Kerala: Ayurveda, Ananda Yoga and Meditation
Twelve days in a tropical paradise with Ananda
2020 JANUARY 25th – FEBRUARY 7th
Every year we offer a yoga retreat in southern India. This year again the venue of the yoga retreat is in Kerala, a gorgeous tropical area renowned for its sweet people, lush vegetation, abundant coconut palms and ayurvedic healing therapies.
A holiday of deep relaxation, yoga and meditation, combined with Ayurvedic treatments at one of Kerala’s finest seaside Ayurvedic resorts, with instruction and guided sessions of yoga and meditation practices provided by Ananda teachers.
We have chosen Somatheeram Ayurvedic Health and Beach Resort, one of the best-known Ayurvedic resorts and a certified Gold Leaf facility, as the ideal location for the yoga and meditation retreat. The Ayurvedic clinic includes 12 experienced doctors, 70 therapists, and excellent ayurvedically-prepared food.
Accommodations are in traditional Keralan cottages and bungalows within a beautiful coconut palm grove overlooking the ocean.
This programme is designed to profoundly relax and rejuvenate your body, mind, and soul benefitting from these four main components:
Ayurvedic Massages, Treatments and Diet
Ayurveda is a complete approach to the art of living which teaches how to establish a harmonious and balanced life. It includes diet, yoga and meditation, and advises the use of herbal preparations and therapeutic massage with medicinal oils.
In addition to the Aryurvedic treatments and classes, your experience during this programme includes lessons and workshops guided by our Ananda teachers based on Yogananda’s rejuvenating techniques of energisation, meditation and pranic healing.
The food preparation is one of the most remarkable things about Somatheram. The restaurant prepares delicious meals which are suitable for all body types (doshas). In addition, meals are specially prepared as suggested by the doctors for each person.
The practice of yoga postures (asanas) stimulates and enhances the purification and rejuvenation process by creating a harmonious flow of vital energy (prana) throughout the body.
Ananda Yoga adds new dimensions to the classic practice of hatha yoga; it not only deals with the physiological processes but also reaches the psychological, emotional and spiritual levels through the use of healing affirmations and energetically-revitalising exercises which help to uplift your consciousness.
Meditation touches us at our deepest level, bringing to our soul the peace and joy it so much desires. It is one of the three basic ingredients in the Ayurvedic formula for healthy life: diet; yoga postures; meditation. Our Ananda teachers will give instruction in meditation techniques as well as help experienced meditators go deeper in their practice.
Excursions and Keralean Culture
During our 12-days’ stay we have four excursions planned to different sights including a back-water boat trip, a visit to Trivandrum (the capital of Kerala) and visits to holy places such as a temple island dedicated to Swami Vivekananda and local temples and shrines. Every other evening there are live evening performances of classic dance, music and theatre right at the Resort.
This programme is designed to profoundly relax and rejuvenate your body, mind and soul with:
- Ayurvedic massages and treatments in one of India’s best Ayurvedic centres
- instruction and practice of Ananda Yoga, meditation, Ayurveda and Yogananda’s healing techniques
- Indian music and dance performances
- guided excursions to cultural and spiritual sights
- the sea, sun and fun.
Your Day in Kerala
We begin our day in the magic of white sands, palm trees and soft ocean breezes.
Morning Spiritual Practices
You can choose between two different programmes, depending on your level of familiarity with the practices (or simply according to the mood of the day!)
a) For those already familiar with the practices of Self-Realisation and who prefer to have a longer meditation, there are guided Energisation Exercises followed by chanting and longer meditation, with guidance on the deeper aspects of these techniques.
b) The second option includes a more detailed instruction in the Energisation Exercises (which were developed by Yogananda to recharge all body cells with vitality) followed by a short Ananda Yoga practice, chant and guided meditation. Beginners are guided step-by-step in all the practices.
