Tag Archives: wellness

Blindfolded Yoga

Blindfolded yoga

Yoga teacher Dan Peppiatt will lead a journey through the senses with his blindfolded yoga class.  Proceeds will be donated to the Royal National Institute for the Blind.

The OM Yoga Show and Yoga Like Water are leading this 90-minute charity class in collaboration with and in support of the Royal National Institute for the Blind, and the fantastic work they do with the blind and partially blind.

Dan Peppiatt has been leading blindfolded yoga sessions for over 5 years in the belief that they offer great potential to access parts of physical practice that are otherwise often overlooked.

To remove the sense of sight brings a greater depth to practice; we become unconcerned with what a pose, other yogis, or the teacher looks like, and more attuned to what the practice feels like. We become more familiar with our bodily sensations and paying attention to what they are telling us.

In this session participants will move slowly through postures with simple instructions for the mind and body to interpret, rounding off with a gentle yoga nidra.

The RNIB is one of the UK’s leading sight loss charities, and the largest community of blind and partially sighted people.

Yoga in the Dark: Moving Like Water with Dan Peppiatt takes place on
Saturday 19th October 2019, between12.15 – 13.45
£10 – Book tickets online: www.omyogashow.com

(Proceeds donated to the Royal National Institute for the Blind)

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The Cruise Industry is onboard with Wellness

The Cruise Industry is onboard with Wellness

Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is promoting wellness throughout the month of September. This theme aims to showcase and champion what cruise lines are doing to create enriching wellness experiences on a cruise holiday.

Each week throughout the month, CLIA focuses on a different topic under the ‘wellness’ theme. The first week is dedicated to relaxation, highlighting the plethora of options on a cruise holiday that enable guests to feel relaxed and in turn increase positive wellbeing.

Andy Harmer, CLIA UK & Ireland director, said: “There’s something truly calming about a cruise holiday. Whether you are sailing on the open sea or pootling along a river, a cruise is the ideal escape for anyone searching for the ultimate relaxing holiday.

“Whether it be through onboard classes such as yoga, meditation and tai chi or simply relaxing in the onboard spa, relaxation has many lasting benefits to personal wellbeing and cruise lines are leading the way in finding innovative ways to ensure guests can relax and unwind during their holiday.”

Cruise Line News – Wellness & Relaxation

AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways recently introduced a wellness programme across the entire European fleet – each ship now has a professionally trained ‘Wellness Host’ to conduct complimentary classes including yoga, cardio and circuits, as well as discussion groups on healthy eating and relaxation.

https://www.amawaterways.com/explore/wellness

APT

APT has increased the number of wellness classes onboard its ships from morning stretches to yoga and tai chi. The classes are conducted by the line’s new entertainment – a duo who alongside providing onboard entertainment, host wellness and fitness classes.

https://www.aptouring.co.uk/

Uniworld Boutique River Cruises

Uniworld has enhanced its Wellness on the Water programme across the fleet for 2020, including a complimentary wellness programme on its India cruises, centred around the destination’s ancient tradition and practice of yoga with a certified yogi. There are daily sunrise sessions of yoga, group lectures and classes as well as individual meetings, so that guests at every stage of their practice can participate comfortably in this culturally immersive programme.

https://www.uniworld.com/uk/why-uniworld/wellness/

Scenic

Scenic has expanded their spa renovations including its innovative Salt Therapy Lounges for an invigorating boost – the first and only river cruise line to offer a therapeutic Salt Lounge, which invites guests to relax, energise and feel healthier. Handcrafted from salt bricks and humidity and temperature-controlled, the lounge has the micro-climate of a natural salt mine.

https://www.scenic.co.uk/

Hapag-Lloyd

Hapag-Lloyd has introduced IN2BALANCE themed cruises aboard 5 EUROPA 2. As part of the format, renowned experts and trainers present innovative training methods and the relaxation techniques of the Far East: yoga in all its variations, burnout prevention, t’ai chi, shiatsu and interval training. Depending on the cruise booked, guests discover new and proven techniques that help them to slow things down in our increasingly stressful day-to-day reality, bringing lasting benefits to their personal well-being.

https://www.hl-cruises.com/in2balance-ms-europa-2

Arctic Wellness

Doors will be opening to a new Arctic wellness experience which freezes into the Lule River in the winter and floats on top of the water in the summer.

