The most indulgent pampering may mean embracing the wild, willy outdoors
“Nature, time, and patience are the three greatest physicians,” says a Chinese proverb, bit of wisdom proven over centuries. For when man submits to lethargy—the indulgence of comfort, the pleasurable sense of minimal movement—the body grows weak. Lack of sunshine and fresh air easily causes health problems. Spending time on health, and primarily focusing on it, seems to be the goal of Aman.
In Amanemu, April springs into new versions of bathing—one of which involves less water and more oxygen. This is forest bathing, Shinrin-yoku, a practical concept where crowds meander through dense forests and soak in the natural light and the freshly brewed air exhaled by the trees. The journey begins at Kumano Kodo, starring five pilgrimage routes that meet at the centre of the Kii Mountains. The four-night retreat is then capped off with another Japanese tradition, a dip into the mineral hot springs. Water becomes the highlight in the 2000 square metre spa where the body submerges into an explosion of calmness, appropriately, in Aman’s first hot spring resort.
During summer this year, Amantaka in Laos and Amanoi in Vietnam presents a six-night Keksel Retreat, kek, meaning, obstacles; and sel, purification. Led by Tibetan Bon Buddhist Monk Geshe Chapur Rinpoche, this wellness journey promises spiritual harmony, starting with an hour-long calming, breathing exercises at sunrise, a 90-minute grounding massage, two daily 90-minute training sessions and meditative chanting in the evening. This retreat may very well havea lifelong positive impact on one’s emotional and mental wellbeing.
The white-sand secluded beach of Amanpuri in Phuket takes centre stage to a heart-pumping cadence of fitness in nature all year round. Alfresco yoga is an immersion into breaking usual stances and getting into revelatory stretches. Aqua aerobics sound more fun, especially when it involves a refreshing dip into the pool.
A wonder of many faces, the decadent moon becomes the wellness guide at Amanera’s Healing Through Lunar Forces. Local therapists knowledgeable of the age-old Taíno wisdom leads the curious to a silent marriage with nature. In the morning, stir awake into the beauty of sunrise yoga; in the mid-day, explore the diverse backdrop of the Dominican Republic through boat trips and jungle hikes. Lured by the lunar cycle, the three-to-five-night program pays tribute to the metamorphosis of the moon, from the energetic waxing moon to the enlightening full moon.If one achieves an epiphany, perhaps, even for just a few moments, gravity will cease to have its spell. www.aman.com ◼
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© This article was first published online in Jan 2020 – World Travel Magazine.