Vana India – Ayurveda retreat

Have you ever considered going on a retreat ? And being alone for a while?

I have thought about doing a retreat alone for years and finally I managed to actually transform my thoughts into actions.
I went to a retreat in India for 10-days. I did a lot of researching before going and found Vana. Vana is located in Dehradun which is one hour flight from Delhi.

When you book your retreat at Vana you will have a pick-up in Dehradun airport who will take you by car to Vana. This is approximately a 1 hour drive.

When you arrive to Vana you will be welcomed by the sweet and welcoming Vana staff who will serve you tea and show you around the property.
All the staff at Vana are really caring and do everything to make your stay as pleasant as possible.

I arrived late at night and the Vanan staff brought me late dinner in my room.
The whole aesthetics of Vana is minimal and simple but also very warm at the same time.
The Vana property is located in the middle of a forest which makes your mind be connected to earth and nature. I felt completely safe and in good hands and did not need to worry about anything.

Vana customizes your stay for your needs so you fill out a form before you arrive about your aim and why you want to come to Vana and then you have a consultation with a doctor when you arrive. The doctor creates a schedule after what he/she thinks is mostly suitable for you.

My aim was to relax, destress, and to boost my body with new energy and good nutrition.

When I saw my doctor she asked me some questions about my lifestyle and the she took my blood pressure which was quite low. Then she out 3 fingers on the inner part of my arm which is her way of finding out what of the 3 different ayurveda energies you are. There are 3 different Ayurvedic groups; Vata (air), Kapha (earth), and Pitta (fire). Ayurveda comes from hinduism and is used a lot in India and Sri Lanka. The ayurvedic lifestyle is all natural with the use of herbs, spices, and oils.
What we eat and our lifestyle effects our energy in the body.
So for me, the reason why I am Vata (air), is, as the doctor explained to me; I travel a lot, I am always cold, I have a slim body, thin hair, and not the best blood stream. I need to find more balance in the body which I can do with a lot of oil application both morning and night, eat more heated food (raw food is not good for me because is it hard for my body to digest), not to eat fruit together with other food, and then she gave me a list of food ingredients that are particularly good for me and a list of the food items that are particularly bad for me.

Followed by this the doctor gave me recommendations for Ayurvedic massage treatments that she would add on my schedules for my stay. In addition to this she added reflexology, and alignment class to my schedule.
Besides the 2 daily treatments I had then I could make use of the daily activities taking place as Vana, which in example was; several mediation classes each day, yoga, ayurvedic cooking classes, and many others.

The Vana property facilitates out door pool, sauna, steam, infra red sauna, lounge areas, gym, two restaurants, and a library.
You always have something to do but you can also just take a book and hit outside and  relax. There are a lot of beautiful birds as well as monkeys which was amazing to see.

The best part was the food, WOW!! The food was incredible. So so delicious. I cannot explain to you what I got – but it was not dry and boring as many might and I did expect. The french toast was made with “millet” (yes, I have never heard about this before”, tofu in a way you have never seen or tasted, healthy cakes that was so yummy that I had to ask the chef several times if there was sugar in it.

My stay: 
The first two days was a bit strange to me. It takes time to calm your body down and find yourself in a different setting that I was used to.
But I went with the flow of my program and explored the facilities. I also found my body so tired so I slept a lot. I took this as a sign of what my body really needed – so I did not resist the tiredness but I just slept. And read a lot of books which I had brought with me.
After day 4 I could really enjoy everything. I woke up at 7AM without and alarm (which I have never tried before. I am NOT a morning person), and then I went to a morning yoga class before my breakfast. I drank coffee which I thought was a sin but even in Ayurvedic cuisine they believe that 2 cups of coffee is good for you.

I can highly recommend visiting Vana for min. 7 days, 10 days was perfect and 14 days would have been amazing too. If you want to take a break in your life, stop for a moment and just listen to your body and do something good for yourself.
Disconnect from everything. You only have your phone in your room so outside your private luxurious room you are in present to yourself and your surroundings.

Below are pictures from VANA in India.

Randhir

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