Jaillan Yehia

Barberyn Sands Ayurveda Resort: A Healing Holiday On Paradise Island

Written by Jaillan Yehia

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Me and a giant Buddha statue, in Bentota, Sri Lanka

When I’m invited to visit Barberyn Sands Ayurveda Resort in Sri Lanka, the timing couldn’t be better: it’s been 2 years since a driver ploughed into the back of my car while waiting at a roundabout, resulting in me losing consciousness. I still have debilitating whiplash that just won’t quit.

Having already set aside 4 weeks in Sri Lanka with plans to visit a handful of hotels, I learn that Barberyn run some of the island’s leading Ayurveda resorts, so I realise that accepting this invitation could be the breakthrough in recovery I’ve been searching for.

Barberyn Sands dock

Barberyn Sands is on an island that’s literally called Paradise

After exhausting all conventional treatments I’ve already turned to herbal medicine and yoga to help me with my injuries, and I’m willing to try anything ‘alternative’, including ayurvedic medicine, to feel fully better again.

Spoiler alert: I do, and it does.

If you have any health issues that you just don’t seem to be able to shake off, read on to find out if a stay at Barberyn Sands could be the solution you’ve been looking for too.

If you’d like to read about my personal story and the results I saw from treatment at Barberyn Sands, skip to ‘My Personal Story’ at the foot of this post.

What is Ayurveda?

Ayurvedic herbs at Barberyn Sands

Ayurvedic herbs at Barberyn Sands

Before you decide if an Ayurveda retreat is for you, you will want to know what Ayurveda is.

Ayurveda is credited with being the world’s first medicinal system. An ancient holistic healing system used in China, Japan, Sri Lanka and India, with the aim of not just curing a symptom, but getting to the root of health issues to create a balance of complete mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing. Ayur means life and veda means knowledge, so Ayurveda is literally ‘knowledge of life’.

Ayurvedic treatment then uses 1374 medicinal plants found in Sri Lanka for their natural abilities to treat symptoms of imbalance, which exhibit as health problems.

This might sound a bit hard to quantify but I think of Ayurveda like this: we have all had a mint tea after a heavy meal to help our digestion, or eaten citrus fruits to fight a cold.

Ayurvedic medicine takes the natural abilities found in food, drinks, herbs and spices and based on 5,000 years of experience, uses the right combination to make your body work exactly as it was designed to work, eliminating your symptoms.

Why Go To An Ayurveda Retreat?

Meditation room at Barberyn Sands

The meditation room at Barberyn Sands

Of course you can study Ayurveda at home, and work the food and herbs into your diet, but we all know how easy it is to let life get in the way of good intentions. You’re running late so you grab some junk food, you have a deadline so you spend too many hours at your desk.  Before you know it you have prioritised other things before your health and your illnesses spiral out of control.

Attending a retreat at Barberyn Sands gives you the time and space to learn about the deeper reasons for any problems you may have, and treat them in a holistic way, which just means treating you as a whole person, not just treating the symptoms you have.

Barberyn beach

This setting is far more conducive to healing than my own home

Ayurvedic treatment consists of herbal medicine, in powder and liquid forms, and a carefully monitored diet to ensure that everything you are eating and drinking is having a positive influence on your health, and nothing is detrimental to your particular conditions.

Again, this might sound a bit far-fetched, but think how many people can’t eat spicy food, or find certain meals make them bloated? Being under the supervision of an Ayurvedic doctor fast-tracks your health by cutting out any food that won’t work for you and replacing it with food that your body will benefit from instead.

At Barberyn Sands the doctors are on hand at all meals to give you personal guidance on which foods from the huge buffet are your own personal superfoods.

The Three Doshas Briefly Explained

Diet card with conditions written

This card explains that I have a bit too much Vata and Peta going on!

Ayurveda is based on the concept that we all have a natural balance between three elements, called doshas. When we become unbalanced we run into health problems, and the manifestation of these problems will be different depending on our dominant dosha.

Definitions of Ayurvedic Doshas

Coconut Sambol at Barberyn Sands

My dosha doesn’t do well with spicy food, which explains a lot.

