Asia

Healing journeys in the rainforest

Silent canopy walks, wild swimming and rainforest yoga. The Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa in Malaysia brings a new level of healing programming by harnessing the healing power of its natural setting in the heart of the Mulu National Park.

The 52,000 hectares of ancient primary rainforest surrounding the resort serve as the canvas for Ayus Wellness, a new program created by Dr Gerry Bodeker, an academic at both the University of Oxford and Columbia University in New York.

The natural environment of Mulu allows Ayus Wellness to employ nature as one of its primary tools of therapy for personalized, science-based programmes to enhance minds and moods. This converts to forest immersion with yoga, meditation, silent canopy walks, and swimming in the mineralized waters of Clearwater Pool, which are filtered through 60-million-year-old limestone caves.

Ayus takes its name from the Sanskrit, meaning the sense of life, from its most microscopic cellular level to its simultaneous vastness, including the movement of galaxies and universes.

Borneo food traditions, local Sarawakian ingredients and flavors, and even wild-crafted foods from the grounds of the resort itself have been used to craft a unique wellness cuisine for Ayus Wellness. The gourmet vegetarian menu includes a unique power shot made from gotu kolu (Centella asiatica), known locally as Pegaga.

The resort adjoins the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mulu National Park, one of the few sites in the world which satisfies all four of the criteria for the World Heritage List. One of the most important tenets of Ayus Wellness is its capacity for building employment among the indigenous local community; nearly 200 members of the indigenous community have been trained in roles from hotel management to running the national park.

With this innovative new program Ayus Wellness at Mulu Marriott Resort & Spa has become the first hotel in Malaysia to join the Healing Hotels of the World. 

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Indian Wellness at Dharana at Shillim

Yoga

Yoga in Shillim

Wellness at India’s Dharana at Shillim – a  fusion of Ancient Eastern Wisdom with Advanced Technology   

Dharana at Shillim adds to India’s specialist wellness destinations that combine ancient medicinal practices and beliefs with modern technology.

Opened last year, Dharana at Shillim combines the world’s most advanced diagnostics and assessment methods with traditional eastern medicine and practices. Gene testing, Oligo scanning, (used by NASA to find toxic and mineral content, including traces of metal in the body) and iridology are fused with eastern medicine and medicinal methods namely Ayurveda, acupuncture and yoga.

Explaining the Dharana philosophy, Dr. Arun Pillai, Director of Wellness adds,“The expectations on those living and working in the Western World are becoming increasingly unhealthy and taking toll on more and more people’s health and wellbeing. Dharana at Shillim combines the best and most effective practices from both Western technology and Eastern wisdom to help guests connect with both themselves and the world around them in a completely holistic way.. With a new life toolkit acquired at Shillim, we encourage guests to practice a healthier and happier lifestyle based on the principles of Conserve, Sustain and Heal.”

Nine different wellness programmes are offered that include the Dharana Yogic Life, The Destress and the 5000-year-old Ayurvedic Panchakarma. Guests  are given a tailored itinerary that will benefit them while at Shillim and after their stay to integrate into their lifestyle.

Daily activities at Shillim are based on Dinacharya which looks at the cycle of nature and creates daily activities around them. These range from clay & music therapy, meditation to treks with the resident naturalist and cardio fitness sessions.

Dharana at Shillim is three hours from Mumbai  and sits amid the majestic Sahyadri mountain range and within a UNESCO World Heritage Area.  Rice fields, bamboo plantations, forests and fresh clean air provide the ideal backdrop for wellness.

Click here for more wellness destinations in India

For more information, please visit www.shillim.in

From the UK

Direct flights go from both London and Manchester to Mumbai approx. 9 hours, plus 3.5 hour road transfer, or indirect flight to Pune, approximately 12.5 hours with a stop-over in Delhi or Abu Dhabi followed by a 2.5 hour road transfer.

 

Iconic Wellness Resort, Chiva-Som to Reopen

Chiva Som International Health Resort in Hua Hin, Thailand is scheduled to reopen its doors on October 2019 following major renovation.

Chiva-Som Hua Hin is Asia’s first comprehensive wellness resort, providing proven transformations towards optimal wellness.  Nestled in seven acres of tranquil grounds, it’s a beachfront resort dedicated to revitalising the mind, body and spirit. Western practices and Eastern philosophies are brought together in the wellness resort which provides services for guests to develop healthy habits and lifestyle transformations; it has been recognised by readers and industry experts alike as one of the outstanding wellness resorts in the world for since its launch 24 years ago.

