Kate Langrish finds a new perspective on life at Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa in Mauritius
As someone who’s always taken pride in thriving on stress and working best under pressure, my usual holiday routine is to take my week in the sun, chill on a lounger, drink the cocktails - then head back home for business as usual. So arriving bleary-eyed at Maradiva Villas Resort & Spa in Mauritius, I’m expecting much the same thing – albeit with swankier loungers. What I’m not expecting is a series of treatments that will make me rethink my whole work-life balance.
My first inkling this isn’t just your run-of-the-mill spa hotel is when my initial appointment is with an ayurvedic doctor rather than a beauty therapist. There’s no just picking nice-sounding massages from the treatment menu here.
Instead, I have an hour-long consultation with Praveen. I’m prepared for a lengthy questionnaire about my medical history, stress levels and so on, but there’s none of that. He just talks to me, looks at me and then studies my hands. So it comes as a bit of a shock to my inner sceptic when he comes up with an eerily accurate summary of my health problems, and, well, my life in general. My over-thinking is having a negative on everything (even down to fertility issues I hadn’t mentioned) and, gulp, I use stress as ‘a support’.
Even my fitness regime comes under scrutiny. ‘Running is not a good exercise for you,’ he says. ‘You use it as time to think and so channel your energy into your head, not your body.’ And I’d always thought of it as my ‘ideas time’...
So, home truths faced, Praveen creates a plan for my week, which will see my transformation from stress addict to chill-out queen through a mix of yoga, ayurvedic treatments, reiki and relaxation techniques. Sounds full on, but Praveen reassures me that the ethos of Maradiva is very much about taking things at your own pace. The whole resort oozes relaxation – there are only 65 villas, all facing the beach, so it feels private and secluded even when full.
My mornings start with a lovely yoga session. Overlooking the tranquil spa pool, it’s gentle and energising, and sets me up for the breakfast buffet at the beach-side restaurant afterwards (with all the fruit, homemade preserves, honey cut from the comb, and freshly made pancakes, I’m glad I’ve worked up an appetite). While afternoons are spent enjoying ayurvedic massages (a stress-relieving mix of massage, steam and a lot of warm oils) or practising the relaxation techniques I learned in my yoga class.
The only challenge is deciding where to practise – hmmm... the white sands of the beach, the infinity pool overlooking the sea, or the huge double lounger next to my own personal plunge pool?
Not sure which yoga style is right for you? We can help!
Suddenly, it's my last day and the last element of my plan is a yoga nidra session – a sort of half-way state between sleep and consciousness. My instructor stresses how important it is that I don't actually fall asleep, but as she talks me through different visualisations, it’s surprisingly difficult not to drift off.
Coming round from the hour-long yoga nidra session and waiting for my transfer to the airport, I feel quite strange. It takes me a while to realise what’s missing – the familiar knot of tension in my stomach that’s been with me for so long I hadn’t even realised it was there. And I resolve there and then that I won’t let it come back.
Find out more about a holistic health retreat at Maradiva Villas Resort and Spa. Direct flights with Air Mauritius and transfers with Mauritius Luxury Holidays.
Like us on facebook
Follow us on twitter
Other Hearst Magazines UK sites