A retreat with something for everyone
Have you been on a retreat yet? This sort of break has grown in popularity as a remedy for crowded schedules and stimulus overload. Retreats give us time to unplug, recover, rest, and grow. In the case of Thanyapura all of this is true, with the addition of an opportunity to challenge yourself through fitness and sports.
Set in the tranquil Khao Phra Thaew National Park, 15-minutes from Phuket Airport, it’s a one-of-a-kind facility covering 23 hectares. I’m not usually a fan of Phuket, but I chose this location because I’m at my happiest in green spaces; and I wanted an active break with relaxation-built in.
To say I was pleasantly surprised by Thanyapura is an understatement; I was blown away.
Go hard or go home
Several years into a commitment of continuous self-improvement, I had taken a “go-hard-or-go-home” approach to fitness. My “go-hard” meant daily running, gym, and classes – a huge change from a few years prior, but still with room for (self) improvement.
For me, exercise is the game-changer. It’s the tool I use to be creative, calm, happy, sane. It allows me to perform at work and stay grateful at home; it’s how I manage depression and anxiety. It’s a fundamental part of my overall approach to self-care.
Going at our own pace
My Thanyapura companion: a dear friend from forever ago, kind, hilarious, yogi, boxer. My standard fitness weapons of choice – running, Pilates, lifting. Hers? Aerial yoga, Muay Thai, spinning, and MMA. We set out with a pledge to try new experiences, classes, food, sports, while maintaining the balance between challenging ourselves and recuperating from our respective exhaustion.
We woke with the sun and the birds and slept to the sound of frogs and crickets. Our days were based entirely on our own agenda, energy levels, mood. I’d usually wake before dawn to run through the unspoiled national park; it was breath-taking. I felt genuinely lucky to be alive.
With 30+ classes to choose from including (amongst others) aerial yoga, bootcamp, Pilates, weights, spinning, boxing and dance, we experimented a bit: no bookings, no pressure. Afternoons were typically filled with assessments, therapies. We booked in colonic hydrotherapy, a chiropractic assessment, Intravenous Nutraceutical (IV) therapy, ice baths, mind training, some beauty and aesthetic treatments, and plenty of massages. A typical day for us included four to five classes; although one day I did just one activity and spent my time writing, sleeping, and recharging in the spa.
Let food be thy medicine
I am a firm believer that wellness should be approached from a position of education. Wellness covers a broad spectrum of psychology, physiology, functional medicine, nutrition, fitness and spirituality.
Like all good self-improvement holidays, Thanyapura has a team of in-house medics, specialists, and coaches that provides an (optional) opportunity to explore, learn and enhance knowledge that could help your detox, fitness, or wellness journey. For me, this meant spending time with the nutritionist to explore more low-carb plant-based options, followed up with a cooking lesson to try three new dishes from the recommended list. I had an in-depth physio appointment, some time with a meditation expert, and a full health and body scan with the medical doctor.
My goals were set with the on-site nutritionist prior to arrival, including my personal preferences. The details were pre-planned and discussed with the on-site nutritionists and doctors. I asked for a personalised, plant-based plan with 3 meals, 2 snacks each day, freshly prepared by a chef on-demand, anytime.
The ingredients are sourced locally, and the full menu includes meat and seafood options for those that prefer to make flexible choices.
You do You
Retreats are your time to focus on yourself. Selfish? Not one bit. My view is that if I don’t take care of my physical, emotional and mental health, I am of no use to anyone. My time at Thanyapura gave me a five-day window to focus on the things I love – running, yoga, meditation, weights, sleep, massages, and good, clean, creative food. I pushed myself and tried multiple new experiences at my own pace.
The travel and wellness industry is moving towards greater personalisation, reflecting the necessarily personalised nature of self-care. Thanyapura is no exception to this and we observed each guest enjoying a unique experience. From professional triathletes training in the 50-metre Olympic pool each day to tennis players on the 6 full size courts, power lifters and gym bunnies in the 900sq metre space to yogis, to those that prefer their retreats by the pool with a beer and a book – there is enough space – both literally and philosophically – at Thanyapura to do your own thing at your own pace. We felt “away”, which I suppose is at the very core purpose of any retreat, regardless of format.
Get the right fit
When considering a retreat, it’s important to choose one that matches your goals and expectations.
Whilst this sounds obvious, some have a rather rigid approach and if it doesn’t “fit” you may be left disappointed or looking for the nearest hotel. There are some fabulous resources out there to compare retreats and make the right choice for you and your wellness journey.
I plan to return to Thanyapura in January for a post-party-season cleanse, re-boot, and reset. I hope to see you there. If you’re looking for a different kind of retreat, head over to the experts in this genre, Compare Retreats at www.compareretreats.com.
WELL, will return to Thanyapura in January 2020 for a detox retreat. We have a special package for readers.
- Any time between 5-17 January 2020
- The offer is valid for 3 nights/4 days
- Package rate:
- Single: THB 25,565 per person per stay
- Twin: THB 21,590 per person per stay
- 3 nights accommodation at Thanyapura
- Round trip airport transfers
- 3 x breakfast
- 2 x plant based lunch
- 3 x plant based dinner
- 55 mins Thanyapura signature massage
- Thanyapura 360 Health. Please follow this link to view the details: https://www.thanyapura.com/health/health-360/#contact
We got advice about this retreat from the industry experts over Compare Retreats. Find, book and compare retreats at www.compareretreats.com.
Written exclusively for WELL, Magazine Asia by Sarah Keates