Detox and seek solace

Life is hectic, and often we don’t just need a break, we deserve one. US-based Global Wellness Institute’s 2018 report reflects this: wellness tourism is growing 6.5% annually (more than double of tourism overall), with India recording over 17 million trips between 2015-17. “To cleanse the mind and body is the real luxury these days,” says actor and presenter Ramona Arena. “Our ancestors knew the value of being in harmony with our surroundings; they understood that you cannot give to others if you are depleted.” With retreats for mumcations, painmoons (to grieve a loved one, or relax after a period of poor mental health), sleep performance and the like set to grow in popularity in the new year, we asked three influencers to recommend their favourite detox breaks.

Detox and seek solace

Ramona Arena, TV presenter and yoga instructor

Carnoustie Ayurveda & Wellness Resort, Kerala

Living in Mumbai, the city that never sleeps, has its downsides. So for Arena, getting away from the daily stressors for a mental detox is a necessity. “As a yoga teacher, it is also important for me to surrender as a student to someone else, to switch off,” she says. At Carnoustie, she did just that, for a week — besides swimming in the sea and getting massages (“I got one of the best deep tissue massages ever and, for the first time, thoroughly loved a shirodhara). “It is crucial for me to put my life on pause, turn the phone off, and just stand barefoot in the grass, breathe deep, and reconnect with myself,” she explains, suggesting that we check into the Punag Pool Villa, which overlooks the beach. “One of my favourite things on the property are the little book stations, where you can curl up and spend the whole day.”

Packages start from ₹1,75,000, on

Detox and seek solace

Priyadarshini Rao, Design head, Mineral Fashions

Ko Tao, Thailand

A marathoner, Rao finds running a meditation. “You cannot think while you run — you empty yourself to focus on breathing, on moving ahead,” says the designer. Heading Mineral and running an eponymous prêt line means life can get quite hectic. “Sometimes I need to get away from everything; internalise my thoughts.” Her holiday in June on Ko Tao, one of Thailand’s southern islands, was an opportunity for the family to de-stress and do what they each enjoyed. While she ran every morning (“down the beaches and up into the hills of the wildlife reserve”), her 14-year-old daughter went scuba diving, exploring wrecks, and her husband enjoyed yoga and massages. “The energy of the place is about being still and letting yourself be. We came back blissed out,” she laughs. “For me, such a detox helps me connect with my inner self and I come back brimming with ideas.” Soon she wants to do the Chadar trek in Ladakh, a “tough two weeks in the cold, away from wifi, phone networks, everything”.

Rooms at Palm Leaf Resort start from ₹10,000, on

Detox and seek solace

Tina Tahiliani Parikh, Executive Director, Ensemble

Pema Wellness Resort, Visakhapatnam

A Google search picks Pema as one of the top weight-loss destinations in the country, but for Parikh the draw is its focus on rejuvenation. “It’s run by Dr SN Murthy, who used to head naturopathy at Jindal. My days began at 5 am, washing my eyes with triphala water, and ended at 9.30 pm,” she says. Located on a hill, with a great view of the Bay of Bengal, Parikh checked in this September for two weeks of yoga, reflexology, meditation, Ayurvedic massages and aqua aerobics. “They keep you extremely busy, but you feel recharged. It is always good to pause and reflect,” she says, adding that she got in some digital detox, too. “I assigned myself half an hour, three times a day, to catch up on important mails.” The place also attracts an interesting mix of people. “I made two very good acquaintances who enriched my experience. So I wasn’t just eating the right food and getting massages!”

From ₹22,000 (single occupancy) per night onwards, on

Others to try

Ananda in the Himalayas: One of the top picks for people wanting a painmoon, Ananda’s Dhyana Self-Realisation programme includes mantra chanting, Kundalini back massages and one-on-one Hatha yoga sessions, set amidst pristine Himalayan forests. From approximately ₹2,66,770 for a week onwards, on

Athreya Ayurvedic Centre, Kottayam: With customised treatment plans in line with Ayurvedic precepts, their 7-, 14- and 21-day packages help you detox and rejuvenate. From ₹8,000 per day, on

Atmantan Wellness Centre, Pune: If you want to lose weight, up your fitness, invest in preventive wellness or do a master cleanse, this Pune-based retreat has you covered. It is also fast becoming a favourite getaway for brides with pre-wedding jitters. Packages start from ₹69,000 (single) for three nights, on

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Printable version | Apr 19, 2021 5:40:58 PM |

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