wellbeing escapes THE MAGAZINE FOR THE BEST HEALTH AND WELLNESS LIFESTYLE CHOICES
Cure insomnia and reset your circadian rhythms Let’s not underestimate the power of hydrotherapy Celebrate life at Europe’s hot holistic star
CONTENTS 4 Top 5 wellness travel
trends to watch in 2020
5 Rhythm reset 6
7 classical mistakes of the insomniac
7 Sleep upgrade 8
10 Celebrate life 12
13 Healing retreat 14
16 Thermal rebalance
17 Re-taking the waters 18 Balanced life 20 Transformational being 21 Embark on the journey to self love
22 Integrated wellness 23
Tapping your stress & anxiety away for instant results
wellbeing escapes 29 Our top wellbeing
escapes for ayurveda
30 Tailored programmes 32 Dream and reconnect 34 Our top wellbeing escapes for being in nature
Energise in nature
O ur top flexible fitness holidays in europe
24 Movement therapy
37 Healthy ageing
26 Hi-tech detox
38 Cool breezes
27 Lease of
39 Blissful journey
28 Jasmine Hemsley: How Ayurveda changed my life.
How to use meditation when you travel
41 Top 5 ways to empower
yourself at work by Jay Rai
Why wellbeing escapes?
WELCOME Stella Photi Founder/Managing Director, Wellbeing Escapes
elcome to our new look ‘Wellbeing Escapes’ magazine packed full of inspiration from our health and wellbeing experts as well as our tempting destinations around the world. We’ve compiled our very best articles in this magazine so we hope you will enjoy reading, learning and getting inspiration for your next wellbeing holiday. We are now into our 14th year, and I have seen the wellness industry evolve and grow over the years. It is certainly more popular to be conscious about living a healthy and happy life than in the early days. Our vision has always been to get people on this path. By arranging holidays that allow you to gain balance from the day to day stresses of life, our aim is to give you a chance to reset and rejuvenate on your well-deserved time away. We understand that everyone is different so we take a personalised approach in organising breaks that will make you feel happy and healthy. Whether it’s intensive fitness, relaxation and stress reduction or just eating healthy food and taking in spectacular natural environment, we will mould an Escape to meet your needs. It’s been a busy year at the Wellbeing HQ. We’ve been seeking new destinations, creating our own retreats in a heavenly location in the Dominican Republic, and created our ‘Wellbeing Connect’ concept in Greece for our single travellers. Don’t forget that we have exclusive deals for our clients which you cannot get directly and a price match guarantee so you can rest assured of the best value, discounts and bonuses for booking with us. We do the work in making all the arrangements for you with our award winning service. Health and Happiness
Don’t forget that if you have travelled with us already, you get up to £100 off your next holiday. Quote ‘VIP’ (conditions apply – please ask us) 3
Top 5 wellness travel trends to watch in 2020 Wellbeing Escapes founder Stella Photi shares her insights Ayurveda goes mainstream This ancient Indian medical health practice has been a secret for years for those in the know who want to deal with a health issue or rejuvenate, but its recognition by the World Health Organisation has brought it to the attention of the West and it is now actively promoted by leading wellness influencers and celebrities. It’s great for detox, stress relief and aches and pains and has been proven to help with conditions like ME, psoriasis and asthma too. Families demand healthy holidays Parents are keen to keep their kids active and to sustain them through nutritious food, and increasingly prefer to continue with their healthy lifestyles on holiday rather than feed their kids the unhealthy junk food often found on kids menus at hotels. Wellbeing Escapes is introducing a wellbeing family holidays section to meet this growing market. The “Family Connect” package allows families to choose from a range of healthy activities to bring them together as well as healthy kids meals designed by our own nutritionist. The Rise of Spiritual Retreats The growing trend of activities such as meditation that are “spiritual but not religious” has expanded over the last couple of years. Now more health spas are exploring spiritual practices for those looking for meaning and better emotional health,
and there are an ever increasing number of specialist spiritual retreats with themes from chakra healing to shamanism for those interested in delving into the “deeper self”. Sustainability The wellbeing of humans is intertwined with that of the planet and as the wellbeing industry preaches about self care, the travel industry is turning its attention to sustainable travel. Many retreats are now including sustainability as one of their key priorities and banning single use plastics, turning to solar power, using permaculture and onsite organic farms, employing locals and doing their bit to support local communities and protect natural habitats. Healing in Nature The Global Wellness Institute predicts doctors will soon prescribe spending time in nature as a way to deal with an over urbanised, overweight, over stimulated and depressed patient instead of writing out a prescription for a pharmaceutical drug, and studies in Japan show that “Forest Bathing” (mindful time spent in forests) boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure and aids sleep. Retreats and health spas based in pristine nature provide a perfect solution to stressed out individuals looking to separate themselves from their phones and restore with deeply relaxing treatments.
Almar Jesolo Resort & Spa ITALY
Sleep-restoring massages in beachside luxury massage strokes, therapists also use moxibustion, when a cigar-shaped stick of heated mugwort leaves is used to effectively stimulate the meridians, or vital energy points, of the body. Named the Best Luxury Wellness Spa in the World at the World Luxury Spa Awards in 2019, Almablu is a serene space that offers a full range of signature treatments, programmes and wellbeing facilities. Set directly on the seafront at Jesolo beach just 45 km from Venice, wellbeing guests will enjoy it best off season, when the area offers the most peace and quiet.
ould you like to sleep far better and much more deeply? At the award-winning Almablu Wellness & Spa at the five star Almar Jesolo Resort just outside Venice, therapists have designed a set of three treatments to help cure insomnia and reset your circadian rhythms so that you can enjoy regular, restorative sleep again. The energy-improving treatments are inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine, in which insomnia and other sleep disorders are seen as the result of an imbalance in your vital energy, or ‘qi’. Choose The Rest of the Warrior, a 50-minute massage which begins with the head to stabilize the flow of energy between the head and the body, or its sister massage At the Foot of the Mount Olympus, which is a soothing foot reflexology. For a deeper treat, The Magic of Silence is a blissful 80 minute massage of slow strokes to tease your body and mind into a better night’s sleep. As well as
Book the Tranquility Programme which includes two sleep inducing treatments.
7 classical mistakes of the Insomniac
Ayurvedic Coach Alison Francis tells us how to sleep better 1 Not resting efficiently Resting is not just sitting on the sofa watching Netflix. Efficient relaxation involves letting go of all muscular, mental and emotional tension. This usually means doing absolutely nothing at all. 2 Not giving holistic healing enough time to work Most of us live our lives at one speed, and that’s fast. We’ve got used to the way drugs such as sleeping pills work, and we’ve forgotten that nature needs a little time. Holistic healing needs approximately three months before you start seeing a difference. Give it a chance. 3 Doing things the wrong way round According to Ayurveda the most potent cause of disease is the mind and emotions. You have to look to the mind before the body in order to deal with a sleep issue. Once the mind is more settled, one can go about physical cleansing and nourishment, not the other way round. 4 Keep pushing through Your body will give you signs way before you actually develop a problem. That little headache, or just feeling a little off colour, is a message. Mostly we ignore those, have a glass of wine or just sit down in front of a movie. Instead, we need to stop and pay attention. 6
5 Think that gadgets are the key We’ve all been sucked into promises that gadgets and apps will cure a sleep problem. The only thing that will cure a sleep problem is sorting out the cause of the problem. Do some yoga, have some quiet time or go for a nice walk instead. Only a quiet mind will sleep at night. 6 Think that drugs are the answer The NHS gives out 10 million prescriptions for sleep medication per year. That’s a lot of medication. Sleep deprivation will cause headaches, high stress levels and digestive issues, just to name a few. Taking pills will only mask the real issues. 7 Loss of spiritual connection Ayurveda places a lot of importance on our spiritual connection, whatever that is for you. Losing that connection makes us unhappy, greedy, needy and selfish. Develop a spiritual practice in your life to release stress and connect you to your inner wisdom.
Ayurvedic Coach Alison Francis, aka Anandi, is a sleep guru specialising in sleep and stress. Find out more at: www.thesleepguru.co.uk.