Peta = Fire
Kapa = Earth / Water
Vata = Air / Space

You can work out your own dosha from a combination of factors, both physical and personality-based. You inherit your unique mix from your mum and dad, and the time at which you were born. You can take a quiz online to help determine your dosha, but there’s no substitute for meeting an Ayurvedic doctor and getting a personalised diagnosis.

Don’t be fooled into thinking there’s a one-size-fits-all perfect natural balance of the three elements. You’re not seeking to be one third of each dosha. Instead everyone has their own ideal combination, so the ‘right’ balance is different for each of us.

Let me give you an example of how your dosha can explain your personal health issues.

Palm trees by night

Relaxing on the beach is undoubtedly good for all doshas

I suffered from headaches and back pain after my car accident, and my dosha means I am more likely to continue to suffer from pain in my back while the heachaches have subsided. This is because my dosha is more likely to channel pain into my back, something I had no idea about before the accident.

Another person could have ended up suffering from headaches after the same accident and their back would have healed more quickly. To me this makes a lot of sense. Once you learn your body’s predetermined tendencies to channel problems to certain areas, you’re then in a powerful position to correct these problems.

Doshas & Relationships

Jaillan in Galle, at a cafe

I found the doshas and relationships lecture really fascinating

One thing which is particularly fascinating about the doshas is the idea that the right partner for you can be determined by how different doshas work together – or don’t!

While at a lecture on Ayurveda at Barberyn Sands I’m told that a Peta-dominant person will fight with another Peta, that Vata and Vata couples wind up feeling bored while Kapa + Kapa is too sedentary a combo.

Kapas need Vatas, Pittas needs Kapas and so forth. So that ex who drove you crazy? It was probably a bad mix of doshas.

What To Expect From An Ayurveda Retreat at Barberyn Sands

Barberyn Sands Lobby

Barberyn Sands lobby and pool area

I can’t find much information online about Barberyn Sands before I arrive and that makes me a little nervous.

It turns out I needn’t have worried: the newly refurbished sister property to the well-known Barberyn Reef and Barberyn Beach Ayurveda Resorts is smaller and more intimate but has only been open for a short time. There aren’t any dedicated Barberyn Sands reviews but Barberyn’s reputation says it all. The location is on Paradise Island, a small secluded area on a peninsula  near the bustling tourist town of Bentota, which feels a world away.

On Arrival At Barberyn Sands

Barberyn Sands boat and water view

I arrive at Barbern Sands by boat from a sort of secret dock tucked down an unassuming alleyway in Bentota, amidst a torrential downpour. I’d arrived at my previous hotel near Pidurangala and Sigiriya Rocks in exactly the same weather, so I’m used to being given large umbrellas as a welcome gift.

I’m shown to my lovely cabin-style room under cover of a golf umbrella, which I am indeed given to use for the duration of my stay.

Barberyn Sands bedroom

The huge bed at Barberyn Sands

I’m also told that dinner is available until 9pm, and I’m allocated a time for my first medical appointment, an initial consultation, the next morning at 9am.

I spend some time unpacking and relaxing and have a good nose around the spacious room. I’m delighted to find a thermos of hot water and two yoga mats, and am even more pleased that the bathroom has a bookshelf – with plenty of space to put the myriad of toiletries I packed for my trip to Sri Lanka.

bathroom at Barberyn Sands

My bathroom at Barberyn Sands has a bookshelf!

I get a phone call around 7.30 inviting me to take dinner. A little confused I make tracks and find myself dining in an empty restaurant at 8pm.

As it’s the first night, I’m served a healthy set menu, and I realise I like not having too many options. The fruit and vegetable salad, and vegetable broth with mini rotis are all yummy, thank goodness.

Barberyn Sands heart shaped food

The food at Barberyn Sands is lovingly prepared

I see all the tables for one set up for breakfast each with little dietary notes, and feel relieved that for the next meal I won’t be the only solo diner.

breakfast at Barberyn Sands

Breakfast at Barberyn Sands – I loved the porridge with kurakkan

I realise that the rhythm of life here at Barberyn Sands is very much about early mornings, and early nights, and as the highlight of my day for the next week is the 6.30am sunrise yoga class, I soon find the idea of starting a 3-course meal at 8pm faintly ridiculous.

