Never before were yoga and wellness retreats so much in demand. With a renewed stress on holistic well-being, nutrition and rejuvenation, as an aftermath of the pandemic, more and more people are structuring short breaks and holidays around these options that offer to build their immunity. Industry experts say this might make India a focus point of international tourism, it being a hub of holistic streams of medicine such as Ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy, and Tibetan medicine.
According to a report by the Global Wellness Institute, wellness tourism is slated to grow at an average annual rate of 7.5 per cent by 2022. This is higher than the projected 6.4 per cent rate for the annual growth of overall global tourism. “The preventive healthcare at these wellness sojourns is a good way to combat diseases,” says Kamal Puri, who visited Ananda in the Himalayas last month.
“The activities here helped me reduce stress, while the healthy food helped me detox,” he adds. Akshita Chawla, who went to Vashisht, Himachal Pradesh, along with her friends, says, “The combination of daily meditation, yoga, stretching, mantra chanting, and trekking in Himalayas provides a fulfilling physical activity and soothes the mind.” Agrees Hemant Krishna, “These places assimilate spiritual practices in the daily schedule, and holidaying here can resolve anxiety and stress due to Covid-19.
I am planning to go on one such trip soon.” Hotels and resorts are rising to the occasion. Amanbagh in Rajasthan has designed a special immersion programme to improve immunity. Guests receive a comprehensive wellness consultation from the in-house Ayurveda doctor, who evaluates the guest’s dosha (energy) and tailor a bespoke wellness programme and diet. Even its menu comprises healthy dishes made with organic vegetables. IHCL which runs the Taj hotels observed an average of 50 per cent month-on-month increase in stress-relief and detox spa treatments.
The hospitality group introduced Taj Wellness Retreats in September 2020 across select hotels that combine the expertise of inhouse spa brand Jiva’s services offered for five-day wellness and 14-day Ayurveda retreats. The hotel chain is also offering curated special services menus aimed at building immunity. In addition to its various wellness programmes, Ananda Spa Resort, Rishikesh started conducting a 90-minute yoga and meditation session online daily ever since the pandemic hit India. Guests can also book personalised sessions.
The staff at SwaSwara at Gokarana, Karnataka, informed that people from as far as Karnataka and Maharashtra come for their new wellness holiday programmes that do not include body contact therapies. Niraamaya Wellness Retreats in Kerala has collaborated with Daivam Wellness to launch Integrative and Functional Medicine Programmes for holistic wellness at its premises, located at Niraamaya Retreats Surya Samudr a Kova l am and Niraamaya Retreats Backwaters and Beyond Kumarakom.
“Human health has never been so far removed from nature as it is today. Our body today is exposed to more than 4,000 chemicals in a day resulting in rising sicknesses,” says Sanjay Sachdeva, Founder & CEO, Daivam Wellness. This collaboration has introduced five programmes: The Diabetes Programme, The Immunity Booster Programme, The Mindfulness Programme, The Stress Management Programme and The Metabolic Obesity Programme.
These are followed up with three more programmes — The Gut Restoration Program, The Aesthetics Program and The Deep Detox Program after four weeks. “Since the launch, our curative wellness programs have seen a steady growth. We have received a good response to our introductory three-night programs and the immunity rejuvenation programs. During this pandemic, around 200 people enrolled for these,” says Manu Rishi Guptha, CEO, Niraamaya Wellness Retreats.