Review of Villa Ananda: Ayurveda Health Retreat & Spa in Mexico

Travel

My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico

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.

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10 Ayurveda Tips I Learned

Everyone who works at Villa Ananda has studied Panchakarma in India (the hardcore way), for years. They are die-hard and know their stuff inside and out. Here are a few of the principles they taught me during my stay:

  1. Ginger is a natural antibiotic. It also helps with digestion if you eat a few slices of fresh ginger about 10 minutes before your meal. This helps fuel the “fire” in your belly, which can then more easily digest your food.
  2. Don’t drink liquid during your meal, as it puts out the digestive “fire”.
  3. Some foods should not be mixed, as it’s harder to digest, such as sweet and savory, or raw and cooked. These should be eaten at least an hour apart.
  4. Everything in health begins with digestion.
  5. Cilantro will help with skin and acne, and natural chelation (ie. it pulls toxins and heavy metals from your body).
  6. Helichrysum is good for getting rid of scars. It’s a common medicine used in Mexico, and it’s effective.
  7. Turmeric pills will help with digestion and overall health.
  8. Drink a jug of water every day. Add some lemon to make it detoxifying. If you’re weaning yourself off of sugary drinks, you can sweeten it with honey or maple syrup (yes, I added that last part).
  9. Rose Geranium balances hormones.
  10. When foods are as close to their state in nature as possible, that’s when they deliver the most potent nutrition.
My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico

The many essential oils and herbs that are mixed specifically for your needs and added to treatments.

The Yoga & Ayurveda Health Spa Experience

If you’re coming to detox, the process can involve anything from a day visit to a three-week-long stay in one of the spa’s two oceanfront casitas, each decorated simply in a serene palate and natural fibers reminiscent of the Greek Islands. On casita has a Queen size bed, and the other has two double beds, each with a small but beautiful bathroom with an open shower and windows.

My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico

Morning yoga in the health spa

Each day begins with herbal tea and Yoga Meditation practice in a sunny yoga room overlooking the ocean, with easy stretching poses demonstrated by one of the therapists. Treatments that follow may include herbal colon cleansing, aromatherapy steam, skin brushing, tandem Ayurveda massage, Chakra balancing and Shirodhara. The day begins at 8:00 am and finishes around 3:00 PM with afternoons free to rest, relax, swim, read, journal, whale-watch or walk on the beach. 

Ayurveda can be a lifetime study, and frequently is in India, and a review like this one can do no more than provide the merest glimpse into what, for most Westerners, is another world of physical and spiritual experience. And speaking of Westerners, if you prefer more conventional treatments in combination with Ayurveda, or on their own, Villa Ananda offers a full spa menu from mud wraps to aromatherapy massages and organic facials. As it was explained to us, the intent is to provide “wellness in a spa atmosphere.”

With my hubby, before our sweat lodge treatment on the beach

My Panchakarma Experience in Mexico

Another guest: a New York Times reporter

The concept of authentic Ayurvedic wellness in a spa atmosphere with Indian-trained and qualified therapists is one that seems sure to catch on. Then again, judging by the fact that the “Olsen Twins” were occupying our casita up until we arrived, maybe it already has.

 

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A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she spends most of her time in France, NYC, London and Switzerland, and travels extensively around the world. Hilary spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always looking for hot new topics, destinations, and brands to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 42 Comments

  1. Connie Schmidt

    I love that photo of you!

  2. Maxine Ford

    It’s time to detoxify and get some energy back. Booking this immediately 🙂

  3. After reading your article, I can think of a new definition for Villa Ananda, 3Rs: retreat, refresh and restore!

  4. Esther Devine

    Mmmmm… I guess Panchakarma removes impurities from the body… is it better than a juice cleanse?

  5. Joan Morales

    Long article, but it was definitely worth reading. And great Ayurveda tips…

  6. Brittany West

    Just booked! On my way to removing toxins!!!

  7. Beverly Snyder

    What precautions should people take when they want to try Pancha Karma?

  8. Dollie Callahan

    Thanks for the Ayurvedic tips! Bookmarked! Will be sending this to my girlfriends!

  9. Susan Albright

    If I remember it right, I’ve read that Ayurveda puts extreme importance on the digestive system?

  10. Chrystal Simmon

    I wonder, what made you decide to look or research for Villa Ananda?! Friend recommendations?!

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