After a very long unrestful day of travel, we were exhausted but still very excited to be in India. Thankfully, the moment we stepped out of the airport we were greeted by our driver and started our journey to Rishikesh. The drive to Ayurveda Bhavan was a very interesting one. As we journeyed through rural areas, on partially unpaved roads, we had a glimpse into the daily lives of the locals. When we drew closer to our destination, we passed through an animal preserve rich with elephants, Bengal tigers, sloth bears and monkeys. We saw several Rhesus monkeys alongside the roads observing us as we passed them by.
My favorite part about reaching our final destination was the improvement of air quality. New Delhi has very polluted air, so dense that it was difficult to see. It was similar when after our connecting fight to Dehradan. Luckily, Ayurveda Bhavan’s proximity to the Himalayan foothills provided the clean crisp air I’ve come to expect when being near mountains. The facility is located within a gated community where we were greeted by the manager.
We were welcomed with open arms and given marigold leis to wear. The freshness and cooling effect of the leis was a welcomed opportunity to cool off in the high temperatures of the region. We were escorted to our rooms and given the opportunity to rest before going to our consultation with the doctor. The modest rooms had everything needed for us to relax and unwind, including a good working air conditioner.
After a little much needed sleep, we met with the doctor to get our individual consultations. The procedure was thorough and the doctor explained the fundamental of the treatments to me at length. Their board certified MD also joined the consultation to take my blood pressure and way in on my treatment plan. I found them both to be very pleasant and professional.
My first round of treatment was a traditional Ayurvedic massage which left my body feeling amazing. The massage involves a very liberal amount of oil and I do mean liberal. This is in part to help draw out toxins but also to increase energy and blood flow throughout the body. I was provided with some disposal under garments for modesty and also to prevent my own clothing from being stained by oil. I’m not ashamed to say that I fell asleep several times during the body work which consisted of a 4 hands massage. The masseuses were professional and applied the perfect amount of pressure. At the end, I was directed into a shower with special soap and shampoo to help remove all the oil.
After my treatment, I headed over to the communal dining area were I was served a variety of freshly prepared vegetarian food. The meal was well balanced and nutritious. I was happy to see a sign posted on the wall that encouraged guest to interact with each other and declared that it was an internet free zone.
My first day was a great introduction into the healing world cultivated at Ayurda Bhavan. I headed up to our room feeling relaxed, at peace and very welcome. I am very excited to discover was the rest of my time here has in store.