Oprah Winfrey took time out from her hectic schedule to visit the award-winning Ananda in the Himalayas. Ananda, which is based at the foothills of the Himalayas, near Rishikesh, India, is part of the C&C Alpha Groups ‘Shanti Hospitality’ affiliate – and has been named amongst the very best spas in the world.
Here’s Oprah’s story, direct from her blog…
This month I’m making it a point to practice what we’re preaching: taking time for yourself in the name of wellness. In fact, I’m writing this in the foothills of the Himalayas, near Rishikesh, India (where the Beatles learned to meditate), at Ananda spa. It’s the most authentic spa experience I’ve ever had.
Here in the birthplace of yoga, they take restoration and renewal seriously. It’s a life-enhancing process that begins the moment you arrive.
“Namaskar” (“I salute the God in you”) is the greeting you receive from everyone, either with both hands in prayer position or with one hand over the heart. All day long, at breakfast, in yoga: Namaskar. It’s a custom of giving and receiving that embraces the reverence of each person you meet.
Going to Ananda is more like a pilgrimage than a visit, with every moment designed to cultivate presence. Whether you’re doing an early-morning trek up the forested mountainside (which I do not advise on your first day!) or taking part in the daily guided group meditations, being fully present is the main goal.
I’ve enjoyed wonderful yoga teachers and transcendent spa treatments. (I think I had my first out-of-body experience as a result of the “fusion” massage.) But the real gift is the opportunity to come back to self, to the centered space that abides within us all, as the still observer of our thoughts and experiences. Because as Eckhart Tolle reminds us in Stillness Speaks, we are not our thoughts. We are the awareness of our thoughts, disguised as people.
My time at Ananda has been a treat I gave myself on the way back from a business trip to Africa. I know for sure, though, that you don’t have to journey to the Himalayas to find stillness. You don’t even have to look in your own backyard. Wherever you are right now…it is.
Find out more about the award-winning Ananda Spa and book your own piece of paradise here