Ayurvedic Healing and Yoga Retreat in Kerala, India
Relax • Release • Renew

Friday, Feb 1 – Wednesday, Feb 13

The perfect vacation: deep relaxation and daily Ayurvedic healing treatments, combined with yoga and meditation guided by Gyandev and Diksha McCord, plus Indian cultural experiences – at Kerala’s finest Ayurvedic retreat.

Shorter version: February 1-8, 2019
Add on: February 13-20, 2019

Relax • Release • Renew

Imagine the perfect vacation: deep relaxation and Ayurvedic healing treatments, combined with yoga and meditation guided by Gyandev and Diksha McCord, plus a variety of delightful Indian cultural experiences all at Kerala’s finest seaside Ayurvedic retreat.

This can be yours next winter at a certified Gold Leaf Ayurvedic facility that has been recognized as the best Ayurvedic resort in Kerala for more than ten years.

It features excellent doctors and therapists headed by Dr. Raman, and exceptionally good food, Ayurvedically prepared. The facilities are clean and well maintained, and the setting is a tropical paradise: lush with palm trees, tropical flowers, and green lawns, terraced down to a point just above the Arabian Sea. You’ll stay in a traditional Keralan cottage, with the sound of the ocean soothing you day and night. A short walk brings you to a broad, peaceful, uncrowded private beach with chairs, umbrellas, and towels provided.

Ayurvedic Healing Retreat Video
 

Nursing CEU Eligible: Up to 22 hours (for 12 days) or 12 hours (for 7 days)ceu credits

Yoga Alliance RYT’s and E-RYT’s: Up to 22 hours (for 12 days) or 12 hours (for 7 days) of continuing education credit. Ask your instructor for documentation.

excellent doctors
Ayurvedic Doctors
excellent therapists
Ayurvedic Therapists

 

There aren't enough superlatives to describe this trip!!!! If you want to have a life-changing experience and the best, most relaxing vacation of your life, go to Kerala with Diksha and Gyandev! I vacation a lot, and have been to many places in the world, and this was without a doubt the best vacation experience I have ever had. I can't say enough good things, so I will end by saying, "I want to go again!"
– C. Gier, CA

I am so blessed to have been on this retreat. I know I’ve experienced deep healing on many levels.
S. Rodgers, CO

It was the best vacation I have ever had. The Ayurveda / Yoga experience surpassed my expectation. Two-hour massage each day for seven days and the daily practice of Yoga postures brought joy, peace and total relaxation. If you want to deepen your Yoga and meditation practice and be pampered, this trip is for you.
– L. Gluckman, CA

I loved the resort, I loved the people, I loved India. I loved the whole experience. I added a new dimension to my life.
J. Gosling, CA

 

Gyandev and Diksha McCord, two of Ananda’s best-loved instructors, are ideally qualified to lead your Ayurveda retreat.

Gyandev is director of Ananda Yoga® worldwide and a co-founder of Yoga Alliance. Diksha directs Ananda’s Meditation Teacher Training and has studied and taught Ayurveda and Ayurvedic cooking for many years.

Both Gyandev and Diksha have experienced the treatments at Somatheeram and recommend them highly.

EXCELLENT!!! Diksha and Gyandev made the trip a complete success.
J. Perez, CA

Gyandev and Diksha are the best group leaders for a trip retreat that I have ever been with.
S. Rodgers, CO

Your retreat package includes...

  • Transportation from Trivandrum Airport to resort and back
  • Accommodations
  • Two delicious Ayurvedic vegetarian meals each day (breakfast and dinner)
  • Classes on Ayurveda, Hindu spirituality and Healing
  • Personal consultations with the staff Ayurvedic doctors
  • 7 therapeutic treatments (6 treatments for those on the 7-night package) for either Rejuvenation Therapy or Purification Therapy
  • Ananda Yoga and meditation session on most mornings, led by Gyandev
  • Evening entertainment of Indian music, dance, and drama
  • Guided excursions to Indian cultural and spiritual sights
  • An informative and useful booklet on Ayurveda and Ananda Yoga

Nursing CEU Eligible: 22 hours CEU

You will have the opportunity to deeply and profoundly relax your body, mind, and soul in many enjoyable ways.

