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An N.C. Escape to Art of Living Retreat Center

My name is: Kimberly Rossi.

I'm known for being: Director of business development & spa, Ayurveda health consultant and yoga teacher at the Art of Living Retreat Center & Shankara Ayurveda Spa, Boone, NC.

I’m talking about: The newly reimagined Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center.

This is special because: There is something truly special about escaping to a mountaintop. Where we are situated—at the top of Heavenly Mountain—has always been a sacred place for the indigenous people of the Carolinas. And, when you look out at the incredible views, across miles of untouched wilderness, you can understand why.

Combining this gorgeous setting with the power of Ayurveda is magical. Ayurveda is the oldest natural healthcare system on the planet, more than 5,000 years old! Its purpose is to heal and maintain the quality and longevity of life by teaching us to align with the rhythms and cycles of nature. When we do this, we cannot help but be more happy, healthy and whole.

We have conceived Shankara Ayurveda Spa to offer an authentic Ayurvedic experience—from the delicious ancient recipes that our kitchen prepares to the products we use to the programs, treatments and cleanses we offer. They are all true to this time-tested science and are designed to facilitate deep healing, reset the digestive system, relieve health imbalances and provide knowledge to elevate one’s health and well-being in daily life. Our offerings also mirror that of our Ayurvedic Hospital and University in Bangalore, India. We have not watered down or Americanized the ancient practice. Shankara Ayurveda Spa is as authentic an Ayurvedic experience as possible. That’s why we’re special!  

When it comes to well-being, we’re all about: Finding balance within oneself, within one’s community and within our original home—the natural world! Being at the top of the Blue Ridge Mountains puts you immediately into the heart of nature, so you can walk amongst the trees and breathe in fresh, mountain air. Our rooms offer amazing views and comfortable beds, as good sleep is a priority during your spa visit. And we’re also about transformation—of your health, energy levels, mindset. and life. That’s why we have a team of doctors, practitioners and treatment providers who have the skills, experience and commitment to get to the core of how to manage stress, improve diet, increase energy, reduce weight, alleviate stubborn health imbalances and find your natural point of balance and well-being in life.

Many of our dedicated Ayurvedic team integrate these same principles into their lives and are always open to sharing their wisdom. Because, sometimes, real-life, personal tips are the best! Ayurveda is woven through every aspect of our environment.

One thing you can’t miss is: Panchakarma, the authentic Ayurvedic cleanse. Ayurveda states that 90% of health imbalances stem from poor digestion. If you have constipation, bloating, flatulence, loose stools, acid reflux or excess weight, it is an indication that what you are eating, how you are eating, when you are eating and how much you are eating is not serving you, and it’s throwing off your digestive process. Through this ancient science, we reset the digestive system, which often ignites or turns on the body’s natural healing and balancing mechanisms, to bring the body back to health. The process—supervised by a medical doctor, Ayurvedic doctor and Ayurvedic team—can often correct improper lifestyle and diet habits and have lasting health benefits.

My favorite secret detail is: While it’s not a secret, it’s sometimes hard to honor the fact that diet can increase or decrease your life force energy. We learn all kinds of things in mainstream education, but we do not learn how to take care of our bodies. Some of us take better care of our houses and cars!

Our chefs have been trained in Ayurvedic cooking, so that, during your visit, the food not only tastes good, but is prepared with a deep understanding of its associations to health. This is the right diet—prepared lovingly and with an understanding of the synergy of ingredients, spices and herbs—is the secret to perfect health.

Your body will thank you because: Because your digestive system will be working optimally, your mind will be clear and you will feel lighter. You’ll feel new and have a sense of reverence for your body, mind and spirit. You'll have a deeper connection to what you need and how to take care of yourself, helping you avoid future health imbalances and unnecessary suffering.

While you’re in the neighborhood, you must try: Take a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway, hike the Moses Cone trail and canoe in Price Lake.

Escaping should be part of your process because: It resets your perspective on how you live your life and take care of yourself and enables you to see what is truly important.

Escaping is part of my process because: I am generally very disciplined in my daily wellness routine. I escape to be in new surroundings, in community with others, improving their health and well-being—and I like to try new things to potentially implement in my own life. I like to escape because I come back with more energy, vitality and radiance. It fuels me to elevate, uplift and inspire others on their path to well-being.

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