Holistic Healing

Yoga has been a fitness trend for the past few years, centuries actually if you live in India, but the world too has opened up to yoga a few years back and accepted it as a way of life. The century-old practice includes yoga postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayamas) and meditation. Through these, the body, mind and breath come in harmony with each other and that very moment yoga happens. The practice of yoga has immense benefits for not just the body but also the mind so that you enjoy a perfect healthy state of being. The practice of Yoga has various benefits from weight loss, controlling diabetes, better time management, freedom from anger, effective communication to creativity at work. We have found a few yoga options you can try out for a healthier lifestyle.

The Atré Yoga Studio (TAYS)

Zubin Atre TAYS
TAYS is a playful laboratory where you can experiment with your breath and body. At TAYS, you get to understand your body and open your mind up under the guidance of Yoga professionals. Zubin Atre is the young and highly-motivated owner of TAYS. He is committed to the wellbeing of his students at both the physical and mental realms. A few sessions can help him identify the individual’s specific problems leading him to design tailor-made combinations of yoga postures for his students. Zubin has even shared the wonders of practicing yoga at the workplace, and regularly conducts seminars at business schools, corporate institutions, international organisations and non-governmental organisations. If it’s yoga classes that you’re looking for, then TAYS is definitely the place for you. TAYS offers tailor-made yoga programs designed to suit your specific body requirements and your lifestyle. TAYS offers a unique range of yoga services that are handcrafted and developed by the professionals for the clients, keeping in mind any special requirement you may have. One of them is a 1PM yoga session which gives Shahpur Jat employees the chance to sneak-in some yoga at lunchtime, and the other is Sitar & Yoga at The Atre Yoga Studio, where Zubin Atré silently conducts the session as participants follow the flow to music improvised by Galen Passen on the sitar. Viewers are invited to meditate in silence on the music and movement.

Yogācāra

Yogacara (1)
If you are in Mumbai, don’t fret, we have a solution for you there as well. Yogācāra Healing Arts started by Radhika Vachani in 2010 at Mahalaxmi, now expands to open a first of its kind Yoga and Ayurveda Wellness Center in Bandra, off Carter Road. Yogācāra offers holistic healing solutions guided by the ancient disciplines of Yoga, Meditation, Ayurveda and Panchakarma treatments. The experience begins with Dr. Ruchi, or a Wellness Consultant who takes the time to understand your wellness and health challenges, lifestyle and needs. Yogācāra then develops a wellness plan to suit your individual needs, and provides you the needed support on a mental, physical and emotional level to help clients heal, and incorporate sustainable changes towards a happier, healthier and more balanced way of living .A very important element added to the wellness services at Yogācāra is the Ayurveda and Panchakarma section, headed by Dr.Ruchi Upadhyay MD, and on their panel of specialists, Dr. Uday and Dr. Madhura Kulkarni, respected and long time practitioners of Ayurveda and Panchkarma, and Founders of “Arogyadham”. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical Science based on the premise that the universe is made up of five elements: air, water, fire, earth and ether. These elements are represented in humans as three “doshas” or energies known as Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Ayurveda stresses a balance of these three elemental energies: Vayu/Vata (air and space-“wind”), pitta (fire & water -“bile”), and Kapha (water & earth-“phlegm”). When any of the doshas accumulate in the body beyond the desirable limit, the body loses its balance and disease manifests. Hence balancing these three doshas in our bodies becomes essential. Both Yoga and Ayurveda go hand in hand for a complete wellness of a person.

So if you haven’t started yet, I suggest you find Yoga at the earliest for a healthier life.

Ishana: A Holistic experience

The appeal of a complete Indian holistic and spiritual experience is no longer just restricted to Indians, in fact it is as much if not way more popular with foreigners. A lot of people come to India to seek such spiritual experiences, and in response to this shift in lifestyle, Ishana has been conceived by The Spa Group as an ‘experiential’ retail destination that brings together several aspects of Indian heritage, spirituality, arts and crafts, conscious living and lifestyle encapsulated in an enchanting ambience under one roof.

