At KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat we are passionate about people, this not only drives the way we work together and with our guests, but also how we give back to local communities in meaningful ways.
Love – We enable a nurturing healing ambience within the retreat environment where the essential focus of ‘love’ is quite tangibly felt through our wellness retreat programs. Our work is grounded in love, by which we mean the capacity to extend ourselves for the sake of another person’s growth. It stretches us to understand, respect, and support each other and ourselves. Love activates, empowers and encourages the growth of our other core values. Love is the ideal touchstone and the ultimate facilitator.
Strength – We emphasize people’s self-determination and strengths, as well as our own. We focus on the inherent strengths and skills that we and our guests already have, and use them as building blocks for future success and problem-solving. Instead of focusing attention on the problem or using language that stigmatizes or makes people feel like a victim, our ‘strength’ focused approach empowers people by drawing attention to the positives that already exist within us all. This approach dictates that we aren’t defined by our problems, diagnosis, or illness. Instead we are defined by our capacity for growth and change.
Vitality – We are full of life, intense activity, energy, drive and vigour. We have, first and foremost, a positive mindset and are bursting with energy. We are enthusiastic, we love creating and innovating, and strive to improve and help things around us change for the better. Vitality is being open to new ideas, going above and beyond and saying “we can do this”. We are passionate about our guests, brand and servicess, and the way they can have a positive influence on people’s lives.
Peace – We view peace as harmony, tranquillity, serenity and peace of mind. The value of being at peace is rooted in recognizing differences but finding ways to keep moving forward together. Ultimately, when we have peace [of mind] in ourselves, we are more able to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will be in our community and society as a whole.
Self-Awareness – We know and understand our emotions, our personal strengths and weaknesses, and have a strong sense of our own worth. The symbol of the Buddha embodied in our logo is a symbol of enlightenment and a meditative state of awareness. Through the cultivation of rest, relaxation, mind-body purification and a completely personal and thorough inquiry we help guests to experience in a small but profound way an awakening of the self. It is with this motivation and understanding that KalyaaNa is inspired and strives to achieve.
Transformation – We embrace a holistic, non-pharmaceutical, psychotherapeutic approach using evidence-based treatments. We emphasize the mastery of mindfulness, personal responsibility and self-control delivered through personalized one-on-one wellness treatments which focus on that to help guests manage their thoughts, feelings, behaviour, that will transform their lives and help them create and adopt lasting lifestyle changes for optimal wellness.
Sustainability – We are committed to providing a quality service in a manner that espouses sustainable environmental friendly best practices to minimize our potential impact on the environment. The philosophy of being kind to the environment is integrated into the holistic wellness experience which defines KalyaaNa’s endeavor to cultivate ecotourism and further enhances the ‘KalyaaNa experience’ for guests. We envision sanctuaries for learning to love and respect life. We realize this mission by creating opportunities for awareness and nurturing supportive relationships that evolve from this awareness. It is our belief that, when we first focus our attention on our personal wellness, positive transformation becomes possible through engagement with the wider communities that surround us.
Our vision is to enable all individuals to discover new sources of energy and vitality that will transform their lives and help them create and adopt lasting lifestyle changes for optimal wellness.
Our mission is to be award winning leaders in wellness tourism in the Blackwood River Valley region, providing holistic wellness experiences through delivery of personalized custom-designed retreats which include healing treatments to nurture guests on all levels of wellbeing; combining health, fitness and wellness with professional first class service, accommodation, healthy spa cuisine and luxurious home comforts all in one.
KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat was founded in 2011 by well-respected health and tourism professionals Karen and Vince Civello who for the past 15 years have dedicated themselves to improving the lives of many individuals. This inspiring couple bring together different streams of experience providing the highest quality health, fitness & wellness service possible. KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat is a destination spa and wellness retreat with a focus for rejuvenation and relaxation. The principle philosophy and inspiration behind KalyaaNa is to create a peaceful sanctuary of healing, providing experiences which clear the mind, invigorate the body and nourish the soul. At KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat we adopt a holistic approach to wellness taking into account rest and relaxation, health, nutritional advice, exercise, counselling, wellness consultation, meditation and self-awareness. As a guest you will benefit from the guidance and supportive caring nature of a team of highly skilled professionals, who are thoroughly educated in wellness and dedicated to serving your individual needs. KalayaaNa is for those interested in a holiday experience that combines health, fitness and well-being, with healthy spa cuisine, professional first class service and accommodation which is tastefully designed and furnished.
What does KalyaaNa mean?