We then have breakfast in the open-air restaurant overlooking the ocean. The buffet includes fresh juices (pineapple, papaya, watermelon, orange), a variety of local tropical fruits and delicious Ayurvedically-prepared dishes.
Ayurveda, Yogananda’s Healing Techniques and Ananda Yoga Classes
At about 11:30 we meet either on the lawn under the coconut palms or in the thatched-roof circular yoga hall. An Indian doctor will teach the basic principles of Ayurveda, helping you to understand and work with your ‘doshas’ and giving you helpful advice on how to get the most benefit from the treatments and the Ayurvedic meals. There will also be classes on Yogananda’s healing techniques and guided Ananda Yoga sessions, which will usually be combined with the Ayurveda lesson.
Self-healing with Prana
Energy recharging and self-healing practices based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda
In addition to the Ananda Yoga and meditation sessions Triveni and Shivani will guide a cycle of workshops on pranic self-healing, based on the ‘Life Therapy’ system of Yogananda. These are the foundation practices for the School of Ananda Life Therapy.
‘The method which can directly and quickly rouse the life energy to effect healing is termed ‘Life Therapy,’ or direct healing by the rays of the inner Life Force.’ — Paramhansa Yogananda
We will explore together in these workshops this simple but profound truth: when the Vital Energy (prana) is stimulated and properly directed, it becomes the instrument for all forms of healing.
The lesson will finish around 13:00, following which everyone is free to enjoy their Ayurvedic treatments.
Group Meditation at Sunset
For those who wish to participate, guided yoga and meditation will always be offered from 17:30 until 19:00 in the evening.
Next to the restaurant is an outdoor stage where there are performances which include classical Indian music and dance as well as the extraordinary Keralan tradition of ‘Katha Kali’, which is a theatrical representation of Indian mythology. The actors wear elaborate costumes and masks and tell the stories through dance, music and mime.
Four day trips are planned during the twelve-day programme.
One of them is a back-water boat trip in a traditional Keralan boat. Kerala is famous for its canals and lakes which interconnect most of the country. Our boat ride will take us through lush vegetation and past some of the local villages.
Another trip will take us to the southern most point of the Indian subcontinent. We will visit the holy shrine of Kanyakumari on the southern tip of Cape Comorin, as well as visit a shrine dedicated to Gandhi and take a short boat ride to a temple island dedicated to Swami Vivekananda, one of the most revered saints of modern India. Afterwards we’ll visit a huge famous ancient temple dedicated to Hanuman and see and participate in the various rituals observed in this holy temple.
We will also take a short trip to the famous Kovalam Beach, only eight kilometeres from our hotel, which is a good place to shop for local handicrafts.
We will visit Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala, where we will explore a beautiful palace, two Hindu temples (one dedicated to the deity Vishnu, one to Ganesha) and have time for shopping. For those who are interested we offer also a tour of the Ayurvedic herb farm of Somatheeram.
After careful research, we have chosen the Somatheeram Ayurvedic Resort as the ideal location for our yoga and meditation retreat. At Somatheeram we discovered not only a beautiful location directly looking onto the ocean, but also a calm, sweetly rejuvenating atmosphere vastly different from other tourist destinations.
Somatheeram is a certified Gold Leaf Ayurvedic facility, which is the highest classification. It has also been recognised as the best Ayurvedic resort in Kerala for the past ten years. The staff are trained to a level of excellene and are very serviceful. The doctors and therapists have extensive experience.
The beach is in part private and shared with three other resorts, one of which is also owned and managed by Somatheeram. The beach is never crowded. Chairs, umbrellas and towels are provided. The ocean water is warm and clean, but not always ideal for bathing due to strong currents. Lifeguards are on duty from 7:00 until 18:00 every day.
The food preparation is one of the most remarkable things about Somatheram. The fruits and vegetables are fresh, of high quality and expertly prepared. Keralan cuisine is very tasty, with fresh coconut and coconut milk being notably present. The tour package includes two meals per day, breakfast and dinner, with dishes which are suitably balanced for all three body types.
