Special feature: Seeking tranquility with the new Toyota Camry
We've all faced this at some point, haven't we? Tasting the highs of success, working hard to achieve that goal. Conquering that insurmountable challenge. To get to that point, however, we've worked hard, very hard. And though the rewards are sweet, they come at a price. At this point, it becomes imperative to hit that proverbial pause button. And that's exactly what we had in mind after a gruelling week at the office.
A long vacation would've been ideal but time was of the essence. So we decided to head to Atmantan, a wellness centre located in Mulshi, amidst the magnificent Sahyadri range. Our vehicle of choice for the trip was the new Toyota Camry Hybrid, and why not?
For years, the Camry has been the epitome of comfort and in its new avatar, it has taken everything a notch or two above. And we aren't just talking about the rear seats, this time around. That's because even from behind the wheel, the Camry feels rather special and there are a number of factors that contribute to it. The new hybrid system, for instance, showcases Toyota's technical prowess as well as ecoconsciousness. The system recharges the battery every time you coast or brake. It's as if the car keeps rejuvenating itself!
When the battery is sufficiently charged, which happens rather quickly, the electric motor powers the wheels for a set time and considering the throttle position.
The magic lies in the fact that the transition between engine and electric motor propulsion is seamless.
It makes for a relaxed drive and with sufficient power on tap, startlingly effortless. This plus the pliant ride quality made the 200km drive a breeze and we reached our destination minus the fatigue that you'd normally feel after spending over four hours behind the wheel.
We checked into Atmantan, a little post noon and soon began to experience why this Wellness Centre has raked up so many accolades. Atmantan is an award-winning integrated wellness resort located on a crystal hill. The name is an amalgamation of the words atma (soul), mana(mind) and tann (body). The resort specialises in holistic treatments that combine modern fitness trends.
The meals, too, are carefully curated and offer a great balance of essential nutrients. After satiating our appetite with a delicious lunch, it was time to meet Paul Emery, an eminent therapist whose QEPR (Quantum Emotional and Physical Release) treatment has helped many people deal with emotional challenges in the present day. Renowned all over the world for his special healing and conditioning techniques, like Havening, Paul taught us a few ways to remain calm while driving in stressful situations. Given the increasing chaos on our streets, cases of anger and road rage have shot up. Paul suggests that by tapping certain areas, like the outer edge of the palm helps diffuse this boiling frustration. Speaking about stress while driving, we have to commend the Camry's cabin for its ability to isolate the occupants from the noise and chaos that's now common, greatly reducing the associated stress that it could lead to.
Later on, we were ushered to the Wellness centre, situated in the centre of the sprawling property. It's sort of like the nerve centre of Atmantan and in keeping with the purpose of the resort, phones were banned in the area. A digital detox, in today's times, is essential to remember the lost form of human communication, that is speaking to one and other. After a brief chat with the staff about the itinerary, we were treated to Atmantan's signature massage. Designed to de-stress and relax the body's often overworked muscles, the procedure included the use of special oils and hot stones. It was undoubtedly the most relaxed phase of the entire stay. It is so good that you instantly slip into a state of deep slumber and don't even realise when 90 minutes fly by. The end result is a feeling of reinvigoration and it's something that's best experienced than spoken about. The rest of the evening was spent wandering about the lush green lawns in the premises and watching the sun set at the resort's open air amphitheatre, Prana. In a way, it was good to catch up with ourselves, something that we usually push aside during our daily routine.
The next day, we began by performing a few Yoga asanas at the Divine Buddha statue. Yoga, we were told, is one of the easiest ways to stay in shape and exercise the core muscles of the body. At Atmantan, they also teach residents contemporary forms of Yoga, like Animal Flow Yoga and Paddle Board Yoga. The former is more of a fast pace kind of Yoga, with varying sequences of asanas following one after the other. The latter is performed whilst balancing on a board that's floating in a swimming pool. The pictures may suggest it is easy but maintaining balance while performing these asanas is an acid test for the body's core muscles.
The two days we spent at Atmantan turned out to be sheer bliss and critical in re-establishing that vital connect with ourselves. Today's work patterns are so demanding, even the term burnout is an understatement. And that's when these little, meaningful breaks provide that much needed vitalisation. Refreshed, relaxed and rejuvenated, we began the drive back to Mumbai post sunset. And the best part about the drive was that we felt as relaxed and comfortable inside the cabin, as we did while at the resort. The ventilated seats are ultra comfortable, the suspension soaks up bumps with aplomb and when the corners arrive, the Camry is a treat to drive. In many ways, it's like a wellness centre on wheels. Because it'll always leave you feeling good and refreshed.
Images by Kaizad Adil Darukhanawala
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