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12 Reasons to Plan a Spa Retreat

As we go through our day-to-day lives at work, school, and home, we often forget to listen to the needs of the body, mind, and soul. Fatigue, low energy, attention deficit, dullness, stress, and hyperventilation are the body’s “check engine” lights. When they start flashing, we often continue to push through life without paying attention until it is too late. 

Some of us travel to get away from the routine, but thanks to the number of travelers, traffic, and endless flight delays, vacations often turn out to be more stressful than relaxing.  The best vacations are the ones where you’re able to slow down, re-energize, and rejuvenate—replenished and ready to take on the world!

An Ayurveda spa retreat is an ideal way to recharge our souls,  pamper our bodies, and feed our minds. You can cater to your physical, mental, and spiritual needs with

  • Alternative healing therapies, including Ayurvedic treatments, yoga, and meditation
  • Spending time in nature walking and hiking forest and mountain trails
  • Silence to give the chattering mind a rest
  • Deeply nourishing Ayurvedic detoxes and spa treatments including panchakarma, shirodhara, basti, nasya, abhyanga or karna purna that attend to your individual doshic constitution and heal illnesses from their roots
  • Delicious nourishing food that complements and balances your doshas, feeding your body and your soul
  • Creative and fun activities that challenge your mind and relax your body.

Why You Need a Spa Retreat

1. Detox

When you take the time to rid the body of the toxins accumulated in the system, you instantly reap the benefits. You feel energized, light, healthy, sharper, calmer, more positive, and sleep better. Some of the best detoxes come in the form of body cleanses called Panchakarma.

Panchakarma is a set of cleansing processes prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors, based on your unique dosha (constitution). The treatments are tailor-made to target the specific imbalances and toxins in the body using natural oils, herbal formulations, masks, diet, yogasanas, and pranayamas. It balances the doshas and removes the toxins from deep within the tissues—those accumulated from overeating, over-indulgence, stress, and poor sleeping habits. The detoxes also help to reduce the stagnation of body fluids, aid blood circulation and digestion, regenerate healthy cells, and improve immunity. There are treatments that specifically cater to improving various organ functions like skin, kidneys, liver, digestion or lymphatic system.

The award winning Panchakarma Detox Retreat at the our Shankara Ayurveda Spa is a heavenly experience that pampers your senses, detoxes your systems, and relaxes the mind with meditations and blissful chants and kirtans. It includes

  • A consultation using the Abhayanga time-tested methodology of pulse diagnosis by one of our Ayurveda experts. They’ll map your current overall health, as well as illnesses or symptoms you are predisposed to, conditions you need to watch out for, and doshas that need to be balanced. You will then receive a set of treatments personalized for your unique dosha.
  • About two and a half hours of Ayurvedic treatments daily
  • Abhyanga (warm oil massage)
  • Swedna (steam room therapy)
  • Combinations of several treatments, such as shirodhara, karna purna, nasya, marma, kati basti, or netra tarpana, as recommended for you
  • A therapeutic, organic diet designed to support your treatments
  • Ayurvedic cooking classes, meditation, pottery classes, and daily kirtans.

2. Emotional Cleanse

It is not just physical toxins that we carry around in our body, but also emotional toxins—impressions of bad relationships, anger, resentment, anxiety, guilt, hatred, or feelings of inadequacy. All of these emotions take a toll on our physical and mental health and may eventually manifest in the form of psychosomatic disorders. Through various wellness workshops, meditation, yoga, and pranayama, emotions can be re-balanced and positivity restored leading to happiness and well-being.

3. Greater Energy

All the stressors and worries of day-to-day life add up and can negatively effect your energy or life force, also called prana. When your body and mind are purged of toxins through meditation, yoga, time in nature, and better self-care, you feel re-energized and replenished.

4. Light Body, Clear Mind

The combination of Ayurvedic treatments and cleanses, highly nutritious and dosha-balancing diet, master sessions with traditional yoga experts that include full body stretches and deep diaphragmatic breathing lessons, generous doses of nature and sun all act together to give you an inescapable feeling of lightness in your body at the end of the retreat. The deliberate act of slowing down and spending time away from the chaos of our daily lives brings clarity of thought and eliminates mental fatigue. You’ll leave feeling light and happy, unburdened of all that was holding you down.

