Ten-Second Takeaway

If you’re motivated and looking to boost your metabolism and take your fitness up a few notches, this is definitely the retreat for you.

What To Expect

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A lot of my job as a travel and wellness writer involves immersing myself neck-deep into Crossfit-style boot camps, yogic and Ayurvedic immersions, and aerial yoga. While some of these trips require no prep-time, there are others that require a little bit of training before you arrive.

I was invited to experience the Active programme at Ananda from the 13th – 18th April, and was part-nervous-part-excited, because I didn’t know what to expect.

The Ananda Active Program runs all-year-round, and is designed to combine personal fitness, guided outdoor treks, yoga, aqua fitness and therapeutic spa experiences to create a completely rejuvenating and strengthening experience. Ananda recently partnered up with Sumaya {founded by Sumaya Dalmia} to incorporate functional training, core stability workouts, Pilates and TRX into the mix.

You would be acquainted with your dosha type upon arrival, and after consultation with the Ayurvedic doctor, the chef would prepare your meals according to that. My days would begin with a cup of herbal ginger tea to balance my vata, followed by a yoga session in the pavillion. I would retreat to the restaurant for a heavy but healthy breakfast that would keep me sated until lunchtime. Think farm-fresh eggs, fresh vegetable juices and a cup of coffee.

I would spend time in my balcony catching up on my work and reading before heading off to the gym for a class, which would be Pilates, core, weight training, TRX or an outdoor boot camp session. The workout would work up a serious appetite, and I would take a quick siesta post lunch, because that’s what holidays are for. Evenings could be either relaxed with a swim followed by a spa treatment, or a little active if you prefer the outdoors.

For the early risers, you could book a rafting trip to Rishikesh with other guests of the hotel and leave at the crack of dawn for the expedition. I would often go in for a swim and then opt for either the sports massage, deep tissue or the udwartanam {ayurvedic scrub} to wind down.  You could choose to eat dinner at the restaurant or order in the room. I would stick to lean meat and veggies, making sure I save room for dessert after all that activity.

The rooms were cozy and comfortable; some of them overlook the valley, while others were facing the palace. The high tea at the palace is a wonderful experience and should definitely be savoured, particularly if you’re travelling with a friend {or your bae}.

The Highlights

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Ananda has visiting masters in yoga, reiki, healing and Ayurveda. I spent a fair amount of time with Jivatma, the visiting yogini, and also managed to squeeze in a session called ‘Sarga Bodywork’; deep tissue massage using the feet.

The spa is a beautiful sanctuary with hydrotherapy and Ayurvedic rooms. Also, if you’ve been trekking or working out regularly, the deep tissue massage will help work out those knots, alleviate muscle soreness and help you recover faster. I would also recommend that you wake up in the morning for the yoga session in the open pavilion, weather permitting, and attend a class on Vedanta. The villa rooms with the pools are absolutely stunning and worth the splurge if you are there to commemorate a special occasion.

#LBBTip:  The trek guide, Dinesh Dhanai, has a great set of knowledge on the flora and fauna around the area, and is also an experienced climber who’ll accompany you on your walks and treks. He also happens to be a brilliant photographer and we recommend that you ask for his assistance if you find some shot-worthy opportunities in the vicinity.

What We Didn’t Like

Well, the food left a lot to be desired, and I would like it a lot if they could focus more on specially curated menus for people attending the retreats, with vegan, gluten-free, low-carb or grain-free food.

Best Time To Visit: Mar – Jun, Sep – Nov

Where: Ananda In The Himalayas, The Palace Estate, Narendra Nagar Tehri, Garhwal, Narendra Nagar, Uttarakhand

Contact: 01378 227500; Email reservations@anandaspa.com to make a reservation

Price: Packages starting at INR 22,000

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Photos: Anand Spa