Six Senses Kaplankaya TURKEY
SLEEP UPGRADE Sleep the Six Senses way
ix Senses Hotel Resorts Spas have set high standards when it comes to sleep at their resorts. From handmade mattresses that have been treated with essential oils to the highest quality pillows, duvets and organic cotton bed linen. All approved by their very own sleep doctor, internationally renowned Doctor Michael J. Breus. If you want to take your sleep experience to another level, why not opt for the Sleep programme. You will get your very own Sleep Ambassador and a sleep tracker that will help the wellness expert analyse your sleep patterns. You will also receive a bag full of helpful goodies to make your sleep journey smooth. All of the above is complemented with activities and treatments which are personalised based on the results from your wellness screening. They will calm the nervous system and take your body and mind to a stage of deep relaxation.
Sleep and De-stress programme at Six Senses Kaplankaya includes: A wellness screening, two private sessions of yoga nidra or pranayama, two private movement sessions, two personalised spa treatments, one dream catcher treatment, one watsu and a consultation to wrap up the programme with lifestyle recommendations.
From £2,028 pp* *Price based on a 5 night stay with a 3-day programme with 2 people sharing in 2019 leep programmes are also available at Six Senses Zighy Bay S in Oman and Six Senses Douro Valley in Portugal.
Dr Breus’ practical tips to getting a good night’s sleep. 1. Establish a sleep routine with a consistent bedtime which gives gives you at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. 2.Be mindful about what you eat and drink several hours before bedtime as stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol can stay in your system and affect quality and quantity of your sleep.
Six Senses Douro Valley, Portugal
Six Senses Zighy Bay, Oman
3.Manage your stress by practicing tools that limit worry and anxiety such as meditation. If you’re tempted to stay up late to be productive, think again as your memory will be better served by a good night’s sleep so you can perform better and remember more the following day.
Wellbeing Escapes Retreat in the Dominican Republic
H O L I S T I C H AV E N Untouched nature in the Caribbean
If you are looking for lots of action, this is not the place for you. It is small and quiet with only a few rooms and glamping tents, where you can step away from your hectic life and connect with nature and yourself, perfect for a detox and a combination of healing food, treatments and activities.
eet Kyra Montagu who alongside her husband Simon runs our holistic haven on the Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic. Away from all the big all-inclusive resorts, this holistic hideaway is set in an idyllic spot by the ocean surrounded by untouched nature. Kyra is a naturopathic doctor, an ayurvedic practitioner, a nutrition expert, a reflexologist and a yoga teacher. We give her the well-earned title of an “all round holistic expert”. Kyra provides a personalised consultation to guests which covers deep insights into physical and emotional states of wellbeing. This is followed up with an in depth write up that includes tools and tips to incorporate into everyday lives. 8
For a more sociable environment opt for our fixed date Reset & Renew Holistic Retreat that includes full board, yoga, meditation, treatments, a nature hike to explore local wildlife, and a boat trip to some of the stunning beaches in the Dominican Republic. Prices from £1250 per person double occupancy, £1450 single occupancy excluding flights. Available dates: 4 – 11 January 2020 8 – 15 February 2020 14 – 21 March 2020 Stay in one of the luxury tents for a back to nature experience in comfort and fall asleep to the sound of the waves. ‘The glamping tent was beautiful, super comfortable and so nice to be next to the ocean’ – Anna, 2019
Founder of Mauli products Anita Kaushal shares her impressions of our new retreat What were your first impressions of the place? The place felt calm, peaceful and inviting. It was gentle, and I loved the chic and simple style. Which programmes did you do? My holiday was split into two. I did an individual holistic programme that included a one-to-one consultation with Kyra as well as daily massage, yoga and hip baths, when I spent my days swinging and indeed singing in a hammock, walking along the ocean, reading by the pool and being thoroughly spoilt by the love lavished on me by Kyra and her team. Then I took part in a silent retreat with mostly Dominican women, which included a mud cleanse, crystal sound healing, mandala colouring, a fire ritual and, as we moved from silence to speaking, some soulful conversations with fellow guests. What did you think of the food? I had the choice of a juice fast or an abundance of food or a bit of both, and the food was exceptional and made with such love and devotion. I relished waking
to a freshly laid table set by the ocean with mis-matched napkins and crockery and fresh flowers. Mornings started with fresh fruit, porridge with cinnamon, eggs and a coffee, lunch was usually a delicious big salad and supper tended to be a hearty bowl of soup. The pineapple sorbet was divine and I don’t even like pineapple! I ate so much but never felt over-full – just satisfied and energised. I even lost 4lbs – it was the most enjoyable weight loss journey I have ever had. Any tips for future guests? Don’t take much with you. Being here is about relaxing by the ocean, surrounded by nature, with a group of people who will lovingly and gently nurture your soul. I literally went from airport to retreat and back again and I saw all I wanted to. It’s heaven. Who would you recommend the retreat to? Anyone who wants to return home feeling better without any effort at all. It’s as good for individuals as it is for couples, and children are also welcome. I defy anyone to not love being here.
Euphoria Retreat GREECE
C E L E B R AT E L I F E
Leading retreat journalist and author Caroline Sylger Jones shares her thoughts on Europe’s hot holistic star
et within striking distance of the mysterious ancient site of Mystras on the Peloponnese, Euphoria Retreat is the creative brainchild of Marina Efraimoglou, an inspired Greek banker turned energy therapist who has battled with cancer. It felt a very special place to be as soon as I arrived, with its grounding setting looking out over the terracotta roofs of the village to the plains and mountains of Sparta beyond, and I fell in love with the magnificent, very feminine spa with its circular architecture and womb-like sphere pool just made for dreaming in. It’s unusual to find a healing, holistic spa in luxurious surroundings so deliciously close to the UK. This place is interestingly holistic too, because the wellness programmes pivot on a unique combination of both Chinese Taoist and Greek Hellenic philosophies, which means that, while they embrace mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, in line with the ‘living well’ principle of Hippocratic medicine there’s nothing dogmatic or earnest here. Instead you feel there’s a true celebration of life and abundance instead. Mediterranean-
inspired meals are cooked without sugar or salt yet don’t feel like deprivation, and there’s no forced sharing in workshops or fake-feeling rituals before treatments. My favourite treatment was my session in the huge Byzantine marbled hammam, a true head to toe purge and indulgence that had me covered in mud, shampooed from top to toe, scrubbed with eucalyptus-infused black soap and massaged and rinsed into a blissed out state. The calm and mellow Greek therapist also gave me an exceptionally good reflexology session with ‘rejuvance’, an uplifting and natural face treatment, while acupuncture with Katarina lead to strong emotional shifts in a short space of time. Come here for blood tests to check anti-oxidant levels, nutrition advice, hikes in the hills, Pilates and fitness training, but also guided meditation, all sorts of yoga, chakra dancing, tai chi and some of the best energy work out there. This is a top notch luxurious spa location that properly deals with the mental and emotional aspects of the self – something that until now you’ve been more likely to find only in Asia.
Train like a Spartan in the land of warriors! Euphoria Retreatâ€™s newest group wellbeing escape is its 7 day Spartan Spirit of Adventure Retreat, which offers guests the chance to spend an outdoor week exploring the region of Sparta while getting physically fitter, focused and balanced and celebrating your inner resilience â€“ just as the local Spartan warriors would have done. You can expect daily exercise such as hiking, cultural walking tours, interval training, cycling, rock climbing and swimming, as well as energy movement sessions and aerial yoga with plenty of nutritious, energy-giving food. Each activity takes place at a different location, so you can explore the beauty and culture of the local land, breathe in clean air and exercise whilst enjoying mountain, countryside and sea views. If you enjoy exercising and interacting with others and reconnecting with your playful side, this is the retreat for you.
Contact us for 2020 dates
Wellbeing Escapes will confirm a free room upgrade at Euphoria.
Phuket Cleanse THAILAND
B R E AT H P OW E R
Learn to breathe correctly at an island paradise your nervous system. Take fitness classes that use breathing techniques to increase your workout efficacy, go on nature hikes and use the breath to increase your oxygen-carrying capacity, or join mindfulness sessions where breathing opens up a whole new world. Breathwork sessions such as pranayama, the Wim Hof Method and Holotropic breathing are increasing in popularity all around the globe because breathwork works. Go to Phuket Cleanse to find out how.