Palm trees

The Ayurvedic resort has a calm, sweet, rejuvenating atmosphere vastly different from tourist destinations.

More on the Resort

“… the ideal location for our yoga and meditation resort.”

Set in beautiful surroundings. Lots of facilities such as room service, pool, etc. Rooms are neat and tidy. Daniel Crawford, CA

The Ayurvedic resort is a perfect facility for this experience. Located directly on the Arabian Sea, it has a calm, sweet, rejuvenating atmosphere vastly different from tourist destinations. The staff are extremely well trained and very serviceful. The doctors and therapists have extensive experience.

The resort has canopies of
palm trees

Although the resort is frequented primarily by Westerners, the atmosphere remains thoroughly Keralan. Its spacious grounds include many cottages and Keralan houses. Its Ayurvedic clinic includes therapy rooms, doctors, and massage therapists.

The ocean water is warm and clean, though occasionally there are strong currents that make it not ideal for swimming.

Lifeguards are on duty from 7:00 A.M. until 6:00 P.M. every day.

In addition to the clinic and restaurant, other services include an internet cafe, an Ayurvedic drugstore, a gift store, a clothing store with tailors, a swimming pool, and a yoga hall.

A Typical Day

All activities are optional, and you can choose from a pleasantly full, yet relaxed, schedule of activities.

Your day will begin with nearly two hours of guided sadhana (“spiritual practices”) with Gyandev, to the accompaniment of soft ocean breezes as you look out upon the Arabian Sea. After guided Energization Exercises (developed by Yogananda to recharge all body cells with vitality), you’ll enjoy rejuvenation Ananda Yoga asanas (yoga postures) and silent meditation. Most of these sessions are designed specifically to help you experience the principles of Ayurveda, and to support the treatments you are receiving.

A morning meditation

After sadhana, you’ll walk up the steps through the lush foliage for a delicious breakfast in the open-air restaurant. The buffet includes fresh juices, a variety of local tropical fruits, herbal teas, coffee, and delicious, Ayurvedically-prepared dishes.

On some days after breakfast, you’ll enjoy an Ayurveda class with Diksha. You will learn the basic principles of Ayurveda, and learn how to work with the subtle energies of body and mind. Diksha will also give you helpful tips on how to benefit the most from the treatments and the overall retreat experience.

 

Gyandev having an ayurvedic consultation

After lunch, you will consult with the doctors before enjoying your Ayurvedic treatment. (For some people, the consultation and treatment will precede lunch. And some people will choose not to eat lunch at all, either because that helps them better absorb their treatments, or because breakfast and dinner make for plenty of food.) The rest of the afternoon is spent consciously relaxing amid the palm trees to fully absorb the effects of the treatment. Later on you can take a walk along the beach and enjoy the sunset.

Then comes a marvelous Ayurvedic buffet dinner. Often, your day will culminate with delightful entertainment, such as traditional Indian dance or music.

 

Ocean view

An ocean view of the resort

Ayurvedic Treatments

“Ayurveda is a complete approach to the art of living…”

The treatments I received for fibromyalgia have improved my health more than any other treatment I have had. That, along with the herbal medicines that I received, have relieved the fibromyalgia symptoms to the extent that I am pain-free with much more energy than I have had in years. It has been magical. Charlene Gier, CA

The Ayurvedic treatments were fabulous. I had no idea that massages like this exist. The advice about diet, medicines and lifestyle has brought significant improvements in my health. Mary Widenor, CA

Ayurveda teaches you how to establish a harmonious and balanced life. It includes dietary and other lifestyle guidelines, as well as the use of herbal preparations and therapeutic massage with medicinal oils. Many of the herbs used in the oils are grown on the Somatheeram property, and many of the oils and medicines are prepared in the resort’s own laboratory.

