Spiritual Wellness and Healing in Myanmar
Still blissfully untouched by mass tourism, traveling to Myanmar is like opening a window into the past. A melting pot of cultures and ethnic groups, each with its own language and story, it’s a place where the modern world can be well and truly left behind.
Buddhism plays an important role in Burmese life, as evidenced from the many temples and monasteries found even in the remotest parts of the country. Easily reached from Mandalay across the Irrawaddy River is Sagaing, a highly revered destination in Myanmar that is a religious and monastic center. Its an ideal place of pilgrimage for visitors to Myanmar keen to learn more about Buddhist philosophy and age-old wellness disciplines that go with it, such as meditation.
Khiri Travel’s visit to Sagaing begins with an introduction to Buddhist doctrine and spiritual practices, in line with the Buddhist principle of liberating the mind from attachment to circumstances one cannot control. Practiced in a peaceful setting, seated with eyes closed, a monk or nun will give a short instruction about posture focus and breathing. Meditation can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, leading to a calmer mind and a deeper sense of inner harmony.
Discover the breathtaking beauty of the Irrawaddy River on a luxury cruise boat with a relaxing and majestic trip to Bagan. Onboard you are well looked after. Enjoy fine dining with a personal butler service, and onboard wellness and spa facilities with a range of treatments.
Disembark in Bagan and take an off-beat bike ride to discover the lesser-known Buddhist temples, pagodas and stupa ruins of this ancient empire. Venture into rural villages surrounding the sites for a sense of what daily life is really like for the local communities. Bagan is also home to some of the best hotels in Myanmar, with some amazing spa facilities where you can escape the heat and soothe aching muscles after a day of temple exploration.
Rather than finishing your Myanmar experience in Bagan, we recommend heading to the former capital, Yangon, where there is an impressive array of architectural, cultural and historical attractions. Visit Shwedagon Pagoda, one of Myanmar’s most sacred sites of worship, where ancient rituals are still practiced, such as the oil lamp lighting ceremony, or attend a well-known meditation center where the principles of meditation will be explained.
Nearby enjoy a therapeutic foot massage, a popular form of reflexology in Southeast Asia, performed at a school for the blind. After a traditional Burmese vegetarian lunch, gain a deeper insight into Burmese traditional medicine at a local medicine shop and learn about the secrets of thanaka. Used mostly by women and girls to protect the skin, this yellow-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark is applied to the face and sometimes the arms.
By the time you return home, this wellness-inspired journey will have provided you with some fascinating insight into the age-old healing and spiritual practices of Myanmar – a way of life we could all learn something from.
For more information on wellness-inspired journeys in Myanmar, get in touch with us at: [email protected].