Jiva Healing review | detox retreats, UK, Europe & Goa
The Quick Read: Hosted by Canadian nutritionist Rebecca Andrist, this brilliant company organises affordable and effective juice fasts and healthy eating holidays at simple but comfy hotels in India and Europe and at various venues in the UK. To take your mind off the discomfort of cleansing and give you knowledge to take home, their holidays include classes on nutrition, cooking, sustainability and happiness, as well as meditation and decent daily yoga. Jiva also run retreats on detoxing and fitness, holistic weight loss and a creative cooking, conscious eating and yoga retreat.
More on the juice fasts: Jiva Healing’s juice fasts are proper, full-on detoxes on which you’ll drink organic fruit, vegetable juices and mineral broths instead of eating food and take herbs, spirulina supplements and psyllium husk to support your body. You’ll also be encouraged to have twice-daily enemas, which you conduct yourself in the privacy of your own bathroom.
Don’t be anxious if you’re never fasted before – as Jiva Healing holidays only take 12 guests, you’ll receive all the personal attention and guidance you need from a small, personable team. To help you decide what you need, read our Diary of a Juice Fast with Jiva Healing in France and check out this short film on Jiva Healing in Turkey. For more information on detoxing, read our article, So what’s the point of a detox anyway?
Other wellbeing breaks: If you want something a little less hardcore, go for the healthy eating holidays, on which you’ll eat a light, delicious vegan diet. Jiva also run ad hoc retreats on detoxing and fitness, holistic weight loss and a creative cooking, conscious eating and yoga retreat.
Wellbeing activities: Whichever holiday you choose, a range of informal daily classes cover nutrition, food combining, setting up a healthy kitchen, vegetarian food, raw food cooking, sustainable living and happiness. One-to-one nutrition counselling and meditation sessions are on offer, and you can book massages (at an extra charge). Daily yoga classes, usually Iyengar-based, are designed to complement your detox or healthy eating programme, and venues are carefully chosen so you’re never far from water, nature and easy walks. Rebecca chooses her team with care – they include massage therapist-cum-portrait artist Susie Hampshire.
More on the happiness classes: In one of these we learnt about the water experiments of Japanese researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto, popularised in the film What the Bleep do we Know. Dr Emoto subjected a glass of water to a barrage of insults, and another to a series of loving and appreciative words. Examining the molecular structure of the water crystals afterwards, he found the human vibrational energy behind the words had physically changed the molecules, making the ‘loved’ water crystals beautiful and uniform, the ‘hated’ ones ugly and chaotic. A scary thought. And a good reason to try and be kind to yourself and those you love – often the hardest thing to do when caught up in the daily grind. Going on a retreat with Jiva Healing may help!
More on the venues: Venues are carefully-chosen houses, hotels and resorts in natural surroundings such as the Mandrem Beach Resort in a quiet area of Goa, The Faralya Hotel which overlooks the Turquoise coast in Turkey, and Hotel Sindhura located in rural Andalucia, Spain.
In the UK Jiva Healing run ad-hoc retreats at the lovely boutique location The Old Rectory in Devon, at Brooklands Barn in Sussex, which has an indoor pool, a sauna, a big yoga space and underfloor heating in the rooms, and at the Inner Guidance Retreat Centre in Suffolk. These venues have replaced the retreats at Littleton Mill, which is now an eco-friendly school run by Melissa – read a word from the queen on a welling weekend in the UK.
Fellow guests: You’re likely to find a friendly, supportive, interesting group of people, including men and women on their own, couples, Londoners, those into being healthy and those who are detoxing for the first time.
Costs: Jiva Healing holidays cost from £475 per person for a week in Goa, and from £670 per person for a week in Turkey, excluding flights.
What’s queenly: Jiva Healing’s holidays are very relaxed and friendly, but staffed by experts. They’re a brilliant company to fast with for the first time, and to experience India with for the first time. And what other healthy holiday company offers classes on happiness? Sessions draw on theories from Buddhism and positive psychology to encourage you to look on the bright side.
What’s lowly: At these prices you can’t expect the height of luxury, so you’ll find accommodation comfortable rather than luxurious. That said, people rebook Jiva Healing fasts here year after year, including those who could clearly afford to stay somewhere more upmarket.
Reviewed by Caroline Sylger Jones
© Queen of Retreats