India Day 2: Himalayan bliss

What better way to start the day than being woken by a gentle tap on your door, signaling the arrival of your daily pot of sweet, lemon, honey and ginger tea?
Having bathed with the luxurious Ananda toiletries, one then gets to spend the day in your pyjamas – something I wouldn’t even contemplate at home! As I step into a fresh pair of cotton kurta pyjamas, supplied daily for our comfort at the spa, I reflect that the traditional dress in India is not only more comfortable in this climate, but much more flattering to a person of a certain age than the clingy, uncomfortable garb we tend to adorn ourselves with in the UK.
Our first day at Ananda spa was nothing less than 5 star incredible. Our schedule for the day, following a delicious, healthy breakfast, was a full one, but flowed effortlessly as it seems everything does here. Yoga will never seem the same after our Ananda experience, as a personal tutor coached just the two of us on the sunbathed green outside the spa. As we stretched and twisted we were wrapped in the surround-sound of birdsong and gently falling water. Bliss!
Ayurveda is one of the most ancient forms of medicine, so I was thrilled to have an individual consultation with one of the doctors here. This lovely man, having confirmed my Dosha type, advised me on not only diet but lifestyle. As I had expressed an avid interest in the science, he went on to explain a little more of the philosophy and how generations of his family have lived the Ayurvedic way. By the time we had finished chatting the talk of suitable foods had made my tummy rumble, so we made our way to the tree-top level, restaurant balcony where the chef personally presented our ‘Dosha specific’ menus and responded amicably to our questions about his work and experience.
The staff working at Ananda are all a breath of fresh air, compared to our experience of customer service in the UK. Everywhere you go you are greeted not only politely but warmly and nothing is too much trouble for these lovely people. As this is my first time visiting India I am itching to ask all sorts of questions about their dress and culture, but am trying to err on the polite side for fear of offending anyone, although I sense that these gentle people could not easily be offended.
So yesterday, having polished off another serving of their exquisite cuisine we returned to the spa for a cleansing sea salt scrub followed by a very much anticipated aromatherapy massage. My young Nepalese masseuse was a delight and she eased every painful, knotty bit in my body! By the end of the afternoon I felt like a new person, refreshed, relaxed and silky from top to toe. It is recommended that you refrain from showering for a couple of hours post treatment, which makes for a very unattractive hairstyle for that evening’s dinner. This is, I would guess, probably recognised locally as the “first day look”.
So our second day in heaven ended with another foray into the Dosha diet, following an enlightening,introductory talk on the Vedanta philosophy. As I headed for the best night’s sleep in some time, I thanked whatever God’s, Goddesses or guardian brought me here to Ananda and sleepily anticipated that gentle knock on the door next morning.

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