My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico
The Grounds & Rooms
Villa Ananda is inside a private, gated community, so seeing someone on the beach is fairly rare. The spa and entire resort reminded me of being on the Greek Islands. Everything is white and airy, and right on the ocean. The pool is gorgeous and clean, and there are plenty of lounging areas where you can hang out and read. Panchakarma is done with only two casitas filled, which means only four guests at most will be at Villa Ananda at a time. The only exception is yoga retreats, when they fill the other six or so rooms in the main building. The two casitas are atop the spa and separated by a small wooden bridge. They both have private lounging areas and a clear view of the ocean. The beds are comfortable, and the smell of incense relaxing. And if that’s not enough to make you want to stay forever, the constant sound of the ocean will be.
Ayurveda Health Spa
I know, I know—’Ayurvedic‘ massage is featured at most spas nowadays, along with tutti-frutti aromatherapy and Hawaiian hot rocks. As it happens, I’ve had such an “Ayurvedic” massage at a boutique spa in Manhattan: it amounted to a standard Swedish rubdown with scented oil and taped sitar music. No, I am speaking here of the real thing, the authentic therapeutic techniques developed over the five thousand years or so that Ayurvedic medicine has been practiced in India, and dispensed by trained Ayurvedic physicians from Bombay.
As a system of medicine—probably the world’s oldest, at over 5000 years of practice—Ayurveda offers a full range of treatments for what ails you. The goal of Ayurveda is to restore and maintain our state of balanced health focusing on proper nutrition, use of herbs, adequate lifestyle, right thinking, seasonal detoxification, along with the practice of Yoga and Meditation. Ayurveda enjoys much the same status in India as acupuncture does in China or shiatsu in Japan; In each country these ancient therapies are taught in universities and practiced in hospitals alongside Western medicine. But Ayurveda, the “science of life” in Sanskrit, is more than medicine. It is a roadmap to a “good” life in every sense of the word. Ayurvedic physicians, called vaidyas, go through four years of post-secondary schooling and follow that with a year’s internship, usually in a rural clinic.
Ayurveda, the “science of life” in Sanskrit, is more than medicine. It is a roadmap to a “good” life in every sense of the word.
The goal of Ayurvedic medicine is to achieve a three-way balance, which is the key to good health, serene spirits, and long life. On the basis of their consultation, the doctors can identify which of the elements is out of whack and recommend dietary and lifestyle changes, herbal remedies and massage. And they can tailor your therapy sessions specifically to you, right down to the herbs used in the warmed sesame oil.
Here’s a bit more about Villa Ananda and their approach to Ayurveda: