Are we a yoga retreat; a detox retreat; an Ayurvedic therapy centre; a meditation centre; a panchakarma clinic: an Ayurveda resort; a health spa or maybe a destination spa?
On a yoga retreat or yoga holiday the emphasis is on practicing yoga and meditation. The diet is usually light and vegetarian and there is often the option of receiving relaxing massage therapies. As we offer all these elements as part of our Ayurveda detox programs we are most certainly a Yoga Retreat.
On a detox retreat or detox holiday the emphasis is on cleansing your body with a light vegetarian diet (often just fruit and vegetable juices) and receiving daily enemas to clear the colon of toxic accumulations. As our Ayurveda Detox programs incorporate these elements we could be classifed as a Detox Retreat. However, Ayurvedic detox programs are unique in that they are tailored to your unique Ayurvedic body-type; cleanse the deeper tissues as well as just the colon, and eliminate oil-based toxins as well as water-based toxins. Furthermore, you have the benefit of one-to-one detox-coaching and reassurance every step of the way.
Ayurveda Therapy Centre
An Ayurveda therapy centre is primarily a clinic where clients receive Ayurvedic consultations and Ayurvedic massage. Ayurvedic consultations help identify your unique Ayurvedic body-type or constitution and then allow you to bring it back into balance through Ayurvedic lifestyle or dietary changes. In this regard we could be termed a residential Ayurvedic therapy centre.
A Meditation Centre or Meditation Retreat is where you would go to receive instruction in meditation to relieve stress and anxiety or simply to remain calm and relaxed on a daily basis. These are usually one day courses but they may also be residential. All our guests, whether they are staying residentially or coming for an Ayurvedic consultation, receive instruction in a powerful meditation technique called ‘Vedic meditation’ so we are both a Meditation Centre and a Meditation Retreat.
A panchakarma clinic specialises in providing powerful Ayurvedic detox therapies. These treatments root out impurities from the deeper tissues and help lessen the debilitating effects of chronic ailments, stress, insomnia and long-term fatigue. They can also be administered as part of a well-being or disease-prevention program for maintaining general health and happiness. This is our area of expertise and we are more of a ‘Panchakarma Retreat’ than a ‘Panchakarma Clinic’ as guests stay residentially and come to ‘take time out’ and receive relaxing Ayurvedic massage therapies and practice daily yoga and meditation.
An Ayurvedic resort is a relatively recent phenomenon that first appeared in Kerala (southern India) about ten years ago. They mainly have beach locations and are primarily aimed at western tourists seeking a mild Ayurvedic detox whilst also enjoying a holiday by the sea in the sun (swimming and sun-bathing are contra-indicated during an intensive Ayurveda detox or Panchakarma program). There are a few ‘authentic’ Ayurveda hospitals in India specialising in Panchakarma therapy and are mainly located in large cities (very few cater for westerners). I’m afraid we do not have a sandy beach but we do have a lovely, peaceful garden.
Health Spas allow us to escape our often busy, stressful lifestyles and pamper ourselves with relaxing massage treatments, saunas, swimming, time in the gym, yoga, healthy food and luxurious surroundings. They often aspire to be havens of tranquillity in the midst of a city but may equally be part of a stately home in the middle of the countryside. When we were part of a larger organisation called ‘European Ayurveda’ we spent a few months operating in a Health Spa in a well-known stately home. Whilst this was appreciated by some of our guests the majority felt it was too impersonal and not a condusive environment whilst receiving relaxing Ayurveda detox therapies. Carol and I were of the same mind and this is why we decided to set up Ayurveda UK and offer our unique ‘one-to-one’ residential retreat. We may not have the swimming pools, jacuzzis, hair and nail salons and fine wine but we can guarantee the ultimate relaxation experience whilst offering a powerful Ayurvedic detox program.
A Destination Spa is simply another name for a Health Spa but is usually located on a beach or in the mountains – it is often associated with travelling to an exotic foreign country. By no stretch of the imagination could we call ourselves a Destination Spa! However; rest, relaxation and vitality are what most of us crave and that is what our guests leave with (with the added bonus that it lasts for months rather than days!).