Book with Wellbeing Escapes to get two free 60 minute spa treatments.
id you know that breathing deeply and consciously throughout your day can increase your mental, physical and emotional health and wellbeing? Yet most of us are whatâ€™s called shallow breathers, using our intercostal muscles rather than our full diaphragm to draw minimal breath into our lungs. You can learn to breathe correctly in the Breath. Works classes and sessions that are part of the Emotional Detox package at Phuket Cleanse, a sociable retreat set within lush gardens just inland from Naiham Beach. Run by a passionate team and open to everyone from all walks of life, itâ€™s the only health resort in the world with its own breathwork menu, alongside detox, fitness, yoga, mindfulness and plant-based nutrition. Breath.Works helps you to use the breath for simple gains, such as reducing anxiety, improving mood and increasing energy levels, and more transformative gains, such as dealing with trauma, releasing emotional baggage and managing
Sen Wellness Sanctuary SRI LANKA
H E A L I N G R E T R E AT
We talk to the inspirational owner of a healing haven, Sam Kankanamge
am Kankanamge is a highly sought after and renowned osteopath practicing from his Sen Wellness Clinic in central London. We spoke to him about his unique healing treatments and his retreat in southern Sri Lanka, Sen Wellness Sanctuary. Your treatments are a mix of different elements. What modalities do you use? I diagnose a patient using my scientific knowledge, then allow my intuition and experience to take over when the treatment begins. I use biodynamic and craniosacral osteopathy, as well as acupuncture and manipulation when required. The body has its own brilliant intelligence to realign itself and heal. I’m just helping this process along. What health issues can you help with? With my holistic approach I treat a wide range of issues including muscular skeletal, digestive, fertility and hormonal. I also support cancer patients suffering from side effects of chemotherapy. Why did you set up Sen Wellness Sanctuary? To give people with a deeper healing experience with an integrated approach that combines ayurveda, yoga and mindfulness, and to provide employment and educational support to the local village. What is a typical day like there? We wake up early with a herbal tea before yoga and meditation, which often takes place at the beach. After a wholesome breakfast, we have scheduled treatment sessions, then after lunch there’s more treatments or group healing
activities. An early evening yoga and meditation session takes place before dinner. We eat all our meals around a big table to foster connection, and our tasty Sri Lankan dishes are largely wheat and dairy free and made from local organic ingredients. Everyone’s encouraged to have an early night and connect with the pristine nature around the Sanctuary. Who would benefit from coming? Those looking for an authentic holistic experience on a spiritual, soulful level as well as a physical one. We find that many people who come are suffering from high levels of stress and over thinking. We help them develop habits and learn tools that can help them manage a fast paced lifestyle once back home. It’s a deliberately simple place – it’s not for luxury spa speekers.
Book a stay at Sen Wellness Sanctuary with Wellbeing Escapes and get free airport transfers and single traveller discount.
Kamalaya Wellness Sanctuary THAILAND
LIFE ENHANCEMENT Regain your emotional balance at an authentic holistic spa
Sessions with the mentors are also part of programmes such as ‘Asian Bliss’ and ‘Balance and Revitalise’. They can also be booked independently if you are staying here on an a la carte basis. The multi award-winning Kamalaya on the tropical island of Koh Samui is one of the most genuine and authentic holistic wellness resorts in the world, and a wonderful place to get your life back on track with these spiritual guides.
Wellbeing Escapes clients receive a complimentary session with a mentor when booking any programme (solo travellers only)
o you need to regain your emotional balance and work out which way you want to go next in life? The wonderful team of Life Enhancement Mentors at Kamalaya can help you address your emotional and mental wellbeing. Rajesh Ramani, Smitha Jayakumar and Sujay Seshadri have each lived a monastic lifestyle in India or Thailand for over a decade, and mix Asian philosophies with a practical approach to modern stressors to help you cope. They can guide you into awareness of your habits, teach you how to let go of past experiences, manage stress, or deal with anxiety and grief, and return home with tools to use in your daily life. To work closely with them, book a private 5 or 7 night ‘Embracing Change’ programme at any time of year to suit you, or join a group retreat on set dates – The Finding Emotional Balance and Freedom Retreat is led by the mentors a couple of times a year. 14
Meet mentor Rajesh Ramona Rajesh has trained and worked in spiritual philosophy for the past 18 years. He has travelled widely and addressed diverse audiences across the globe, helping to bring balance in the philosophies and perceptions of individuals and organizations. An excellent motivational speaker, he believes in finding balance through awareness. Through powerful processes of reflection and insights, he helps you become free of conflicting repetitive responses, heal unresolved emotions, establish greater connection in relationships and rediscover core strengths and values.
Meet mentor Smitha Jayakumar Smitha was drawn to explore spiritual philosophy whilst she was studying nutrition and dietetics at university, and was inspired to volunteer for 10 years afterwards, teaching and guiding people in their individual spiritual and emotional journeys and challenges. She brings listening and intuitiveness to her clients at Kamalaya, helping you believe that inner freedom and clarity arise from awareness, and that this is the key to finding creative solutions to everyday problems.
Meet mentor Sujay Seshadri Sujay is a personal coach and life skills trainer who wants to make a real difference to individual lives and the world. With deep insight into the intricacies of the human mind, Sujay has for the last 16 years worked with audiences across society and all parts of the world to help people discover greater levels of commitment, success, love and increased physical and emotional wellbeing, merely by bringing about a shift in their perception. Sujay believes that life is a constant process of learning, and feels motivated and blessed to share his learning and experiences with others.
Thermae Sylla Spa & Wellness Hotel GREECE
THERMAL REBALANCE Using natural thermal waters to ease everyday aches and pains on a Greek isle
id you know that natural thermal waters are a cure-all for many of today’s modern stresses? The mineral properties and constant-warmth of the waters found deep underground can rebalance stressed immune and nervous systems, ease stiff joints, exfoliate and soften the skin, and deeply relax you too. It’s something our ancestors knew all about. The mineral springs of Edipsos on the island of Evia, for example, have been used by Greeks and Romans since the 4th century BC as a place of healing. The springs are referred to in the works of ancient writers and philosophers such as Aristotle, Strabo and Plutarch, and were the destination spa of choice for mythical greek gods and real life emperors, generals and noble men and women alike. Today you can experience the waters most effectively at the traditional Thermae Sylla Spa & Wellness Hotel, which is close to Edipsos and has been welcoming guests since 1896. It offers baths, showers, inhalations, mud therapies 16
and other hydrotherapy treatments using the thermal waters to ease everything from back ache, rheumatism, arthritis and circulation issues to skin conditions, asthma, insomnia and even anxiety. Springing from natural wells as deep as 3km underground, the waters heal by their warmth – they emerge at temperatures of between 75 to 85 degrees centigrade – and because they are so rich in metallic elements such as calcium, potassium, iron, lithium, magnesium and sodium. The magnesium to calcium ratio is 1:4, which is the ideal combination for the body to absorb both elements, and the waters also contain traces of Radon, which has been proven to stimulate the immune system.
Book the Anti Stress programme for a combination of thermal water and hands on therapies.
Re-taking the waters Let’s not underestimate the power of hydrotherapy
The long established therapeutic ritual of “taking the waters” has been used to heal and restore health as far back as the Ancient Greeks and Romans, yet many of us today are preoccupied with hands on treatments and do not give hydrotherapy treatments the credit they deserve. Perhaps this is because we feel we need the human touch of massage to what give us that soothing feeling of being cared for by another being, and that it’s a special treat, but what if we were to think of water as a powerful element of nature, that is there to cleanse and heal? Those of us in the know realise that a short break of thermal water treatments combined with wraps and massages is the ultimate in relaxation. Spas that use hydrotherapy as an integral part of their offering often have access to thermal and mineral spring water, which have curative properties because of the high mineral content and concentration of elements. The effectiveness of the waters depends on the different components but cures, overseen by spa doctors, tend to focus on healing joint, muscular, digestion and skin disorders or goals such as weight loss and detoxification.
These spas are a major staple of self care for many cultures, which is why you’ll see so many Europeans and people from the Baltic states relaxing in thermal pools as they soak up the curative benefits. But don’t just take our word for it – next time you’re at a spa, try the thermal spa treatments and see how they make you feel.
Thermal spa treatments to try Mud wraps made from mineral rich thermal mud are applied all over the body. They deep cleanse and revitalise the skin – by drawing out toxins and by putting in vital minerals such as magnesium. Watsu is a deeply relaxing treatment in water when a practitioner gently guides and stretches your body while manipulating your Shiatsu pressure points.. Thermal pools with jets are often free to use in thermal spa resorts and in our view are a treatment in their own right. Benefit from the curative effects of the therapeutic waters while you follow a circuit that massages different parts of your body with jets.