The Resort is committed to operating at the world’s highest environmental standards in all levels of operation. Since its launch, Chiva Som has been dedicated to operating as ethically and sustainably as possible.  Their dedicated CSR team has implemented many initiatives, policies and practices for energy efficiency and conservation, waste water treatment and reuse, fresh water conservation, waste minimisation and recycling, air quality management and environmentally friendly product usage.

A few other recent awards include ‘Top ranked Asian Spa in Top 20 Destination Spas’ – Conde Nast Traveller The Readers’ Travel Awards 2018 (UK) and ‘Thailand’s Best Wellness Retreat 2018’- World Spa Awards (UK).

The beachfront resort is located in the town of Hua Hin, which lies 185 km south of the capital of Bangkok. It can be reached by car in under three hours, private plane in 25 minutes from Bangkok and chartered helicopter in 40 minutes from Bangkok

www.chivasom.com

Bhutan The Land of Happiness

Elevated Kingdom of Bhutan

Bhutan

There is a place in the world where the wealth of the country is measured by happiness.  Squeezed between the mighty neighbours of China and India there lies this place – a Land of Happiness.

The tiny kingdom of Bhutan sits peacefully and snuggly amongst the majestic amphitheatre of the Himalayas. This remote place cuddles culture and adventure in its unspoilt and unexplored environment. Stemming from its Buddhist tradition, it has inherited the title of a spiritual and happy destination. Back in the eighth century, the tantric master guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism to Bhutan. Many others masters followed resulting in a plethora of monasteries, temples and holy sites., Bhutan is often quoted as being one of the most blessed places to visit and is the last existing Mahayana Kingdom in the world.

Healthy and holy. The kingdom  is dotted with wellbeing retreats and therapeutic, mineral-laden hot springs. The Gasa Hot Spring is in the west, Dhur Hotel Spring in the centre and Dhuenmang in the south are highly revered medicinal waters and believed to cure many ailments. Traditional Bhutanese medicine is based on Sowa Rigpa,known as the Amchi system of medicine which is one of the oldest and well documented medical traditions of the world.

Bhutan’s elevated natural surroundings are often laced in transparent mist,  oxygenated in unpolluted air. Glacier-fed rivers and lush, aromatic forests provide the ideal terrain for hiking, trekking, kayaking and mountain biking activities. And with over 670 species of birds recorded, this is a favoured destination for bird lovers and ornithologists.

Happiness and harmony weave through the land’s rich and colourful culture expressed through traditional festivals and acrobatic mask dance performances which celebrate the kingdom’s independence and sovereignty.

Almost cut off for centuries, Bhutan unlocked its doors to foreign visitors in 1974 and today fiercely guard its ancient traditions by controlling tourism numbers to maintains its beauty and serenity for its own people and visitors alike. National parks, nature preserves and wildlife sanctuaries are protected and cherished – visitors pay a fee for the honour of entering this kingdom rooted in happiness.

Dating back to the 17thcentury, Bhutan is a recognised wellbeing escape.  This is the land where happiness is measured and is rooted in  Gross National Happiness (GNH). This grandiose term is defined as a holistic and sustainable approach which balances material and non-material values with the conviction that we all search for happiness.

GNH confronts global, national and individual challenges by pointing to the non-material roots of wellbeing, offering ways to balance and satisfy needs within the limits of what nature can provide. In our world, this is hindered by boundless consumerism, widening socio-economic inequality and instability causing a decline and ultimately a depletion of natural resources. Climate change, species extinction, growing insecurity, instability and conflicts are not only diminishing our well-being but are also threatening our survival.

Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness is based on four pillars of belief. Firstly, good governance which determines the conditions and social values in which Bhutanese thrive. Secondly, sustaining socio-economic development to ensure households and families enjoy free time and leisure. Thirdly, preserving the Bhutanese culture by developing cultural resilience, maintaining cultural identity, knowledge and practices to overcome challenges and influences. Fourthly, environmental conservation to provide essential services and the aesthetic values and harmonic healing of the natural land.

Happiness is the foundation of the Kingdom of Bhutan so if you are looking for a destination and a land of happiness, you will find it here tucked away in South Asia.