Diksha with friends

Diksha and a friend drinking green coconut at the end of treatments.

Two kinds of treatments are available during your stay: Rejuvenation Therapy and Purification Therapy. Rejuvenation Therapy is exactly that: soothing, healing massage and other treatments intended to nurture your bodily tissues and restore your natural vibrancy. Ayurvedic massage is quite unlike other forms of massage, employing specially medicated oils; it can be as deep or as gentle as you like. Women treat women, and men treat men. Purification Therapy does all this and more, offering special cleansing treatments to remove bodily toxins that can impair wellness and harmony.

Your personalized therapy program will be determined via consultation with the Ayurvedic doctors, If you wish, you may purchase additional treatments beyond the seven treatments that are included in the package price. (Note: Purification Therapy might require two or three additional treatments.)

The Ayurvedic clinic is under the direction of Doctor Raman, professor of Ayurvedic medicine, Sanskrit scholar, and an Ayurvedic practitioner for more than 40 years. His staff of doctors are all university graduates with a B.A.M.S. degree (Doctor of Ayurvedic Medicine). The massage therapists are highly skilled; they often come from generations of Ayurvedic therapists and are thoroughly trained at the clinic’s massage school. The therapy rooms are charming Keralan-style: quiet and calm, with a thatched roof of coconut fronds.

My therapist and helper were so kind and caring each time. The doctors were great and willing to answer my many questions. Sheri Rodgers, CO

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Meals

“The food preparation is one of the most remarkable things about Somatheeram.”

The food is one of the most remarkable things about the resort. In a word, it’s fantastic. The fruits, vegetables, and other ingredients are fresh and of high quality. Each dish is expertly prepared using the principles of Ayurveda. Keralan cooking is extraordinarily tasty often made with fresh coconut and coconut milk and the cooks take special care not to make the dishes too spicy for Westerners. There is a variety of fresh juices, including coconut, pineapple, papaya, watermelon, apple, and orange, plus a wide variety of tropical fruits native to Kerala, including over 30 varieties of banana.

 

Debra with her delicious meal

Debra with her delicious meal

The resort chefs demonstrating Indian cooking

The resort chefs demonstrating
Indian cooking

Diksha enjoying another extraordinary dinner

Diksha enjoying another extraordinary dinner

At the buffet tables, each dish is labeled so that you will know whether it is appropriate for your Ayurvedic constitution. There are always numerous dishes that are fine for everyone, since they are balanced for all three doshas. In addition, you can special-order dishes that have been recommended for you by your doctor to enhance the therapeutic effects of your treatments. Your retreat package includes two vegetarian buffet meals each day (breakfast and dinner) plus most special orders during those meals; you can purchase lunch and snacks at very reasonable prices.

Great variety. I ate all I wanted to and had no indigestion. This is something I have rarely experienced, as I have had chronic indigestion since childhood. Mary Widenor, CA

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Yoga and Meditation

Traditionally, Ayurvedic healing has gone hand-in-hand with the practice of yoga and meditation, which complete the wellness equation by bringing the spiritual dimension into play. During the retreat, you will practice Ananda Yoga®, a gentle style that can be adapted for all body types. Ananda Yoga particularly emphasizes awareness of inner energies and using them to cultivate soul awareness.

Meditating on the Beach

Your Ananda Yoga® practice in Kerala will include instruction in how to approach yoga from an Ayurvedic viewpoint, to help balance and heal your body type. As you quiet your mind and enter your blissful internal paradise, you will discover an eternal wellspring of joy, peace, and healing energy.

If you are new to meditation and yoga, you can receive basic instruction in these classical techniques for self-transformation. Gyandev and Diksha will also be available to help experienced meditators go deeper into their practice.

