Ayurveda Resort Mandira Q&A With Catherine Turner12/10/2023, Healing Holidays
We recently sat down with the journalist Catherine Turner to find out what she thought of her recent stay at Ayurveda Resort Mandira in Austria.
As someone who has done a fair share of Ayurveda programmes, how do you think Ayurveda Mandira measured up against your others visited?
I was impressed at the quality and authenticity of the treatments, and how deep the detox was in the relatively short time I was there. While it’s not the same as travelling to India or Sri Lanka - to actually to find somewhere closer to home with efficient, high quality programmes is definitely a find.
There is an authenticity to the Ayurvedic treatments helped by the fact that many of the therapists are from India, but also the whole team seem to embrace the principles and understand and live the yogic lifestyle. I think this feeds through strongly from the owners Christina and Andreas - they believe in all the therapies, which have supported and benefitted them in their own lives.
And they are very much looking to keep updating the offering, as life changes and demands change. Not to jump on faddy trends, but to be dynamic and respond to the new. I get the sense they can do this because they have created a very solid foundation of great Ayurvedic nutrition, therapists and treatments in a lovely setting, putting healing of the individual at the core. I hope as they grow, they can keep this personalised feel.
What were its key strengths?
Its key strength is the personalised approach which comes from really good communication between all the therapists, doctors, spa manager and the restaurant team. Most other places I’ve been to, there was often a ‘disconnect’ between the Doctors, yoga, massage therapists and dining, so although there was always an overall prescription, it wasn’t necessarily adaptive and often felt a little impersonal.
The team is a definite strength. Therapists were all super knowledgeable, kind, genuine and able to react and change my programme daily - they use mini consultations to help with this. Reactions can vary so much during a week of detox and they would change treatments, add in different foods, supplements - anything which was needed for ‘in the moment’ support.
There is a strong thread that works through all the treatments and classes - helped by the fact that some of the massage therapists teach the meditation and yoga classes which brings things together.
What did you think was lacking or could be improved?
I’m not sure what it would be like for someone who hadn’t had any experience of yoga detox or being at a spa before? It took me a while to get my head around the routine, the class schedule and to find my way around the spa and to understand the different types of pools and saunas. I personally like discovering a place and its programmes on my own, but time is of the essence when you are on a short stay. So explanations of what’s on offer could be useful - simple short early evening workshops that introduce or zone in on a treatment offering or healing aspect (IV drips, types of massage, aspects of Ayurvedic herbs & spices, mantra benefits, crystals, Shamanic sessions, Styria’s thermal waters…).
What were your highlights?
- Abhyanga and Sekka oil treatment – I felt like I was actually in India!!
- Shamanic sessions with Gabrilella
- Consultation with Malini
- The food - particularly the Kitcharee which was delicious!
Overall, the results are great- it took 5-7 days back home to integrate as the detox was deep, but now I feel super recharged and refreshed.
Is it solo focussed, female focussed or a good mix?
It seems to be a good mix. There were plenty of solo travellers - mostly women - plus couples and a few groups of women. Overall it feels really comfortable to be alone - the Panchakarma dining room is set up so that solo travellers sit in the same area (each with their own table, but without feeling awkward to be dining alone). Then couples and groups are set nearby. The age range of guests is also varied, with the majority 30-60 somethings.
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|About The Interviewee |
After 28 year career in glossy magazines, Catherine Turner decided to quit her job as Beauty & Health Director at Easy Living to head for a remote ashram in the Himalayas. Truth is, she's always been a bit of a hippy with an obsession for yoga. On the journey to connect mind and body, she's had her chakras balanced, feet read, warm oil poured on her third eye and studied healing at The College of Psychic Studies.