Use your next break to cleanse your mind, body and soul.
Unwinding in the Andamans
Sometimes taking a break from the routine is all you need--away from the toxic news and draining work and the stresses of our lives. You begin to relax and recharge as the days go by and as you wind down. There is perhaps no better place in India than the Andamans, particularly the Havelock Island, where a week spent diving, snorkelling, swimming, practising yoga, going for walks, sleeping and waking early will heal your body better than any lotion or potion. Make use of the off-season in May and check into a luxury resort where you can add a dose of pampering and spa treatments for a restorative vacation. The newly opened villa-hotel Jalakara, in the heart of Havelock, just 25 minutes away from the nearest beach, offers daily yoga and a beautiful setting. It is a great option to try out.
For more details, visit jalakara.info
Rejuvenating in Goa
There are two different sides to Goa: one, of course, is the widely known nightlife and entertainment side, but the other is equally popular, if not more, and quite the opposite. Calm, serene and beautiful, Goa is the perfect backdrop for a getaway to cleanse and detox. A week spent here eating simple, fresh food with daily yoga on the beach, as the sun rises, can be entirely rejuvenating. There are also many ashrams and retreats here that offer a more regimented schedule if you are so inclined. One of the better-known retreats is Bhakti Kutir, where you get to live inside a bamboo grove in simple huts made of bamboo and other local materials. There are regular yoga sessions, meditation and spiritual discussions, and you can even host a yoga workshop if you are a trained instructor.
The accommodation is priced flexibly to suit all budgets at bhaktikutir.com
Detoxification in Kerala
Move southwards to Kerala, as detox doesn't get more authentic than this. Kairali calls itself the ayurvedic healing village and this is an apt description for it. The detox can get a bit severe here (think enemas), but the living is simple and enjoyable. Prepare to eat light, do yoga twice a day, follow the doctor's orders strictly and forget 'normal' life, as you know it, for a few days. Two weeks is the minimum period that you should check in for to get the maximum benefit out of the programme. Once the hard work is done and you are out, it will be worth your while: Most people who experience the lightness of body and soul are ready to face the world again.
Choose a programme at ayurvedichealingvillage.com
Healing in Karnataka
When you want a mind-body-soul reset and don't mind investing in some self-care, there are few places that come more recommended than Soukya. Dr Isaac Mathai's globally known holistic healing retreat near Bengaluru applies tried-and-tested principles of traditional Indian healing to ease you. There's ayurveda, panchakarma, homeopathy and naturopathy treatments available, and daily yoga classes to rejuvenate the body. All the ingredients for the oils and treatments are grown in-house at their organic eco-farm, so the quality of products is quite unmatched. The routine is fairly strict but interspersed with some relaxing massages and beauty treatments. Check in for at least a week to feel the difference; once you get there, your doctor will set a schedule for you after a consultation. The setting is modern and the rooms comfortable, with lots of soothing greenery around.
For packages and prices, check soukya.com
Yoga in Uttarakhand
One of the first places to celebrate yoga with a large-scale event, Uttarakhand is where the now-popular, week-long International Yoga Festival is held every March. What started in 1989 as a small festival is today one of the world's largest spectacles. It is run by the government and Rishikesh's largest ashram, Parmarth Niketan. For seven days, the ashram becomes a sight to behold, with people from every corner of the world alighting here to take part in a celebration of well-being. The most sought after teachers of yoga attend every year to impart their wisdom and knowledge to thousands of seekers, and it is a great opportunity for all, even beginners, to learn about the different aspects and forms of yoga. In 2017, over 70 teachers from 20 countries gave nearly 150 classes to those who attended.
Find out more and plan your trip for next year's edition at internationalyogafestival.org