SHA Wellness Clinic SPAIN
BALANCED LIFE Heal and hone your mind at an exclusive wellness clinic on the Costa Blanca
What are the key mental and emotional health issues we face in our society today? Stress is the mental health disease that most affects society on an emotional level. As this is an internal situation, and sometimes hard to define, it’s something that only can be managed by oneself. Our mental health is sensitive and susceptible to break down. We need to balance our life so that we can manage that internal situation of stress and avoid developing the disorders that many of us may have experienced. This includes ‘brain fog’, which often manifests as a lack of concentration, scattered thinking, feeling dull and unmotivated, forgetfulness, having a poor memory and generally experiencing cloudy thoughts.
n award-winning wellness clinic set majestically near the Altea bay, SHA has been a pioneer of integrated health for more than 10 years and being one of the first to focus its attention to mental and emotional health with the launch of its new Cognitive Development Unit in 2015. The unit uses scientific knowledge and the latest technology to evaluate a guest’s mental health, and then carry out a series of exercises and activities to develop all the potential stored in their minds. We talked to the head of the unit, Professor Bruno Ribeiro, about why mental health has become a necessary focus in today’s society.
How can working on our mental health boost our daily lives? We are living in a very competitive and stressful world in which we constantly need to give the best of ourselves. People are living longer, but not always in the best conditions, because they have poor nutrition, suffer from stress and don’t do enough exercise. Our main mission with our guests at SHA is to identify their true motivation and the point of balance between their worlds. The advice we give them can be very different, from advising a retired man to remain connected to his professional field so he can feel productive at times, to telling a guest at the very peak of her career to reduce her workload.
Why is stress so rife today, in your opinion? Stress is an indication of inflammation in the body. Our cells become easily fatigued, and we lose our ability to focus for long periods. Chronic inflammation can be caused by a poor diet and a hyper-productive lifestyle. Poor management and balance of our professional and personal lives also causes frustrations and disappointments, and this leads to stress. We encourage guests to make healthier choices based on the different factors that affect a weakened mind and body, which are poor sleep, poor gut health, eating too many processed foods, hormonal imbalances and an unhealthy home and work environment.
In what ways can SHA’s Cognitive Development Unit help? Our new unit was born about of our concerns for society’s “mental wellbeing”, and we treat a variety of guests from CEOs to university students, most of whom want to age with a brain that is functioning at its maximum. We treat general situations such as a lack of mental energy or feelings of mental “fogginess” and more serious cases of depression, anxiety and even damage to the central nervous system. Our cognitive treatments oxygenate the brain cells, so that guests leave with mental energy, clarity and a much more positive state of mind. Book the 7 day Stress Management programme which includes health assessments, emotion and stress management sessions, Chinese medicine treatments, Energy health assessment, body and mind sessions and soothing treatments.
Broughton Hall and Avalon Wellbeing Centre UK
T R A N S F O R M AT I O N A L R E T R E AT S Connection is at the heart of the philosophy at Avalon
f you are craving fresh country air and a place where you can fully de-stress without having to leave the UK, hop on a train at London Kings Cross and you’ll be at Broughton Hall in Yorkshire in just over three hours. This truly special Estate has been home to the Tempest family since 1097 who have nurtured it throughout the generations. It’s located on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park and is immersed in a 3,000 acre nature sanctuary with stunning landscape. The Estate comprises of the main House, various holiday homes and Avalon Wellbeing Centre. The purpose-built Wellbeing Centre is dedicated to transformational work and the art of being. Designed for the sole purpose of personal development, the facilities include the Pool Suite, Meditation Pod, relaxation rooms, glass-front studios and therapy rooms. Connection is at the heart of Avalon. It’s not just about connecting with yourself but also with others and with nature. Throughout the year, they welcome many group retreats designed to bring people closer together as well as allowing you to go within on a spiritual level. The Crystal Light Bed and Forest Bathing are among some of the holistic therapies offered here. In November 2019, we will be hosting our own retreat with award-winning chef and Ayurvedic guru Jasmine Hemsley. She will be sharing her wisdom of Ayurveda and what better place than at beautiful Avalon Wellbeing Centre.
Please visit our website to keep up to date with the latest retreats on offer at Avalon Wellbeing Centre and to book your place.
Embark on the journey to self love Claudia Roth talks to us about the meaning of true self love and how to get there through journaling. What is Self Love? Self Love is an often misunderstood and sometimes right-out rejected concept. Some mistake it for selfishness, and others harbour too many false beliefs (‘I’m not worthy’) to even consider it. The way I see it, Self Love is a state of being that allows you to connect with life in its fullest sense. In this state, you see that you are life, rather than life being something that is happening to you. Why is Self Love so important? Actually, developing Self Love is a most unselfish act. Only when we feel truly worthy of ourselves, can we love others, too, for whom they are, rather than for whom we want them to be. This, in turn, can heal our relationships to others. Why journaling? Journaling is an excellent tool for processing life experiences. It can help us feel less stressed and anxious and to value life more. A guided journal is structured to guide you, through
self-reflection, towards getting to know yourself better. The journaling journey has the potential to de-clutter your life of self-images that no longer serve you and to awaken you to the potential of connecting to a more expansive sense of peace and fulfilment.
Claudia’s journaling tips: • It is very normal, when looking deep within, to feel resistant and to procrastinate. It can be seen as a way to ‘protect yourself’ to want to abandon the process, but try to stick with it! • If unable to follow through, do not despair. Put the Journal aside and return to it when you feel called to do so. There is no failure, only growth and progress! • Aim to keep the mind quiet and to allow for free flow writing. This will clear space for your heart, or ‘inner voice’, to come through uncensored. There are no right or wrong answers. Allow what emerges naturally. • Plan a special activity for yourself to celebrate having undertaken this journaling journey and, “simply” for being alive today. The activity, of course, may be nothing but a day of doing nothing, of just being with you.
Claudia Roth’s “Your 28 Day Journey to Self Love” is a guided journal aimed at leading you to know who you truly are by using inspirational texts as well as assignments. To find out more about Claudia: www.soul-luxury.com and to order the journal contact Claudia at: firstname.lastname@example.org Wellbeing Escapes is offering a copy of this journal as a gift for those booking one of their Wellbeing Escapes Retreats.
Soukya Holistic Health Centre INDIA
I N T E G R AT E D W E L L N E S S We speak to founder and globally renowned holistic Doctor, Dr Isaac Mathai
Dr. Mathai explains to us what makes Soukya unique in the world of wellness retreats Soukya is described as an Integrative Holistic Health Centre. How does this differ to a luxury health spa? Soukya is the first of its kind in the world where different systems of medicines (Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Yoga) and more than 100 therapies from Acupressure to Zero Balancing are practiced under one roof. The uniqueness of Soukya is the integration of different systems of medicine for best results in health improvement, anti-ageing and treating diseases. We also make use of the western Diagnostics which proves our efficacy. Unlike most luxury health spas our treatments are carried out under medical supervision and people who visit us are looking for more than relaxation. Soukya is set on a 30-acre organic farm. Tell us about the food? The food in Soukya is made from freshly picked fruit and vegetables growing in our organic garden and is based on the Sattvic principles which promote purity of both body and mind. The Healthy Ovo-Vegetarian cuisine is designed by Dr.Suja Issac. Ph.D â€“ Food & Nutrition and every diet is personalised based on the constitution and health status of our guests. You advocate for the guests to eat in silence. Why is that? 22
We encourage people to practise mindful eating which is a different way to improve overall health. Researchers have found that mindful eating has the capacity to improve faulty eating habits, food cravings, eating disorders and weight management. Apart from these health issues, mindful eating is effective to control some chronic health conditions like Type two diabetes. Who would benefit from a visit to Soukya? Soukya is for people who take their state of health seriously and are interested in preventing the onset of disease. Many chronic conditions like Diabetes, Arthritis, Spondylosis, neurological disorders etc take several years to develop. Our strength lies in identifying the changes in the system 7 to 10 years in advance and our combination of treatments will prevent the condition from developing. We are experts at cellular detoxification, rejuvenation and anti ageing protocols that have long lasting results and can provide guidance and support for those also looking for spiritual and emotional cleansing. We also welcome and have had success for those with medical conditions like diabetes and hypertension, arthritis, neurological disorder and auto immune conditions.
