My first week at Ananda
After a crazy busy schedule in London just before coming out to India, I was ready to take things at a slightly more gentle pace. The universe had other ideas. No sooner had I arrived and had brunch, I was put to work.
The clients that I met this week have all been wonderful; I am one lucky lady. They were open-minded, ready to try something new, and totally took on board the crazy process that is the ten series of structural integration. No sooner had the first session finished, they were looking to do two more, then another two, and for one keen bean, yet another two! It is such a privilege to watch people change so quickly in such a short period of time. The advantage of having sessions in a wellness retreat environment is that the body (and mind) has time to rest and integrate the work, without having to worry about getting home in traffic, shopping, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of family life.
As for Ananda.....it is beautiful. It is set within the grounds of an old palace, on the side of a mountain. The weather has been sunny and warm during the day, but chilly first thing and at night. So far, I have not been able to admire the surrounding Himalayas, as there is a blanket of cloud in the valley, but I am assured that they will show themselves before I leave. There are monkeys flying through the trees, a few friendly peacocks pottering about, and wonderful birds and insects making their own distinct sounds, night and day.
The guests have a general schedule of classes, including yoga, meditation, gym and pool activities, plus talks from a Vedanta scholar, the other Visiting Master (a cranio-scral therapist), and Yours Truly. On top of that, they will have a personalised programme, depending on what they would like to focus on, including nutrition, treatments, and further private activities. Everyone wanders around in white floaty pyjamas, which adds to the lovely relaxed atmosphere.
If I am free, I pop up to the palace for afternoon tea, where there is a delightful selection of loose leaves to choose from, plus some yummy homemade biscuits. These are most definitely deserved, as it is rather a steep hike from the spa! Bagpipes add to the pomp, but I don't think this chap will be troubling the Queen's personal piper for his job anytime soon; he's got one tune nailed, but the rest of his repertoire is just a little tough on the ears...
I have been posting a few snaps on instagram; if you would like to see them, please search for @annalovestheworld and follow me there.