Southeast of Des Moines, just north of the peaceful hamlet of Fairfield, is a very small town, and it is like nothing most Iowans have ever seen.
This city of roughly 150 people is not the smallest in Iowa, but it is the newest to be incorporated.
The city itself is laid out according to the principles described in the Ayurveda and reflect the circles within circles of the Vedic zodiac.
What draws people from around the United States and the rest of the world to this remote location? For some, it is the Maharishi University of Management where experts gather daily to meditate and practice yogic flying for a more peaceful world.
There are immigrants to Vedic City to be sure. They come to the Heartland to start a new life with like-minded people where organic foods, vegetarian restaurants and herbal remedies can be found amidst the peaceful vistas, man-made lakes and friendly faces of east central Iowa.
As if all of this were not enough reason to take a side trip to the beautiful Iowa countryside, there is also a very posh reason to go there as well.
Vedic City is home to a top-rated destination spa called The Raj. Raj is Hindi for “king,” and that is an appropriate name for a hotel that gives its guests the royal treatment.
Rogers Badgett, owner of The Raj and Vedic City council member, built The Raj in 1993. Badgett said that as a business man, he wouldn’t have built The Raj if he didn’t believe the principles practiced there didn’t work.
“A lot of our clients are baby boomers,” he said. “They’ve lived the good life, and now their knees are starting to hurt them; and they are interested in anti-aging and good health.”
The Raj is much better known outside of Iowa than it is inside of Iowa, Badgett said. Clients come from around the world for a variety of different treatments.
One need not be a practitioner of TM to understand, participate and benefit, said Lindsay Oliver, Raj spokesperson.
“Each person has an individual balance,” Oliver said. “Who are you? What is your nature? How far have you gone from your natural balance? People do things they THINK are healthy for them like eat raw vegetables, but not everyone can digest them equally well.”
A three-day stay is the minimum required to regain balance. The cost is $645 a day and that includes physician consultations on top of massages, top-notch vegetarian cuisine, meditation and yoga sessions, mud baths, shirodhara oil rubs and all the expert advice one needs to maintain balance.
One need not dive into TM whole-heartedly to benefit from and enjoy the level of pampering offered by The Raj, but it doesn’t hurt either. This is, after all, a holistic system that suggests the body digests not only food, but images and sounds as memories.
To that end, Vedic City is trying to create a place where all aspects of life are centered around Vedic principles.
Who knows, once one enters Vedic City, one might not want to leave, and that would be just fine with them.