Contact Wellbeing Escapes to book your stay at Soukya Holistic Health Centre.
Tapping your stress & anxiety away for instant results
We speak to Akcelina Cvijetic, Wellbeing Specialist and Coach about Thought Field Therapy. What is Thought Field Therapy (TFT)? Thought Field Therapy or TFT is a simple, yet effective set of tapping techniques which can help you alleviate emotional distress rapidly; namely, stress, anxiety, overwhelm, fears, grief, sadness, heartbreak, anger, depression, addictive urges, compulsive behaviours, past trauma (PTSD) and physical pain too. It works on the basis that each thought has its own thought filed and that distressing thoughts and emotions can create distress and disruptions in our energy circuitry. This results in both emotional and physical pain. TFT involves tapping the acupressure points associated with the emotional energy points and specific eye movements which provide both instant and sustained relief from upsetting emotions and physical conditions. TFT is backed by a large body of research which has shown that it creates a shift in the way our brain processes thoughts and emotions whilst reducing stress chemicals and increasing inner calm. TFT can provide an emotional balance quickly and safely with no side effects.
What happens during a TFT treatment? A TFT specialist will help you assess your level of distress on a scale of one to ten and then instruct you on how to tap a personally tailored tapping sequence, algorithm, for your specific emotions or physical condition. TFT is tapping into your body’s own healing system. It defuses the emotional charge associated with painful, traumatic and distressing events or people and can eradicate the mental-emotional and physical turmoil associated with it for good. You are then given a copy of your bespoke algorithm to empower you to practice it independently, experience greater emotional equilibrium and resilience. How effective is TFT? TFT has been referred to as “The Power Therapy of 21st Century” because of its high degree of effectiveness. Many of the most common distressing emotions can be eliminated within minutes. Some emotional issues require repeated treatments and corresponding shifts in lifestyle. However, most clients experience a significant improvement within the very first session.
To book a session or find out more about Akcelina’ s work visit akcelina.com 23
Shanti Som SPAIN
M OV E M E N T T H E R A PY
Re-condition your body and mind in the Sierra de Las Nieves Nature Park
hanti Som is well known for its reliably good yoga and meditation retreats, but did you know you can also book high intensity fitness and Pilates breaks at this Asian-inspired haven in Sierra de Las Nieves Nature Park near Marbella?
Pilates is a whole body conditioning system developed in the early 20th century by German boxer and self defence teacher Joseph Pilates. Its emphasis is on building strength from the inside out by teaching awareness of correct breathing and body alignment, using the core muscles of the abdomen, lower back and buttocks as a ’power centre’. It can be taught as ‘mat-work’ exercise or by using specially designed equipment such as a Pilates Reformer machine, and both these methods are used at Shanti Som, where Pilates sessions are based on fluid movements performed with control. You’ll learn exercises to strengthen and increase 24
flexibility of the body, and how to breathe properly. Join a 6 night Pilates Retreat and you’ll also enjoy yoga classes, a body scrub and a hike in the local hills. Pilates has multiple benefits. It corrects postural habits and improves body alignment, improves coordination and balance, increases muscle flexibility, mobility and strength, strengthens the pelvic floor and helps hugely with body awareness and the prevention and rehabilitation of injuries. Many people find it brilliant for the relief of back pain, but it can also reduce anxiety, depression and insomnia and help with digestive discomfort and constipation too. In short, it’s an enjoyable cure-all. If you’d prefer something with more intensity, Shanti Som’s 6 night Fitness High Intensity Retreat is designed to help you feel much more comfortable about yourself and your body with a mix of Pilates sessions, yoga classes, hikes and training classes including power plate sessions and TRX, a form of suspension training that uses body weight exercises to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability simultaneously. Whichever retreat you choose, you’ll be well looked after by talented and experienced Pilates teacher and personal trainer Javier Medina, be served healthy delicious meals, and enjoy the use of the sauna, steam room, pool and gym throughout your stay at this intimate and tranquil retreat, where the mantra is ‘to reward, encourage and educate, but never judge’. With gardens full of waterfalls, streams and fountains, and a stunning mountain backdrop, Shanti Som is also a great place
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to relax and soak up the sun between classes. It has been carefully constructed, respecting and incorporating local materials as well as following the guidelines of Feng-Shui, and their philosophy draws on the ancient traditions and spa rituals of the East to create a nurturing space where you get fit but also reset your whole system.
All Wellbeing Escapes clients have complimentary airport transfers or a free 60 minutes massage when minimum 3 nights booked.
Capsis Elite Resort – The Lifestyle Collection
HI-TECH DETOX A detox beside the sea with high tech treatments & a traditional Cretan diet
eeling sluggish and in need of a complete cleanse but want to truly relax and enjoy your break too? The clever Detox5+ gen2 programme at this fivestar boutique art hotel set on a private peninsular mixes high tech treatments with a delicious, traditional Cretan diet – all overlooking the sparkling Aegean in the North of Crete. The Detox5+ gen2 programme is based on five elements. A Oligoscan Test will measure your mineral status, oxidative stress and heavy metal levels to see the levels of toxicity in your body. You’ll have a daily dose of molecular hydrogen to fight free radicals and protect your cells from the effects of oxidative stress. Regular sessions in The Wellness Capsule, an extremely detoxifying infra red sauna, will help improve lymph circulation and burn up to 600 calories during a 30 minute session. And you’ll also have a colonic hydrotherapy session to help eliminate waste that is stuck to the intestinal walls. Food is also a fundamental part of the programme, based on Intelligent Mediterranean Detoxification and consisting
of traditional recipes that use organic fresh vegetables, herbs and fruit grown in the hotel’s gardens or sourced locally from small suppliers. The Cretan diet is one of the healthiest in the world and the island locals have high rates of longevity. It has an abundance of antioxidants and ALA from wild plants, and it’s low in trans fatty acids and saturated fat but high in omega-3 fatty acids from pasture-fed animals and lots of fish. The + element of the programme is a series of detox massages, collagen masks and skin treatments by Valmont Cosmetics, an established Swiss brand who are experts in cellulotherapy, that can be added at an extra cost. Enjoy it all at a hotel that makes relaxing easy. It’s the luxurious option of three at a resort that is beautifully spaced out so it never feels overcrowded, and which has its own private beach too.
Book the Detox5+ Gen2 programme with Wellbeing Escapes. Price from £3,095 pp* *Price based on a 5 night stay and 2 people sharing a room.
Sianji Wellbieng Resort TURKEY
LEASE OF LIFE
Our client and friend Emma Green tells us why she loves to detox at this friendly hotel in Bodrum Any tips on a healthy must-do in the local area? I always join the morning walk into the village at 8:30am to get my heart pumping. Every Saturday there’s a local food market there, a great place to pick up some super fresh and tasty nuts and dried fruits, which the locals will vacuum for you so you can take them home.
Why do you like detoxing at this hotel? It’s great for solo travellers who want to have their own space and the option to meet others if you want to. There’s no single supplement, and all rooms are suites – upgrade to a Sea View Suite if budget allows for a guaranteed balcony. The detox juice bar is amazing. Which detox programmes do you recommend? If you’re new to cleansing, start with the raw and vegan detox to ease your way into it, then change to the master detox, which is great for losing weight. It can be difficult for the first few days, but once you get to day four, you’ll feel a new lease of life, and if you can stay for the full 10-days, the results are amazing. You can decide what programme to do with a nutritionist on arrival. What detox activities do you enjoy? I love the body scrub, which all Wellbeing Escapes guests get at the start of a retreat, and the daily ‘angel of water’ treatment, a really effective self-administered colonic which feels like a massage in your stomach. 27
When can you find peace and quiet at this hotel? Usually April and May, and September and October, when the sea is warm and you avoid the summer holidays. Sometimes retreats run in May and September which means it can get busier, so do check ahead.
Wellbeing Escapes guests get a free hammam scrub (30 mins) and massage (30 mins) plus extra discount for repeat guests.
