At the foot of the Himalayas, lies Uttarakhand, the Sal Forest and the gardens of one of India's most respected resort spas – Ananda. This complex, which boasts a 24,000 square foot spa and luxurious guest suites is surrounded by greenery, luscious grounds, and natural habitats to such an extent that some rooms have their own private garden, the Ganga river can be seen in a full panorama from some of the balconies and there is even a private heli-pad on site for guests to arrive on.
These surroundings are an understandably big draw for visitors, and the spa's management takes full advantage of this by offering bird-watching tours and nature walks in the nearby area, but it is the opportunity for stress-relief and the philosophy of the resort that makes it so famous.
The main focus of the Andana spa is to provide the best experiences through the best teachings.
Guests come to Andana to get help for many different ailments and stress-related problems and the teachers and therapists at the resort use a combination of strategies and a strong philosophy to help them. These benefits include their accommodation, facilities, high-class organic dining opportunities and a blend of Ayurvedic and Western approaches to relaxation, yoga and health. To really ensure that guests get the most out of their visit, the spa also welcomes visiting masters that specialize in these different disciplines for workshops and private sessions.
While best known for yoga, there is actually more than one way to de-stress at Ananda.
There are eighty different treatment options being provided by this spa, ranging from holistic health to weight loss therapies, but yoga is arguably the resorts specialty. Ananda uses the Satyananda teachings from the Bihar School of yoga, for what they believe to be the best practices, and are even hosting the International Yoga Festival in March.
For a really extreme session of detoxification and stress management there is always the option of “wellness immersion” but this spa prides itself on appreciating individuality – stress relief coming in all different shapes and sizes – and it therefore offers an even wider list of activities.
Guests can enjoy the six hole golf course, a game of billiards or a session in the sauna while wearing their daily, complimentary pair of Kurta Pyjamas – although perhaps not in the sauna.
The effect of Ananda goes beyond the spa walls and guests can take a lot home with them.
This resort is clearly about more than just the stress-relieving treatments and great views and one of its other objectives seems to be ensuring that each guest takes something away with them on departure. Ananda also runs a series of cultural activities and cooking classes, to broaden minds and offer new skills, as well as one-on-one Ayurveda consultations for specific, individual advice on health, diet and stress relief. It seems that even when the specialized, professional therapy is over and the lush grounds are long gone, guests can continue to use Ananda's philosophies and treatments in the real world.