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Downward Dogma: A Yogi’s tale from the Maldives



Maldives Promotion House – Our minds and bodies take a lot of punishment over the course of a lifetime. By making an effort to maintain a healthy lifestyle both mentally and physically, we can help prepare ourselves to take on whatever comes our way. Rajanish Govind, resident yogi at Four Seasons Resort Maldives at Landaa Giraavaru, has dedicated his life to the practice of yoga in order to achieve this goal. A former pharmacist with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Govind turned to yoga professionally during a quest for mental satisfaction—and he hasn’t looked back. Here he imparts what he’s learned not only about the physical practice of yoga, but about the lifestyle it helps create.

Q: How did you come to practice yoga?
A: I started to practice yoga when I was 15 years old. I was inspired by Yogi Guru Mani Swami at Sadguru Yogashram in Palakkad, Kerala, India, where I ultimately received a diploma in yoga and completed my Yoga Teacher Training Course.

Q: What do you feel are some of the most significant benefits of yoga?
A: Practising yoga helps to increase the body’s flexibility while also increasing lubrication of joints, tendons and ligaments. Yoga is instrumental in helping to release toxins from the body. Through synchronization of the breath and body movements, it helps develop inner awareness by relaxing the mind and releasing mental, emotional and muscular stress.

Q: Balance seems to play a key part, both physically and mentally—how can guests relate this principle to the rest of their lives?
A: Due to busier modern lifestyles, stress is a more dominating factor now than it was before, and that causes a lot of imbalance in life. Practising yoga, meditation and breathing exercises helps to bring back balance. It is recommended that yoga be adopted as a lifestyle; when included as part of a daily routine, it can really help anyone to achieve a sense of well-being.

Q: Can you share some tips for taking what guests learn in your classes and incorporating it into their everyday routines?
A: My yoga sessions tend to be therapy-based; however, yoga practices may vary according to a guest’s own body comforts. Typically, I suggest that the guest practice some specific postures and breathing related to any specific health issues he or she may suffer from. I would then recommend that they practise those on a daily basis for better health results.

Q: What is the most important thing that both beginners and those well versed in the discipline should keep in mind?
A: I always suggest that guests focus on more synchronized breathing (Ujjayi Breath) during the yoga poses. It helps to boost detoxification, lung expansion and creates a deeper awareness within.

Q: What is the difference between yoga and other regular physical exercises?
A: There are a number of differences. First, one can practise yoga at any age. Other physical exercises, on the other hand, have certain age limitations. Practising yoga also helps to cure various health ailments that other physical exercises may not. It helps to loosen all the muscles and joints and increase flexibility, while other forms of exercise often have the opposite effect. Yoga develops inner awareness, and a lot of other activities don’t have such merits. Physical exercises also tend to develop lactic acid, while yoga helps to eliminate it. And finally, the postures used in yoga stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to calm body and mind; physical exercises stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which has opposite result.

Q: What drew you to yoga initially, and what keeps you coming back?
A: My lack of concentration on my studies led me to practise yoga, and my interest in spirituality helped me to learn its philosophies. My whole inspiration was my yogi guru and his selfless service to society. Working as a pharmacist, I found myself lacking in mental satisfaction. I then turned to yoga as a profession so that I would have the opportunity to interact with different people every day, which makes my job more interesting. Helping people with the healing power of yoga gives me happiness and satisfaction.

Q: Are there any new trends that you are particularly interested in or excited about sharing?
A: I usually do not depend on any particular type or style of yoga practice. I am more interested in Vinyasa Flow and intensive hatha yoga practices, or a combination of both depending on the guest’s comfort level. I do include Thai yoga stretches as they help improve flexibility in order to attain various different yoga poses.

Q: What is your best advice for the modern yoga student?
A: If you are looking for a fitness programme, yoga is the best. Be sure to practise yoga safely under the guidance of an experienced teacher and with proper breathing techniques that focus on awareness of the body. You’ll soon find that yoga and meditation help to bring about more positive thoughts and confidence.

Written by Jennifer Sanchez for Four Seasons Magazine


Sheraton Maldives hosts “Shape-Up” bootcamp for Global Wellness Day



Fitness enthusiasts can maintain their routines while connecting with the natural beauty of Furanafushi Island

Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa invites fitness enthusiasts and wellness seekers to join an exciting boot camp in celebration of Global Wellness Day. ‘Shape-Up’, a two-day event, will take place on June 11 and 12, 2024, celebrating health, fitness, and well-being. Hosted by renowned German fitness coach Dennis Felber, the event promises a dynamic mix of workouts against the idyllic backdrop of Furanafushi Island.

Dennis Felber, recognized for his coaching expertise, brings years of experience in promoting healthier lifestyles, weight loss, and muscle building. His engaging and effective approach ensures that participants of all fitness levels can achieve their personal goals. The program includes a variety of workouts, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) for beginners, beach circuits, battle ropes, fun aqua aerobics, and many more, ensuring an exciting and diverse fitness experience for everyone.

Elevate your performance with an intensive session with Dennis Felber at CocoFit, an innovative outdoor gym that allows fitness enthusiasts to maintain their routines while connecting with the natural beauty of the surroundings. To complement each session, the signature Furana Detox, crafted from fresh lemongrass, mint leaves, and pandan leaves harvested from the resort’s own Furana Organic Garden, is served to get you refreshed and refueled. To conclude the day, our executive chef, Riccardo Pinna, has curated a wellness-inspired dinner consisting of a three-course hearty meal to ensure a balance of nutrients for your body. The evening promises an experience that delights your taste buds and supports your overall well-being.