Jasmine Hemsley: How Ayurveda changed my life. What inspired you to learn about and lead an Ayurvedic Lifestyle? Right about the time when I first started hearing about Ayurveda, in the early 2000s, the “health” culture was very much about low fat diets and punitive workouts, none of which considered our holistic health. It was the opposite of a nurturing lifestyle and it seemed so unnatural to me – I knew there had to be a better way to live. Enter Ayurveda, with its consideration of each person as an individual, its emphasis on preventing illness rather than just treating the symptoms, and its view of digestion as the key to good health… I was hooked from the very first book I picked up on Ayurveda, and I’ve been learning something new about it every day since. What top 3 recommendations would you give for a happier and healthier lifestyle? 1. Go to sleep and wake up with the sun, following the circadian rhythm of the Earth and our natural rhythm, rather than fighting against it with artificial lighting and other overstimulating factors. 2. Eat your biggest meal at lunchtime, when your digestion is at its strongest and a lighter supper at 2–3 hours before bed. 3. Whatever you do, practise being present – being more mindful has helped me achieve a more consistent state of calm and a kinder approach to myself and others. It’s a practice worth practising! 28
What were your individual highlights of the last East by West retreat? Eating good food with new friends and a view of the Algarve countryside, sharing the Ayurveda that I’m so passionate about with a wonderful group of people... and dishing out sound baths at bedtime! I can’t wait to do it all again in November. Who would benefit from coming to an East by West retreat? Everyone! For ardent yogis and Ayurveda enthusiasts, going on a retreat is a natural next step. For those who are feeling burnt out and disconnected from themselves, it’s one of the most nurturing ways of finding their way back to balance. And for everyone in between, it’s a time to re-centre with simple but powerful Ayurvedic practices, yoga, meditation, delicious and easily digestible foods, and plenty of rest.
Contact us to book your place on Jasmine Hemsley’s East by West Retreat at Broughton Hall from 7 – 10 November 2019.
O UR TO P W EL L B EI NG ESCAPES FO R AYU RVEDA
yurveda means ‘knowledge of life’ in ancient Sanskrit, and is a 5,000-year-old health care system of natural healing that originates in Kerala, India. According to Ayurveda, an individual is made up of five primary elements: earth, air, fire, water and ether (space). These elements combine to create three ‘doshas’
which make up a person’s constitution – Vata (wind), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth). The aim of Ayurveda is to balance all three doshas within a person, and this is achieved through diet, treatments and lifestyle changes. Want to try it yourself? Here’s our pick of the best four Ayurvedic Retreats.
Somatheeram Ayurveda Beach Resort, India One of the world’s most established Ayurvedic retreats located in the heart of Kerala. Begin your journey with a consultation to determine your dosha, followed by a personalised daily Ayurvedic treatment, yoga, meditation and traditional vegetarian cuisine. Surrounded by tropical palm trees and directly by the beach, it’s a real haven.
Thermana Park Laško, Slovenia Ideal if you want to stay in Europe and not fly too far, the Ayurvedic Centre at this resort is overseen by a resident doctor who is from India. We love that you can combine an Ayurvedic programme with all the other facilities in the huge thermal water spa. There are plenty of indoor and outdoor swimming pools and thermal waters where you can relax in between your Ayurvedic treatments.
Siddhalepa Ayurveda Health Resort, Sri Lanka This beachfront resort is located on the south west coast of Sri Lanka. You’ll be under the expert guidance and care of the resident Ayurvedic Doctors and visiting consultants affiliated with their Ayurveda Hospital in Mount Lavinia. All programmes are tailor-made according to your needs and goals, starting with an Ayurvedic consultation with the doctor so he can personalise your daily therapies.
Ananda in the Himalayas, India This comfortable, cosseting retreat has surrounding views of the Ganges and forests and is the perfect setting to immerse yourself and rejuvenate body and soul. Ananda pride themselves on their personal approach to each client’s ayurvedic programme, ayurveda treatments begin with heartfelt rituals, and there’s some brilliant meditation and yoga on offer here too. 29
Absolute Sanctuary KOH SAMUI, THAILAND
TA I L O R E D P RO G R A M M E S
Balance your hormones in style with a Women’s Holistic Health programme
re you over 35 and suffering from mood swings and emotional stress? You may need to rebalance your hormones. Absolute Sanctuary’s brand new 5 or 7 night Women’s Holistic Health programme is just the ticket, a female-focused retreat that uses cleansing, daily exercise and supportive therapies to help you. You don’t need to worry if you’re new to following a health regime. Your stay begins with a full wellness consultation, includes personalised supportive therapy sessions to help you along the way, and features one to one sessions on balancing your hormones and lifestyle nutrition. You’ll be hand-held through a deeply cleansing process that features optional colon hydrotherapy, FAR infrared sauna sessions, manual lymphatic drainage massages, a detoxifying seaweed wrap and cleansing liver flush drinks, all the while being nourished by broth soups, detox drinks, coconut juices and Absolute Sanctuary’s delicious detoxifying spa cuisine. After a fitness assessment, daily exercise includes personalised fitness sessions, private yoga, pilates reformer, core suspend and stretching sessions, and access to group pilates reformer classes, fitness, yoga and meditation sessions throughout your stay.
Naturally, there’s a pool and steam room to help you relax after. Add to that a spot of sunbathing and nurturing, pampering treatments such as body and foot massage and a Pevonia Oxygenating Booster Facial, and you’ll look and feel like a different person by the time you have to (reluctantly) leave.
Lose weight and manage your stress with a Men’s Vitality programme
re you in a high-pressure job with a hectic lifestyle that has you grabbing meals on the run and indulging in too many late networking nights? Absolute Sanctuary’s brand new 5 or 7 night Men’s Vitality programme is designed to help men such as you lose weight and revitalise with cleansing, ﬁtness activities, stress management advice and holistic treatments. Your stay will kick off with a wellness consultation, and feature plenty of privately tailored support throughout, including supportive therapy sessions, lifestyle nutrition coaching and stress management advice. You’ll have a private fitness assessment and then follow a daily programme of personalized fitness sessions with private yoga, pilates reformer, core suspend and stretching sessions. You’ll also have group pilates reformer classes, and be able to
attend all group fitness, yoga and meditation sessions throughout your stay. Cleansing is key to destressing and losing weight, so you’ll also follow a detox programme with optional colon hydrotherapy, FAR infrared sauna sessions, manual lymphatic drainage massages and cleansing liver flush drinks, all the while being nourished by pea protein shakes, coconut juices and Absolute Sanctuary’s delicious spa cuisine. After a work out, kick back and relax beside the pool, sweat out any excess care in the steam room, and enjoy Thai stretching and back, neck and shoulder massages to help ease out any remaining tension. You’ll leave revived.
Why Absolute Sanctuary? Whichever holistic programme you choose, this boutique wellness resort set on the tropical island of Koh Samui is a truly relaxing place to get away from the daily grind and physically and emotionally unwind. The super-food and light detox meals are fantastic, and the team of highly qualified naturopaths, nutritionists and holistic healers prides itself on its impressive success rates, which includes ensuring you leave with plans and goals to continue your wellness back home.
Lefay Resort & SPA Lago Di Garda ITALY
DREAM AND RECONNECT Chilling out together above Lake Garda
Caroline Sylger Jones shares her experience of a wellbeing break with her husband at this elegant hotel
o relax together and reconnect, my husband Tom and I chose a 5 night wellbeing break one April at Lefay, a destination spa set in hilltop splendour above the shores of Lake Garda. A private soak in La Luna Nel Lago – the private salt lake at the spa – started our stay off nicely, after which we supped off home made ravioli with mediterranean salads before a refreshing night’s sleep. The huge outdoor hydrotherapy pool greeted our muscles warmly the next morning, where we chatted and enjoyed the glittering expanse of Lake Garda below us before a light
breakfast of fruits, cereals and a carrot, fennel, apple and ginger juice. Then it was time for a gentle walk around Il Giardino Energetico Terapeutico, Lefay’s extensive therapeutic garden, which has been designed to remind guests of the four stages and seasons of life, from birth to death, from Spring to Winter, and which we loved and visited daily. We connected most deeply with La Tigre Bianca, The White Tiger, a calm and settled grassy area designed to represent autumn and the start of meditation and maturity. We sat and mused on white metal benches in a burst of sunshine, surrounded by beds of white flowers and the subtle scent of eucalyptus trees. In the afternoon, I had a consultation with Doctor Carlo Barbieri, who took my pulse and asked me questions about my lifestyle – such as how I react to stress, and what flavour foods I like. The Lefay SPA (sic) method is inspired by both Chinese medicine and western science, and the doctor was a refreshing embodiment of both, a witty and wise GP, expert in Chinese medicine and member of the British Council of Acupuncturists who told me I’m ‘an anarchist who wants to do her own thing, which is good’ and pronounced me ‘a physically and mentally balanced person, but with a slight
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with its smooth olive wood benches. Walking in the local area was a treat, especially through the pretty village of Sasso, with its creatively decorated doors and pathways, up to the Eremito Valentino, the local hermitage. We ate mainly healthy Mediterranean feasts, including two meals for the all-vegan menu, with dishes such as Cauliflower and Jerusalem artichoke velvety soup and Soba Pad Thai with vegetables and cashews. We indulged a little in champagne and some gorgeous local wines, but this didn’t stop us feeling clear, calm and connected as we held hands in the car on our drive back to the airport to return home.