In addition, special meals recommended by your doctor to enhance the therapeutic effects of your treatments can be ordered. You’ll find excellent Indian food (lightly spiced) and also Western cuisine.
In addition to the clinic and restaurant, other services include an Internet Cottage, with several computers and reasonable rates for usage; a very nice gift store, a clothing store with excellent tailors and yoga halls.
5 members and teachers of our big Ananda family will accompany you during your stay in Kerala: Shivani, Arjuna, Triveni, Bhajana and Ahimsa.
These fabulous teachers will assist you and guide you during the daily meditation and yoga classes based on the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. They will be present for you in any situation of need.
Fees for Programme
The following fees are a close approximation, based on the information we have on hand. Due to possible fluctuations in the exchange rate and in the cost of oil, which affect costs of flights and other transportation as well as hotel accommodations, these fees might change slightly. Based on current exchange rate of E1 = Rs78.
Standard Cottage: is a nice room (approx. 4x4m), with indoor modern bathroom and shower, without a sea view.
Double occupancy: ca. €1495.00
Single occupancy: ca. €1895.00
Garden Cottage: very similar to the Standard Cottage, with a beautiful garden outside, featuring terrace, hammock or beach chair.
Double occupancy: ca. €1695.00
Single occupancy: ca. €2225.00
Special Cottage: the same as the Standard Cottage but with a sea view.
Double occupancy: ca. €1795.00
Single occupancy: ca. €2450.00
Kerala House: beautiful and comfortable, with a small garden, deckchair and air conditioning. Situated in a more reserved area with sea view.
Please note: If you do not have a roommate we will try to connect you with another single person. However, we cannot guarantee a double occupancy fee. If a roommate cannot be found, your fee will be for single occupancy.
(Based on current currency exchange. If there is any significant change, the cost will be reflected in the final payment.) Optional cancellation insurance available (5% of total travel cost). Please contact us for further details.
The Retreat package includes:
- accommodation in single or double-occupancy room
- Ayurveda, yoga and meditation classes and activities
- translation: English-Italian; Italian-English
- six-day Rejuvenation package with massages and ayurvedic treatments
- two meals per day (breakfast and dinner)
- Excursions as detailed; internal trasportation within India
- Ananda and local guides
- Basic medical insurance
The package does NOT include::
- flight to and from Kerala
- visa costs
- donations at temples and shrines; tips to massage therapists and others
- additional Ayurvedic treatments
- personal expenses such as laundry, internet, etc.
- everything else not mentioned under ‘The Retreat Package Includes’
There are flights available from Rome and Milan to Trivandrum, Kerala, with Air Emirates, one of the very few airlines that flies directly to Trivandrum (without a connecting flight in Bombay or Madras). If you wish to take this group flight we are happy to book your reservation (approximately €730.00). Other airlines flying to Trivandrum are Qatar Air (from Milan) and Kuwait Air (from Rome), but they are more expensive. If you live outside of Europe you might wish to come first to Rome. Those coming from the USA might want to break up the long journey by staying a couple of days at Ananda Assisi before the pilgrimage. If you choose another airline they often arrive in Bombay (Mumbai) or Madras (Chennai) too late in the day to make a connecting flight to Trivandrum. In that event you might wish to arrive a day or two early so that you can get to Kerala at the start of the programme. Please contact us for flight reservations.
If you wish to stay longer you may book through us an additional one or two weeks. Youwill need to book your extended time at the moment you make your reservations with us as it is very difficult to extend your stay once you are at the resort due to high volume of bookings during this period. Your flight return date should also reflect this extra period. Please contact us for information about the fee of each additional week.
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In Kerala with Ananda
Ayurveda, Ananda Yoga and Meditation
Ayurveda Resort – Somatheeram
Ayurveda massage and other ayurveda treatments with Yoga in Somatheeram Group Resorts
“The Spirit of Ayurveda”
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