The name KalyaaNa simply translates to “the wellbeing of others”. The name KalyaaNa comes from modern Sanskrit (Hindu) and simply translates to “wellbeing” (of others). Wellness is a state of wellbeing, essentially a state of balance or equilibrium with one’s own life and lifestyle. Wellness implies that you take time out for your own well being. Indeed, we all aspire to a lifestyle which brings us increased health, happiness and wholeness. The understanding of ‘wholeness’ is integral to the experience and meaning of wellness.
Our logo and the Buddha statues
KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat is not affiliated with any particular religious tradition, though we embrace art and sculpture throughout the retreat environment. The symbol of the Buddha has deep meaning and tradition in many cultures expanding from India to Buddhism and more. Buddha is Sanskrit and simply translated means ‘form of the awakened one’. According to deep wisdom teachings, some 2,500 years ago Buddha lived in India and found spiritual enlightenment through a simple lifestyle and meditation. The symbol of the Buddha embodied in our logo draws from the essential meaning behind the Buddha statue, being a symbol of enlightenment and meditative state of awareness. Through the cultivation of rest, relaxation, mind-body purification and a completely personal and thorough inquiry we may come to experience in a small but profound way an awakening of the self. It is with this motivation and understanding that KalyaaNa is inspired and strives to achieve. The Buddha statue in our main entrance is referred to as the praying or Namaste’ Buddha. The Namaste’ Buddha has his hands clasp in front of him in a “wai” greeting or praying hand position. The palms of the hands are placed against each other at chest level with the right thumb placed over the left in a gesture of universal prayer and homage. This sacred hand position is often used in yoga as it is an excellent way to induce a meditative state of awareness.
How and Why We Started KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat
Well it’s a lengthy story and it all started some 20 years ago. Who would like to hear it? Given I can’t actually see you, I’m going to assume you said ‘yes’ and get on with telling you about our journey. Let yourself be inspired! Most of my life I have personally been afflicted by depression, anxiety and until age 30 alcohol/ drug dependency. As a result in early 2000 I began searching for non-prescriptive ways to combat this. I went cold turkey abstaining from alcohol and illicit drugs, found a counsellor to begin therapy, and launched myself into fitness figure competitions and a Diploma in Exercise Science & Fitness Management. In early 2001 I founded a fitness business named Australian Body Fitness & Performance Training. My fitness, training and the gym quickly became a passion and a priority. Life’s natural ‘feel good’ endorphins. Some four years earlier unbeknown to me Vince my now husband had been living his own separate life, managing caravan parks with his intention to eventually operate a bed & breakfast. In 1996 however, Vince was enduring his own battle after contracting an infection resulting in a brain abscess which saw him hospitalized and paralyzed down his right side for over three months. The long road to recovery consisted of learning how to walk and talk again. Behaviours many of us take for granted.
Whilst undertaking a degree in Psychology in 2007 I was diagnosed with Sjogerns syndrome, a systemic auto-immune disease in which immune cells attack and destroy the exocrine glands that produce tears and saliva. After completing my bachelor’s degree in early 2010 I worked as a drug & alcohol counsellor for Outcare Inc. where I met Vince who was working as a youth mentor. There was an immediate connection between us as we had similar interests and dreams. Later that year I sought employment at Corrective Services working within the prison system as a Senior Program Officer however, during this time I suffered from another bout of depression. We had both grown up in the South West so we decided that a tree change was our life’s direction. With no solid plan other than a desire for change and a life-long dream of operating our own business I quit my high paying psych job and we moved to Bridgetown, Western Australia. Given our skill set and life experiences we decided to pursue direction in the burgeoning wellness tourism industry and founded KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat. With our broader intention being to see the Blackwood River Valley region become the ‘wellness destination of Western Australia’. Something akin to the Daylesford, spa region in Victoria.
In an ironic twist of fate just eight weeks after we began operating and ten days after my 40th birthday I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Anal Basaloid Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Treatment consisted of intensive chemotherapy and radiation. I swapped a lifestyle of late night parties for yoga, counselling and meditation. I ditched my diet that consisted mostly of vodka, champagne and junk food and became an organic juice guzzling, lentil-tofu-soy loving, for the most part vegetarian and began devoting all my time and energy to restoring my health and well-being. Being diagnosed with cancer is a huge shock. That said, life seems to drop many bags of gold in our path, and rarely do they look like what they are. Indeed, my cancer diagnosis was a gift, a wake-up call to make the most of the here and now, that’s why it is called the ‘present’. The only way through it is to stay positive and maintain one’s sense of humour. Life dropped a bag of gold that we have recognized and will use to enrich our lives, our loved one’s lives and the lives of others.