liver imbalance’. He prescribed me special tea, extra shoulder-tension relieving massages and local walks. A pattern developed across our four full days. Morning yoga (me) and reading (Tom) in our room, a swim in the outdoor infinity pool (me) and a session in the gym (Tom), followed by breakfast and a turn around the garden together. Then a walk or spa time before lunch, followed by treatments, chilling and supper. Our best treatments included acupuncture with the doctor, followed by a wondrous Gua Sha face massage with a jade stone, and massages with Patrizia, who gave us the firmer, all encompassing touch we favour. After we would discuss our dreams and desires at the splendid spa, in the steam room fragranced with eucalyptus and mint or in the cooler sauna
Book with Wellbeing Escapes for free airport transfers, private access to La Luna Nel Nago and complimentary massage. T&C’s apply.
OUR TOP WELLBEING ESCAPES FOR BEING IN NATURE
pending quality time in nature helps to reduce blood pressure, heart rate and stress. It’s especially good for those suffering with physical illnesses or mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. More and more people are feeling stressed and overwhelmed by life,
which is why activities such as ‘Forest Bathing’, when you immerse your five senses in nature, are only increasing with popularity. A wellbeing holiday surrounded by natural scenery helps to free the mind and relax the body. Here’s our pick of the best four places for being in nature.
Santani Wellness Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka An hour’s drive from the sacred city of Kandy, this highly acclaimed wellness resort is located on the former Aratenna Tea Estate and is surrounded by 48 lush green acres. The stylish architecture has been designed to blur the indoors and outdoors, allowing you to fully appreciate the undulating surrounding landscape.
SwaSwara, India This secluded resort is spread across 26 acres of gardens, green lawns and coconut groves just beside the pristine Om beach in Karnataka. It’s all about yoga, meditation and Ayurveda here, and what better place to switch off from reality with nothing but the sounds of birds around you.
The Retreat, Costa Rica Founded by best-selling author and wellness coach Diana Stobo, this is a transformational space where guests can relax, be themselves, gently move their body and eat healthy food. It’s set high in tropical hills with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, and so the nature walks are exceptional, allowing your mind to switch off and be away from all technology.
COMO Shambala Estate, Bali Hidden away in the jungles of Bali and located beside the river Ayung, all you can hear is the water flowing below you. The beautiful resort provides the inspiration and encouragement to help improve your health. We love the rooms which are free standing and at the tree-top, the ideal place to mediate and breathe in the fresh air.
Monchique Resort & Spa PORTUGAL
E N E RG I S E I N N AT U R E Get some peace on the Algarve
Flexible fitness programme Begin with a fitness consultation and then choose a daily private activity such as yoga, Pilates, personal training, fit ball, core training, guided hike or coached jogging. Finish with a relaxing full body massage.
urrounded by woodland and beautiful mountains, Monchique Resort & Spa is far enough from the busy beaches of the Algarve for you to enjoy true tranquillity, but close enough to get there quickly if you want some sand and sea. Whether you need some time out from a stressful job, or just want some peace and to connect with nature, the scenic walks in the surrounding forests are the perfect cure. We also love the breath-taking views from the highest point in the Algarve, and the quaint villages to explore in the area. Wellness is taken very seriously here, with a daily schedule of group fitness classes and activities which you can join as a Wellbeing Escapes guest. The sensorial spa circuit in the indulgent spa includes a variety of steam rooms, saunas and relaxation rooms. If you want to keep active, book our exclusive ‘Flexible Fitness’ or ‘Intensive Fitness and Conditioning’ programmes, which are both designed to get you moving and give you the confidence to continue your fitness journey when you return home. 35
Intensive fitness & conditioning programme Ideal if you need some help preparing for a sporting event or intensive fitness training. You’ll have a private trail run, 3 hours private cycling race and 3 personal training sessions. You will most certainly appreciate the sports massage too after all that training.
OUR TOP FLEXIBLE FITNESS HOLIDAYS IN EUROPE
as life taken over your fitness routine or have you just lost all motivation to go to the gym? Fear not, as our ‘Flexible Fitness’ programmes will kick-start you to get your body moving again. These exclusive programmes include a daily personal fitness
session from a choice of fitness activities, so you can tailor make your own fitness holiday, as well as rejuvenating spa treatments to sooth those aching muscles. Here we’ve handpicked our top four fitness holidays that offer the programme.
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, Croatia Keep yourself active at this beachfront resort close to historical Dubrovnik. Volleyball, football, tennis, badminton, squash, basketball, climbing and Pilates are just the start of the fitness activities on offer as part of our Flexible Fitness programme.
Paradis Plage Resort, Morocco This chilled out yoga and surfing retreat is on the outskirts of Agadir. Take on the waves at the Ripcurl surf school and hone your poses in the beachfront yoga shala. Our Flexible Fitness programme gives you a choice of personal training, TRX, circuit training, CrossFit and stand-up paddle boarding to name a few.
Porto Elounda Golf & Spa, Crete, Greece Located in its own private cove, at this hotel you can chose from beachside running, strength training and yoga as well as tennis, golf and beachside meditation. You certainly won’t be bored, and you can relax in the award winning Six Senses Spa at the end of the day.
Palacio Estoril Golf & Spa, Portugal Close to Lisbon and the sandy beach at Estoril, this hotel combines five-star service with top-notch wellness. The wellness centre is spread across four floors, with plenty of fitness activities to choose from including Pilates, yoga, Tae Bo, core training, Zumba, dance, TRX and personal training.
Villa Eden ITALY
H E A LT H Y A G E I N G Dr Emanuele De Nobili shares his tips on how to make our longer lives happier
ur life expectancies have increased over the last 50 years, but for many people, poor eating habits, lack of adequate physical activity, stress and pollution have led to cardiovascular, degenerative and neurological diseases as well as cancer, which means they’re not able to enjoy their longer lives at all. So how can we turn this around? Enjoy a vigorous lifestyle with daily exercise, for sure – I walk or jog for 60 minutes each afternoon in the open air. Stress busting activities such as yoga are undeniably important – I meditate each morning just after waking, then treat myself to a few pages of a book. It’s vital to get a decent amount of sleep at night. And to eat a moderate diet based on whole grains, legumes, fruits, hearty services of colourful vegetables and a little bit of fish or meat if you want it. I also dedicate one day a week to a purifying fast, and drink plenty of water. What’s most important, though, is our attitude. Thanks to advances in neuroscience, we know that the psyche can affect the behaviour of our endocrine and immune systems, and if you talk to people who have celebrated their 100th birthdays, their secret to long living includes happiness and fulfilment. These are people who have the ability to be content regardless of their wants or the things they possess. 37
By contrast, if we’re unhappy and feel frustrated or inadequate a lot of the time, this can physically affect our health as well as making us feel bad. So human existence is the result of a delicate balance between body, mind and spirit. To live peacefully, we need to be fully aware of our needs on all three levels. Our environment is also key. We need to keep the world in which we live clean, for healthy air and pure water are essential elements for our wellbeing. And I think having the right job in a place you love is an essential ingredient for personal wellbeing. Even if your work entails a great effort, there should always be a good mood. And work to create a harmonious, serene home, to help you face each day with optimism.
Purify your own body and mind Villa Eden is a medical spa nestled in its own temperature micro-climate valley in the picturesque Merano region of the Italian Alps. To help you live your best life for longer, it offers a series of brilliant Body and Mind purification programmes.
