Vana Wellness Retreat
Vana Retreats, Vana Malsi Estate, Mussoorie Road, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248001
Vana is a wellness retreat in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India. A search for equilibrium, learning and the inner journey are at the heart of Vana. We are a refuge for all beings, and are beyond conventional definitions. Vana means forest, and those that take abode within it are Vanavasis.
LIFE AT VANA
Vana almost seems a contradiction – a forest touching it on one side, and nestled between the city of Dehradun and the hill station of Mussoorie. Over the years, the outside world has crept nearer to our 20 acre Retreat, and yet just inside its boundaries, one enters a different world.
The Retreat’s neutral coloured walls are seen amidst its trees and orchards, with pebbled paths and stone walls cutting through, and bamboo groves gently swaying. Vana’s spaces are sometimes vast but always humble, seeking to evoke a sense of wellbeing. Held together by its skilful team, the experiences at Vana reflect its sincere intentions and generosity. Trees, plants, birds, monkeys, butterflies and insects all coexist in peace at Vana.
Vana tries to stay in tune with seasonal and daily rhythms. This deepens awareness, discovery and wellbeing as a whole. Small details bring one to the present moment. Surrendering to the experience brings freedom and unexpected outcomes.
Time seems to stand still at Vana and yet goes by quickly. Between just being, resting, treatments, consultations, interacting with Vanavasis and team members, a multitude of daily sessions, music, learning and more, Life at Vana slowly takes over. Personal reflection, intuition, contemplation and practice further deepen the journey. With each aspect of life at the Retreat, from its cuisine and aromas to occasional prayers, performances and celebrations, Vana remains deeply connected to nature.
The Vana Calendar marks seasons, auspicious days, phases of the moon, festivals, and important days of prayer. These are then revered through music, prayer, cuisine and creative expression. It is Vana’s way of paying homage to wisdom, our traditions, to nature and those beings who have contributed to our life in a profound way. The Retreat has daily quiet hours, conducts various Pujas throughout the month and makes daily music offerings. These pay homage to our Gurus and deities and are done regardless of participation by Vanavasis, for the benefit of all beings.
Vana’s group activities form part of a Vanavasi’s daily routine. Along with private treatments and sessions, these are an integral part of the Retreat Program. Each day includes Yoga, at least one form of meditation, Raag therapy and music offerings. The week includes cuisine lessons, interactions with our team, treks, fitness sessions and more. Each Vanavasi must find their own pace, leaving enough time for positive effects to settle in.
Spending time alone and also with others are both encouraged at Vana, as is varying the degree of social interaction during your Retreat. It is normal to feel low at the start of your time here, as the body often purges its tiredness and fatigue, finding itself in a safe and comfortable environment, being cared for and nurtured by our team. Anxiety, frustration or irritation might also arise during longer retreats, providing lessons in impermanence and opportunities to develop one’s spiritual quest. However, challenging emotions are greatly compensated for by moments of genuine peace, gratitude, joy and contentment.
At the end of a retreat, most Vanavasis leave Vana with some sense of equilibrium and confidence, a warm heart and their energies balanced. One’s experience of Vana is also determined by how the mind chooses to perceive it and what one feels has been accomplished at the conclusion of one’s time here. Knowing fully well that it is only one step in a longer journey.