s no need to worry about the
calories for once you sign up for one of these retreats, you’re definitely in
for a healthy and controlled diet. For example, Neeleshwar’s two restaurants
(Meenakshi and Annapurna) are famous for their sea food. Annapurna is a
multi-cuisine restaurant which also specialises in vegetarian Malabar coastal
At a different level,
Shreyas, prepares customised menus for each of its guests. “This is after
a detailed consultation with our in-house Ayurvedic or naturopathy
doctors,” says Sood. “We aim to follow certain Yogic principles and
so the emphasis is on low-calorie, low salt and low-fat offerings. Besides, we
also take into consideration any allergies that one may have (such as gluten
intolerance or lacto-intolerance) and make sure to accommodate all our guests
As they say, sometimes
the best investment you can make is in yourself!
Published on: 16th November 2014