As an Ayurvedic practitioner I had been preparing for, and looking forward to doing “Panchakarma” ever since I completed my studies in 2011. Needless to say I had very high expectations; I wanted a traditional hospital providing the treatments that were described in the great classic texts of Ayurveda and I was hoping to experience the deep cleansing and rejuvenation procedures to the full, since this was also an essential part of my Ayurvedic education. I have progressively been changing my lifestyle and habits over the last years and was hoping to consolidate and gain additional knowledge about this beautiful science of life in an authentic, highly professional environment conducive to rest and contemplation – and all at a reasonable cost. I especially wanted to avoid a SPA type environment. It took me a lot of research but when I finally came across the Mitra Hermitage it seemed to match my requirements. I have just returned from 30 days in this wonderful place and I was not disappointed. If it were possible I would jump on the next plane and return there for another 30 days! I had been expecting some unpleasantness connected to the cleansing procedures and bland, uninteresting food… I needn’t have worried! The professional expertise of the Doctors and therapists was such that the entire process was remarkably smooth and gentle. I was carefully and caringly looked after, sometimes receiving three visits a day from the Doctors and all my needs and queries were answered. The Mitra Hermitage is a very simple and authentic hospital (no fancy spa-like facilities) but traditionally Ayurvedic and spotlessly clean, just what I was looking for. A family atmosphere reigns and this is what makes it truly exceptional in my view, if only our hospitals were more like this at home, our sick would certainly recover sooner!

As for the food, I found it to be utterly delicious, simple and light yet flavourful and creative, it was of course adapted on a daily basis to follow the treatments. I returned with lots of recipes which I intend to try even though it is quite difficult to find many of the ingredients in France where I live. I had one of the rooms in the beautiful garden overlooking the river and spent many happy, contemplative hours watching the birdlife and the boats paddle by… I managed to read at least ten books from cover to cover including Gandhi’s autobiography that I found in the library… which is a huge luxury as I never get much chance to read back home!

So, to conclude, I would like to thank the Drs Mahesh and Indu, Syam our delightful waiter and cook, all the wonderful therapists whose names I cannot recall and the yoga instructors for their beautiful smiles, their gentleness and their professionalism which made my stay at the Mitra so transformative and unforgettable. I now feel like a new person… and I hope to come back of course!

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