Healing Pool- Ishana Experience Center,T3, IGI Airport, www.stylecity.in

Regal Cafe, Ishana Experience Center, T3, IGI Airport, www.stylecity.in

Even though I must have passed by the Ishana experience centre at the T3 departure terminal, IGI International Airport at least 10 times in the past 2 and half year, I never really ventured into this store. The overtly Indian products on display and the Indian music playing in the background was not too much of an attraction for me, as I felt it is another retail store catered to attract foreigners as they return from India. Such an misconception that was, as besides being a retail store, it provides services like Ayurvedic consultation, Astrology readings, live dance & music performances, Mehandi application, live craft demonstrations and even express spa treatments and a small café so you can have a complete Indian experience before you board your flight. My experience began with first having a glass of “Aam Panna” at the Regal Café, a traditional Indian summer drink or original mocktail if you would like to call it, this is supposed to be excellent to keep the body cool in the summers. In fact all the drinks and the few snacks served here are kept as healthy and fresh as possible, keeping in mind with the theme of the experience. There are live musicians that play Indian music throughout the day and are often accompanied by Dancers who perform to Indian folk dances. The Ayurvedic section is the next section I visited, unfortunately the in-house consultant was on leave that day else you can get complimentary Ayurvedic consultation from the Doctor and can buy the prescribed medications or oils from the store. They also have a lot of Indian sweets and spices which you can carry with you to gift or simply take home with you.

The Nature Spa,  Ishana Experience Center, T3, IGI Airport, www.stylecity.in

From here I sat down to get my palm read, which is again a complimentary service, so it is a quick 5 minute read. How true it will be or not only time will tell but one thing she did tell me was I used to have a managerial job (Well yes, being a Style Editor and team leader is more managerial that creative) but have now quit it and have moved to something in writing or studying (My Blog, and now teaching) Anyway, this will be my chosen profession now and I will get a lot of name and fame (Fingers crossed) but I will never make that much money from this profession. As in I will never have shortage of money but it will always be other peoples, namely my father, my partner etc. But the bright side, I will be very content and will do lots of great work and reach out to a lot of people (Yaay!). My partner himself will not be born in the same place as me, and in 2015 I move to live in another city for a while possibly to study. I then moved on to check out their spa service at The Nature Spa, which at the airport they have kept as express services and dry massages all for less that 60 mins. They do have a proper Spa in the city, which I will review and let you know about. The express service was brilliant. So firstly the massage chairs are placed such that you can see the hangar and planes taking off, I went in the day but I can just imagine how amazing it would look at night. As for the treatments, I first tried “Padma Vrinda” the foot massage for 30 mins (Rs.1,435), the only massage which uses oil, it is the perfect treatment if you are like me and are normally in heels, as it concentrates on your calves and sole of your feet. It is also an amazing treatment for the airport, which lets be honest are super exhausting. The next treatment I tried was “Prana Prasanga” the back massage for 30 mins (Rs.1,635). This is a dry massage done over your clothes. Again it is extremely relaxing and just the perfect thing if you have a hectic travel schedule or just don’t have time to go in for a proper spa treatment. I assure you, this is just the thing you need and you will have a restful flight. Finally before leaving the store I stepped into the healing pool for 5 mins, which is an ankle deep pool with a copper base and energized water, to remove pranic energy blocks from the human system. This water is energized by a lingam created through a process of yogic alchemy and consecrated by Sadhguru – Spiritual Master and founder of Isha Foundation, Coimbatore. It is the only other such structure in existence other than the ones at the Isha Yoga Centre, Coimbatore. I don’t know much about the power of the pool or if it actually affects you as my spiritual beliefs are more inwards than outwards but when I got back from this experience I slept like a baby till my mother woke me up for dinner. So next time you are flying out from Delhi you know exactly what you need to do while you await your flight.

