Gamyam – your ultimate destination for wellness
Close your eyes for a moment and take a deep breath. Now open them gently and as you read this, visualize this landscape in front of you. Imagine you are in the midst of a verdant woodland in one of the best wellness resorts in India. The skies do a happy dance as the balmy breeze teases the lusty leaves while they sway to a rhythm. I stand there, mesmerized listening to the sibilance of the crickets and the cicadas, and caught up in the whole drama of nature. The oceans roar, the waves crashing on the rocks, hugging the shore, only to be replaced by another. The salts of the sea tickle my nostrils as I gaze endlessly at the lush vista of tangled greenery. The rains tumble down, soaking my limp body, washing down all traces of fatigue while purging my soul. And at that moment, I just surrender to the will of the cosmos. I am at Gamyam Retreats, one of the pristine ayurveda retreats in India, where ayurveda and yoga are more than just buzzwords.
There are several wellness resorts in India and luxury retreats focussing on yoga and ayurveda and then there is Gamyam. It is not just another “pin” marked on your virtual map but the ultimate destination for wellness set in a luxurious setting. Tucked away in nondescript Kumta, in Uttar Kannada, on the northern coast of Karnataka and flanked by the Western Ghats, Gamyam is a brainchild of the Denissons Group from Hubbali.
The majestic mountainscape with its deep woods and the vibrations of the mighty oceans are known for their raw natural beauty, dotted with ancient shrines that lend a tinge of numinosity to the region. The virgin river Aghanashini finds her destination in the Arabian Sea, not far from the retreat itself.
Gamyam itself means the ultimate destination. But to me, it stands for a purpose to make wellness a priority in our lives. And that is why the first question that greets me as I come out of my reverie is, “What is your Gamyam, People come here to find their Gamyam,” At Gamyam, the therapists and healers believe in helping people find the alignment between the body, mind, and soul through trademarked “Soulistic” healing and well-being. Inspired by the principles of classical Ayurveda and Yoga, the Jnana or knowledge leads to spiritual awakening as well. Every guest who comes here realizes the need to be Aware, Alive, and Aligned as they get detoxed by Mother Nature.
This is where I begin my inward journey, losing myself in the lap of nature to allow the mind to find its own alignment and inadvertently seeking my Gamyam . We start with a tour of the 50 acres of pristine ethereal landscape which is a microcosm of the coastal ecosystem. Scattered around the vistas are tastefully designed luxury villas and a few pool villas but they are virtually dwarfed by the tall foliage that surrounds them. Yoga and wellness resorts in India take their inspiration from nature and at Gamyam, it is the picturesque scenery that sedates you.
The villas open into a little lush corner. Peacocks and peahens flit around while I can see woodpeckers and kingfishers from the private gardens. As I wander around, I can feel the blending of these five pillars that Gamyam believes in – Ayurveda for internal nourishment, Yoga for the physical transformation, Prakruti or Nature to heal from within, Jnana or Self Discovery that brings out awareness and mindfulness and finally Divine Energy to transcend to another sphere. This is where Oorja or energy rekindles your inner spirit as you lose yourself in one of the most luxurious wellness resorts in India.
The logo is more than just a representation of this transformation or a depiction of Yoga and Ayurveda traditions. Painted in shades of teal and aquamarine blue with a blend of gold and ivory, it is a maze that leads to perfect symmetry. The petals of the lotus describe the process from within- starting with the intention to the blossoming, the detox process leading to the divine. And as I walk around, I see murals that reflect the same thought through mandalas and spheres, while showcasing stories from Puranas and the magic of Ayurveda.
The rains are whimsical but the fragrance of monsoons is everywhere. The sun comes and goes too as we wander aimlessly around, listening to the whispers of the wind. The fresh musty petrichor is in the air as the earth flaunts her refreshed self. For me, it’s the perfect idyllic atmosphere to press the reset button. The meandering pool flaunts its curves as it twists and turns in front of the restaurant where a delicious six-course meal awaits me.
“It is not just about what you eat, but how you eat, ” am told, adding that while the food is vegetarian, it can still be gourmet delicacies, prepared on the principles of Ayurveda and integrating the four main flavours – Sweet, salty, sour, bitter. As the digestive juices ignite, we start with the sweet kheer or payasam and end with the dessert, while delicious soups and appetizing starters are served along with a sumptuous main course. I was prepared for bland simple food as most Ayurveda retreats in India serve them, but I realize that it is a misconception that vegetarian cuisine especially served in therapeutic retreats have to be insipid. The dishes are curated to detox the body and yet the fresh ingredients sourced locally from their organic gardens add to the rich flavours and make the culinary experiences delicious and wholesome.
My day begins with Yoga and Wellness regimes with Meditation, followed by discourses on Prana, or Life energy. People make places for me and these little snippets of conversation are cathartic. I learn to be grateful and mindful while practicing joy in every moment. ” Sometimes you just have to choose happiness,” says the pranic healer and yoga practitioner, Srikanthji. I am told to just breathe with a smile constantly playing on my lips. And that becomes my expression for the day. I have a private healing session with the Wellness Director and Ayurveda doctor, Prasanna Ji while I learn more about spirituality from Ramesjji, one of the Chief Architects of one of the heavenly wellness resorts in India. These conversations have an indelible impression on me.
The days are spent in silence and introspection in between therapeutic massages. As I walk around the picturesque villas and the cluster rooms and club rooms, I am led to the yoga and wellness section, where you are treated with ayurvedic massages, hydrotherapy, and the German thalassotherapy that is known to melt out cellulite and relieve joint pain through the natural use of seawater and seaweed. Besides detox programmes, medicines are given to relieve any ailment, be it a sinus or an allergy. My tired and stiff body is grateful for the featherlight touch of the therapists as they find the stubborn knots. The thalassotherapy is indeed a unique experience as I am scrubbed and soaked while allowing squirts of water from the bathtub to heal me.
The holistic treatment is customized based on your personal wellness goals and there are hardly any forced routines or regiments. Rejuvenation has to be natural and attained through a process of self-discovery, where the body decides what it needs and discards what it doesn’t,” explains the healers at Gamyam. The entire focus is however to slow down and press the pause button and for me personally, time does stand still.
A few years ago, I had embraced the concept of slow travel, but it was only in Gamyam, one of the serene ayurveda retreats in India, I understood the true essence of mindfulness. The pandemic has left us defeated and broken with our minds punctured with grief while our fragile bodies are exhausted but Gamyam is like a balm to the soul. The three days that swept past me, left me with indelible memories of comforting silence, soothing conversations, soft laughter, and insightful moments. And yet, I felt that something had stirred inside me, a new page had turned in the recesses of my mind. There is no magic mantra here, just simple and beautiful moments with soulful food, lots of laughter, rejuvenating massages, long walks, deep breathing, good sleep, and connecting with myself. But somewhere I knew a personal transformational journey had begun. I did find my Gamyam and yet I know, I have a long way to go .
When are you starting your Yoga and Wellness Journey towards your Gamyam ?