by Jessica Rizzolo
I have always been intrigued by alternative healing and spirituality, so I was thrilled to spend some time recently at Ananda in the Himalayas in India. Located in the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range in the town of Narendra Nagar, Ananda is a true escape for the mind, body, and soul. A destination spa that many visit for a respite from the hustle of modern life, it also offers an intangible type of spiritual renewal through workshops, lectures, and classes – even its location and atmosphere invite a peaceful sense of relaxation. Although many activities are offered throughout the day, including yoga, chakra meditation, Ayurvedic workshops, hiking and, of course, spa treatments, each guest creates their own schedule. Experts are on hand to advise about the options and can design recommended programs but ultimately, each guest decides what to do during their stay.
One of the experiences I most enjoyed at Ananda was a consultation with one of the resort’s Ayurvedic doctors. The doctors help guests determine their dosha, or Ayurvedic constitution, and guide them towards the best treatments and foods for them – I learned that my dosha, Vata, can best be balanced by avoiding uncooked leafy greens, spicy foods, and caffeine, and by integrating more meditation and low-impact exercise into my life. And, incidentally, for anyone worried about a bland diet of “health food” at Ananda, I can assure you that the cuisine was exceptional and plentiful. Guests can follow the Ayurvedic diet recommended by the doctor or try any of the delicious, healthy dishes offered – or a little of both!
Ananda in the Himalayas is a truly special place and should be included on any trip to India if you are interested in exploring a more spiritual side of yourself in a wonderfully relaxing environment. I loved my visit there and would be happy to answer any questions or discuss my experience in more detail – just call or send me an email!