I don’t remember a time when I haven’t been travelling. As an infant, as a young girl, as a pregnant woman, as a mother of two teens or as a creative soul, I have always kept moving, never being in one place for too long. Covid-19 changed the way of life for each one of us. But that doesn’t mean we stopped living. We had to opt back in, resume life. And life, as I know it, has been travel.

Witnessing the wilderness at Woods @ Sasan
Witnessing the wilderness at Woods @ Sasan.

And the first trip I took after the onset of Covid-19 has been to heal. To heal from the externalities that plague us, be it the virus, our own insecurities or lately, the news. I had to step out and take a breather to allow myself to reset to a world where  the Coronavirus may be alive and well, but we will be stronger, physically and spiritually. I took a 6-hour drive and made my way to Woods at Sasan, an eco-conscious lifestyle & wellness retreat. It’s an oasis within a mango orchard built on the principles of Biophilia, an innate tendency to connect with nature. Every element and experience of the resort has been designed to relate to Mother Earth on a tactile level.

Pathways designed around nature
Pathways designed around nature.

As I drew closer to the retreat, the sky became clearer, air was fresher until I was surrounded by nothing but bright greens and a clear blue sky dotted with white balls of cotton. I am led to my room amidst mango trees (over 280 of them), vegetable garden patches and sprawling lawns. There is a stark silence that is soothing as it makes way for birds chirping. I made my way for lunch at Terracotta, their restaurant where the chef met with me and asked me all about my dietary requirements. I was then served a hearty North-Indian meal that stripped all the fatigue of the journey away.

Quinoa & Lentil Salad for breakfast.

My healing began that very evening with a Pottery session. The retreat inspires soulful experiences, one that allow you to unblock your internal road blocks and that happens when you’re willing to put in the work. As the pottery wheel swirled, the 6-months of quarantine chaos in my head began to straighten itself out. It was a quiet evening as I walked around the retreat and a dinner under the star-lit sky at Al Fresco. You do not want to miss on their Chicken Tikkas, melt in your mouth soft.

Tactile therapy over the pottery wheel
Tactile therapy over the pottery wheel.

My healing journey kickstarted the next morning with a delicious spread of an organic, vegan, gluten-free breakfast. What started with shots of carrot and spinach energy boosters, moved ahead with quinoa salads, nut-milks, gluten-free breads, Ragi muffins and Dosa with a wide selection of fresh cut fruits and juices. The highlight for me had to be their Eggs Florentine. You know what they say, good food can make or break your mood. Woods at Sasan kept me in a great, great mood throughout.

Eggs Florentine for breakfast. I'll have one more, please!
Eggs Florentine for breakfast. I’ll have one more, please!

Further soul-searching took place on their herb plantation where they grow their own Ashwagandha amongst many healing herbs. I took it upon myself to plant some fragrant Ajwain, the aroma of which lasted all through my Balinese massage at Som Well-being. Som is undoubtedly one of their best offerings (after the food, of course), It is their holistic wellness centre offering bespoke Ayurveda and yoga. Set at the edge of the property with tiny spa-rooms and a large yoga deck in the centre, Som offers Ayurveda detox programs for cleansing of the body, mind and soul. The Yoga Deck hosts morning sessions to learn asanas and meditation. Special breakfast experiences are planned for wellness/detox programs. Lunch for me was a Gujarati Thali at Swadesh ,their Indian restaurant that is adorned with local artforms like mud-art, rural symbolic tattoo art and thread & needle work promoting the local artisans.

Spending some time at the fragrant herb garden.
Spending some time at the fragrant herb garden.

The evenings were spent on the vegetable patch where they grow their own Patra leaves (the ones I consumed over lunch), lemons, ginger, turmeric where-in I helped plant and water some. Farming is such a humbling process. It makes you realise what a melodic tandem the earth and humans work in. We often forget we, too, are a part of nature and not an externality of it. It makes you grateful for everything it has offered you because you, too, were born from it. For dinner, I was served some wood-fired pizzas, chicken risotto and arancini balls with some carrot and ginger soup. The food was so fresh you could taste the crispness of the veggies.

Sunsets over the sanctuary that is Woods @ Sasan.
Sunsets over the sanctuary that is Woods @ Sasan.

The final day, I had a wellness-consultation where-in they helped me understand my body better; post-which I participated in some sunset-yoga on the deck. Lunch today was, my favourite, Asian. Tibetan Chicken Broth soup & Goan Fish Curry. It amazes me how they were able to serve me varied cuisines with spot-on authenticity. It’s as if every dish was a chef’s special. The staff was remarkably warm. The entire team retains the India’s hospitality of warmth and reverence. I was spoiled silly would not be an exaggeration. My evening dinner was a detox-meal made with Satvik ingredients and methods served under the moon on a cool night.

Sunset-yoga on the deck overlooking the evening sky.
Sunset-yoga on the deck overlooking the evening sky.

One of my concerns prior to the trip was Covid safety. The staff was so mindful of the situation, they never took their masks off, there were sterilisers in every room and corner of the retreat with the waiters also using gloves and maintaining proper distancing. So much so, that if you’re worried of eating in enclosed spaces, they will set a special table for you out in the lawns where the entire space is just reserved for you. That’s how I was served breakfast before my drive back. Underneath the mango trees, away from the rest on a table, just for one. It was my private little picnic.

Table for two, away from the world, just fo you!
Table for two, away from the world, just for you!

As I packed my bags after a wonderful three days of #TraveltoHeal, I don’t think any other place would have been better than Woods at Sasan to begin travelling again. It was a much required reconnection with nature and my own self as I prepare to reprogram and resume. Woods at Sasan was an ideal break away from the city to introspect and unwind. They have admirably created authentic experiences for you to make your travel memorable. They offer 38 independent living spaces, each with their own private gardens for you to embrace along with villas for groups that have a plunge pool, 3 bedrooms, and an outdoor deck. I would urge you to step out, take a short drive to Woods at Sasan to travel to grow and heal.

Sipping on some detox juice by the pool!
Sipping on some detox juice by the pool!

For bookings, you can contact +91 2877 – 281000 or email: reservation@1000island.in

To explore more, visit www.woodsatsasan.com