‘Shape-Up’ is available complimentary for all resort guests aged 16 and above, accommodating guests of all fitness levels. The event also underscores the resort’s commitment to being the World’s Gathering Place, fostering a sense of community among like-minded travelers who share a passion for wellness.

“We are excited to host the ‘Shape-Up’ with Dennis Felber this Global Wellness Day,” said Mohamed El Aghoury, General Manager of Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. “Our goal is to be part of our guests’ wellness journeys by providing enriching activities while they enjoy the unparalleled beauty of our resort.”

Beyond the boot camp, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa offers a variety of enriching activities for guests of all ages. From Sunrise Yoga sessions and adrenaline-pumping water sports to “Adopt A Coral,” a coral planting activity, guests can indulge in both adventure and relaxation while contributing to marine conservation. Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa is accessible with a 15-minute complimentary speedboat ride from Velana International Airport, making it ideal for guests who prefer brief travel.

For reservations and more information, visit or contact the reservations team at

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Get fit in paradise with celebrity trainer Shaun Staffordat Niyama Private Islands Maldives’ Fitness x Wellness Week



Niyama Private Islands Maldives is introducing its first-ever Fitness x Wellness Week from the 11th-18th November 2023. The retreat will be hosted by resident Ayurvedic doctor Kannan Nettath and two-time World Fitness Champion and celebrity trainer Shaun Stafford.

Niyama’s inaugural Fitness x Wellness Week offers the perfect balance of working hard and playing harder, along with training and recovery. Whether guests are a fitness fanatic or a first timer, the programme promises to push everyone to attain their personal best with confidence. all while having fun.

Niyama’s twin islands, Play and Chill are the ideal setting for such a retreat with its long stretches of beach to jog; perfect waters to swim, ski board, surf or sail; a flood-lit tennis court and PUMP, the gym with a view to inspire and all the equipment needed for a next-level workout.

Each day of the retreat begins with a group workout led by Shaun Stafford. Shaun is a two time World Fitness Champion, celebrity trainer, social media influencer and a pro fitness model. He founded City Athletic in London and regularly tours the world hosting exclusive fitness retreats.

During the retreat, guests will benefit from one-on-one consulting and one-on-one coaching with Shaun, who will draw up a personalised six-week training programme which incorporates weight, strength and circuit training based on one’s goals for them to continue with back at home. They will also consult with Ayurvedic doctor Kannan Nettath, who, based on the results of their epigenetic test, as well as their doshas, will advise simple lifestyle changes to adopt for optimal health and wellness.

Downtime includes a whole day of recovery with snorkelling, spa treatments and a movie under the stars. Throughout the retreat, guests can also enjoy unlimited use of the spa’s hydrotherapy circuits or a Vitamin Therapy with Beverly Hills Vitamin Therapy, mingling over cocktails on the beach, and 3 course menu dinner in a modern fine dining located half a kilometre from shore at Edge or deep in the jungle by firelight at Tribal.

The Fitness x Wellness Week health package excluding room is priced at USD $2,711net per person and is open to a maximum of 10 participants, with bookings required by 4 November 2023. There is also a programme for accompanying partners who wish to relax only priced at USD $483net per person.

For more information or reservations, visit or email

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Break a sweat and stay fit on your holiday at Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives



Your summer body doesn’t have to wait! Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives brings yet another transformative experience to the Maldives scene, with the launch of its fun & and exciting “Beach Boot Camp” under the resort’s beach club.

Designed to cater to fitness enthusiasts and wellness seekers alike, the resort launched the program led by in-house fitness instructors giving the guests the opportunity to participate in a variety of dynamic and engaging workouts, including beach circuits, sled hammering, battle rope, tire flipping, and more. The program is tailored to accommodate individuals of all fitness levels, ensuring that everyone can achieve their personal fitness goals even with one session.

The Beach Boot Camp is a unique new addition to the resort’s endless list of activities be it Aerial Yoga, a Steam-off session in the Sauna, or an adrenaline-spiking Jet ski ride at the Marine Sports Center, aimed at enhancing guests’ overall well-being while indulging in the awe-inspiring beauty of the Maldivian archipelago. What better way to look good, feel good & and enjoy a guilt-free holiday in the luscious tropics?

“We are thrilled to introduce the launch of our Beach Boot Camp experience, bringing together the elements of luxury, fitness, and wellness in one remarkable setting,” said Raffaele Solferino, General Manager of Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives. “Our goal is to provide our guests with an unforgettable journey where they can achieve their fitness objectives while immersing themselves in the unparalleled beauty of our one-island-one resort destination. We believe that this new offering will redefine the way people perceive beachside retreats.”

The Beach Boot Camp will be available to all resort guests aged 16 and above, regardless of their personal fitness level or experience. Whether seeking a challenging workout regime or simply looking to stay active during their vacation, this new offering promises an exceptional experience for every participant.

Thoughtful indulgence can always lead to a healthier way of holidaying. Any guest at Grand Park Kodhipparu Maldives will be the master of their own schedule, unscripted and limitless as to how they choose to spend their pursuit of peace and wellness. Embark on a remarkably transformative journey that allows you to reconnect with nature, that helps you make moments in time and truly let go in the paradise island of Grand Park Kodhipparu, Maldives.

An over-five-times winner of luxury wellness awards resort that lives by its promise to put the overall well-being of the guests to the forefront, you are in for a holiday that will feel a little less guilty leaving you feeling rejuvenated and more in-tune with your inner soul to practice a mindful escape in the Maldives.

Head over to to learn more about the resort’s wellness offerings, curated to ensure that your holiday is one to remember!

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