Inside the Himalayan Wellness Retreat Offering a Unique Spin on Ayurveda

While the primary attraction at Ananda is its extensive Ayurvedic program, the practitioners here also harness a wider range of therapies. During my taster stay of five days (depending on your goals, stays are recommended to last seven, 14, or 21 days), a bespoke schedule of massages, yoga, physiotherapy, mental health therapy, facials, and even a hot oil bath was curated by the spa following an introductory session with Dr. Chandan. Early doors, Dr. Chandan and I discussed my dosha: the energy that influences our personal well-being that is foundational to Ayurveda. (If you happen to be interested, I am a pitta, which means that—to my disappointment—an Ayurvedic diet encourages me to avoid excesses in spice, pickles, alcohol, or caffeine, also known as my main food groups.)

Photo: Maxime Coquard

The treatments assigned to me extended to Chinese medicine—I had acupuncture, cupping, and moxibustion—traditional Tibetan techniques, and the more modern approaches of hypnotherapy, reiki, and physiotherapy. Each therapy began and closed with a ritual chant (typically in Sanskrit) and a small amount of a mysterious spice applied to the crown of the head. The ritual isn’t associated with a particular religion or teaching, but rather serves as an example of Ananda’s dedication to eudaimonia, the Aristotelian principle of simply “living well.” Call it an equal opportunities smorgasbord of wellness. 

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