Luxe and Stylish: Forest Essentials Store, Khan Market

I love it when beauty brands recreate an era or tell a story, not just through their brand philosophy but also through the decor and styling of their store.The new Forest Essentials store at Khan Market simply surpasses expectations in both accord. Forest Essentials is an authentic traditional, luuxury Ayurvedic skin care brand endorsing beauty. A pioneer in this segment, it is the quintessential Indian Beauty Brand where secrets of ancient Ayurveda have been brought to life through pain-staking research and made available to modern day consumer.The décor of the new flagship store at Khan Market looks like a Palatial room or the queens dressing room with rows and rows of beauty products.

Forest Essentials, Khan Market, www.stylecity.in

Forest Essentials, Khan Market, www.stylecity.in Forest Essentials, Khan Market, www.stylecity.in

Forest Essentials, Khan Market, www.stylecity.in

Recreating an exotic retail experience, the store decor features traditional Indian aesthetics reminiscent of a princely past. Classic Indian architecture and design with a fusion of natural materials become an interpretation of artisanal skills depicting Indian colors, vibrancy, form and structure.The era of Raja Ravi Verma’s works of art depict the simplicity and beauty of the Indian woman, stunningly interpreted into a series of photographs with fine attention to detail.The Store has beautifully inlaid marble flooring, mirror encrusted ceilings and intricate lattice work in a contemporary setting.n order to arrive at this visionary look of Forest Essentials Khan Market store and all upcoming stores, the Brand collaborated with Peter D’Ascoli and Nomita Sawhney for design input and Ashish Chawla for his ethereal imagery.

Beauty Ritual: Spa Natural,The Fortress, Galle, Sri Lanka

RITUAL: Pindasweda, 90 mins, USD 100 approx

LOCATION: The Fortress Resort and Spa, Galle, Sri Lanka

Massage- www.stylecity.in

Any trip to The Fortress Resort and Spa cannot be complete without visiting their Spa- Spa Natural, which offers a simple and holistic approach to well-being, with eastern and western treatments combined. From signature Ayurvedic treatments which begin with a consultation with the in-house Ayurveda Doctor; who finds out the body constitution (Prakrthi),the state of body humours (doshas) and formulates a personalised treatment, to western massages and body scrubs there is a whole lot of treatments you can experience.

I for one had a great consultation with Dr.Pushpika, where we discussed not only the type of treatment I should have but also things I should incorporate in my diet. According to Ayurveda the body consists of three Doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kappha and each person’s nature, health and ailments depend on which Dosha is most prominent. In an ideal situation all three must be balanced, but that rarely happens with one being the most prominent and a second following close, my most prominent Dosha is Kappha followed by Pitta. After my consultation I learnt I need to increase intake of greens as well as some high pungent tastes to my diet like Black pepper, ginger, cumin so as to balance my Dosha. Also meditate and be more physically active so I don’t get too lethargic and depressed which is the negative side of having a higher Kapha Dosha. After this I was booked for an Ayurvedic treatment for the next day.

Spa, The Fortress Resort and Spa, Galle. www.stylecity.in

I enter the Spa Natural and am asked to wait in the relaxation room while the treatment room is given final touches for my therapy. The treatment set up for me by Dr.Pushpika is Pindasweda in which a special type of rice is cooked, tied into a cotton ball, dipped into an herbal mixture with warmed milk and then skillfully massaged into the body. These hot herbal bags(potalis) have herbs which are a great combination of correct herbs for all three Doshas and hence are great for balancing any Dosha missing in your body. The Potalis are heated to a high temperature to make the body sweat hence easier for the herbs to penetrate and heal the body. This treatment is excellent for muscle relaxation, improved blood circulation, remove joint stiffness and swelling.

