Leave the rest and live from within

Panchakarma as a protocol is given only after due consideration, followed religiously and in its entirety, with the prescribed minimum of twenty one days…writes N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe.

Lifestyle and routines have changed in an entirely different manner after the Covid hit. The pandemic has taught everyone many lessons. Caring for people around us, personal hygiene a necessity, a work-home balance while WFH (working from home) but most of all it has taught us self-love, self-awareness, and a healthy lifestyle.

Physical and mental exhaustion are common today and cannot be addressed without taking the time out to making tangible life changes. Similarly, living with and accumulating stress is a habit, this needs to be dealt with awareness and stillness. Wisdom and practice need to follow to keep it in check. Vana, a Wellness Retreat nestled inside the Sal forest in Dehradun, Uttarakhand provokes you to rest and leave the outside world and live from within.

A diverse mix of people come to Vana, from different cultures, perspectives, ways of life, genders, and age groups. Some wish to focus on natural healing, choosing treatments and sessions to work on specific issues, tangible or intangible. The traditional medicine systems and complementary therapies at Vana are effective to deal with chronic concerns and health issues, for which solutions are sometimes elusive. Also, undesirable habits and stress manifest in all sorts of ways, making detox a focus for many. The retreat does not follow fad-based detoxes or prescribe detox for weight loss, as this causes more damage than the superficial or short-term results. Instead, various detox approaches are based on Ayurveda, contemporary nutrition, Sowa Rigpa, Naturopathy, and Traditional Chinese Medicine, uniquely.


Ayurveda or the sacred knowledge of life is a complete lifestyle philosophy in existence. Developed, and perfected over millennia and founded on Indian wisdom, Ayurveda is more relevant today than it has ever been.

It expounds that each individual is unique, in constitution and context. This makes the root cause of imbalances and suggested remedies equally unique. Restoring balance is given equal importance as curing disease. Long life is considered not as an end but a means to fulfill one’s spiritual journey, where Yoga plays a vital role.

The aspects of wellbeing, first articulated by Ayurveda, are emphasized in its approach physical, mental, social, environmental, and spiritual. The body’s doshas and mental gunas are balanced through diet, routine, discipline, ayurvedic medicines, yoga, and ritual prayers.

Highly qualified Ayurvedic doctors and formally trained therapists at Vana offer the full spectrum of Ayurvedic treatments. Panchakarma is a protocol that is given only after due consideration, followed religiously and in its entirety, with the prescribed minimum of twenty-one days.


While the world has embraced Yoga and allowed it to flourish, like with many things of profound nature, it has also been diluted, fragmented, and exploited. The Eastern traditions of health and wisdom should not be manipulated or followed in half measure. Approaching them with a narrow view or a sense of vanity is to miss the point entirely.

Yoga is awe-inspiring not because it mastered the understanding of the human body. But due to it seeing this knowledge as a means to develop one’s spiritual practice, working towards Yoga is the union of body and mind. This wholeness or union is a recurring concept in every major genre of Indian wisdom.

Under the skillful guidance of yoga practitioners, Yoga at Vana is comprehensive, practicing aasan, pranayam, and dhyan in group and individual sessions. Therapeutic benefit, structural alignment, coordination, mental strength, and healing are incorporated as objectives. Yoga is perhaps, one of the best practices to take back home from Vana.


Vana is one of the few places in the world where Sowa Rigpa is formally offered in its complete avatar. Tibet’s traditional system of medicine finds its roots in Ayurveda, Chinese medicine, and Buddhism. It is this amalgamation that makes it truly unique. Sowa Rigpa is governed by the Men-Tsee-Khang, the Institute of Tibetan Medicine and Astrology of the Tibetan government-in-exile in Dharamsala, India. Doctors and therapists are alumni of the Men-Tsee-Khang, from where all preparations are also procured.

Sowa Rigpa’s emphasis on the mind and emotions, integrated seamlessly into its approach, makes it one of the few to have embraced wellbeing in its entirety.

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