We found out more from Amanbagh, one of the most luxurious and spiritual retreats in India, and spoke to their award-winning Ayurvedic master, Dr. Vikas Gupta, to see if a healing holiday could be just what the doctor ordered this year.
There are health and wellness claims aplenty these days. Whether you are being coerced into irrigating your nasal passages or having pins stuck into your skin, you may question the true value of these, often invasive, treatments. However, as stress levels are said to be increasing in workplaces and offices across the country, many people are turning to ancient wisdom to solve their modern-day problems. One that has been gaining a new legion of followers in the past few years is the practice and teachings of Ayurveda, something that Amanbagh in India is an expert on.
At Amanbagh, Ayurveda has become the linchpin of the resort's wellness and spa experiences. Set in India's rugged Aravalli Hills, this rose-tinged, Mughal-inspired, sanctuary draws from the country's heritage as the motherland of the Ayurvedic way of living. The programme at Amanbagh is led by Dr. Vikas Gupta, who was born into a family with strong beliefs in ancient Indian medical science and was recently nominated as a 'Top Ten Healer' by Tatler magazine in the UK. A gifted Ayurvedic healer and Reiki master, he is the brains behind Amanbagh's programme of yoga, meditation, wellness and nutrition, helping guide all those who visit into improved health and a peaceful mentality for a stress-free life.
For those new to the idea of Ayurveda, see our guide below, and discover how Amanbagh can help you on your holistic journey.
What Is Ayurveda?
The 5,000 year-old holistic concept of Ayurveda translates to 'knowledge of life' and is based on the belief that 'all is one'. By listening to your body and how it responds to stress and other external factors, the practice helps you learn how to change your lifestyle to keep your body and mind in balance. Basically, it is more about treating the whole person, rather than focusing on particular symptoms or problems.
What Does 'Dosha' Mean?
Here is where it gets slightly technical. According to Ayurvedic teachings, each person is made up of five basic elements - air, fire, water, earth and ether. Combinations are said to manifest as one of three 'doshas' - Vata, Pitta or Kapha - which govern the biological and mental functions in your body. According to Dr. Vikas, Ayurveda is unique in this sense, allowing you to gain insight into the best diet and lifestyle changes you may benefit from making to keep your body in balance. Ayurvedic therapy based on dosha may sound complicated at first, but with the help of a professional, it can offer a new perspective on your health and wellbeing.
The Health Benefits Of Ayurveda
According to Dr. Vikas, Ayurvedic therapy offers the perfect balanced approach to nutrition, health and fitness, with a focus on moderation and lifestyle patterns that can become an easy part of your day-to-day life. In a world where we are fed a sweeping array of concerns about what to eat, do and stay away from, Ayurveda offers a chance to step back and treat yourself as an individual.
Dr. Vikas also believes that following an Ayurvedic daily routine is one of the best things to do to prevent daily stress. Stress, he says, occurs when we have an imbalance of mental functions. Dr. Vikas can suggest many easy ways to incorporate some self-care into your routine, such as waking up early to start the day with a brisk walk, heading out into nature to take some deep energising breaths of air or learning some self-massage techniques, said to help draw out toxins and stimulate your vital tissue. He can also share his knowledge on the Ayurvedic nutritional principles, which states that all foods have qualities, such as dry or oily, hot or cold and light or heavy. Depending on your dosha, he can recommend foods for your body type.
Ayurveda At Amanbagh
In the stunning surroundings of Amanbagh, you are in the perfect place to experience a holistic retreat. The shaded courtyards and gracious architecture, made from sandstone and pink marble, blend in beautifully with the undisturbed setting. Translating from Sanskrit as 'peace garden', the lush lawns, palms and eucalyptus trees act as a shelter from stress and create a sense of tranquillity that is perfect for relaxation.
Amanbagh's Ayurvedic spa is an ideal introduction to India's ancient holistic wisdom. Set in the resort's soul-soothing grounds, you can arrange an Ayurvedic consultation before your treatment, where specific oils, herbs, food and activities can be recommended for your concerns. An Ayurvedic massage is said to ease pain and stiffness, soothe muscles, boost circulation and alleviate mental stress. The Shirodhara treatment is one of the most popular in this aspect - a steady stream of warm medicated oil is allowed to flow across the forehead, before a relaxing head massage encourages mental relaxation from stress and anxiety.
Aman Wellness Immersions
If you are ready to get serious about Ayurveda, one of Amanbagh's wellness immersions may be perfect for you. During stays ranging from four nights to twenty-one nights, the wellness immersions are the ultimate healing retreat. Drawing on India's ancient spiritual and wellness heritage, the immersions allow you to truly appreciate the beauty of your surroundings as you discover the soothing power of Ayurveda.
After a personal consultation, you will have a dosha-based meal plan designed for your needs. Rise in the morning and start the day with a cleansing herbal tea, before taking a morning walk in the gardens or embarking on a cultural experience. You may visit the medieval archaeological sites of Bhangarh and Ajabgarh, or admire the beautiful views of Neelkanth and Mansarovar Lake. One particularly unique experience is the 'Godhuli' - describing the time in the late afternoon when the livestock are led home. Watch the sunlight catch the dust kicked up behind their hooves as the children play in the street and elders gather around hookahs for an evening smoke.
Along with daily Ayurvedic treatments in the spa, customised yoga sessions are arranged to strengthen your mind/body connection and help you learn meditation techniques. Daily yoga can also take place at the stunning ancient chhatri, blessed a peaceful and tranquil setting and 360-degree views. As for food, the Executive Chef ensures your meals are unique to you with all dietary requirements catered to, while Ayurvedic cooking classes can be arranged so you can continue your new nutritional Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle when back at home.