Health and wellness may not be the first things that spring to mind when thinking of India’s capital city Delhi – yet there are a variety of ways to stay fit and healthy here.
Delhi’s obsession with health and wellness has been growing steadily over recent years. Now, with a wealth of wellness activities to explore, clean living seems to be a trend that’s taken hold in India’s capital city. Here are a few things to try once you’ve overdosed on the Mughlai kebabs and butter chicken the city is famous for.
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Fill your tummy with fresh, local and organic ingredients
Delhi has recently seen a host of health-conscious, farm-to-table style restaurants pop up, that only use fresh, local and organic ingredients. Try:
Located in the winding lanes of Shahpur Jat, this little café offers a delicious selection of vegan dishes. They also have an assortment of vegan milk blends, cold-pressed juices and artisanal coffee on the menu.
Ambika Seth and Alice Helme opened their first restaurant in 2018. Caara – a catering service which also runs cooking classes – now has three branches across Delhi. From the catering service and culinary classes to the restaurant, the ethos has never wavered; nutritious, tasty, fresh food. Using organic, and natural ingredients sourced from local farmers and their own organic farm, the food here is as good as its quality ingredients. “People are well travelled, they know what they want and question where their food comes from. That is why Caara is very sensitive about the source of its ingredients; be it chemical-free produce from our own farms or supporting local artisanal suppliers.” says Ambika. Try the pesto burrata salad, or the eggs benedict.
“Since the inception of the farm, our aim has been to create a community space where local practices and art forms flow along with traditional and lost food recipes and produce,” says Neha Bhatia, the founder of TPF. The Wellness Experience: Yoga & Brekkie, includes an hour-long yoga session taught by a certified instructor, after which guests dig into a scrumptious breakfast prepared with the finest farm-fresh produce. Other experiences include a guided farm tour where you can get your hands dirty and experience life as a farmer, picking your own fresh fruit and vegetables, before trying a four-course menu and detox beverages. The farm focuses on growing seasonal local produce, farm-to-table menus and curating sustainable farm experiences.
Try an alternative fitness class
Tired of taking a car or metro everywhere in a city where walking isn’t always appealing? Rock climbing, pole dancing and boxing are just some of the ways in which you can stay fit while in Delhi.
You’ll find state-of-the art facilities and indoor walls spread over two floors at Boulder Box’s air conditioned gym. Bouldering is a superb full-body workout that involves problem solving, strength and persistence. For those who haven’t climbed before or are looking for a refresher, there are classes available with the seasoned and friendly instructors.
As the push to make pole dancing an Olympic sport continues apace, try your hand at this challenging workout at Vesna’s Alta Celo Studio in Kailash Hills. “In the last 15 years Delhi has seen a great increase in the number of gyms as well as sporting and skill-building activities as an alternative to a regular gym. Pole fitness is just starting to make its presence known, thanks to the global rage and popularity of the discipline. It focuses on the physical aspect/skill development rather than exotic aspect of the pole art, making it a perfect conditioning instrument while still learning a new and fun skill, plus it looks really cool. So it’s a win-win,” says Vesna Jacobs, founder of this pilates and pole studio. You may experience some head-spinning moments, but the sensuality and thrill of swinging your body weight on the pole is tough to beat.
With two prominent locations in Delhi, Boxfit has a range of workouts that’ll improve strength and technique, and is a heavy-hitter on the calories burned. The uplifting playlists here keep the sweat levels high and the temperature up. A true test of your stamina and endurance, this is a workout for a stronger mind and body. “People are not only looking for physical fitness but have also started seeing fitness as a way to beat stress and improve their mental wellbeing. For them, fitness is as much about building mental strength as it is about building physical strength,” says Rahul Kaul, the founder of Boxfit.
Explore Delhi’s green spaces
This heritage park was built by the Mughals back in the 16th century, and it’s back on the map after extensive renovations in 2017 transformed the space. Spread over a massive 90 acres (36 hectares) and containing more than 15 Mughal monuments, it’s an ideal place to visit on a sunny winter afternoon. On Sundays, pop-up organic market The Earth Collective sets up stalls piled with fresh produce, homemade pickles, artisanal cheese and traditional Indian home remedies
One of the largest spiritual centres in the world, the director Ashwin Bharti thinks of Zorba as “a cultural village where people from all walks of life come to find peace, creative expression and freedom”. Workshops range from yoga to sound healing, and dance festivals to meditation. This is the space for free-spirited souls searching for more on their visit to Delhi.
And finally, pamper yourself with the Luxe Pass
The Luxe Pass gives visitors access to amenities at some of Delhi’s best hotels, including gym, spa and pool services, without paying for an overnight stay. For a day when you want nothing but pure relaxation, pick your favourite hotel and indulge in a massage, or a steam and sauna. This is the perfect pass to de-stress and relax.
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