Located in Lulea in Swedish Lapland, The Arctic Bath Hotel and Spa, designed by architects Bertil Harström and Johan Kaupp, offers wellness, mindfulness and cleansing treatments through spa partners Kerstin Florian.

This distinctive arctic wellness experience comprised six detached floating “cabins” and six additional cabins on land. The Arctic Bath has been inspired by the timber floating era which recalls how felled trees were transported downriver for processing. Both the spa and the rooms float on or are frozen into the water, depending on the season. The spa complex and cabins float on waters ranging from 6.5 to 14 feet deep and are connected by floating walkways. The Arctic Bath leaves a minimal environmental footprint.

The Arctic Bath’s approach to arctic wellness is based on four elements: nutrition, exercise, peace of mind, and the care of face and body. These are reflected through menus, focusing on clean, local ingredients; the encouragement of exercise through a variety of activities; working with affirmation cards, mindfulness and meditation and the Arctic Bath’s proprietary spa treatments. Guests at the floating hotel and spa will experience the wellness benefits of alternating cold-water and hot-water dips and sauna, yoga, meditation, and cleansing sessions such as crystal healing. There are no ambient distractions or light pollution. Colours are chosen for their therapeutic benefits and surrounding materials are organic and local.

The circular-shaped Arctic Bath houses one spa treatment room, four saunas, an outside cold bath, a hot bath, outdoor and indoor showers, and two dressing rooms. The open centre of the bath invites guests to sunbathe, ice bathe or sit back to view the Northern Lights or star-filled skies. A dip in the bath itself is consistent with the Arctic tradition of a cold-water plunge with the water maintained at 39 degrees Fahrenheit

The Arctic Bath project was developed by Kent Lindvall, Per Anders Eriksson, Robert Lundqvist, Patrik Jonsson and AnnKathrin Lundqvist. The project grew out of the opening days of the Treehotel in Harads, Sweden when developers envisioned taking the wood concept from the air to the water as well. Specialist design architects Bertil Harström and Johan Kauppi, translated the concept into design, utilizing their background of minimalist furniture and building design. The design of the spa and hotel is not only striking in its look but also in its creation, using local materials and leaving a minimal to zero-impact on the environment.

https://www.offthemap.travel/arctic-bath/

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.

 

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

 

 

Natural wellness sparkles in Hotel Plunhof’s stylish Spa Minera

Swimming with snowflakes, floating by flames, massaged with stones, pummelled with rollers and immersed in the smoke of burning bark.  Wellness takes on the natural elements at the sparkling new Spa Minera at Hotel Plunhof, peaking out of the Stubai Alps in Italy’s South Tryol region.

It’s lilac and silver, wood and water, glazed with silver quartzite at every viewpoint. Natural elements represent the lifeblood of the spa, its DNA.

And I took full advantage. I likened the experience to swimming in a luxury lounge, the water like a rippled carpet flowing under stairs and dappled with reflections from Swarovski crystal chandeliers glittering from above. I floated by oversized loungers shaded with bulbous table lights, book shelves on one side, a stone log fire in the centre, wood-panelled walls, mirrored pillars and squidgy seating all around. Comfortable tranquillity, understated glitz.

How luxurious to wallow in such exquisite surroundings. Warm, intimate and decadent. And then, just like magic, glass doors opened to an outside poolscape where the snow taps you on the shoulder and a mist disguises the surface. It’s eerie and atmospheric. Towering mountains greet you, nothing in-between, except the water warm, the air refreshingly cool.

Relaxation areas seem to appear around every corner to surprise you, each dressed in a different style, another ambience to enjoy. But finding them a second time is an art in itself. They all offer those please-lie-on-me loungers of every shape and style, rugs in the right place, contemporary fireplaces and enviable panoramic scenery with a focal point towards the Santa Maddalena Church sitting alone enclaved into the side of the mountain.

The hotel is located about an hour from Innsbruck in the Ridanna Valley. It’s a family affair – run by the Volgger family whose personal attention is in evidence from the moment you arrive.  I met Thomas who proudly showed me the spa facilities, just three months old, all sparkly and new. Excitedly he told me of further plans although I was quite content with the stylish spaces they have painstakingly produced. Five saunas, two whirlpools, relaxation areas – too many to count, a fitness room, pools indoor and out and a dedicated room for classes.

