The sacred island
The grey skies of Scotland lighten over the Holy Isle, just off the larger Isle of Arran. It's here that the Centre for World Peace and Health, led by master Tibetan Buddhist Lama Yeshe Losal Rinpoche, offers courses and spiritual retreats between April and October.
According to the Global Wellness Institute, “wellness tourism” now counts for 14% of the global tourism industry andthis figure is expected to rise to 50% by the end of 2017. This explains why so many resorts have been quick to include yoga, meditation and spa facilities in their packages. The time has come to ditch all-inclusive party holidays in busy resorts for something more laidback that promises to heal both the body and the mind.
The wellness movement grew out of Asia, the birthplace of Buddhism, Reiki and Ayurveda. While the continent was once a mythical destination for adventurous enlightenment-seeking backpackers, it has since become more mainstream, thanks in no small part to Hollywood. Julia Roberts famously ate, prayed and loved, making the concept of travelling to find your inner self increasingly fashionable. Elizabeth Gilbert, whose book formed the basis of that hit film, chose to travel to India, the country enjoying the biggest boom in wellness tourism, with 20% annual growth now being predicted. One leading spiritual resort is Ananda
in the Himalayas, found just 22 kilometres from Rishikesh, the birthplace of yoga. The old palace of the Maharaja is now a refuge for those seeking peace and harmony. This is achieved through yoga and meditation techniques, combined with aromatherapy, reflexology and the use of Himalayan crystals to cleanse the chakras.