Serene, refreshing, relaxing and energizing all at once. Now, that’s a vacation. India is soon becoming a top destination for Wellness Tourism in the world (more on that on our next post) and we had the privilege to visit the hub of it all – Shathayu Ayurveda Yoga Retreat, Bangalore.
If you want to get away from all the city-madness and retreat into four and a half acres of serenity, then Shathayu Retreat is definitely the place for you to be. At a little less than 15 minute drive from the Bangalore International Airport, Shathayu stands dreamlike, overlooking hills on 3 sides and a lake on the other. We headed to Shathayu for a weekend and we didn’t want to leave! Here’s what we did:
12:30PM – We left the city and headed towards our much awaited retreat
01:30PM – Within an hour we were transported to the serene world of Shathayu. Surrounded by verdant landscape, the place draws you in with its marvelous looking set-up. We were welcomed at the lobby with friendly staff who checked us into our rooms.
The luxury room comes with a balcony with a beautiful view of the lake and the plush greenery at Shathayu. With a queen size bed, a study, a couch and a TV, we had a hard time getting out of the room!
02:00PM – We head down to the dining area for lunch. Orson Welles said, “Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what’s for lunch.” That is exactly what we did when we were led into the dining area – a cute place that overlooks a lush lawn and frangipani trees. Our chef walked in and told us to relax and wait for the food to be served. We were in a for a gastronomical delight. Shathayu serves Sattvik food – food that has subtle & tranquil energy. The lightly sautéed vegetables and a crunchy salad along with rotis, steaming hot rice was like manna from heaven. Lip smacking!
03:30PM – Once we devoured the amazing food, we met with our consultation doctors to discuss our therapy options. We opted for relaxing and beauty therapies. We underwent the Abhyanga and Sweda therapy – A traditional Ayurveda body massage using individual, seasonal, ailment-specific medicated oils followed by steam. Abhyangam improves circulation, alleviate symptoms, pacifies toxins, nourishes the skin and tones up the muscles, thereby aiding relaxation and strengthening the body.
Followed by the Mardana with Sweda Therapy, a Deep tissue pressure-point massage with medicated oil for enhanced relaxation; highly effective in muscular aches and pains.
05:00PM – Once we were done with our respective therapies, we headed out to the Yoga and Meditation Hall for our customized session with the Yoga Instructor. The role of breath is very important in the practice of Asanas or Yoga positions or yoga postures. In Yoga practice, we integrated focus on breath during slow movements as well as while maintaining asanas or yoga positions. Our instructor allowed us to assimilate the knowledge he shared with us in the pristine yoga & meditation hall. As we came to the end of the session, I swear, we could have almost fallen asleep in that peaceful place.
6:00PM – Post our Yoga session, we headed out for a walk around the property to enjoy the sunset.
07:00PM – We were back in our rooms, catching up and treating ourselves to a nice cup of tea
08:30PM – We headed back down for our dinner. The chef had a scrumptious meal of grated apple & cucumber salad with just salt, pepper & lime dressing, lightly steamed cauliflower and zucchini with basic spices along with some herb flavoured rice. We rounded of dinner with two kinds of desserts – eggless banana cake with berry compote and burnt banana & raisins topped with berry sauce. To say we were satiated, is an understatement.
09:30PM – Called it a night and retreated to our rooms for some personal time and much needed sleep.
07:00AM – After a peaceful sleep, we woke up fresh and set out on a trek to explore the Nandi Hills.
09:00AM – Back at Shathayu for the most important meal of the day. The chef served us up with delicious Apple and Banana skewers with cinnamon and a South Indian feast of Masala Dosa, Pongal and Pudi Dosa. Keeping up with the season and weather we were served watermelon and coconut juice to flush it down.
10:30AM – We headed to the Meditation and Yoga Hall for our session where we performed the Surya Namasakar.
11:30AM – We set out to explore the Nandi Hills, Grover’s vineyard and Tippu’s Palace nearby.
01:30PM – We were back in time for lunch and as usual the Chef treated us to one of the most delicious meals. A rice platter consisting of nine varieties of rice – curry leaf rice, onion and garlic rice, mint rice, carrot rice, rosemary and garlic rice, coriander rice, veg biryani, garlic with black and white sesame seeds rice and traditional Kerala red rice. Since rice is abundant in carbohydrates, it acts as fuel for the body and aids in the normal functioning of the brain. We went into python mode after such a spread! You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too. And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.
03:30PM – Once we were done savouring our lunch, we went back to our rooms to relax & read! We proceeded to the therapy rooms at 3.30 PM, for our respective treatments. We underwent the Pizichil therapy – a procedure of pouring warm medicated oil in a continuous stream over the body; helpful in vascular, Neurological and Musculoskeletal disorders.
One of us went for the Swarna Kanti therapy – a combination of full body medicated oil massage with steam and herbal beauty scrub for exfoliation, skin tone and glow with improved blood circulation. This therapy was truly exquisite in its procedure and its effects. Your skin feels soft and post 24 hours, your skin visibly glows. Must try for soon-to-be brides as part of their wedding preps!
The other went with Shirodhara, a continuous pouring of decoction, oil or other liquid on the forehead and then allowing it to flow over the scalp. This therapy is deeply relaxing and de-stressing and is effective in anxiety disorders, insomnia (sleeplessness) and other psychological conditions. It is equally effective in many neurological conditions, headache, hypertension and many more.
06:00PM – We went for a walk around the property to relax
08:00PM – Headed for dinner. Food that evening was par excellence. Idlis sautéed in light spices and tempered with curry leaves & mustard seeds, sautéed vegetables with mixed herbs, rings made of snake gourds, coated with rice flour & spices and baked. The flavours were overwhelming and we just sat there, heaving sighs of satisfaction.
09:30PM – Headed to our rooms to enjoy our last night of peace and serenity. We sat in the balcony enjoying tea, good music and some great conversation.
We checked out the next day with heavy hearts to return to the city and our busy lives. All-in-all the our detox-wellness weekend was perfect at Shathayu and we at Go Magic Trails, whole heartedly recommend the spot as a must-visit for weekend and wellness getaways. They have great day-out packages for corporates as well as stress-buster packages for a quick stress-free holiday.
Head to their website to book your stay now, we promise you, you will love every minute of it.
Thing to look out for – Ziplock, Cycling, Bio Swimming Pool coming soon at Shathayu Retreat.