Vana is located in Dehradun, India and a one-hour flight from Delhi international airport. From Dehradun Airport you will be picked up by a driver and you reach after 35 min Vana.
Vana is fortunate to be in India. Where wisdom, wellness, nutrition and food are seen interdependently. Not just within yourself but with everything. Even a modest study of the wisdom traditions born here, reveal these intimate connections; the body affects mind, food is sacred, harsh physical penance is not a pre-requisite for wellbeing, and so on.
Vana almost seems a contradiction – a forest touching it on on
e side, nestled between the city of Dehradun and the hill-station of Mussoorie. Over the years, the outside world has crept nearer to the 20-acre Retreat, and yet just inside its boundaries, one enters a different world. The Retreat’s neutral colored walls are seen amidst its trees and orchards, with pebbled paths and stone walls cutting through, bamboo gently swaying in places. Vana’s spaces are sometimes vast but always humble, seeking to evoke a sense of wellbeing. Held together by its skillful team, the experiences at Vana reflect its sincere intentions and generosity. Trees, plants, birds, monkeys, butterflies and insects all coexist in peace at Vana.
Surrounded by forest Vana draws inspiration from the qualities of a forest—a place that protects, nurtures and nourishes, providing space to discover and flourish.
Vana’s design and every element within it were created with love.
Each space and object was honored by considering its mission to evoke wellbeing, be coherent with nature, respect ecology, endure and refrain from indulgence. Antonio and Tomeu Esteva, Veer Singh, Siraj Saxena and the Vana Team gave everything to manifest Vana as we know it. This emphasis on design continues and has become a source of learning and a practice of discipline at Vana.
The approach to design was to take inspiration from nature and be in harmony with it. Some now describe Vana as being contemporary and its energy as special, even transformative. Vana never wished to align to a specific aesthetic identity, but its spirit and DNA are most certainly Indian, as is most of what you find at Vana.
A search for equilibrium, learning and the inner journey are at the heart of Vana. Reflecting on our first few years, we believe that we have achieved something unprecedented in wellbeing.
We strive for equilibrium and wellbeing that is whole, at times by going against the current. Our ambition is to make Vana a place of learning, where all who visit can contribute and share. Vana never intended to exclude; we want all to benefit from our commitment to transform. Vanavasis, team members and friends are invited to walk on the Vana journey with us.
Vana tries to stay in tune with seasonal and daily rhythms. This deepens awareness, discovery and wellbeing as a whole. Small details bring one to the present moment. Surrendering to the experience brings freedom and unexpected outcomes. The world appears different and the mind expands when we wander, this is similar to lightly embracing the experience of being at Vana.
Our aspiration is to make Vana a singular institution in the world and a place from where many positive activities spring forth. We will become more inclusive
and find unique ways to become relevant to young people too. Learning, teaching, music, creating, exchanging ideas and deeper spiritual practice shall steadily become a greater part of life at Vana.
Between just being, resting, treatments, consultations, interacting with Vanavasis and team members, a multitude of daily sessions, music, learning and more, life at Vana slowly takes over. Personal reflection, intuition, contemplation and practice further deepen the journey. With each aspect of life at the retreat, from its cuisine and aromas to occasional prayers, performances and celebrations, Vana remains deeply connected to nature.
Vana is beyond conventional labelling, and it is best understood by how we define it. We see wellness as a choice, a set of tools and a means to achieve
a coherent state of wellbeing. This harmonious state is rooted in spiritual wisdom for which physical, mental and emotional wellbeing are extremely helpful. With the recurring demands and stress placed on us by an intense and ever-changing world, our wellbeing requires continuous attention, care and effort.
Authentic traditions of wellness, medicine and wisdom have been brought together at Vana with creative thought, deep commitment and personalized support. These exist in spaces that are a homage to nature and the sublime. Nourishing cuisine, experiences for all the senses and a kind-hearted team complete the offering that is Vana. Ayurveda, Sowa Rigpa and Yoga have been thoughtfully integrated, yet rooted in their individual authenticity. Vana believes that by aspiring to achieve
our best spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual self, we can live life more wholesomely.
Vana’s group activities form part of a Vanavasi’s daily routine. Along with private treatments and sessions, these are an integral part of the Retreat Program. Each day includes Yoga, at least one form of meditation, Raag therapy and music offerings. The week includes cuisine lessons, interactions with our team, treks, fitness sessions and more. Each Vanavasi must find their own pace, leaving enough time for positive effects to settle in.
Vana is committed to the traditional systems of medicine from India and its revered neighbors. Ayurveda exists confidently and authentically at Vana and Sowa Rigpa or Tibetan Medicine is found unlike anywhere else. Yoga manifests unapologetically in its true nature, as a practice and philosophy, indifferent to how it is sometimes understood outside India. Traditional Chinese Medicine, naturopathy and homeopathy are also minor protagonists in our offering.
Vana will continue to explore the eclectic pool of ancient traditional medicine and contemporary therapies found in cultures around the world. This will add to the repertoire of treatments already offered at Vana, appreciated for their therapeutic quotient and as catalysts to healing.
Our highly qualified Ayurvedic doctors and formally trained therapists at Vana offer the full spectrum of Ayurvedic treatments. Panchakarma as a protocol is given only after due consideration, followed religiously and in its entirety, with the prescribed minimum of twenty-one days.
The synergy of our different wellness and cuisine teams helps us understand and respond to your needs and preferences. This is not always perfect but we do try our best. Our endeavor is to facilitate rest and healing but also learning and the forming of good habits. Food and its various expressions at Vana are inspiring, creative and thoughtful. Treatments not only provide immediate relief but work on goals, the mind and emotions.
Why coming to Vana?
The desire to come on retreat to Vana should be rooted in an aspiration
to rest, discover a better state of health, learn, be, be creative, eat well, develop awareness, find stillness, give to others, be with nature, and make progress on one’s personal practice and inner journey. One should strive to find more balance and yet be open to being provoked.
It’s also good to have a focus on some aspect of wellbeing and have a flexible objective. This might change when you understand Vana better
or we learn more about you, or even at particular inflection points during longer retreats.
There is no one objective that is the most common amongst Vanavasis. This represents the diversity of people that come to Vana, from different cultures, perspectives, ways of life, genders and age groups. Some wish to focus on natural healing, where we choose treatments and sessions to work on specific issues, tangible or intangible.
The traditional medicine systems and complementary therapies at Vana are effective with chronic concerns and health issues, for which solutions are otherwise elusive. Also, undesirable habits and stress manifest in all sorts of ways, making detox a focus for many. We do not follow fad-based detoxes at Vana or prescribe detox
for weight loss, as they cause more damage than the superficial or short- term results they provide. Instead, our various detox approaches are based on Ayurveda, contemporary nutrition, Sowa Rigpa, Naturopathy and Traditional Chinese Medicine, uniquely and not altogether.
Rest and a need to de-stress might be what you need most at Vana. Physical or mental exhaustion is not uncommon today and cannot be addressed without taking time out and making tangible life-changes. Similarly, living with and accumulating stress is a habit, which needs delayering, awareness and stillness to be dismantled. Followed by wisdom and a practice to keep it in check. Vana as a whole provokes you to rest and leave the outside world outside.
At the end of a retreat, most Vanavasis leave Vana with some sense of equilibrium and confidence, a warm heart and their energies balanced. One’s experience of Vana is also determined by how the mind chooses to perceive it and what one feels has been accomplished at the conclusion of one’s time here. Knowing fully well that it is only one step in a longer journey.
Mussoorie Road, Dehradun
(+91) 135 3911111
(+91) 80060 00952