Everything at the Sanctuary is directed towards a renewed connection with the self.
Our holistic recipe has been carefully designed to balance your whole being, on the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. The primary ingredients are Ayurvedic treatments and herbal medicines, yoga and meditation practices, immersive nature experiences and nourishing meals, and powerful group ceremonies and rituals. Furthermore, we offer more specialised wellness programmes including detox, weight loss and targeted treatment for long-covid.
Table of Contents
Ayurveda, which means ‘knowledge of life’ in Sanskrit, is an ancient, holistic medical system that originated in India over 5,000 years ago. More than just the mere absence of disease, Ayurveda views health as a state of vibrant well-being, achieved through a delicate balance between body, mind, spirit and environment. We all have a unique constitution which is made up of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha. All three doshas are present in each of us in varying degrees, and our individual combination gives rise to our unique blend of physical, mental and emotional traits. Upon arrival at the Sanctuary, each guest has a private consultation with our resident Ayurvedic Doctor and is then prescribed a comprehensive, personalised treatment programme.
The term ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit root word ‘yug’ which means ‘to unite’. It is the union of individual consciousness with the infinite and goes beyond the physical realm to the emotional and spiritual.
This ancient practice, dating back 5,000 years in India, encompasses various methods including physical postures, breath control, meditation as well as ethical disciplines. It is the unfolding of our essential nature, allowing us to come home to ourselves as we truly are. At the Sanctuary, we offer daily sunrise and sunset yoga, including Kundalini, Vinyasa and Yin.
Meditation encompasses a variety of tools – focusing on the breath, repeating a mantra or cultivating feelings of loving-kindness – to calm the mind and connect with the present moment.
Rooted in Eastern traditions, the earliest written account of meditation techniques can be traced back to the Vedic Sanskrit texts from around 1500 BC, which refer to ‘dhyana’, the training of the mind.
As you develop your practice, you will notice the recurring patterns of thought – fear, insecurities, or attachments – that inhabit your subconscious mind. The more you learn to observe these patterns with curiosity and compassion, the more they dissolve and create a space for you to connect with your inner wisdom. At the Sanctuary, we offer pranayama, mindfulness walking, forest bathing and mantra meditation.
Experience authentic, home-style Sri Lankan meals, centred on seasonal, local and organic ingredients.
While the Vata-Pitta-Kapha diet is commonly practised at Ayurvedic retreat centres, its full benefits only unfold during longer stays (6 months +) and instead, can be excessively restricting for shorter stays. We believe in a more flexible approach that aligns with the broader concepts of Ayurveda – one that complements the treatment programme and can be easily integrated into your daily life upon return.
With 25 years of experience tailoring nutritional programmes to the Western constitution at our London clinic, we’ve crafted a unique approach that aligns with Ayurvedic principles and is grounded in empirical research…
Our menu, developed in collaboration with health-conscious chefs, emphasises vegetarian and gluten-free dishes, occasionally featuring fresh local fish. We provide two wholesome main meals during the day, followed by a lighter dinner to allow the digestive system to rest. We refrain from serving coffee and alcohol to cleanse the system, complementing our treatments.
We accommodate most dietary requirements and recommend mentioning this to us when you book.
Finally, meals are shared at the communal table to foster connection and community.
Panchakarma, which translates to ‘five actions’ in Sanskrit is an Ayurvedic cleansing and detoxification ritual comprised of the following five elements: ‘Basti’ (herbal oil enemas), ‘Nasya’ (nasal rinsing), ‘Vamana’ (therapeutic vomiting), ‘Virechana’ (purgation treatment) and ‘Raktamokshana’ (bloodletting therapy). These sequential treatments work synergistically to eliminate toxins and balance the doshas to their natural equilibrium. While traditionally, Panchakarma is an intensive and demanding programme, our expert team has designed a modified version to suit the modern lifestyle, based on decades of experience working with Western constitutions. Our Panchakarma methods are designed to integrate with other holistic treatment modalities allowing the maximum benefit to be derived.
Osteopathy & Cranial Osteopathy
Osteopathy is the gentle physical manipulation of the joints, spine and connective tissue, along with massages and stretches targeting the muscles and ligaments. This treatment approach supports the healthy functioning of the musculoskeletal system, by improving mobility, relieving tension, and increasing blood and lymphatic flow to support the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
Cranial osteopathy is a speciality within osteopathy that restores balance in the cranial rhythm, focusing on the bones of the head, face and neck, as well as the brain and spinal cord.
At the Sanctuary, our skilled practitioners possess extensive experience in both traditional and modern osteopathic techniques to restore alignment, enhance well-being and promote vitality.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that is based on the belief that a vital life energy known as Qi (pronounced ‘chi’) flows through the body in channels called meridians. Each meridian is linked to a major organ and any imbalances or blockages in Qi can manifest as illness. Acupuncture, through the insertion of very fine needles at specific points in the body, can help restore the correct energy flow.
Whether you have a specific condition or just want to explore this particular therapy, acupuncture treatments are available at the Sanctuary with our experienced therapists.
Bathe the mind and body in the rich soundscape and vibrations of the gong bath, an ancient healing tool that promotes a sense of calm, relaxation and clarity. The deep and resonant sounds of the gong activate the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing down the breath and heart rate, and shifting the mind to an alpha and theta-dominant brainwave state, a deeply meditative, restorative and creative state. The chattering mind quietens, and the body’s natural healing mechanisms restore balance, alignment and optimal energy flow.
At the Sanctuary, you can enjoy the enchanting and transformative experience of a gong bath during the meditation sessions, led by either a visiting Buddhist monk or one of the centre’s highly experienced teachers.
Discover the transformative art of Breathwork, an ancient practice rooted in the yogic tradition, that nurtures the connection between mind, body and spirit. As we surrender to the gentle rhythm of slow, deep and conscious breathing, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which balances the stress response, lowers your heart rate and induces a sense of calm.
At the Sanctuary, our daily meditation and yoga sessions integrate different forms of breathwork.