With 67 rooms which overlook Alpine scenery, this dedicated wellness space has been designed to incorporate Spa Minera & Acqua Minera, all 4,000 sqm of it.  Here it never seems busy although you may spot a few guests strewn over sofas, strolling in robes or hanging out in the saunas, relaxed and chilled. Guests come here to ski in the winter months – there’s a daily bus to the slopes, – or for bracing hikes in the fresh crisp air. They all enjoy overdoses of pure relaxation, rejuvenation and therapeutic therapies.

The treatment menu reflects the Spa’s focus on natural elements with its creative use of local resources blended with traditional healing principles. My 80-minute massage was performed with pine wood rollers of various sizes delivering pressure and heat as it toured the body. Strong at times, the pressure and warmth re-routed the flow of energy unblocking areas to leave a sense of renewed calm. Billed as Pine Vitality, this relaxing ceremony aims to channel the inner spirit to activate self-healing powers.

From wood to stone, the Silver Quartzite Stone Massage experience was gentle, directional, purposeful and somewhat spiritual. In the background, haunting chants, as if resonating from a monastery chamber, kept my focus in the moment while long rhythmic strokes would halt periodically to grind energy in chakra areas and then swiftly sweep away negative residue. Enhanced by the burning of bark shavings, this meridian massage, combined  precious natural minerals with medicinal herbs, warm oils and raw materials to leave me released of negative feeling, grounded and strong.

Heat, water and steam, ancient bathing rituals, Kneipp pools, infra-red cabinets, a shower temple, a thermal grotto and saunas of every kind are plentiful here. Temperatures range from ice cold, mild, hot and only just bearably hot.  The revived ancient ritual “Thrown into the Knappensauna” is featured on the daily programme and not to be missed, It involves very hot temperatures in a large sauna cabin, au natural, save for a few towels. A staff member, acting like a central courtier parades around the central burning coals sporting a large fan to direct hotter air over each person. Red in the face, sizzling by the second, we brave souls lasted the 15 minute experience to be rewarded with a barefoot stroll in the outside snow followed by salt peeling in the steam room. All this to cleanse the skin, stimulate circulation, loosen joints, exfoliate the skin surface and improve the immune system…..

From tried and tested organic resources to the latest technology, The Spa Minera has moved with the times to offer a wide range of advanced cosmetic treatments.  The Dr Spiller Celltresor Facial followed an in-depth regime which included a machine-controlled cleanse and a serum massage followed by a collagen mask which felt and looked like an Egyptian mummy covering. The result, a thorough treatment and a plumper look! This facial is designed to maximize the skin’s rejuvenation by targeting muscles to relax facial features.

Qi Gong  and Yoga, exercise and wellness all have to be nourished and the Hotel’s restaurant does it well. Inventive menus, organic ingredients and a balanced fusion of tastes are a match to any high class establishment. Think venison steak with cranberry pear served with red sauerkraut with apples and polenta cream, roasted suckling pig cup with beer jus or guinea fowl with figs – exotic descriptions, plated artistically and served to your reserved table. In addition, a choice of irresistible desserts and a buffet area ever laden with homemade artisan breads, fresh produce and, homemade oils and dressings.  So much choice, an occasion in itself, a restaurant to be rewarded.

Spa Minera has borrowed wellness from Mother Nature. “Back to the origins… the force of the earth and the might of the stone” are the words inscribed on the glass window – wellness instilled in its structure, soul and spirit.

Hotel Plunhof is a member of Niche Destinations  www.niche-destinations.com

Prices for a double room Minera – from €118 pp sharing including half board and use of Spa Minera

Hotel Plunhof, Family Volgger, Obere Gasse 7, 39040 Ridnaun – Ratschings, Italy. Tel.:+ 39 0472 656247. info@plunhof.it     

www.plunhof.it

Reflections on the Industry: When the H in Holiday means Health

Whether it’s beach time, adventure or cruising the ocean waves, holidays are to relax, enjoy time out and to set aside the usual routine. But as we become more aware of our health, holidays take on a new meaning.

Today’s travelling consumers are expecting more. Conscious of the importance of health away from home, they seek to adopt a health component during their time away, whether it be mindfulness, detoxing, diet, a specialist treatment, rehabilitation, or simply to de-stress.