Ayurveda Treatment at Barberyn Sands

Initial Consultation

Dr Amilia is a brilliant doctor – and she’s incredibly pretty too

You start your treatment with a consultation as soon as possible after arrival, so that you can discuss your personal, specific health concerns with the resident Ayurvedic physician who will then determine the best treatments for you based on the principles of Ayurveda.

You’re given a personalised treatment program, repeated at the same time every day, from the day after arrival, including some combination of acupuncture, massage and targeted treatments such as oil packs.

At my initial consultation I meet Dr. Amila Wickramasinghe. The smiling, sari-wearing young doctor takes my pulse, and asks me about my conditions. I list all my ailments – mainly whiplash-related but I have a few niggling digestion issues and have sensitive skin too. I figure I might as well mention anything that bothers me as part of the holistic approach.

She asks if I’m suffering from stress, which I imagine is solid bet for most European patients of working age, but I admit I’m not. She goes on to list other conditions I may have, and I realise that I am not too badly off after all.

Barberyn Sands consultation room location next to pool

The doctor will see you now: next to the swimming pool. This is not like the NHS.

I’m then given my daily treatment time on a card – everything here is meticulously documented on paper – from the consultation notes to your diet cards.

This is good old-fashioned personalised medical care, with joined up thinking  – something which is becoming harder to find in this day and age.

I’ll be having acupuncture at 10.15 am followed by my ‘treatment’ but I’m not told what it is. I come to realise that the great thing about Barberyn Sands is that you surrender your care to the experts, and all you have to do is turn up, wearing your green sarong and let them do what needs to be done while you relax. It’s totally addictive.

Purging & Shirodhara at Barberyn Sands

food not allowed during shirodhara

Certain foods are not advised during the first few days of your stay, known as Shirodhara

The first thing you have to do in order for your body to absorb all the nutrients from Ayurvedic food and medicine is clear out all the bad stuff in your system. That means a period of purging and fasting.

It involves drinking herbs which will help your body eliminate everything held inside, and having soothing hot oils dropped on your forehead before wrapping your head in a towel. It’s called Shirodhara.

It means it’s very easy to spot the guests who have just arrived – as they’re all wearing towels on their heads!

I do my purge, using a root herb called Aralu, at the Mahagedara Retreat before reaching Barberyn so I’m let off the full Shirodhara experience at Barberyn. Tellingly I think this is a good thing at first, as nobody would want to do this purging process more than once in the same week. By the end of my time at Barberyn Sands I find myself wishing I had done Shirodhara here.

This shared experience really bonds you with your fellow guests in a very similar way to the bonding I experience on a juice retreat. I feel a bit left out as everyone discusses how the purging affected them. Of course you don’t *have* to go into details about your private bathroom experiences with strangers, but it’s amazing how easily your barriers come down at Barberyn.

Daily Treatment Schedule At Barberyn Sands

Barberyn Sands treatment rooms

Barberyn Sands treatment rooms

Like most people, I don’t exactly look forward to visiting the doctor at home, but I find I do look forward to my treatments at Barberyn Sands. Once you settle in it’s all about daily routine here, and even though I am not a fan of routine in any other aspect of life, I love the routine at Barberyn and find it incredibly calming.

Your treatment time will be allocated on arrival but my days looked like this:

6am Wake up

6.15am Take herbal medicine

6.30am Sunrise yoga class (my absolute favourite part of the day)

7.30am Breakfast

8.30am Medicine

9am Free time  – I would do my laundry by hand, hang it to dry in the sun then read, sunbathe or walk on the beach

reading at Barberyn Sands

Reading outside my cabana at Barberyn Sands

10.15am Acupuncture

11am Treatments: massage, oil and face pack, shower scrub, herbal bath

1pm Lunch

lunch at Barberyn Sands

Lunches are very tasty and healthy

2pm Medicine

15.30pm – 16.30pm Tea and snacks

6pm Medicine

6.30pm Dinner

8pm Medicine

Excursions From Barberyn Sands

There is a perfectly balanced activity program both at the hotel and in the form of excursions. Every day there is just enough to do to keep you entertained but never too much so that stress creeps into your day.

