Ananda: Stillness, Wellness and Bliss
In ancient India, holistic living was a way of life. People inherently understood the balance of nature, the ways of the Universe and how the elements affected not just their physical health, but their mental well-being. It was understood that if they achieved harmony within, they would be at peace with their surroundings. On the fast track to progress, our world changed as did we; but deep within us we have always understood and upheld the beliefs and principles of our ancestors. To seek harmony, to balance themselves again, to be one with their surroundings, Indians have been known to ‘retreat’ to the peace and quiet of the mountains… to the stillness of the hills and the natural flow of the rivers.
This is the very philosophy which brought Ananda - In the Himalayas into being. More than ever before the New Age individual moving on today’s fast track recognizes the need to retreat, find holistic remedies, and rejuvenating locales. At Ananda they have tried to recreate the synergy of mind body and intellect not just through the natural Himalayan locales and the proximity to the mountains and the river, but through the rejuvenating and ancient processes and philosophies of Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta combined with contemporary international therapies which enhance and augment the original.
Ananda believes that each individual is unique. So too are the programs and experiences that they offer. Individual needs and requirements are assessed prior to the start of your chosen program, through a personal consultation with our Ayurveda and wellness consultants. This is an intrinsic part of assisting the individual on his/her private journey to understanding the self.
Ananda in the Himalayas is a peaceful oasis tailored for spa enthusiasts. Located in the tranquil Himalayan foothills, close to the mythological cities of Haridwar and Rishikesh, surrounded by graceful Sal forests, overlooking the peaceful Ganga as it meanders into the distance. Ananda is the spiritual pathway to the ultimate, discovered through the union of body, mind and soul. The highly acclaimed destination spa is located on the 100-acre palace estate of the Maharaja of Tehri-Garhwal and offers luxurious rooms and private villas with magnificent views. The 24,000-square-foot spa features more than 80 body and beauty treatments, including traditional ayurveda, yoga, meditation and contemporary international spa experiences. Ananda is best known for its signature wellness programs, like Ayurvedic Rejuvenation, Detox and Weight Management. For the active-minded, there are golf, rafting, trekking, wildlife safaris, culture programs and more.
- The 24,000 square foot spa offers an extensive menu of over 80 body and beauty treatments, integrating the traditional Indian systems of Ayurveda with the more contemporary Western spa approach. The spa experience strives to achieve the ultimate harmony between the physical and the mental realms of the individual.
- Everybody requires a customized diet. One type is not good for all, and standard diets such as high-carb, high protein or low-cal are simply not healthy choices for everyone. Ananda’s food concept is based on this belief and through incorporating key principles from Ayurveda. According to Ayurveda everything is made out of the five elements of air, space, fire, water and earth, including our bodies. The three body types are a combination of these - Vata constitutes air and space - Pitta is made up of fire and water - and Kapha is water and earth. Therefore, when thinking about food they must take into consideration not just taste, but suitability to body type. For example, Vata body types (air and space) lean towards light and dry foods. In order to balance this, oily, moist and heavy foods, with tones of sweet, sour and salt need to be added to the diet. In contrast, Pitta body types (fire, water) need cool and heavy foods with sweet, bitter and pungent flavors to douse the fire. Similarly, Kapha body types (water, earth) need light food, with bitter, pungent and astringent flavoring - such as thyme, rosemary and mustard.
- Living at Ananda- When living is but part of the echo of nature then style and elegance blend discreetly to enhance each nuance of serenity. The Guest Rooms, Suites and Villas at Ananda in the Himalayas make a statement with colors that echo nature, and views that leave one gazing into the enchantment of god’s own country.
- Insider Tip- The resort can arrange some amazing experiences, such as a personal yoga session in the foothills of the Himalayas.
- Exclusive Virtuoso Amenities:
- Complimentary upgrade from Palace View to Valley View and Valley View to Premium Valley at time of booking, subject to availability (not valid on other categories)
- Early check-in/late check-out, subject to availability
- Complimentary transfer to the banks of Ganges River for an evening Arti ceremony, once during stay
- A complimentary 50-minute spa treatment for up to two people, once during the stay
What Oprah Knows for Sure about Stillness
(As seen on Oprah.com)
“This month I'm making it a point to practice what we're preaching: taking time for yourself in the name of wellness. In fact, I'm writing this in the foothills of the Himalayas, near Rishikesh, India (where the Beatles learned to meditate), at Ananda spa. It's the most authentic spa experience I've ever had.
Here in the birthplace of yoga, they take restoration and renewal seriously. It's a life-enhancing process that begins the moment you arrive. "Namaskar" ("I salute the God in you") is the greeting you receive from everyone, either with both hands in prayer position or with one hand over the heart. All day long, at breakfast, in yoga: Namaskar. It's a custom of giving and receiving that embraces the reverence of each person you meet.
Going to Ananda is more like a pilgrimage than a visit, with every moment designed to cultivate presence. Whether you're doing an early-morning trek up the forested mountainside (which I do not advise on your first day!) or taking part in the daily guided group meditations, being fully present is the main goal.
I've enjoyed wonderful yoga teachers and transcendent spa treatments. (I think I had my first out-of-body experience as a result of the "fusion" massage.) But the real gift is the opportunity to come back to self, to the centered space that abides within us all, as the still observer of our thoughts and experiences. Because as Eckhart Tolle reminds us in Stillness Speaks, we are not our thoughts. We are the awareness of our thoughts, disguised as people.
My time at Ananda has been a treat I gave myself on the way back from a business trip to Africa. I know for sure, though, that you don't have to journey to the Himalayas to find stillness. You don't even have to look in your own backyard. Wherever you are right now...it is."
This Journeys-Yacht & Travel Company sample itinerary for independent travel is provided merely as a glimpse of the type of customized travel experiences we create. We would be delighted in developing a travel program for you or a group based on your preferences.