Health issues are often easier to tackle during a holiday in the hope of returning renewed and invigorated with new routines and attitudes to integrate into lifestyle changes.

Today’s health travelers now expect wellness options and activities readily available to them to enhance their holiday experience such as healthy dishes on menus, nature walks, early morning yoga and tai chi amongst other specialist classes which reflect the destination’s culture. They also expect to see signature treatments on the spa menu which offer an opportunity to sample local practises, resources and products.

In response, many leisure hotels and resorts have adapted to this changing attitude towards the “health holiday” versus the “fly & flop” holiday. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, for example, has integrated a wellness culture throughout its brand. http://www.fairmontmoments.com/spa-wellness. Breakfast health shots smooth in the new day, more seeds and grains are scattered around, gluten-free options are more readily available, pillow menus help sleep patterns while fitness centres are the norm.

In our smart world, health is monitored in many ways – fit-bits, i-watches, and phones. They measure our steps, heart-beat and calculate calories on menus, amongst other functions. But e-gadgets can be detrimental to our health, giving rise to digital detox programmes offered in specialist wellness retreats, enticing “e-guests” away from twitter, facebook, mobiles and laptops and instead to plug into the destination and set the mind free.

Poured into a bottle, moulded into soap, extracted as miracle cures – consumers believe local means genuine and authentic. This has opened up the opportunity to market home-grown products with labelled promises of curative powers. From oils for aromatherapy massages, natural herbs and plants for skin and digestive problems, many natural resources have been blended and branded as supplements to wellness holiday programmes.

The consumer is defining and driving the travel & health industry with a strong focus on fitness, mind & spiritual health and weight-loss in the form of preventative programmes and specialist health holidays. The travel industry is reacting to these changing attitudes with proactive actions. There is a rise of wellness programmes, yoga & meditation breaks, and spa packages. At the same time, there is a plethora of organic, locally produced skin and health products to complement in-house treatments.

Enter, medical tourism and the rise of Medical Spas – the H in holiday is stepping up to offer bespoke health holidays for individual needs in destinations around the globe.

Reflections on the Industry: Wellness Tourism is on the up

Wellness means different things to different people. Is it a spa weekend, walking in the forest, hugging trees, a meditation and yoga retreat, trekking with friends, a wellness cruise or a two week stay at a medi-spa? We all want to feel and look better and now an increasing number of consumer travellers see wellness as part of their holiday’s DNA. Wellness is no longer a niche sector.

Many destinations have jumped on the wellness stage, placing this segment of the industry firmly on the map as the key growth sector. It’s a big umbrella terminology. It crosses many themed holidays and retreats – spa, fitness, culture, spiritual, adventure and green tourism. Even spas retreats have changed and subdivided – the massage of years ago has had a cosmetic makeover resulting in many versions and styles of spa getaways.

Tourism businesses are adapting to the demands of the growing number of travelling consumers defined as wellness travellers. Visit Scotland www.visitscotland.org, for example, has published a review of industry trends and highlights self-development as its focus this year. According to their research, wellness tourism worldwide was worth £500bn in 2017, and has recently grown at more than twice the pace of tourism overall. With scenic vistas and healthy outdoor activities, they are offering holidays that provide “restorative recreation”. Being at one with nature, the destination naturally lends itself to themed retreats such as art workshops, survival training and creative writing.

Wellness, however, is not limited to land-based holidaying. Cruises lines have created itineraries to appeal to the wellness cruiser. AmaWaterways, www.amawaterways.com has a dedicated wellness host onboard its ships to keep the active sailor amongst us, busy, active and culturally enthused. There are bikes on board for guided rides along the towpaths and city tours during visits to cities and towns along the way. While ocean cruises such as Seaborn Cruises, www.seabourn.com has specific wellness programme for mindful sailing under the guidance of Dr Andrew Weil with thought provoking lectures and tailored treatments to integrate the concepts of wellness into lifestyle habits.

Island resorts are bringing in experts for exclusive specialist retreats such as a former professional ballet dancer, Grace Hurry, to host yoga & pilates holidays at the Niyama Private Islands in the Maldives, www.niyama.com which is part of Niyama’s ongoing programme of visiting practitioners from across the globe. The resort sees Dr Paolo Fernandes’ Longevity, Lymphatic Massage and Nutrition Programme

With sustainable tourism being a hot issue, Visit Scotland is promoting “green getaways” aimed at those who want to limit the impact on the environment. Tourism business are behind many environmental initiatives such as cleaning up beaches and helping poor neighbourhoods while airlines such as Ryanair aimito eliminate plastic cups and packaging on flights.

