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Detox at Devaaya

Sinead Mcmanus

The ayurvedic and nature cure resort in Divar is a rejuvenation centre in paradise

I’ve been in Goa for nearly a decade now, but to be honest, have never crossed the river into Divar Island. Only recently did I go, and found myself regretting the slipped opportunities of the past. It’s the absolute ideal in natural wellness, and a stay at Ayurveda and nature cure centre Devaaya is like being shown a new world of holistic treatment.

There was a sense of excitement as I waited in the ferry, and Devaaya certainly stole my heart with its tranquillity. The décor and architecture is distinctly heritage, offering the ambience of a small Goan village with little Portuguese-style villas. The centre is positioned well with breathtaking views visible at all times of the day, more enjoyable however at dawn and dusk.

Owned by the Alcon Victor Group, Devaaya has a different outlook to rejuvenation and health rehabilitation. While it offers the conveniences of a five-star resort, it never loses focus. There’s a daily schedule drafted out for guests who avail of the centre’s health programmes. I was visiting on a teaser, but it was such a healthy and wholesome schedule, it would have been silly to spend my day otherwise.

All guests are invited to a consultation with Ayurveda and naturopathy specialists. The treatments claim solutions for chronic ailments and lifestyle management without side-effects. As part of the treatments, there is also a variety of holistic activities offered.

Our rooms were very comfortable – one of 60 luxuriously furnished and air-conditioned with views of the river, fields or gardens. Neatly laid out on our beds were the kurta-style house coats that the centre recommends for all day comfort.  Mornings begin early here, at 6.30 a.m. We joined in the common yoga session at sunrise, where we were led into surya namaskars and yogasanas. Heading on to the Manos Diet centre, you realise how different Devaaya is from a regular resort for it keeps the focus on holistic health.

Practices explained during the consultation are followed. Even the food is cooked and served keeping all the elements in mind. It’s all vegetarian, but delicious. Other than Manos, they also have the Amboi and Malar diet centres that cater to various ambiences.

The icing on the cake is the therapy types on offer. The Ayurveda and Panchakarma treatments include abhyanga, svedan, antar snehan, virachan, basti, shirodhara, pizhichil, sarvangdhara, navrakizhi, nasya and others, all done under the recommendation of a specialist consultant. The naturopathy treatments are prophylactic, in a way that they aim to treat the cause of the disease instead of the symptoms. It rejuvenates by removing the toxins from the body and alleviating ailments through massage, mud and hydro therapies, diet and exercise.

Generally, guests are required to undergo treatments lasting a minimum of a week to ensure maximum benefit. I got a small taste with a weekend rejuvenation getaway that I absolutely loved. The consultant recommended I get the udvartanam and traditional pizhichil massages.

Udvartanam is also known as a powder massage in which the body is rubbed down with dry medi-cated ingredients to reduce cellulite accumulation, improve circulation and enhance the skin’s tex-ture. Pizhichil is a combination of an oil massage and heat treatment. It is a much gentler treatment using medicated oils and enhances muscular tone and retunes the entire nervous system. It was only a short time, but I was already feeling the benefits of the experience I’d been through. My teaser made me realise how much my body and mind needed it, and left me wanting to return for more.

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