Long ago, way before the Beatles visited Rishikesh with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi; India was a popular destination for tourists who came seeking peace and spiritual freedom. But then the recent years saw an explosion in the health and wellness travel arena. Oprah Winfrey, Steve jobs and Mia Farrow are few who came to India for a life changing experience. Let us not forget the book Eat, Pray, Love that showcased Julia Roberts visiting India seeking peace of mind and clarity of thought. Even though the South East Asian countries are renowned for being all about wellness, India has caught on quite rapidly. With the growing number of health care centres and wellness spas, India sure seems to have taken the Numero Uno spot in this aspect.
The NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers) defines Wellness as “a state of a healthy balance of the mind and body that results in overall well-being.” As per a recent study by the Stanford Research Institute International, the global wellness industry represents a market of nearly US$ 2 trillion as opposed to the Indian Wellness Industry, which is a US$ 9.8 billion market; accounting therefore, for less than 2% of the global wellness industry. It is interesting to note the manner in which this industry has used the business potential of traditional Indian practices and home remedies and has moved from being a notion about luxury services to becoming a necessity. This is attributed to the fact that people want to live longer and healthier lives and so wellness, at some level or the other, is no longer the comfort of the rich.
It is believed that with the active involvement of the government and private participants, the wellness industry in India can create visible impact on a global scale. By 2015, wellness services alone are expected to have the potential to generate three million job opportunities
Another thing that India is renowned for is yoga, the concept of mental physical and emotional wellness. Yoga has been around for centuries and known to help people clear toxins in their system and make a difference to their lives
Some of the popular resorts or places that people go to across the country are,
rVita Ayurveda therapy and yoga Center, Chennai- A center that gives people an opportunity to get healthy and fit. The center offers treatments across oil massages and therapies, treating various ailments both simple and complicated. People who visit here also taught the benefit of Ayurveda, the diet and lifestyle.
Shreyas Yoga Retreat, Bangalore- For those who are looking for yoga based treatments amidst lush comfort, this is the best place to visit. Spread across 25acres of garden, the place has comfortable accommodation, yoga sessions and other activities as well. There is a luxurious spa, swimming pool and library within the campus for visitors to enjoy. The rates here start at $270 [Taxes extra] for a single poolside/garden cottage that includes all meals.
SwaSwara, Gokarna- Imagine doing yoga on the beach, walking along the ocean shoreline, well that is what you get when you visit SwaSwara. Apart from yoga, there are meditation sessions, and ayurvedic treatments also provided here. They are quite liberal with their rules and even offer wine with the meals, even though no meat is allowed. The place is quite high end with prices starting from $2,750 for 7 nights, including tax.
Few other such places are Ayurvedagram and Soukya in Bangalore, Indus Valley Ayurvedic Centre in Mysore, Ayurvedic Natural Health Center in Goa and Kairali Ayurvedic Health Resort in Kerala that one can explore when travelling to India for wellness purposes. And then there are the popular spas such as Senza and Oryza that are renowned for their therapies and treatments.