The Good Life

Suite Meditating

Be it a month or a week, your stay at Soukya, Shreyas Retreat and Vana Malsi can be the best way to free your mind, body and soul

Tired of the hectic schedule and monotonous life, many of us would want to live in a place where nobody can reach us and we can give ourselves a break. Though these days there are many ways to calm our mind and body, a few may still depend on the age-old meditation and yoga. There are places that offer days-long treatment based on these two ancient disciplines, with an indulgent helping of luxury thrown in.

There is Soukya, in Bengaluru, a unique health center. They treat their customers in entirety -- mind, body and spirit, taking into consideration their living environment. For this, they integrate different traditional, time-tested and natural systems of medicine such as Ayurveda, Homeopathy, Yoga and Naturopathy and over 30 complementary therapies such as Reflexology, Acupressure, Acupuncture and Dietetics. “Our focus is on health promotion, early intervention and the treatment of illness, and we offer wellness and medical treatment programmes that address even rarest of diseases,” says the founder of Soukya, Dr Issac Mathai. One can book into their rich suites for a minimum of a week and extend it to a maximum of a month.

The most breathtaking suite in Soukya is certainly their Presidential Suite, priced at $5550 per night. There is also an additional programme management charge of 18%. The Presidential Suite is a three-bedroom suite with a kitchenette and attendants’ room, and it can accommodate six people. It comes with sizable private gardens on three sides of the room and a private open-air shower. The price is inclusive of the Soukya vegetarian and organic cuisine, common yoga classes in the morning and evening, taught by the Naturopathic doctors, and usage of their facilities such as walking track, indoor games, swimming pool and library.

Located in the hills of Dehradun Vana Malsi is another one on the list. It offers itself as a refuge from the stress of everyday life, promising “wisdom” and “wellness”. Each Vanavasi’s, or client’s, journey at Vana is tailored to meet their distinct needs. Therefore, there are three retreat types for the yoga lovers to choose from, each offering varying levels of immersion and activity. There is the one for resting the mind and body, the other to work on one’s health and the last that could result in long-term physical and spiritual transformation. A client has to stay here for a minimum of 14 days and the rate of their suite is $1,550 per night.

“Athithi devo bhava” (a guest is to be served as God) is the defining philosophy at Shreyas Retreat. Nestled in a sprawling 25-acre oasis of green in Bengaluru and Neelamanga, it is a seamless blend of the modern and the timeless, luxury and simplicity, indulgence and enlightenment. Here, even a person new to yoga can experience it. Shreyas helps guests integrate the practice into their daily lives, without the austerity and rigor usually associated with ‘ashrams’. The Founder of Shreyas Retreat N Balaji, says, “The 25 guests who can be accommodated are served with personalised attention by a staff that is trained in yoga. They are encouraged to serve guests as part of their spiritual discipline and not just as a job or career.” Just as Soukya, Shreyas too allows its customers to stay for period of 3 to 28 days. The price range for the presidential suites starts from $1,070 and goes upto $19,780.

A spa adds to Shreyas’ uniqueness and its Ayurveda, Naturopathy treatments and the rejuvenation massages and treatments complement yoga. They have six in-house teachers for 12 of their cottages, ensuring all guests have sessions customised to their age and experience. The gourmet vegetarian cuisine from around the world, no-alcohol policy, restricted smoking areas and fresh organic ingredients hand-picked from their gardens enable guests to detox their bodies, while the yoga and meditation classes help relax and de-stress their mind.