During this reportages we will be exploring 10 of the best Retreats and Wellbeing center in the world. The idea came after visiting one hidden gem in Poland The Papuga Park Hotel during the “Urbban Fusion” Art & Fashion Festival in Bielsko Biala.
Kickstart your wellbeing journey with a wellness retreat
Whether you are looking to shed a few kilos, rev up your fitness game or get in touch with your spiritual side, we’ve rounded up our top 10 wellness retreats to recharge and reboot.
1. Kamalaya, Koh Samui, Thailand
One of the best wellness retreats in Asia, Kamalaya is famous for its beautiful property and holistic treatments such as Ayurveda, Naturopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Built into a steep verdant hillside in Koh Samui, Kamalaya has some of the best sunsets on the island. The beach is also accessible from the retreat and makes for great relaxation in-between treatments. Kamalaya offers a series of wellness programs, including Detox, Stress & Burnout, Emotional Balance, Yoga, Ideal Weight, Structural Revival, Sleep Retreat, Optimal Fitness, as well as tailormade retreats. The delicious food at Kamalaya is phenomenal. You won’t be missing anything if you decide to eat healthy during your retreat. However, there are meat, coffee and alcohol options.
Developed in response to a growing need from existing guests, Kamalaya on Koh Samui, which is a multi-award-winning wellness sanctuary and holistic spa, has formulated a 5, 7 or 9-night Sleep Enhancement program. In a society, where the use of technology is increasing, and long work hours and added daily stresses are adding to insomnia or poor quality sleep, such a retreat can be life-changing for many guests, including myself.
I never realized how bad my sleeping habits were or the lack of it, until I went on this 5-night sleep retreat.
Focusing on re-establishing healthy and peaceful sleep that is recharging, not only during the retreat, but also long after when you are back in your own environment, the Sleep Enhancement package addresses sleep issues from many different angles. The difficulties are approached on numerous levels, including the physical, mental and emotional.
The program, which was developed by Kamalaya co-founder Karina Stewart, doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), drew from a range of different therapies including naturopathy, TCM, massage therapy, and mind-body balance similar to coaching. Treatments incorporated acupuncture, yoga, Shirodhara, Royal Ayurvedic massage, meditation, as well as herbal foot baths with hand and foot massages to open the heart chakra.
Herbs and supplements were also added to my daily diet, which I tried to keep as healthy as possible. I refrained from coffee and alcohol, but still had some carbs and sugar here and there. Furthermore, I also enjoyed wellness mentoring with a naturopath, who analyzed my lifestyle factors and behaviors and then offered constructive suggestions and adjustments, such as the introduction of a nightly ritual.
The idea is to wind down by about 9pm and turn off all electronics, so the brain doesn’t continue to be stimulated and is preparing itself for sleep instead. Have a shower and read a book, and catch yourself as the melatonin production kicks in, and then head to bed. If you don’t go to sleep during that particular time, your cortisol production will go back up, which then results in being wide awake again. This can be useful if you’re working late and you have a one-off deadline to meet, but it can be detrimental to your health if it is an ongoing habit.
Creating the optimum sleeping environment is also a huge factor in getting enough zzzs. I was able to select my very own pillow from an extensive pillow menu, and I was handed an eye mask to block out any light to achieve optimal melatonin production. I was also asked to listen to soothing and calming music for about 25 minutes before going to bed.
Most people don’t realize how big of a role sleep plays in our overall wellness and performance. Only when I started to fall asleep during each and every treatment, I realized how much I was lacking sleep, and that I was suffering from nervous exhaustion, a widespread ailment many urbanites struggle with, coupled with depression or mood swings. But sadly, most people don’t actually know where the source of their unhappiness lies, when, often, a regular sleep cycle could take care of numerous disorders.
Getting enough sleep is a key ingredient to optimal wellness and vitality, and an inadequate amount of sleep can be linked to higher risks of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and even colon cancer. Recent research shows that healthful sleep has proven to be the most influential factor in promising longevity, much more important than exercise, diet and genetics.
Sleep related issues can be complex with various sources, such as diet, lifestyle and physiology, as well as psychological and emotional causes. Depending on the underlying issue, it can take days if not months to re-establish a good sleep rhythm. But with the Sleep Enhancement retreat, Kamalaya manages to address all of these factors, setting the foundation for continuous healthy shut-eye.
The sleep Enhancement program is part of an extensive list of wellness packages that are available at Kamalaya, which is centered around a tiny Buddhist cave temple. The whole property has a serene feel, making your stay even more rejuvenating and peaceful. The food and the daily morning tonics are delicious and healthful too, and the luxurious villas and rooms make it the ultimate getaway. Have we mentioned the sunsets yet?
Stay tuned and wait next week for the retreat number 2