Visas are necessary to help preserve the kingdom’s pillars of belief to maintain Gross National Happiness. A small price to pay to hear the silence in nature’s sound, to breathe the purity of the air and absorb the vivid colours and of course share the genuine smiles of the people. Happiness is …..

If you wish to travel to the land of happiness contact http://www.bhutanlhtours.com/

For more information: https://www.tourism.gov.bt

The scenic vistas of Bhutan

Scenery of Bhutan

Soma Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village

cottage style accommodation

Natural village setting

Soma Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village is a healing and wellness resort dedicated to the “Science of Life” to restore physical, mental, spiritual and emotional equilibrium.

It is conveniently situated 21 kilometers from Thiruvananthapuram International Airport in Kerala and 9 kms from Kovalam. Majestically, it sits on the incline of a hill overlooking the sea.

This award-winning resort and sister property to Somatheeram Research Institute & Ayurveda Resort offers authentic ayurveda treatments, yoga and meditation tailored to guests needs. And with specially prescribed massages and therapies, Manaltheeram offers therapies  effective in treating various conditions such as arthritis, rheumatism and paralysis.

Accommodation is rustic-style houses and thatched garden cottages resting on the slopes giving the atmosphere of  village life embracing tradition, culture and nature. The coconut trees dotted around and splashes of yellow marigolds add colour and the concept of rejuvenation to this eco-resort.  In addition, the herb garden cultivates rare varieties preserved for use in medicines and other preparations. The open air restaurant at Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village maintains a garden ambience with its wicker chairs, lawns and paved paths.

The  resort offers Ayurveda residential holistic programmes for “Panchakarma” and “Wellness” , all supported by a team of Ayurvedic doctors and mail & female masseurs to provide the best result in shortest time.

For reservations or more information on Manaltheeram Ayurveda Beach Village http://www.manaltheeram.com/

For more information on India, read here

yoga next to the sea

Perfect setting for yoga

 

 

Somatheeram Ayurveda Village, Kerala, India 

The pool

Somatheeram Ayurveda Village

Somatheeram, is the world’s first Ayurveda centre set in a resort ambiance offering Ayurveda treatments and programmes for its guests who travel from all corners of the world.

This award winning Ayurveda wellness eco resort is set in tropical gardens and enjoys a beachfront location in  Kerala, South India. It is located on Chowara Beach with over 15 acres of greenery, just 9 km south of Kovalam Beach in Trivandrum, Kerala.

In this peaceful and harmonious environment traditional ayurvedic therapy and yoga are practised. The range of Ayurveda treatments and packages include rejuvenation therapy, panchakarma, detoxification, body purification, slimming, stress management, anti-ageing, and various clinical curative treatments. The treatments are designed around therapies, a healing diet and herbal medicine, formulated under the supervision of experienced and qualified doctors and therapists.

Dosha-specific, organic, vegetarian dishes from an extensive, creative menu are served in the restaurant 200 feet above sea level complemented with superb panoramic views.

Accommodation takes the form of traditionally Kerala-style houses and cottages, all air-conditioned and equipped with modern amenities.

Somatheeram is internationally recognised for its achievements in health, social responsibility and  environmental preservation. It is the recipient of 35 major international and national awards for excellence in  Ayurveda treatments & Yoga. Of note, it holds NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Health Care providers) accreditation,  “India’s Best Ayurvedic Resort”, including “HALL OF FAME” an Honour granted by the Government of India.  It has also been awarded “Kerala State’s Best Ayurvedic Resort” (by Government of Kerala) six times.

The essence and soul of Somatheeram is the ancient medical science of Ayurveda treatments  and Art of Yoga & Meditation.

For reservation or more information: http://www.somatheeram.in/

For more information on India read here

BSI accredited

Accredited status

Eco Wellness In A UNESCO World Heritage Setting

 

….Wellbeing in tune with nature’s life forces….

Ecological Wellness can be found in the heart of the majestic Sahyadris mountain range in the Western Ghats of Maharastra: a UNESCO World Heritage Site, offering holistic rejuvenation of mind, body and soul according to ancient Ayurvedic principles.

Dharana at Shillim Estate Retreat and Spa  is an eco-wellness retreat, three hours south east of Mumbai or just over two hours from Pune. It sweeps over 3,000 acres of its own fertile valley, scattered with ecologically-designed luxurious villas, with a focus on environmental sustainability. Guests are encouraged to take short excursions, hikes and nature walks through the rice fields, bamboo plantations, lush fields and organic garden which all nurture a thriving flora and fauna eco system.

