KALYAANA Spa & Wellness Retreat



How and Why I Started KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat

Well it’s a lengthy story and it all started some 15 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 my journey. Let yourself be inspired! Most of my life I have been afflicted by depression, anxiety and addiction. As a result in early 2000 I began searching for non-prescriptive ways to combat this and launched myself into fitness figure competitions and a Diploma in Exercise Science & Fitness Management. In early 2001 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 six years later whilst undertaking a degree in Psychology 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). Then 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 and meditation. 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.


The irony being, my husband and I had only been in business some eight weeks after I quit my high paying psych job with Corrective Services and moved to Bridgetown to pursue our life-long dream of operating a 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. 


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, cancer is 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 humor. Life dropped a bag of gold that I have recognized and will use to enrich my life, my loved one’s lives and the lives of others. 


My Background

I am a health, fitness & wellness consultant, counsellor, massage therapist, chef (specializing in raw food and special dietary needs such as celiac, gluten free, vegan & vegetarian, nut free, dairy free etc.), blogger and cancer survivor. I am recognized as one of Australia’s leading health, fitness & well-being authorities. I am an inspiring 

and entertaining seminar presenter, having appeared on radio and previously having my own column ‘Tailored for Fitness’ in the Western Weekly newspaper. I am enthusiastically sought after by individuals and couples who take the state of their health, fitness and wellness seriously. Combining my skills as a compelling and experienced presenter, my active sporting background in fitness figure competitions and prior fitness consultancy business, psychology degree and my training as a masseur, qualified chef, and life experience as a cancer survivor along with my husband Vince Civello I founded KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat. We are continually developing, expanding and refining what KalyaaNa offers and as such we have grown from strength to strength providing the highest quality health, fitness & wellness service possible.


What We Offer

KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat is a small boutique retreat located on five acres in the picturesque heritage town of Bridgetown, the jewel in the crown of the South West and set amid the tranquil Maslin Reserve. KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat was founded in 2011 and trade commenced in 2012 after extensive renovations to the property which reflect a modern oriental theme.


The name KalyaaNa comes from modern Sanskrit (Hindu) and simply translates to ‘the wellbeing of others’. Wellness is a state of wellbeing, essentially a state of balance or equilibrium with one's own life and lifestyle. The principle philosophy and inspiration behind KalyaaNa is to provide a holistic wellness experience in a peaceful sanctuary of healing, designed to provide experiences which clear the mind, invigorate the body and nourish the soul. KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat creates this wellness experience through the delivery of personalized custom-designed retreats which include healing treatments to nurture guests on all levels of wellbeing, provision of first class hospitality, with a focus on individual care and attention, all in the peaceful, hypnotic environment of Maslin Reserve. 


Embracing a new paradigm in wellness and health awareness, KalyaaNa has created an integrated and comprehensive method of practice. Whether you are looking to escape to Bridgetown for a total health & fitness overhaul, a short break, a spiritual weekend getaway, a healing and recovery retreat or just to enjoy some well-deserved pampering together hosts Karen & Vince along with a team of highly qualified wellness professionals, each bringing their specialized unique skills and expertise provide a range of treatments (e.g., massage, art in counselling, wellness consults, shiatsu, nutritional counselling, kinesiology, reiki, guided meditation, sound healing) and activities (e.g., yoga, personal training, bird watching, permaculture & sustainable living classes, bike riding, cooking demonstrations, bush walking). Food is an integral part of our retreats and the more natural food you eat, the more you will enjoy radiant health and happiness. With a healthy spa cuisine approach to wellness, as in-house chef I personally choose the freshest organic produce available from KalyaaNa’s own kitchen garden, the orchards and plantations of the Blackwood River Valley region, as well as from local farmers and suppliers.


The retreat is exclusively private, catering to one group, two couples or individuals at any time, so guests have sole occupancy of their suite and complete seclusion, privacy, and discretion at all times. Voted number #1 in the RAC “Gotta Go WA’ campaign in the Relax – Spa & Wellness category, recognized by Scoop Traveller Magazine 2013 (Issue 23) as one of Western Australia’s ‘Top Ten Spa & Health Experiences’, rated on TripAdvisor as number #1 of 7 Bridgetown B&B and Inns, and Finalists in the 2013 WA Tourism Awards in the “Unique Accommodation” category KalyaaNa Spa & Wellness Retreat is for those interested in a holiday experience that combines health, fitness and wellness with professional first class service, and accommodation, delicious cuisine and luxurious home comforts all in one.

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