I tried to fit in any excursions that didn’t clash with my treatment times and especially enjoyed the trip to Galle, and the temple at Bentota. I was desperately sad to see an elephant giving rides to tourists (not guests from Barberyn I hasten to add). This was the only moment during my trip that I felt anything other than happy and relaxed but it was a salient reminder that not everyone has got the memo that wild animals shouldn’t be chained up for our entertainment.

Yoga at Barberyn Sands

yoga class at barberyn Sands hotel

Yoga was the highlight of my days at Barberyn Sands

The absolute highlight of days at Barberyn Sands are the beautiful sunrise yoga sessions, which take place next to the pool. I’ve been to a lot of yoga, including yoga retreats but these classes are something very special.

The rhythmic chanting, and beautiful singing of the teacher turns out to be better than a double espresso for waking you up, and starting your day off,  but without the side-effects.

Yoga outside at Barberyn Sands

I do my own yoga practice facing the beach after the class ended

Classes are obviously designed for all levels, from beginners and practised yogis with a focus on prana as much as pretzel shapes.

What To Expect From Acupuncture At Barberyn Sands

I tried acupuncture before my time at Barberyn, and found it did nothing for me, so my expectations were low.

But nothing could have prepared me for the physical reaction from the acupuncture sessions at Barberyn Sands – and the results.

They start you off slowly, with just a couple of needles, and every day add some additional areas, always checking with you first.

From day one I find that as soon as the needles are put in place I feel the energy draining out of my body, I can literally feel it channeling through the areas where I have been experiencing pain, such as my neck and back. Most needles go in painlessly but in trouble spots I find myself wincing as the needles go in, a telltale sign that the muscles have experienced trauma.

At each session I feel so tired that I drift off to sleep, no matter how many needles are sticking out of me, and I get up from the acupuncture bed feeling like I’m floating. It’s a very powerful treatment with amazing results.

In many cases acupuncture is taken in a shared room, and most treatment times seemed to be scheduled so that guests are in a same sex environment, but there’s also a private room, used for patients who need to remove their sarong for treatment.

Ayurvedic Massage Explained

The waiting area for massages

The waiting area for massages

Maybe you’ve had massages before? Maybe you have a favourite type of massage? Prior to this trip I loved a hot stone massage. Well Ayurveda massage is not like any other massage you have ever experienced: it’s better.

You start off seated and get a full Indian scalp massage and back massage. You then lie on the massage table face up, and are given an incredible facial massage before moving on to the full body massage. And in Ayurveda full body means just that. There is very little of your body that does not get massaged, and you keep only your knickers on. It may feel strange at first, but you get used to this very quickly.

My body massages at Barberyn Sands are given by two girls (male guests have male masseuses) meaning I am enjoying a four-handed body massage daily, to round off what I describe as the mega massage.

Ayurveda Oil Treatments at Barberyn Sands

Barberyn Sands Oil

Here I am already covered in oil, and about to be treated with more oil. In about 10 minutes, I’ll be asleep, again!

The next stage of daily treatment at Barberyn Sands for me (though this would vary depending on your personal treatment programme) is relaxing in a quiet room with hot oil patches on my body, and a papaya face mask and cucumber slices on my eyes.

Like all the other treatments the hot oil packs are administered incredibly gently, and I’m asked as each oil-soaked hot cotton pad is applied to my back if its ok or a needs a moment to cool off.

The idea is that this oil, and the oil you are covered in during the massages, relaxes your muscles, meaning it is especially good for whiplash victims like me.

After being under a mosquito net for around 20 minutes I drift off to sleep and have to be woken up when it’s time to shower off my personal oil slick with a special scrub in readiness for the next treatment.

Herbal Baths at Barberyn Sands

The lady who gave my my daily herbal bath is *the sweetest*

The final part of my daily treatment at Barberyn Sands is a herbal bath, given by the same lady every day. She is so kind and gentle that I begin to look forward to this part of my day the most.

The idea here is that specific herbs are boiled and the water containing their active ingredients is then rhythmically poured over your body to create a sense of wellbeing and relaxation as you absorb their benefits.

As your skin is the largest organ on your body, this is said to be the best detox: it’s like injecting nutrients into your body but with a non-invasive approach.

You’re advised to relax in your room after treatment for two hours, so your skin can fully absorb everything before you shower (again). I challenge you to keep your eyes open during this time.