At the heart of the retreat is a philosophy of ‘Dharana’ (pronounced Dah-na) – a way of life that promotes health and wellbeing in line with the life forces of nature.  Dharana is the sacred sense of stability achieved when one aligns the inner core to the outer environment, the starting point for any form of healing.

The Dharana way of life aims to help achieve long-term internal and external wellbeing through tailor-made programmes, helping guests to choose lifestyle options that balance energies and focused on achieving calmness and contentedness.

Shillim’s extensive range of wellness programmes are all designed to help guests establish healthy habits for life. Dharana wellness experts integrate the essential philosophical, spiritual and artistic wisdom of past civilizations with contemporary, life-enhancing practices and modern diagnostics.

Dharana Life Science Programs offer a comprehensive, bespoke healing regime with deliberate attention to key issues including conflict resolution, stress management, anti-aging, weight management which focusing on fitness through wellness activities and cognitive stimulation, mindfulness through meditation and nourishment through sustainability. A consultation is offered to every guest by resident Dr. Arun Pillai, who curates a bespoke programme dependent on guest’s needs – ranging from three to 27-day schedules. The itinerary encompasses Dharana traditions including Acupressure, Acupuncture, Reiki, Pranic Healing, Ayurveda, Yoga, Chakra Cleansing, Shamanism, Meditation, Naturopathy, Hydro Therapy, Ozone Therapy, Fire Healing, Music, Dance and Body Work.

Dr. Arun Pillai, Director of Wellness says, “We focus on the five core elements (earth, fire, water, air and sky) to design the Dharana programme.  The programme starts with a full body composition analysis to determine the prakruti (nature/issues) and identify the doshas (the three energies that define every person’s makeup) of our guests. We aim to make Dharana as a way of life and not just a programme so that all our guests can sustain a healthy lifestyle and lead the ideal wellness path within and outside the retreat” 

Nourishment through Sustainability: The holistic approach of the Dharana programme is folded into every aspect of the retreat, especially at the wellness restaurant – The Green Table – which takes inspiration from a planetary diet, incorporating the five elements of Ayurveda (Water, Air, Fire, Ether and Wind), with special emphasis on organic ingredients.  The menu is a 100% forest-to-table concept with all ingredients sourced from the Shillim forest and farm. The Chef’s commitment in using organic, locally-sourced and sustainably-grown ingredients of the highest quality is apparent in every dish served from the Ayurveda Thali to the à la carte selection. Healthy offerings at The Green Table can be complimented with an aromatic treat at the Tea Room, emphasizing the medicinal properties of different ingredients and illustrating the ancient Asian culture of healing.

Getting there from the UK

Direct flights go from both London and Manchester to Mumbai approx. 9 hours, plus 3.25 hour road transfer, or indirect flight to Pune, approximately 12.5 hours with a stop-over in Delhi or Abu Dhabi followed by a 2.5 hour road transfer.

https://www.shillim.in/

 

 

 

 

Wellness for the Soul

The Sarojin PS#2 spa treatment pavilion2 - Copy

A restorative spiritual blessing awaits guests seeking wellness for the soul amidst their travels. Thailand’s 56-roomed boutique residence, The Sarojin, is offering a specially-designed Wellness for the Soul Package to help guests discover mindful and spiritual travel.

Wellness elements include a sunrise Alms giving and Spiritual Blessing of Love at a local temple, where guests will find themselves immersed in a contemplative, spiritual morning. Rising early, guests travel to the temple to offer the Buddhist monks a small basket of items as a sign of respect. In return they receive a blessing, which sees the monk gently pouring water over the recipient to cleanse the spirit, while chanting ancient Pali-Sanskrit, the perfect way to start the day feeling lighter and calm.

Another inspiring ‘Wellness for the Soul’ experience is a visit to three of the region’s most important temples to learn more about Buddhism and the local culture. Starting with a visit to the Dragon Cave Temple, visitors will find themselves in a serene cave that offers a very special atmosphere, ideal for meditation and reflection. Heading high up the mountain, travellers reach Bang Reang Templethe largest temple pagoda in all of Phang Nga and home to a piece of Buddha’s bone. Offering breathtaking views across the stunning province, it is the perfect place to pause and absorb the serenity. These are followed by a trip to Wat Thamsuwankuha one of Phang Nga’s most historic temples and home to a 15-metre long reclining Buddha statue, the largest in southern Thailand.

