112 CONNECT TO SELF
Three wellness experts share with Eve Tedja the philosophies behind Reiki, Ayurveda and chakra healing.
Unlock the power of Reiki, Ayurveda and chakra healing
Aholiday is an antidote to take our mind off stressful situations or negative emotions. We go on a trip to escape, heal and come home feeling a bit better. We sign up on a wellness retreat because we deserve some self-care and to prevent burnout. Sometimes, we need the help of experts who can assist us in getting well.
When we talk about well-being, it isn't just about signing up for a Hatha yoga class or eating a bowl of vegetable salad. It is an ongoing conversation about our body, mind and spirit. It is a journey, one that we have to learn and experience while being acutely aware and mindful on each and every step along the way. Prana, Ayurveda or chakra probably sound unfamiliar to some, but these ancient healing practices have been practiced for centuries by different cultures of the world. The question is, how we can benefit from this knowledge in our daily life. We talk to three wellness experts on how they define healing and what to expect from different healing methods for our mind, body and soul.
ENERGY OF LIFE
When we talk about well-being, there are chiefly three aspects: the physical, emotional and spiritual. As wellness manager of The Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali, Jitendra Pokhriyal is tasked to design a holistic programme which covers all of these three aspects. Bringing his expertise in yoga, acupressure, acupuncture, meditation, prana, and seven chakras healing; Pokhriyal is currently in his third year with the resort and is recognised as one of the leading experts in healing on the island.
Hailing from Rishikesh, India, Pokhriyal grew up in a Brahmin village under the shadow of the Himalaya. The holy Ganges River runs next to his house and students come from all over the world to his hometown to learn about the healing power of yoga and meditation. Through his upbringing, Pokhriyal discovered his path in healing and spirituality. He firmly believes in scientific spirituality. Healing needs to make sense first before one can accept and embrace the process.
Through personalised individual sessions with Pokhriyal, guests can learn about healing themselves. The Reiki Healing, for example, utilises prana or life force to balance the body’s energy. Prana healing believes that there are three energy channels in our body: the left nostril, the right nostril, and the spine. Simply put, by improving the quality of breathing and posture, we remove tangles and knots from our bodies and improve our energy flow. Through Pokhriyal's programme, he aims to add value to his guest’s life, physically, mentally or spiritually, during their stay. “Often, guests come here and tell me that they are having migraine, anxiety, digestion, insomnia, or back problems, expecting for some instant fix. More often than not, I found that their physical problem is connected with their emotional condition. Through Reiki, I can help them make the connection and heal themselves,” states Pokhriyal.
There’s hardly a more idyllic location for a retreat than COMO Shambhala Estate in Payangan, Ubud. It is a lush tapestry made of tropical forest and rivers, burly trees and evocative bird songs. A stroll on its grounds provides a soothing balm for one’s soul. As the first residential health retreat of COMO Group, the estate has increased its reservoir of wellness knowledge over the years. The result is visible in each and every detail of its four personalised wellness programmes. Renowned as the science of life, the resort's Ayurvedic Programme is a holistic approach to restore one’s constitution through a series of treatments, bespoke eating plans, exercises, and medication. A resident Ayurvedic specialist will provide a consultation based on one's medical history, followed by a physical examination, and pulse reading or nadi pariksha.
“Ayurveda is a 5,000 year-old wisdom, founded on a belief that human is a miniature of the nature, a microcosm out of the macrocosm. There are five elements in nature: earth, fire, water, air, and space. In Ayurvedic principle, we believe that the human body is made of these five elements in different portions which
we divide into three constitutions or doshas. There is Vatha with its dominant air and space elements, Pita with its dominant fire and water elements, and lastly, Kapha with its earth and water elements. To be healthy, in body, mind and spirit, a person has to recognise his or her own dosha and make sure that the elements are in balance,” explains Dr. Saraswathi Dwarakanath, the current Ayurvedic specialist of the estate.
This recognition of the different body types and their needs is what makes Ayurveda special, apart from the obvious benefits, which include weight loss, stress relief and detoxification.
It is a way of life and not an instant fix. Apart from relaxing treatments such as Abhyanga and Shirodara, where a rhythmic massage using herbal oil is used to stimulate the blood circulation and improve clarity of mind, taking a pranayama and meditation class is suggested to complete the healing process. “Healing comes from awareness within oneself. When one wants to get better, a change has to be made in the subconscious mind. To go there, one has to be calm, be at peace, and stop thinking. That’s where breathing exercise and meditation come handy. Healing is a continuous practice of mindful awareness,” states Dr Dwarakanath.
“I am not a healer, think of me as your spiritual friend,” says Heny Ferawati, Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan’s resident wellness mentor. Warm and genial, Fera as she prefers to be known, was a Buddhist nun. For seven years, under the name of Aggasavika, she dedicated her life to Buddhism and found peace in the serenity of temple life in Myanmar. “I was deeply unhappy and I didn’t understand the reason of my unhappiness. During my time as a nun, I learned a lot about myself and when, because of personal reasons, I gave up my robe in 2014, I found that I am healed. I have wholeheartedly accepted who I am and became a good friend to myself. That’s something that I want to share with the guests here,” shares Fera who admits that her current occupation is the continuation of her practice as a nun.
Nestled within the prolific valley of Ayung River, Sacred River Spa is a dedicated sanctuary for wellness. It focuses on restoring the balance of seven chakras through rituals, meditation and treatments that covers body, mind and spirituality. The seven chakras, or wheels, are the centres in our bodies in which energy flows through, starting at the bottom of the spine to the top of the head. Each of the chakras is associated with a different
Jitendra Pokhriyal, wellness manager of the Westin Resort Nusa Dua, Bali
The usage of warm herbal oil on the skin encourages the release of toxins, calms the senses, and provides relief from an overactive and distracted mind.
Pulse reading is essential to determine one's well-being and dosha in Ayurvedic medicine.
Nature is never far at COMO Shambhala Estate