 

A beautiful practice. I will incorporate it in my life. Honoring the gift of each day at sunrise and sunset on the lawn filled me with joy to be alive and to give thanks for the privilege to embody Spirit. Sheri Rodgers, CO

Enjoy Cultural Entertainment

Keralan art, music and dance have been highly developed for millennia. Two or three evenings each week will offer performances on the outdoor stage next to the restaurant. These will include classical Indian music and dance including Bharatanatyam, the beautiful and renowned form of Indian temple dancing. You’ll also experience a unique Keralan tradition called Katha Kali, which is a theatrical representation of Indian mythology, in which the performers wear elaborate costumes and masks and tell stories through dance, music, and mime.

 

  Kerala Dancers

 

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Excursions

Six excursions are spread over the 12 days of your stay. One of them is a day-long trip in a traditional Keralan houseboat through Kerala’s network of canals and lakes. You’ll enjoy your peaceful ride past lush vegetation and simple villages, culminating with a walking tour of a local village.

Elephant greeting guests

 Another half-day excursion will take you to a small Ayurvedic facility that turns raw, organic cotton into clothing and linens died with natural medicinal plants. Can you imagine: pillow cases for insomnia, shirts that lower blood pressure, and bed sheets for skin problems? All that and more.

 

The other planned excursions include:

  • A trip to the famous Kovalam Beach, which is a great place to shop for local handicrafts.
  • The herbal center where medicinal oils and natural medicines are prepared.
  • Shiva temple, a 10-minute walk from the resort.
  • An upscale Indian department store, with beautiful clothing and craft items.
Boat

The day trips were perfect. I appreciated being able to see the India that lies outside Somatheeram and the local area.
– Charlene Gier, CA

A good exposure to life in India outside our little paradise at the resort. Joan Gosling, CA

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Weather and Clothing

Kerala has the most temperate climate in India. In February, daytime high temperatures range between 82 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Evenings are mild, with the average temperature between 78 – 82 degrees. The humidity ranges from 40% to 55%. The ocean breeze is always pleasant and refreshing. All in all, it’s an ideal climate for Ayurvedic healing.

Indian clothing

Locally made Indian clothing

You will want to bring beach clothes, comfortable, light clothes for yoga and meditation, a sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. For the evenings a light shawl usually suffices. Local shops sell Indian and beachwear, and there are also tailors at the resort and nearby who can make custom clothes for you at very low cost.



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Nayaswami Gyandev McCord

Nayaswami Gyandev McCord

Co-Director of the Ananda Meditation Teacher Training ®, Director of Ananda Yoga®, Level 2 Ananda Yoga teacher, E-RYT 500, Raja Yoga Teacher, Spiritual Travel Host, Writer and Lecturer, Ananda Minister
What is a nayaswami?

Combining a fun-loving spirit, keen insight into the spiritual life, and genuine warmth, Nayaswami Gyandev makes the inner quest seem both natural and doable. Since 1983 he has taught Ananda Yoga to thousands of students and trained hundreds of teachers around the world, often forging deep and lasting bonds of friendship and inspiration.

See programs, articles, and full bio.


Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Minister, Counselor, Level 2 Ananda Yoga teacher, E-RYT-500, Director of Ananda Meditation Teacher Training  
What is a nayaswami?

A popular Expanding Light teacher since 1997, Diksha McCord is the Director of the Meditation Teacher Training program. Nayaswami Diksha, a native Israeli who came to the U.S. in 1990, is a powerful and dynamic woman who has shared yoga postures and yogic teachings across the United States, in Canada and Europe.

See programs, articles, and full bio.



Accommodations

You’ll stay in a charming classical Keralan cottage: a small brick building with thatched roof made of coconut fronds.

There are two types of cottages: Ordinary and Special. Both types are for one or two persons; most Special cottages have an ocean view. All rooms have their own spacious modern bathroom. Comfortable chairs and tables are outside of all the cottages, and hammocks are available nearby.