Food At Barberyn Sands

Plate of red rice and healthy ayurvedic salads at Barberyn Sands Resort, Sri Lanka

I developed a real taste for this red rice, and pennywort salad while at Barberny Sands

If you’re not used to eating vegetarian or vegan food you might be worried about an Ayurvedic diet, but there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of when it comes to the food at Barberyn Sands.

The buffet selection means you do have a lot of freedom to select food that you enjoy, and while there is a lot of curry and rice, there are also familiar foods like porridge, sushi, spaghetti and bread on offer.

desert at barberyn Sands

The doctor is on hand but they’re not watching what you put on your plate, so if you want to indulge in white rice rather than the healthier (and totally yummy) red rice, that’s up to you.

I discovered a few new foods which I wouldn’t be without now, and which I’d go out of my way to have again on my next trip to Sri Lanka, especially Kurakkan flour which actually helps you to lose weight  – and which I stocked up on when I went shopping in Colombo.

There is a lot of emphasis on being hydrated at Barberyn Sands; we all know how important drinking water is, and yet we all struggle to fulfil this most basic requirement for our bodies.


One night at dinner I notice I have 7 different liquids in front of me; hibiscus water, cinnamon tea, a herb soup, warm water to take my medicine with, cold water in case I’m actually thirsty, plus 2 different liquid medicines. Let’s just say it was a revelation to me how much better one feels when one is fully hydrated.

The Wonderful World of Sri Lankan Fruit

Fruit at Barberyn Sands

The fruit at Barberyn Sands was one of the best things – so many incredible flavours

One of the highlights of my month in Sri Lanka is the local fruits they have in the country, some of which were entirely new to me.

At Barberyn there is a fruit station, with a chef on standby to prepare any fruit you might want and make up a personalised fruit plate which will suit your doshas and conditions.

Bread fruit with it’s utterly unique consistency and flavour, and the candy-like soursop fruit were my favourites, and I honestly didn’t know how I was going to cope being cut off from these fruits back home.

soursop fruit cut open

There’s no need for any candy when you have soursop fruit

In fact one of the last Sri Lankan foods to pass my lips before I boarded my plane home was a soursop smoothie at a cafe in Colombo.

Accommodation at Barberyn Sands

There are only 25 rooms at Barberyn Sands, making it by far the smallest of the three Barberyn Ayurveda Resorts in Sri Lanka and giving it quite a special personal atmosphere.

Each room is a low rise cabana, and has a double bed with mosquito net, en suite bathroom, fan or air conditioning, plus a veranda with table and chairs, perfect for relaxing with a book in between meals or treatments.

Who Stays At Barberyn Sands?

people in Galle street

Sri Lanka is a huge hit with travellers right now, and anyone with an interest in holistic health or wellbeing is welcome at Barberyn Sands as part of their trip.

I notice that the hotel as a destination in its own right is popular with Europeans, especially German and Swiss clients, as well as Russian, Indian, and Japanese guests.

There is only one other English lady at Barberyn on my visit and we discuss the fact that when it comes to being open minded about heath, and taking a natural approach, the Europeans, especially German-speaking countries, really seem to be one step ahead.

There’s a Swiss lady whose treatment times overlap with mine, and at first I assume she is a healthy-looking and fashionable 60, but after she tells me she’s been to Barberyn 5 times, it occurs to me that based on how relaxed I look and feel after just 1 visit, she’s probably in her 80’s.

How Long Should You Stay At Barberyn Sands?

Barberyn Sands Ayurveda garden

It’s so peaceful here that it can be hard to leave

Staff at Barberyn Sands seem shocked that I am staying under a week, and when booking my itinerary in Sri Lanka I assume that allowing more than a week for one place is just indulgent.

But after settling into the Barberyn way of life I realise that there is little point coming here for anything less than a week, and the benefits can really be built upon by staying on for a second or even third week.

Many guests stay for more than 14 nights, and if you have long term health conditions, the last thing you would want to do is stop treatment and head home just when you are seeing some progress.

I wouldn’t hesitate to return for a week, and would recommend that duration to anyone with minor ailments, to feel healthy and ready to take on the world again.

Do I Need To Tip Staff at Barberyn Resorts?

