By Michelle Monroy and Ali Lohrman
Throughout our life, there are places that we go to, places that we visit, that make an impact on us. When thinking back on them, not only do we remember what the place looked like, or the aromas that were in the air, but we also remember the way it made us feel. Something special about these places stands out, be it the location, the design and architecture, or the vibe that the place holds. Rukhsana’s Wellness Heavenly Retreat is such a place. Ali Lohrman and I had the pleasure of being invited to experience a stay at Rukhsana’s, and we are confident when we say that this is a Baja gem. I believe that we are fortunate to have this in Los Cabos.
Rukhsana Khan, the founder of this wellness centre, studied at the Chopra Centre for Well Being in Carlsbad, CA, and is a certified Primordial Sound Meditation Instructor and an accredited Ayurvedic Body Therapist and Counsellor. Rukhsana’s path has led her to Los Cabos to share her holistic and Ayurvedic knowledge with us. In the morning and evenings we had the pleasure of spending about an hour in the meditation room with Rukhsana. We learned about meditation techniques and the benefits meditation provides, and we spent time just conversing about life’s beauty in general. Rukhsana’s tranquil demeanor and spirit seep into your own, making the meditation practice a blissful experience.
The wellness centre is situated on the top of a hill with stunning 360º views of the ocean and the desert and is surrounded by the tranquility of nature. Rukhsana’s Retreat is family-run by Rukhsana, her husband Arshad Khan, and their daughter Sameena Khan, which brings a feeling of care and warmth that makes you feel at home. Having been previously in the business of industrial cooking, the Khans place special attention to the delicious meals that are offered throughout your stay, from egg casseroles to vegan Indian cuisine, the food at Rukhsana’s is definitely one of the highlights.
The original building purchased by Rukhsana and her husband included a round palapa, which was unfortunately lost during hurricane Odile in 2015. When Rukhsana saw the round structure she immediately knew they would purchase the property. “The reason my mom loved the space was because it wasn’t shaped like a box. We tend to be confined to a box in our modern day-to-day activities, but if you look at nature, everything is circular. So my mom loved that the space had movement and flow to help reconnect with nature, as we are just an extension of nature,” said Sameena. The grounds of the property are stunning. A walking meditation labyrinth, a salt water pool, an Ayurvedic spa, and a pathway carved through the lush garden of bougainvilleas and trees are only a few of the spaces that allow you to enjoy time to listen to yourself and connect your mind, body and soul.
“Every retreat is different,” Sameena mentioned during our dinner conversation. This made sense to me, as every individual is different. We all experience life’s events in our own unique way, so we would like to share Ali’s own personal experience at the retreat:
From the moment we arrived at Rukhsana’s Wellness Heavenly Retreat I could feel the calming energy take over my mind and body. From Sameena and Rukhsana’s warm greeting, to the delicious interactive color-changing welcome tea made with butterfly pea flowers from their garden, I immediately knew that the next 24 hours would be one for the books. After we checked-in, Sameena showed us to our rooms which overlooked the beautiful garden and the beaches in the distance. My room was the Sunrise room, and as promised, the sunrise view the next morning was remarkable. The room was spacious with large windows and glass sliding doors to access the private terrace that allowed the natural lighting to pour in. Sameena continued to show us around leading us downstairs to the library where they offered a wide variety of books such as The Upanishads and The Bhagavad Gita (sacred Hindu texts), Think and Grow Rich, and books by Dr. Wayne Dyer (my personal favorite), just to name a few. After visiting the library we were led to the meditation room where we met twice a day to learn about meditation and to practice mantra meditation with Rukhsana. This was my favorite hour at the retreat. Listening to Rukhsana talk about the power of the mind and the benefits of meditation reminded me that we do not have to search for the answers we seek outside of us, rather within.
Outside of the meditation room was a beautiful pool area and fire pit. Sameena shared with us that in certain retreats they would ask their guests to write down something that was bothering them or a negative thought that they were experiencing, and at the end of their retreat they would have a burning ceremony for it. All of these practices resonated with me and where I was in my personal journey, and I was so captivated by it all. The gardens were beautiful. So lush and abundant. We were able to enjoy Ayurvedic spa treatments towards the end of our stay. Rukhsana makes the oils used in the treatments herself by infusing them with herbs that they grow in the garden; mainly clove, lemongrass and cinnamon. She also adds a few more, but those are her secret.
The walking path around the compound is exactly 1 mile long, perfect for an evening or morning stroll to connect with Mother Nature. Towards the evening, after meditation and yoga we were called to dinner where we sat on the outdoor patio overlooking Cabo’s beautiful El Tule Beach. Rukhsana’s husband was in charge of the meals, and I have to say it was some of the most delicious vegan dishes I have ever eaten! Such a treat. Curry, crisp salads, soups, fruit from the garden, stews and desserts were all enjoyed together. Meal time was a beautiful time to connect. After dinner we received an Ayurvedic consultation where we found out what type of dosha we are and how to eat and take self care accordingly. As our day came to an end, I took another walk around the garden taking it all in. So tranquil and peaceful. If you are looking for a home away from home, whether that be to reconnect with your spirituality, relax and recharge or learn new culture or meditation, Rukhsana’s Heavenly Wellness Retreat is a MUST.
Rukhsana’s Wellness Heavenly Retreat hosts a number of retreats and workshops throughout the year, as well as all inclusive nightly stays, day passes or you can simply just visit their Ayurvedic spa.