I wont lie, when the treatment began I was extremely uncomfortable with the excess heat induced to make me perspire, but as the therapist worked on my back (which had come up as a problem area during my consultation) and down through my legs and thighs, I slowly started feeling the effects. By the time the therapist stopped using the Pinda’s, and started giving me a massage I was so relaxed I fell a sleep during the last 15 mins of my treatment. When she finally woke me up to tell me my treatment is over I could feel most of my bodies stiffness had gone and I feel lighter than I have in a long time. In fact I practically glide into my room to get changed and check out of the hotel.

I made a huge mistake by booking my treatment for the last day of my stay instead of taking up a package for all three days, which is also an option. So in case you visit Sri-Lanka and get a chance to go to or stay at The Fortress Resort and Spa I suggest you definitely get an Ayurvedic consultation and go in for the treatment suggested to you and if possible for a three-four day package. I promise you will thank me for recommending!

Reservationsfor any Small Luxury Hotels of the World property can be made by calling 000800 650 1456 (India), online at www.slh.com or via the SLH iPhone app. Travel agents need only remember the GDS code LX for LuXury.  To receivespecial benefits including a complimentary breakfast, upgrade (subject to availability)and late check-out, join The Club of Small Luxury Hotels of the World at www.slh.com/club  Membership is offered on acomplimentary basis

Beauty Ritual: Heavenly Spa at Westin, Mumbai

TREATMENT: Harmony Treatment, 75 mins, Rs.4,000
LOCATION: Heavenly Spa at Westin, Mumbai

Spa for most of us means a place where you get a massage. Which is actually not the case and the Westin, Heavenly Spa shows us why. The concept at Westin Heavenly Spa is to create a complete wellness experience. This is done by focussing on the body, mind and spirit simultaneously to promote longevity and good health. Even the tag line of the Spa is restore the body, expand the mind. The treatments are divided into HEAVENLY TOUCH which includes a variety of massages, HEAVENLY GLOW which includes facials and other body wraps, HOLISTIC WELLNESS which has many Ayurvedic therapies and massages, YOGIC WELLNESS where Yoga practices are incorporated to suit and compliment you body and mind. Besides this there is also a special Spa Cuisine available at Splash. As you can see the menu is vast and will take me more than one visit to really capture the complete essence of the place but I decided to go in for the Harmony massage, which as the name suggests is meant to restore balance and harmony back to the body.

Before the treatment I go in for a steam, here they have infused Eucalyptus oil into the Steam which is supposed to be great for any ailments such as cold cough and in my case my bothersome Sinus. For once I did not feel like rushing out of the steam room as I could actually feel the oil open up my sinuses and I wanted to take full advantage of that fact. From the steam I head for a quick shower and then go in for my therapy. As I had mentioned earlier, at Westin it is not just about a massage but also wellness. So my therapist starts with soaking my feet in warm water and using mineral salt to clean them, while reciting a shloka through the process. She reprimanded me for crossing my hands which I agree is a bad habit since the salt is meant to remove negativity and if you cross you your hands or legs the energy flow gets stalled.

From here begins my Harmony treatment which is basically a combination of Swedish massage and Aromatherapy. The long gentle strokes with firm kneading movements done to increase circulation, combined with the smell of the aroma oil has a very soothing effect. The therapist begins the massage with my feet and slowly moves her way upwards. As the warm oil seeps into my body I can feel my aches slowly fade away and I am entering a state of absolute bliss. This goes over an hour and she slowly kneads on my muscles combining that with gentle strokes. The last 10-15 minutes she spends massaging my face and head. More like pressing the correct pressure points and releasing stress. The treatment ends with her gently tapping a singing bowl over my body. From here I go for a shower and decide to not use any soap as I really want to let my very dry body soak in the oil. The post therapy consists of a cup of tea, with options varying from Basil to Chamomile to Green tea. I stick to the green tea and then go back very relaxed waiting desperately to get home and sleep, which I do very soundly that night.