Instagrams for the soul

My article on Wellness trends appears as ‘Eat.Pray.Love‘, in the new Vogue Wellness Guide, along with the JULY issue of Vogue. Go get your copy! It has a list of the best fitness, food, spas, ayurveda detox, apps, alternative healing and new age therapies.

vogue wellness guide

Whether it’s a bit of spiritual ecology or the ultimate body cleanse the wellness seeker is finding new directions in 2014.

The Detox Vacation
It’s a cross between rehab and wellness as people opt for serious detox vacations, usually long stay, with the sole purpose to cleanse the annual toxic build up in the body and mind.
Choose a 21-day disease reversal programme with SHARAN’s Dr Nandita Shah, crusader for Peas Vs Pills. She combines an alternative vegan diet, yoga and meditation to reverse diabetes and cardiac issues.
Try an intensive internal cleanse at Bangalore’s famous Jindal NatureCure centre with mudpacks, hydrotherapy, enemas and fasting on the menu. Eat your way through Sha Wellness Spain’s macrobiotic food only gourmet detox where the focus is on holistic wellness.
For a true soul cleanse check in for a tough sixty-day vipassana retreat. Part of it is spent in a solitary meditation cell and all of it in silence. It is the best mental detox you can give yourself but it takes a lifetime to qualify for the centre’s uncompromising conditions beginning with an intensive ten-day programme.

Brainwave music
It’s called Brainentrainement or altering the brainwaves using frequency waves to alter your mood. Binaural beats claim they can actually change the frequency of the brain making the body produce all the good endorphins, serotonin and opiates needed for euphoria or relaxation. Much like the body does when you go to the gym or get an adrenaline rush on a roller coaster. Their CD’s (to be heard only with headphones) can lull you into state of deep mediation, dissolve headaches or put you on a legal digital ‘high’. Sounds a bit scary but if it gets rid of those migraine headaches or insomnia it may be worth checking out.

Let your phone remind you to live in the moment with apps like Buddhify2 for minute to minute mindfulness, Calm for stress relief or Deepak Chopra’s GPS for the soul. Stay in a state of optimal fitness with a Hot5’s five-minute workouts, Runkeeper and Nike Training club. Live stream a yoga class or a satang with Moojie, a Jamaican advaita guru live from Rishikesh. Have an online session with Nithya Shanti the ‘happiness’ guru. With so much available at your fingertips you have no choice but to stay well. Don’t overdo it -you may have to check in for digital detox.

Ancient grains
The buzzword is no longer organic, it’s ancient. A trend originating in the US as a backlash to genetic modification and seed monocultures, this is the search for ancient grains and seeds that are still being farmed and consumed, as they were millions of years ago in parts of India, Bolivia, Europe, Mexico and Chile. They are super rich in nutrients and healing. Think quinoa, teff, millet (ragi) amaranth (rajgira), spelt and the new favourite chia (sabja or basil seeds). Navdanya seed bank in Dehradun collects and banks seeds from small framers for a better future. Go to for more.

Pure air
We’ve always known the healing power of the earth’s natural resources. Think Dead Sea minerals in Jordan or sulphur springs in the Himalayas. Now the world has woken up to the fact that there simply isn’t enough clean air to go around. Air pollution is the fifth largest killer in India. Never mind the carbon credits, earn your ‘air miles’ in 2014 with trips to Patagonia, Samoa, Iceland and Tasmania -the last places left with pure unsullied air in the world. Inhale, exhale and feel the energy levels rise.

Psycho spiritual tours
The spiritual traveler is a seeker who travels imbibing the best spiritual practices from cultures and teachers across the world. The journeys could take you to places with powerful vibrations and electromagnetic waves or retreats with Great Teachers. It could be a kaal chakra initiation with the Dalai Lama in Mcleodganj, Inner silence retreats in Bhutan, walking with shamans in Machu Pichu, having an emotional catharsis in a Native American sweat lodge ritual, or sailing into the Arctic glacier with a Healing Master. The inner transformation is far more important than the outer journey. Specialist tours are available. Mala Barua of Mystic tours puts together an annual a yearlong calendar of wellness cum spiritual tours for those on the alternative path.

Rooibos tea
Move over black, green and white. It’s now the turn of red tea or rooibos to stake its claim as the healthiest tea. Not strictly a tea leaf rooibos is delicious with milk or the healthier option, a slice of lemon. It is loaded with anti oxidants, vitamin c and more flavonoids than green tea. It is also caffeine free and has lower tannin content than any of the others. Found in South Africa rooibos is used in many African spa treatments and beauty products because of its anti oxidant goodness.

The wisdom of the Enneagram
Are you a Loyalist, a Reformer or an Investigator? You could be one of nine personality types described in the Enneagram and you could find some surprising answers as you go deeper. Currently very popular for those on the path of personal growth, the Enneagram has mysterious beginnings tracing its origins back to Sufi mystics, and Greek philosophers. Its modern Form is only a few decades old. It is a personality test on one level but it has many complex layers and interpretations. Read more about it in the book The Wisdom of the Enneagram .For real growth and breaking of blocks enroll in a workshop with a skilled teacher. Try Vijay and Nillimma Bhatt at

‘Fizzy’ yoga
Patanjali the founder of yoga may have never foreseen how popular his method would be thousands of years later but there is a new yoga on the block every year. We have lived through Bikram yoga, tantsu yoga, bro -yoga, power yoga and aerial yoga. Now it’s the turn of ‘fizzy’ or physiyoga to gain popularity. It combines yoga and physiotherapy and is especially helpful if you have sports and gym injuries to deal with. What you will get is guided stretches and a yoga programme built around your body’s alignment needs.

vogue wellness geeta

3 Comments Add yours

  1. veengupta says:

    Very interesting read, Geeta.
    Finally our health depends on choosing the right exercise, diet, meditation and relaxing routine we choose. Nice to know about the various choices available.

    1. Geeta Rao says:

      thanks for the comment – you are such a good example of someone who manages to balance mind,body and soul!

  2. Liked your reference to clean air!

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