Since the Golden Age, royalty of India have enjoyed a little secret for beauty, rejuvenation and longevity. This secret is called “panchakarma,” Ayurveda’s premiere purification and healing ritual. The curative and transformational power of panchakarma is legend. Recently, Ayurveda, the oldest healing science in the world, has been enjoying a renaissance in the West. “Holistic” medicine is all the rage, and Ayurveda is the original mind-body-spirit holistic medicine.
Why is Ayurveda suddenly becoming so popular in America? We are living in an extremely toxic world. Chemtrails, pesticides, stress, GMO food, processed food devoid of nutrients, heavy metal toxicity, hydrogenated oils, etc. These are just a few of the modern hazards that are making everyone so many sick and dulling beauty and vitality. And what does modern medicine offer to combat these problems? Drugs, which only serve to increase your toxicities and imbalances, if suppressing symptoms. In fact, one local fashion designer I know of just had the worst flu of her life, after taking a flu vaccine! (Vaccines don’t work folks, save your money) Ayurveda offers a natural path back to youth, health and radiance.
The Fashion Elite of New York City and Los Angeles have discovered Panchakarma! Models, whose livelihoods depend on their looks, cannot be full of toxins. Everyone in the busy fashion industry, from designers, to press to buyers, to show producers, need to always look their best. This is the most image-conscious industry there is. Quite simply, there exists no better way in this world to de-toxify, rejuvenate and beautify than panchakarma. (Just ask Yogi Cameron Alborzian, the world’s first male supermodel, who is now one of the world’s top ayurvedic practitioners, and presently filming a reality show in Los Angeles about Ayurvedic Healing) Now that Fashion Week in L.A. is over, this is the ideal time to consider revitalizing yourself through a panchakarma program. (Also, according to Ayurvedic teachings, Fall and Spring are the two optimal times for detoxification.)
The word Panchakarma contains two Sanskrit words 'Pancha', which means five, and 'Karma' which means action. Together it means 'five actions' which shows clearly what Panchakarma actually is: an Ayurvedic treatment consisting of five different actions which clean the body from any kind of toxic material. Pancha Karma addresses the causes of imbalance and reverses their negative effects on the different body tissues by thoroughly eliminating the stored toxic waste. This fine tuning technique enhances energy levels, increases mental clarity, slows down the aging process and renews our sense of wellbeing. (Oh yeah, it makes you look really really good, as well.)
“A person undergoing Panchakarma attains longevity, memory, intellect, freedom from disease, youth, excellence of luster, complexion and voice, excellent potential of the body and sense organs, power of the spoken word coming true, respect and brilliance”
… from the ancient Ayurvedic text Charak Samhita
The most luxurious and beautiful Ayurvedic panchakarma treatment center I have yet discovered in North America is Villa Ananda, located on the Riviera Nayarit, just a little north of Puerto Vallarta. I have been to Villa Ananda now twice, and I can assure you, this place is a little slice of heaven on earth. Getting there is a quick, direct flight from Los Angeles, and the gracious staff of Villa Ananda will pick you up at the airport. Villa Ananda was founded and is managed by the lovely Mindy Reser , who is originally from Portland, Oregon.
Villa Ananda is located right on a private beach. The 6 guest rooms are cozy, well appointed and extremely comfortable, and all include a private patio and outdoor showers! Facing the front of the building is the mightly Pacific Ocean, and the lush mountains and tropical rainforests of Puerto Vallarta make a stunning backdrop. Many nights, we had bonfires and lively conversation right on the beach. Then the lull of the ocean waves peacefully and mesmerizingly lure you into a deep and refreshing sleep each night. So close to L.A., yet worlds apart. I could've sworn I was in India, Sri Lanka or Bali.
The grounds are meticulously maintained, and it is commonplace to see beachfront yoga taking place every morning. There is a beautiful large pool right next to the ocean, hammocks, conversation areas, beautiful gardens, a meditation hut and an amazing on-site Ayurvedic spa! And if you like surfing, you're in luck. The ocean directly in front of Villa Ananda is well known as one of the best suring breaks in Mexico. L.A., New York, Paris, Milan?? -- Forget about it!! Villa Ananda is paradise found.
The spa has fantastic feng shui. As you enter, there is a long hallway, with doors leading to treatment rooms on either side. You see, feel and hear the ocean, as you mentally unwind and prepare to be pampered like ancient Indian royalty. (Which you are! I understand what P. Diddy means by his branding "I Am King.") Certain experiences make you feel like royalty, and the Spa at Villa Ananda is one of them. I experienced the divine bliss of a 4-handed ayurvedic massage, with special oil custom-blended just for me. Also, the shirodhara treatment, which was a steady stream of hot sesame oil on my forehead, was surely transformational. For a complete listing of treatments available in the day spa, click here.
I could hardly conclude this review of Villa Ananda without talking about the food! Healthy vegetarian Ayurvedic cuisine is served for all meals, seasoned with delicious Indian spices like cardamom, corriander, fennel, curry, ajwain, ginger, cumin, etc. The veggies are from local organic farms, and they are delicious. Herbals teas like Tulsi and spicy Chai teas are also regularly served. I have to say, I think I look about 10 years younger! Thanks Mindy and Villa Ananda! Learn more: VillaAnanda.com
PS: You may be wondering how I know so much about ayurveda? Your humble editor is an ayurvedic health coach himself! I see clients locally in Los Feliz, West Hollywood and Santa Monica. You can learn more about my services here: http://ayurvedichealthcoach.com/