5. Pain Relief

If you are someone who struggles with chronic pains or allergies, an Ayurveda spa retreat could be the answer you’ve been looking for. Because Ayurveda treats a condition from its root instead of just mitigating symptoms. Panchakarma is both preventive and curative, but more importantly, research shows it has incredible benefits in healing pain related to chronic illnesses like arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, migraines, and certain skin disorders that Western medicine has not been very successful in dealing with.

6. Better Sleep

Sleep is typically the first victim of our poor lifestyle choices. Even when we do sleep, it isn’t always the true rest our bodies need. This is where meditation sessions and retreats are most beneficial. Meditation provides deep qualitative rest to our mind body complex, much deeper than sleep. Learning meditation techniques away from the noisy environment we are used to can make the healing and recovery last longer. The practice deepens and releases unresolved stress and tension from the mind, instills a sense of calm, and produces better sleep.

The introductory sessions to Ayurveda and the treatments prescribed by Ayurvedic doctors can lead you to a better understanding of your sleep energies, the right sleep schedule, and dosha imbalances that have undermined the quality of your sleep.

7. Be Pampered

Self-care is imperative for resilience, emotional stability, and the fortitude you need to deal with day-to-day life. From pampering sessions on the massage table with calming deep tissue detoxes to de-stressing yoga and meditation classes to getting creative with pottery or watercolor painting to delicious and nutritious food that nourishes, Ayurveda spa retreats aren’t meant to just spoil your body. They attend to your mind, emotions, and the needs of your soul. Activities like guided meditation sessions, labyrinth walks, silent nature walks, educational sessions, and wisdom classes bring everything together to give you a complete retreat. You’ll leave bolstered with the energy and know-how to remain calm, cool, and collected no matter what life throws at you.

8. Healing Nature

Research proves that spending time in nature can help you quickly from the damaging effects of stress. You can experience lower blood pressure, reduced heart rate, and less muscular tension as well as a reduction in depression and anxiety symptoms, anger, symptoms of ADHD, and aggression and hostility. In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “There are moments when all anxiety and stated toil are becalmed in the infinite leisure and repose of nature.”

9. Lose Weight

Not only can you lose mental weight on an Ayurvedic spa retreat, but when you’re being nurtured inside and out, physical weight naturally begins to find balance. Scheduling customized yoga sessions to match your level of practice, rigor, and expertise, taking hikes on the many forest trails, or simply walking around exploring the campus can help you lose weight while doing something you enjoy. If your weight is something that bothers you, learn from body positive instructors who teach self-acceptance. You’ll begin to understand how true yoga is not just about body postures and stretches—it is the total union of the mind, body and spirit. 

10. Nourishing Food

Whether you are a foodie whose primary goal is experimenting with everything food on a vacation, or someone who is watching your diet, spa retreats offer a buffet of culinary options to eaters of all kinds. Some retreats even offer cooking demos and classes. At the Art of Living Retreat Center, our vegetarian whole-foods meals will leave you deeply satisfied. We grow a variety of fruits and vegetables in our own gardens, which are as much a place for nourishment of the soul as they are the body. Our chefs prepare every meal with your health on their minds and love in their hearts. 

11. Anti-Aging

Can a spa holiday really slow down your aging? Yes! Ayurveda offers exceptional time-tested anti-aging treatments that rejuvenate and retain the youthfulness of all skin types. The series of Ayurvedic treatments that constitute Panchakarma have regenerative quality to them, as they remove the toxins and ama which deplete the antioxidants in the body. Some of the therapies including Darvi Lepam (turmeric body wrap), haritakalepam (chlorophyll body wrap), and kaya lepam (honey and sesame body wrap) have incredible anti-aging benefits. They leave you with a cleansed, radiant, healthy, and naturally glowing skin and body. You can also learn how certain Ayurveda herbs and diets that can regenerate cells!

12. Find Yourself

If you’re “lost” in the grind of your daily routine, a spa retreat can not only help you to get away from all the noise, but it will also help you get in touch with all that has remained unresolved in terms of emotional conflicts, traumas, dilemma, and vagueness. This is the ‘me time’ you deserve. Spa retreats are curated keeping this essential requirement of self-care in mind.

Spa retreats are as much about the experience as they are about a re-education in what is healthy and what isn’t. More awareness about what suits your body and what you are best keeping out of your system can have a profound effect on your health and state of mind. For this, wellness retreats that specialize in Ayurveda offer consultations and diagnosis of your current state of health-how balanced are your doshas, what needs immediate attention, precaution and preventive tips you can follow to stay at the top of your health.

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