Press 2018-01-11T14:29:43+00:00


Hip & Healthy

The Holistic Help: Ayurveda at Anamaya

If you’re feeling stressed this summer, then a visit to Anamaya is what you need. Housed in a beautiful Kensington mews, the focus here is on all aspects of natural health – from massage and acupuncture to reflexology and homeopathy. It’s also where you will find Loretta Heywood – an Ayurvedic extraordinaire who will totally transform your mood through her magical massages. Reading your energy levels (mine were low and I felt cold and tired) Loretta chooses the treatment most beneficial to you. For me, it was the Marma Therapy & Pranic Healing, which focuses on balancing the body’s energy points, releasing stress and healing emotional issues. Using warm sesame oil infused with herbs before mixing it with other essential oils she feels would most benefit you, she works to massage the entire body, releasing Marma points (similar to acupressure) so energy can flow better – giving you that uplifting, awakening feeling. The Pranic healing is like a hands-on version of Reiki, which works to move and rebalance energy so stress is eliminated and you release all the stored tension. It also allows the body to heal itself and for you to really feel and recognise what’s going on beneath the surface. It’s amazing what some healing hands can do – and I can honestly say if the whole world went to see Loretta – it would be a much better place. If you want to feel super this summer – this is the treatment for you. 90min massage with Loretta – £120 |

The Anamaya Centre

The Style Examiner

Anamaya: A New Wellbeing Centre for London

I first heard of Anamaya, a new wellbeing clinic located in the London neighbourhood of Kensington, from a friend of mine who always seem to be au courrant of the latest and most exciting ventures in lifestyle anywhere in the world. Anamaya (which means ‘health’ in Sanskrit) is the brainchild of Roz Sullivan and Graham Doke, two people with significant experience in managing spas in London who decided to establish a new place that offered treatments such as Pilates, acupuncture, massage, meditation techniques and physiotherapy.

The Anamaya Centre, London
The Anamaya Centre, London

On the day of my appointment, which was booked for 18:00, I had a stream of stressful and busy professional activities. As I was about to leave work, I felt very tempted to cancel the booking and go home instead. However, out of respect for the practitioners at Anamaya, I stood to the initial plan and braved a chaotic public transport system with delayed and packed underground trains. After a hectic journey, I arrived at the wellbeing centre far from relaxed. However, all my stress dissipated in the calming reception room where I met Loretta Heywood, my scheduled body therapist/practitioner, who offered me some herbal tea and put me at ease with a friendly chat.

After providing my details on an iPad, I was taken up two flights of stairs to a nicely decorated and soothing room. Once in there, Loretta asked me a few more questions about my health and lifestyle and we discussed what I wanted out of the massage: a fusion of Ayurveda techniques with some relaxing and distressing techniques. However, after she finished working my back (the first part of the body to be massaged) and we agreed that the pressure could be harder, I asked if the treatment could include more Ayurveda elements. From that moment on, the massage became absolutely perfect.

Following traditional Ayurvedic massage procedures, heated herbal oils were applied to my limbs immediately before they were massaged in syncopated movements that seemed slightly longer than their Western counterparts. According to Ayurveda, these movements are performed empathetically between the practitioner and the person that receives the massage; so much so, that at some stage even the breathing patterns become almost synchronised between the two. When the massage was finished, I felt very relaxed and glad that I kept my appointment at Anamaya. Furthermore, and as a continuation of the bond created during the massage, Loretta did not rush me out at all; instead, she sat with me for a few minutes and discussed the benefits of massage in general, and Ayurvedic massage in particular, over a cup of herbal tea. I was honestly so relaxed that, as I stood up to leave, I gave her a hug and uttered a sincere “thank you!”

For the rest of the day, I felt as if my body and mind had melted and were completely at ease with what surrounded me. Back at home, I took it easy and enjoyed my relaxed state, but not without dropping an email to the friend who recommended Anamaya describing my positive experience and expressing my gratitude for her suggestion. I can’t wait to book further treatments at Anamaya and, come hell or high water, I won’t even dream of cancelling any of my future appointments.