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The best version of you

The garden wing at thanyapura health and sports resort takes a holistic approach to wellness

March of this year saw the unveiling of Thanyapura Health & Sports Resort's upgraded 37-room garden wing. The resort itself is recognised globally for its highly acclaimed sports training facilities, frequented by some of the best athletes on earth. But there's more to sports than sports and top athletes don't just get to where they are with a fit bod and ruthless training. The body is just one part of the equation; to optimise its functioning and capability, experts are now confirming that one must also hone a holistic approach to health that factors in mindfulness and integrative medicine.

Photos courtesy of Thanyapura Sports Hotel Phuket

OK, you may not be a Roger Federer or a Gary Hall Jr, but we're pretty sure you want to be the best version of you there could ever be. Right? Being active and physically fit -- for yourself or to compete professionally -- is also about having a healthy mind and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Thus, comes the resort's focus on health and wellness. The Garden Wing caters to the individuals seeking the "optimised life", in every sense of the term. There are a myriad of customised programmes to choose from that'll be sure to optimise your well-being, furthermore designed specifically to factor in what it is YOU really want to accomplish for YOURSELF. But the most important thing is that, through these programmes, the resort educates and empowers its guests to make intelligent choices that help them experience a better life.

For us, we were looking for a detox. We communicated our wishes to the team at Thanyapura and they created a specialised, four-day plan for us. This plan consisted of plant-based meals, medical consultations, a nutrition consultation, a health and wellness consultation, colon hydrotherapy, abdominal massage, daily well-being talks, daily group and private yoga classes, private mind training, complimentary use of the 50m Olympic-sized and 25m training pools and complimentary access to the infrared sauna room. We were very busy.

Setting and accommodation

The resort's improvements are a reflection of Phuket's surroundings; there was green, green and more green, for as far as the eyes could see. The Garden Wing's new opening features a secluded and tranquil place for one to just breathe. We loved the fact that we had our own little private tropical garden and a view that captured the more mountainous side of Phuket. It's not just about beaches, you know! The room was spacious and the bed divine. All we had in the fridge were bottles of water and by the kettle, sachets of a variety of teas. At first, this was somewhat scary as we realised what we had really got ourselves into: a full-on detox. No coffee? Sugar? Biscuits? Alcohol?! What were we to do?! But once the shock settled in and we got used to the not-havingness, we were feeling a lot clearer and more focused on the mission at hand: detoxification.

Coconut & lemongrass panna cotta.

Nutrition

As the cliché goes, you really are what you eat and if you're wondering why your body is falling apart or you're not feeling great all the time, then being mindful about what you eat is key. Actually sitting down with a nutritionist might jog you in the right direction too. After we met with Marcela, Thanyapura's certified nutritionist and a Muay Thai fighter herself, alarms went off about where our pitfalls were occurring when it came to food. We highly recommend a sit-down with her.

Our meal plan throughout our stay was designed by Marcela and entailed a plant-based, vegan and raw offering. Now this may not sound too inviting but let us tell you that we didn't realise how absolutely fabulous "completely plant-based" tastes! No, seriously. From Raw cereal with coconut yoghurt or Cinnamon raw oatmeal to No noodle raw pad Thai, Zucchini lasagna or Berry rice tacos, every meal was a colourful rainbow of healthy bites that we literally consumed at lightning speed. Portions are what the ordinary eye would call small, but actually, they are just right and exactly what the body needs. We definitely became more aware of portion sizes during our stay and realised that our portions were usually so big because we were filling ourselves up with nutrient-poor junk that left us feeling hungry after an hour. Each meal at Thanyapura left us satisfied, for hours. Thinking about it now makes us really want to go back!

Treatment and therapy

Throughout our stay, we had a number of medical examinations and treatments that were in alignment with our goal of detoxing the body. These included a heavy metal screening, a mineral test report, with guidance on why it was we were experiencing such high levels or deficiencies of any one thing -- e.g. high aluminium is most likely to be caused by using deodorant, can you believe! Such tests encouraged us to be more mindful of what beauty products and toiletries we use regularly. We also had a bemer, which uses electromagnetic signals to improve any restricted blood flow and encourages the body's self-healing and regeneration processes. Another treatment we had was ionic detoxification, a therapy that reduces the body's toxic charge and stimulates the elimination of heavy metals and toxins into a footbath -- yes, we got great satisfaction watching all that gunk come out through the soles of our feet. Last but not least, we also tried colon hydrotherapy. Must we explain what this entailed? It's important to mention that after the procedure, we felt lighter, cleansed, less tired, less bloated and really so much happier. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Activities

Ok, there are a number of places in Bangkok where you could go and get a quick colonic and be done with it. Why go all the way to Phuket? We hear your reservations, readers. Well, emphasis on the word "holistic". You don't just become healthy by doing one thing. And health doesn't just happen to you, you've got to be educated in what's good and not so good for you, why so, and how you can make choices that will optimise your health. Health is also a process, and something that you must habituate YOURSELF in. A quick colonic, enema or ionic detox might rid you momentarily of all the toxins you spent a lifetime putting into your body, but what are the chances of you going back out there and carrying on with your toxic ways? If you aren't aware of the daily habits that are causing your body harm, then chances are 100% that you'll revert back to those bad habits.

Be it in the yoga classes, the personal training sessions, the mind training and meditation programmes or even the aqua exercise classes, the instructors at Thanyapura are not only experts in their field, but they are also absolutely experts in helping you tap into the highest version of yourself that makes you want to get better, physically, mentally, emotionally or spiritually. Let's talk about meditation for a minute. Being born in a Buddhist country and exposed to meditation very early on in life was still never enough of an incentive to sit down for more than 10 minutes to attempt even reaching a meditative state. But thanks to a session with Pierre at Thanyapura, who took the time to explain real-time facts and studies about why meditation is so powerful, such a state was made possible and now, meditating at least a few times a week isn't a prospect we look at with fear. Meditation is one of the most powerful tools you can use to unlock the highest version of yourself. If you go to Thanyapura, make sure you have a session with Pierre.

Insider's tip

Thanyapura introduced aqua exercise a few months back when it hired aquatics specialist, Polina. The aqua exercise classes Polina teaches are a completely different and more fun way of experiencing exercise and overall movement of the body and the limits to which it can go. Aqua exercise feels like anything from dancing and kicking to doing yoga under water. The calories you burn make it even more worth it and the benefits are endless. Polina also teaches aqua exercise classes and programmes designed to be taken during pregnancy or rehabilitation, if say, you've had a sports injury. It's here you'll find those moves you never even knew you had.

Also, there is a private library for only the guests staying in the Garden Wing. This may have been the highlight of our trip. Think: books; arm chairs with foot rests; endless cups of herbal teas; high ceilings; yellow walls; the smell of books and the sound of silence.

For more information or to book your stay, please visit www.thanyapura.com or www.fb.com/Thanyapura, call 076-336-000 or email reservations@thanyapura.com with promotional code "GARDENWING".

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