At the end of my stay I tipped all of the staff who gave me treatments as a way of saying thank you for the always smiling, always attentive service.

Of course this is a personal choice, but in a country like Sri Lanka where the average person’s earnings are a fraction of those in Europe, giving a small tip and saying thank you goes a long way.

I never once felt that the staff were being nice to clients in order to get a tip, and I can’t think of a time when I’ve met more genuine or committed staff at a hotel. The staff at Barberyn Sands really do make your stay amazing.

Barberyn Sands Ayurvedic Medicine

Barberyn Sands Ayurvedic Medicine

Some of my Barberyn Sands Ayurvedic Medicine

All the herbal medicine you are prescribed while at Barberyn Sands is made to order for you daily, onsite. It’s then put in a pigeon hole for you ready to be collected at the same time each day (3pm).

The final touch of thoughtfulness in the care given to you by Barberyn Sands is that you’re given a full month’s supply of medicine to take home with you, so that you can continue your treatment after you leave and your body can slowly adjust to your normal routine. I found this incredibly helpful.

What To Wear and What To Pack For A Stay At Barberyn Ayurveda Resorts

While at Barbern Sands you will spend a large proportion of your time wearing a green cotton sarong.

On treatment days you actually go through at least three of these sarongs, as you’re given fresh ones after most oil-based treatments.

This means two things when it comes to packing: you don’t need to pack as much as you might think for a stay at Barberyn Sands but the most important items to pack are underwear that you are happy to throw in the bin after your stay, when it’s become irreparably oil-soaked.

In fact I have never stayed at a luxury hotel where I’ve seen so many pairs of knickers being hung out to dry.

I also see a tote bag hanging out to dry, emblazoned with the logo of The Lancet, Britain’s foremost medical journal. I find it very telling that someone who reads this scientific publication has come here to improve their own health.

I recommend packing plenty of loose clothing to be comfortable around the resort, including respectful clothing for excursions to temples. You also should bring clothing for yoga and tai chi, as well as comfy shoes, and of course sunhat and sunglasses.

Laundry hanging out to dry

I loved seeing this Lancet tote bag – I guess Ayurveda is scientific after all?

I switched to a range of organic skincare before my trip as part of a push to be more environmentally friendly and kinder to my body when it comes to avoiding chemicals and I was really glad that I wasn’t undoing any of the good work with my skincare regime.

I have since discovered an organic suncare range by Yaoh who also do lovely hemp-based body lotion, all of which I will add to my packing list in future.

A note on mosquitos: Barberyn Sands give you two mini Ayurvedic oils to combat mosquitos – one to prevent them biting and one to treat the inevitable bites that get past the first oil. They are both absolutely amazing and I really think they should sell them in larger containers.

Staying at Barberyn Sands: Prices & Booking

beach at Barberyn sands

The cabanas are a few steps from the beach

The cost of staying at Barberyn Sands is incredibly reasonable for what you get. The rooms costs from 90 Euros per night on an all inclusive basis. The price includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, afternoon juice and tea and cake, plus classes like yoga and tai chi and daily excursions to temples and towns.

You then pay 85 Euros per day for your Ayurvedic treatment – included are all doctor consultations, acupuncture, full body, face and head massages, herbal baths, oil packs and any other recommended treatments, plus your bespoke herbal medicine.

Guests also get free transfers to and from the airport including car travel and the boat ride to the resort, and you take a full month’s supply of medicine home with you.

You can book direct via the Barberyn website.

Getting to Barberyn Sands

Barberyn Sands night landscape

I chose direct scheduled flights with Sri Lankan Airways from Heathrow. This is a great full service airline with top notch service, in flight entertainment and genuinely tasty food options. I found this far more convenient, but some other guests decided to get indirect flights and saved up to about £100.

In keeping with the theme of my trip, I wanted to be as green as possible so I travelled to and from the airport with Go Zero in one of their fleet of top of the range Teslas. The electric cars are powered by renewable energy and provide the most smooth and comfortable ride I can remember ever taking to an airport.

The hotel offers complimentary transfers from Colombo airport, and it’s up to you if you’d like to add a day in Colombo itself, which I would recommend.