Completing the contemplative package are three morning yoga classes, the perfect way to make the most of the hotel’s serene and tranquil setting. Led by Justine Capdevielle, The Sarojin’s yoga teacher, guests are guided through a 75-minute restorative session of Vinaysa Yoga.

Also offered is The Sarojin’s Street Food Cook for Kids initiative with The Camillian centre, a not-for-profit organisation that provides day care facilities and rehabilitation for children with special needs, is a truly heart-warming, soulful experience. Spending the afternoon with the children at the centre, guests get the chance to support some of the region’s most vulnerable children, preparing a nutritious meal alongside The Sarojin’s sous chef. During this truly memorable afternoon, guests can engage with the children and help breakdown the barriers between cultures and languages in a sensitive and respectful manner that truly supports the local community.

The Sarojin, please visit: www.sarojin.com and The Sarojin 360 Tour

 

Four Seasons Resort Langkawi has increased its dosha balance

 

Langkawi Ayurvedic Spa

The Geo Spa at Four Seasons Resort Langkawi has strengthened its “elemental balance” ethos with the addition of nine Ayurvedic therapies and rituals.

Drawing on 5,000 years of wisdom, Ayurveda believes in the fundamental ability for individuals to heal once they come into balance. This is achieved by determining one’s personal elemental constitution known as dosha  and its relationship with the world’s natural energies: pitta (fire, water), kapha (earth, water) and vata (air, space). By understanding our individual nature as a microcosm of the macrocosm we can learn how to balance the dominance or lack of a certain elemental energy and lead a healthier, more harmonious life.

The Geo Spa has drawn on the energies of the surrounding 550 million year old Geo Park to take advantage of the abundant, age-old source of grounding, balancing nature.  This includes powerful earth energies accumulated through the ancient rocks plus water energies flowing through the surrounding sea, mangrove tributaries and rainforest systems. It’s the ultimate analogy for life: just as the delicate mangrove ecosystem must maintain a healthy balance in order to survive, so too must individuals seek balance with their surroundings.

According to Dr Kannan Nettath, Spa & Wellness Director, “We are coming to understand that a life well lived is one lived in balance and that it is through harmony within ourselves and with the wider world that we achieve optimum health. The decision to weave Ayurveda into The Geo Spa’s elemental balance concept was an intuitive, natural extension of our offering and expertise.”

From July 2018, visitors to The Geo Spa can experience Ayurvedic experiences that range from well-known therapies such as Abhyanga and Shirodhara to Geo Spa Signature Experiences including Voyage of the Mind and Spine Strengthening with treatments that realign mind, body and spirits and advocate greater balance with the natural elements that reside in and around us all.

“When inner and outer harmony is achieved, we not only survive but also begin to thrive,” concludes Dr Kannan.

https://www.fourseasons.com/langkawi/

Pamper, play, nourish, sleep….reasons to wellbeing

KOH_934

Highlighting the importance of nurturing oneself, the Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui has launched a Reasons to Wellbeing programme.

Guests can experience different facets of wellbeing proposed by the resort which ranges from deep nourishment and restful sleep to luxurious pampering and active play, designed to suit individual wellness styles.

Reasons to nourish offers a sequence of replenishing spa experiences, including a rejuvenating body scrub, a healing wrap and a scalp massage with coconut oil extracted from freshly plucked Samui coconuts. A private session of yoga and the art of juicing using tropical ingredients is interspersed with six power-packed mini-meals through the day.

Reasons to sleep begins with a session of flow yoga, uniting breath and movement. A Lava Shell Massage ensues where warmed Pacific clam shells provide muscular relief, an hour of meditation, followed by a luxurious candlelit bath, massage and breakfast the next morning completes this experience of soul-deep relaxation in a private villa.

Reason to pamper involves a 3-hour-long Earth to Sky Ritual which takes the form of a fragrant and cocooning top-to-toe nourishing scrub, pressure point massage with gentle stretching techniques, and steam compress filled with local Thai medicinal herb.

Reasons to play features a range of activities that allows guests to rediscover their sense of possibility and adventure, from guided exercises at the gym or on the beach to learning Muay Thai, the ancient Thai art of kickboxing. This is followed by a Magnesium massage to release muscular tension and enhance sleep.

 www.fourseasons.com/kohsamui.