WELL, WELL, WELL
WORDS: ALISHA WADIA
PHOTOGRAPHS: JEREMIAH CHRISTANAND RAO
GREAT FROM Mumbai, Pune
GREAT FOR Taking care of yourself
Wellness has become the new cool, especially if you’re a city slicker trying to escape ill-tempered bosses and cabbies, and long lines at the local cupcake store. While the world and its Pilates partners are feverishly scrambling for turmeric lattes while counting calories, you can get your fitness fix at Atmantan Wellness Resort, the new kid on the wellness block.
The setting couldn’t be better, sprawled over a lush 40 acres in Mulshi in the wildly pretty Sahyadri Hills, which themselves boast healing powers with their crystalline rocks. In stormy weather, frothy ribbons of waterfall start poking out of rocky crevices and tufts of fog come creeping down verdant hills. With heart-stopping views of a steely blue lake and floor-to-ceiling windows from which to take it all in, you’re guaranteed happy vistas through your stay. The interiors, though, are in startling contrast to those nature-heavy views: think suede loungers in maroon, gold and blue, leather ottomans and shaggy carpets. Nevertheless, the resort promises you a proper mind and body cleanse. While you can spend days relaxing at the spa or the pool, do give the activities a whirl – your body will thank you for it.
Pick from the list of packages focused on shaving kilos off of you, balancing out your chakras, and erasing stress from every inch of your exhausted being as you nod off on the massage table. You start with a wellness consultation and body composition analysis that helpfully points out what you’ve been doing wrong and how you can fix it, ushering in a golden age of fitness. Sign up for yoga or Pilates and attempt to become an indestructible pretzel – it’s particularly soothing when practised at the scenic outdoor Prana amphitheatre (when it’s raining, classes are held in an indoor studio). Master yogic kriyas, or cleansing techniques, to rebalance your body and mind. Dance away your blues by learning Zumba or Bokwa (an African dance style) and work out like a Navy Seal on a TRX suspension-trainer in the wellness pavilion.
By now, you’re probably muttering, “Oh my quad,” and could really go for a bit of relaxation. Mercifully, the staff here is just as good at pampering you. Cool off in the indoor saltwater pool, hit the steam and infrared sauna and settle in for a massage. The abhyanga, an ayurvedic massage in which warm oils are slathered on in long, soothing strokes, is brilliant. It also makes you greasier than the Exxon oil slick, so watch your step getting off the table. Wellness first-timers can try the Atmantan Living Retreat package, which also includes the Chi Nei Tsang, a Taoist abdominal massage in which a masseuse pokes at your belly. While it’s every bit as uncomfortable as it sounds, it also helps release all the stress and toxins, giving your gut a thorough cleaning. The package also includes a Postural Integration session.
Eating right is a big part of being healthy, as any well-meaning physician will tell you. Fortunately, the meals here won’t cause you any mental breakdowns. Wholesome and organic, they’re little (you will be coaxed into taking smaller servings) flavour bombs of nutrition. You might start out stiff, but give it a few days and you’ll notice a lightness in your step and a delightful sense of well-being. This is one holiday where you’ll return with nothing sticking to your waistline except herbal oil.