Results From An Ayurveda Retreat At Barberyn Sands: My Personal Story

departing from barberyn sands

Departing from Barberyn Sands feeling like a different person

The catalyst to me trying  Ayurveda was suffering from persistent whiplash symptoms, as a result of a car accident in 2017.

Despite all the usual Western medicine, including MRI scans, X-rays, regular (often painful) physio sessions and being doled out prescriptions for strong painkillers like they were candy (and which I resisted taking unless I was in fierce pain), I still had a season ticket to my GP office and the problems seemed to be getting worse, not better.

I had back pain, neck pain, wrist and ankle pain and pins and needles in my arms and legs which were causing me a lot of discomfort and getting in the way of living life.

Even though I worked hard on my own rehabilitation, and did regular excercise including yoga, I felt like I was always taking one step forward and one step back again when it came to recovery. I was inching towards being well again, and after almost 2 years, I was desperate to speed up the process.

I realised that I needed to actually prioritise my health. Not squeeze physio sessions in between work, or excercise for an hour then rush home to unload the dishwasher and do the hoovering, or whatever other chore needed doing that day. I suddenly saw that I needed to make my health and well-being the actual focus of my life in order to see a breakthrough.

Barberyn Sands restaurant

I came to realise that prioritising your health has a lot to do with what you eat

I spent days researching anything and everything I could think of to become as healthy as possible: from herbal teas, to DNA testing, and stocking up on my favourite essential oils. Basically I Googled the heck out of anything I thought might give me the answer as to why my whiplash wouldn’t go away. And I can tell you that it takes a lot of time.

The best results I was seeing in my recovery were from using yoga and essential oils to relax the traumatised muscles, as well as using massage and holistic medicine to treat all the symptoms of my car crash, like feeling moody and anxious.

Add in my previous positive experiences with a yoga retreat in Costa Rica and another yoga holiday in Mexico and I found myself leaning toward a wellbeing retreat as a solution, which led me to Barberyn Sands.

Would I Recommend Barberyn Sands as A Healing Holiday?

Barberyn Sands beach

The fact that you can do your healing by the beach is a huge bonus

As a well-travelled person I’ve been on a lot of different kinds of trips, but Barbern Sands was completely different. Nowhere have I felt so thoroughly looked after and I loved the combination of holiday resort and upmarket hospital that Barberyn Sands offers.

Making time to go to Barberyn Sands is the single best gift I have ever given to myself and my health

I can say without a shadow of a doubt that my experience at Barberyn Sands resulted in a major breakthrough in my recovery which I don’t think I’d have stood a chance of achieving without the trip.

I would and do recommend Barberyn to anyone who feels anything less than 100% for whatever reason, and it actually saddens me to think how many people are in pain and could benefit from this kind of treatment, but either don’t know about it, or write off Ayurveda as being ‘unscientific’.

Barberyn Sands Guest Book

I am far from the only person who has found good health again at Barberyn Sands

There were mini breakthroughs while I was at Barberyn Sands, such as being able to lie flat on my back for the first time in years (seemingly such a small thing but my tight back muscles wouldn’t allow it until a few days into treatment). There was also an accumulation of results from all the treatment which meant I came home feeling like a different person. I rushed to my next physiotherapy appointment saying that I could now do things which previously had brought me nothing but pain.

Quite honesty I can’t remember a time when I felt healthier than at the end of my time at Barberyn Sands; at one point I recall catching myself walking through the gardens there with an actual spring in my step.

It wasn’t just me either – the best testimonial for Barberyn Sands that I can give you is by sharing the conclusions of other guests, some of whom come every year.

Galle lighthouse

I quickly became friends with my fellow English guest Pauline, and loved our day out in Galle

One lady tells me of how her first visit turned her life around.  She had arrived at the Barberyn Resort feeling very low, in a really bad place physically and mentally. She explains how she felt when she left Barberyn using actions not words.

She makes a fist and raising her arm into a strongman position, kisses her bicep, then re-enacts the same move on the opposite arm with a huge smile on her face.

I can write thousands of words to tell you about the benefits of my own trip to Barberyn Sands, but I think her actions says it all.


Barberyn Sands Ayurveda Retreat Barberyn Sands Ayurveda Retreat

Have you tried an ayurveda retreat or another type of detox or wellness holiday? Please tell me about it in the comments!

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