The Body Holiday SAINT LUCIA
Be inspired by a Rastafarian farm-to-fork experience dish baked with coconut milk, chilli pepper, spring onion, ginger and garlic. Yum. The best bit is eating your wonderfully natural and tasty lunch looking out over the panoramic view from the top of I-Tal of the Cariblue bay. It’s all part of a dazzling list of daily activities on offer here, from yoga and cardio to water sports and treatments at the swish spa. You’ll also get a 50-minute spa treatment for each full day of your stay, and there’s a great single traveller vibe.
he latest adventure at this popular spa and fitness resort in the Caribbean is I-Tal – a journey of wellness and West Indian culture. Book a slot and enjoy a farm to fork experience amongst the tropical trees of the Coubaril Valley, cooled by island breezes. You’ll start by exploring the resort’s extensive organic garden plot of vegetables, herbs and fruits, all grown using pesticide-free, non-GMO, sustainable farming practices. Pick your own ingredients, and as you do, learn more about organic farming and West Indian plants from your Rastafarian hosts, who’ll explain how their lifestyle of simple, clean eating and providing for their families without being dependent on a system is the bedrock of the Rastafarian movement and a happy, healthy life. You can then cook alongside the chefs, learning how to keep all the nutrients and natural flavours of your fruits and vegetables where they belong – inside you! Make a pesto coconut chutney with grated papaya, or a delicious vegetable 38
Book with Wellbeing Escapes to get $150 credit to use on spa treatments or private fitness or yoga sessions.
Angsana Balaclava MAURITIUS
Luxurious ayurveda-inspired wellbeing including a special yoga retreat just for couples natural background music of the waves crashing on the shore. The programme also includes a massage with your loved one in the intimacy of the luxurious double treatment rooms, and a Indian head massage. Whatever programme you choose, for an extra special stay book a luxury cruise across the tranquil waters of Turtle Bay. It’s the ideal way to admire Port Louis against the beautiful mountain backdrop and watch the sunset.
auritius is famed for its luxury resorts but what makes Angsana Balaclava so special is its dedication to wellness. Their whole philosophy is to help you to achieve an overall balanced sense of wellbeing by enriching, fulfilling and empowering your body, mind and soul. Choose a wellness programme that combines the holistic principles and therapeutic techniques of Ayurveda and that’s personalised according to your wellness goals. Everything is overseen by the inhouse Ayurvedic doctor, Dr Sreeragh Haridas, who comes from Kerala in India and will ensure you’re on the right path. One of the loveliest programmes on offer for partners is the ‘Yoga for Couples’ programme, a blissful yogic journey designed to help you both achieve a calm mind, to live more in the present moment, to concentrate better and to release all your stress and anxiety. Sound good? You’ll be able to connect spiritually and emotionally with each other in five private yoga sessions, held directly on the beach or on the outdoor yoga platform with the 39
Book the ‘Yoga for Couples’ programme for £828 pp* *Price based on a 5 night stay and 2 people sharing a room.
How to use meditation when you travel Travelling to and from a healthy holiday can sometimes be stressful, but meditation can help you make the most of your whole trip. Veroniek Vermeulen tells us how. While travelling to a destination, there are many moments where you can integrate meditation. On a train, as a passenger in a car or waiting at the airport, make the most of these moments of time by closing your eyes, observing your breath and simply being in the moment. Make sure that your valuables are safe and close your eyes. Set your alarm if you need to, so you know how long you can practice before you need to hop on or off. When you’re at your destination, meditating can enrich your experiences, stimulating your five senses so you’re more aware of your physical environment as well as of yourself and others. You’ll be opened up to colours, sounds and tastes, and be better able to tune in to new cultures and people. It may feel like you have loads of time on a wellbeing holiday, but the days are quickly filled, which is why the best way to integrate meditation into your trip is to set 40
an intention. Knowing what you are working towards motivates you to reach your goals. Do this daily, preferably each morning so you can start your day fresh. Need help with meditation techniques? A meditation app can be useful – download all your favourite meditations before your trip, then disconnect and listen to them when you want to on the plane, in the desert or at sea. Research proves that having a physical cue such as a precious stone or a piece of jewellery can also act as a reminder – a must if you want to integrate a new habit. Good luck!
Veroniek Vermeulen is the creator of Silatha jewellery and the Silatha meditation app, all of which can help you meditate on your journey. Find out more at www.silatha.com or follow @SilathaJourney.
Top 5 ways to empower yourself at work by Jay Rai Empowerment is the process of encouraging you to think, behave, manage, take action and make decisions toward your career goals. Here are my top empowerment strategies: 1. T ake control of negative thoughts. Although the voice in our head telling us we aren’t clever or successful enough often sounds convincing, believing it leaves us racked with self-doubt and can lead us towards selfdestruction. Question your ‘inner critic.’ Start a thought diary to shine light on any negative thought patterns. Unhelpful beliefs aren’t facts but a narrative you can alter, once you believe this, you are in control and you can replace the old beliefs with new positive affirmations. 2. T une into your authentic self. This is an important way to overcome stressful situations. By getting to the heart of what is really going on and expressing it means we can cut away the shackles of our past and break free from our self-constructed prisons. Find your voice and trust in your intuition. 3. Define what success and happiness looks like. Success in business and in life means something different to everyone. Take the time to understand what brings you joy and put aside all the “what if ’s.”
4. D esign your career objectives based on your needs. Consider what would bring you the greatest long-term satisfaction, without being afraid of affecting others. Too many people become reliant on the wrong advisers when pursuing their goals. Remember to take advice under consideration, but continue moving forward, undeterred, as you pursue your goals. 5. C reate a self-care routine. Depleting yourself of energy inhibits your ability to regulate yourself emotionally. Designate time for true self-nourishment. Identify, reduce or eliminate any activities which seem relaxing but are increasing your stress levels, such as scrolling through social media. Take a walk in nature or meditate instead.
Jay Rai is a Self-Empowerment Therapist and Founder of www.mind-worthy.com. She gained clinical experience with one of the largest mental health services in the UK, the Priory clinic. 41
WHY WELLBEING ESCAPES? How we work
Peace of mind for you
The best price — we have the most competitive prices, better than going directly. If you find a cheaper price, we guarantee to match it.
ATOL protection — your holiday is financially protected courtesy of ATOL Bonding (License no. 10269)
Special programme offers — our treatment and activity programmes have been negotiated with discounts and free treatments. If you wait until you go to the spa, you will pay more to buy the treatments individually.
24/7 contact — we are here for you from the moment you leave until you are back home safely so if anything goes wrong while you are away or with your travel arrangements, we will sort it out for you and try and minimise the stress.
Buying power — we buy in volume so we can negotiate ultra-competitive rates and benefits that you will find difficult to match direct.
Online booking security — if you want the convenience of booking online your credit card details are safely encrypted and secure.
You do not pay more through us — contrary to poular belief, you do not pay more when you book through a travel company. We do not add an extra fee on our price to our customers. Our reso rt partners compensate us for providing them with your booking.
Customer service — all our bookings are checked and a real person looks at them to make sure that all is in order. You can contact us anytime during our office ours to discuss your booking.
Repeat client offers — we have additional loyalty offers and discounts for our repeat clients.
Donâ€™t just take our word for itâ€Ś Another great recommendation Once again, a great recommendation from Wellbeing Escapes. Very attentive service all the way through the process. I keep coming back to them because they have the best knowledge in the business when it comes to healthy holidays. Relaxing and therapeutic escape into the unknown Tailored my desired holiday to my budget and availability, coordinating the all inclusive package including pick up from the airport despite delays due to strikes at Stanstead airport. 1st class service! Wellbeing Escapes provides 1st class service. All my queries were dealt with immediately and the staff are all very helpful and friendly. I would definitely book through Wellbeing Escapes in future.
Fantastic end to end service Wellbeing Escapes offers fantastic first-class service. From initial contact they understood exactly what I wanted. Lisa was brilliant! Always happy to answer any and all my hundred and one questions. She got back to me without delay and was happy to pass on any messages or questions I had to the Resort. Fantastic! I can see myself using Wellbeing Escapes time and again. Excellent service would highly recommend Very quick to respond considering I booked my trip with less than a week to departure date. Really helpful, efficient and accommodating to my needs. The experts for wellness holidays Excellent service and knowledge of wellness holidays!
Perfection and Paradise Dominika answered the many questions and queries I had and made me feel very confident in my choice and reassured before heading off on my first solo trip.
For further information, or to speak to one of our wellbeing travel specialists, please call 020 3735 7555 or email email@example.com www.wellbeingescapes.com