All rooms are simple, clean and comfortable, with electricity and a telephone (no television). Air conditioning is provided by a ceiling fan and by the ocean breezes, which freely enter your cottage through open windows and ventilation spaces. The soothing sounds of the ocean can be heard throughout the day and night. Hammocks, comfortable chairs and tables are outside of all the cottages.

Costs

Prices shown below are from our 2017 retreat. We expect to have the prices for 2019 retreat by April of 2018.


Total retreat costs are shown below; they vary according to your choice of accommodations and the length of your stay.

You have the option of joining us for 7 nights or for 12 nights.

7 night-stay includes: 6 treatments, 2 Ayurveda classes, 1 or 2 local outings.

12 night-stay includes: 7 treatments, 4 Ayurveda classes, several local outings and 1 longer outing.

There is a limited number of each type of accommodation, so please book early to ensure your first choice.

Special note: If you book a shared cottage and, upon arriving at the retreat, you or your roommate decides to change to a private cottage, BOTH of you will need to pay the single occupancy rate (provided another cottage is available, of course). Also, if you request a shared cottage but there is no one to share with you, you’ll need to pay the single occupancy rate.

Ordinary Cottage

These rectangular buildings feature spacious, modern indoor bathrooms and showers. They are uphill from the beach, in the main part of the resort.

Length of stay7 nights12 nights
Double occupancy: $2090 per person $3050 per person
Single occupancy: $2400 per person $3550 per person


Special Cottage

These are similar to the ordinary cottages, but they are slightly larger; most of them are round, and many offer a view of the ocean. Some are located close to the beach, but most are uphill from the beach, in the main part of the resort.

Length of stay 7 nights 12 nights
Double occupancy: $2350 per person $3400 per person
Single occupancy: $2800 per person $4050 per person

Interior Desk Bathrooom

Inside each cottage


Payment

In order to reserve your space, please submit a down payment of $1000 with your reservation form. Full payment is due December 15, 2018.

Cancellation Policy

If you are going only to the Ayurvedic Retreat in Kerala:
If you cancel by December 15, 2018, your payment will be refunded, less a $300 retreat cancellation fee.

If you are going also to the Delhi-Rishikesh Pilgrimage, the above cancellation fees apply, plus an additional $200 fee. The remainder of your payment will be refunded if you cancel before December 15, 2018.

After December 15, 2018, any refunds on the remainder of your payment will be subject to the terms and conditions of our tour company and other providers in India, plus any other charges incurred on your behalf by Ananda Sangha.

Travel Insurance
We highly recommend that you get travel insurance. In case of emergency cancellation after December 15, 2018, we will not be able to refund your payment, but you might be able to get a refund from your travel insurance. 

What the Costs Do Not Include

Please note that your retreat package does not include:

  • Airfare to India and back
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa costs
  • Prescribed Ayurvedic medicines
  • Additional Ayurvedic treatments (beyond the initial seven treatments)
  • Lunches (these are available at a very low cost)
  • Personal expenses such as laundry, internet cafe, etc.
  • Tips for massage therapists, house keepers
  • Donations at temples

Passport

You will need a passport that is valid until July 2019. If yours expires before July 2019, you must renew it before you request your visa. If you need a new passport, or need to renew one, do so immediately by going to travel.state.gov. You will find instructions there.

Visa

The easiest way to obtain a visa is to go to a near by Indian Embassy, or go to the web-site: http://www.cgisf.org/

Please check with Diksha before filling out your visa application for the special information you will need to include on your application.

Diksha will be available to assist you in getting the right application form (depends where you live) filling it out, and sending it.

Flights

You can fly on your own to Trivandrum (also known as Thiruvananthapuram; the airport designation is TRV) in Kerala, India. We will arrange your pick-up from the airport to the resort. We will send you more information once you register.



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