This type of holiday can also be an answer to over-tourism. Peaceful and more remote places lead the health traveller to less-know destination and away from the high traffic, traditional destinations and attraction that are usually on the bucket list – think historical attractions such as Peru’s Machu Picchu, and the floating city of Venice.

So, the wellness vacation is defining new products that are immersive, spiritual, experiential and essentially good for us, whatever one’s own definition. Driving this is the consumer who is looking to nourish the mind, recharge the body, enlighten the soul and return home well and balanced.

Reflections on the Industry: Today’s health holiday

The holiday experience generates relaxation and that feeling of well-being but are we searching for more?

In our smart world the meaning of health has changed. It has merged under the umbrella of wellbeing which brings together all aspects of our lifestyle. And when holidaying we become more aware and focused on health around us – the nutritious content of dishes printed on menus, the presence of fitness facilities and the spa’s signature treatments and therapies.

E-medicine and online diagnostics are all playing a part to encourage us to manage our own health, at home and away. And with ease of access to a wealth of resources online there are an increasing number of us combining health components with our holidays. From mindfulness, detox, diet or de-stress, more and more of us are taking these issues to tackle while taking a break in the hope we will return, renewed and invigorated!

Advanced technology and ongoing research have broadened our minds, while a renaissance in traditional and natural practices have renewed our beliefs in wellness therapies and treatments.

Chinese aesthetic medicine, fire meditations, floating therapy in ancient caves or non-invasive facelifts – there are treatments for most ailments in locations around the globe. A blessing from a High Priestess in Bali, sound therapy in Thailand, treatments with Argan Oil in Morocco, body screening in the Austrian Alps, health tourism is international.

The numerous cures offered are varied, colourful and creative. Tibetan singing bowls are prescribed for rebalance and harmony while intuitive horse therapy can help to reconnect you with your inner self. And with so many of us suffering distractions from every direction – phone, laptop and social media, mindfulness retreats aim to get you back to reality to live in the moment.

The media plays its role in influencing us. Each day reveals the latest research and newest statistics on every health topic from cancer-reducing activities, anti-ageing treatments, the new superfood addition and the latest official number of hours to sleep.

Films and television reflect this surge in individual health. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy charismatically took this subject on their jaunt to India seeking a healthier alternative for retirement. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel highlighted a faraway destination at a far cheaper cost. But it was the culture shock and change of living standards that gave them the release of letting go of the past and living for the moment. Their experiences and self-discovery have contributed to seeking wider experiences to reflect on ourselves and lifestyle options.

Low cost airlines have contributed to the growth in health tourism. They have played a major role in opening up routes and borders to more destinations to allow easier access to locations for health treatments at competitive costs.

Health Tourism is growing. It impacts our lifestyle and the choices we make. Holidays have become experiential so whether it is sound therapies, underground caves or spiritual healing, holidays are becoming healthier with time away from home to learn and adopt new health ingredients into our life.

Rudding Park, Harrogate, UK

The Rudding Park Spa offers medically focused treatments alongside traditional spa luxuries.

Rudding Park offers “Living with and Beyond Cancer” treatments created by Jennifer Young. These treatments include skincare that is specially designed for patients with sensitive skin and full body treatments that use crystals and oils to bring peace and balance back to the body and mind. They also offer natural, organic, nourishing manicures and pedicures to restore sensitive hands and feet.

Spa guests can partake in the Mud Rasul Ritual, a traditional Moorish offering. A choice in packages offer different types of mud, promising a rejuvenating experience. Guests enjoy access to the Rooftop Spa and Gardens and the Escape Room, which includes relaxation through audio, and visual experiences. Treatments range from facials, massage, manicures and pedicures, to treatments tailored to individuals.

Back in 1571, the first mineral spring was discovered christening Harrogate as the place of healing waters. Today, the privately-owned Rudding Park & Spa has stolen the title for restoring the mind and revitalising the body. The house at Rudding Park Spa may have been completed in 1824, but the spa is modern and luxurious.

https://www.ruddingpark.co.uk/