Welcome to the ancient, vibrant, alluring land of India! Together we will travel to Kerala, the epicenter of Ayurveda in southern India. Here, along with our hosts at Soma Manaltheeram, I will lead you through an intimate and transformative exploration of Rasa Yoga and Ayurveda. Through these practices and immersion into the magic of India, we reconnect with and celebrate our own inner radiance, while inviting time for rest, exploration, nourishment, rejuvenation, community and connection.
Each day will begin with morning sadhana, an extended Rasa Yoga practice of mantra, mudra, meditation, pranayama, asana, myth, philosophy, and ritual. Some afternoons, we will come together again for Ayurvedic workshops and rejuvenating Rasa Yoga nectar practices. Each session is an integrated, carefully crafted experience to help each person embody the Yoga and Ayurvedic teachings and bring more radiance into every aspect of one's life.
Local excursions are sprinkled throughout our stay to give you an opportunity to explore all of the beauty and charm that Kerala has to offer. We will take a traditional boat ride through the local backwaters, and visit nearby cities, markets and temples in order to gain a broader understanding and appreciation of the culture and context of the birthplace of these practices.
The retreat center where we'll be hosted, Soma Manaltheeram, is an award winning Ayurvedic Spa set in lush tropical gardens at a serene beachfront location. Here, you can benefit from traditional Ayurvedic therapies, one-on-one visits with on-site Ayurvedic practitioners, and a welcomed change of pace from your everyday life.
I made my first trip to India in 2003 and have been back several times since. India holds a very special place in my heart and I am so excited to lead you on a journey to this sacred land. A trip to India is truly like no other and will live on in your heart forever.
All levels of students are welcome. Practices will be tailored to and appropriate for all who attend! No prior experience is required.
What is the payment schedule?
A nonrefundable $700 deposit is required to save your spot and all final payments are due by September 1, 2023. We can set your account up to automatically withdraw the funds on specific dates, please reach out and us if you would like to request a customized payment schedule.
How are rooms assigned if I’m a solo traveler?
Please let us know at sign up if you are coming on the trip with a friend, partner or family member and have a desired roommate. If you do not provide us with a roommate request we will pair you up with another solo traveler according to who we think will be the best fit & what we have available. Private rooms are available for an additional fee on a first come, first serve basis.
What is the best flight itinerary for me to follow?
We recommend flying in and out of Thiruvananthapuram International Airport. Manaltheeram is about a 45min (23km, 15mi) drive south of the airport, and airport transfer is provided. Check-in begins the first day at 2pm and checkout is at noon the final day.
What is not included in the retreat fee?
The retreat fee does not include your flights, tips (suggested $10/day), extra spending money ($300-$600 depending upon your spending habits), or additional activities, food, transport, spa services and treatments outside of what is already included in the retreat offering.
What is the cancellation policy?
What should I pack?
Are there vaccines recommended for Kerala?
Whether or not you get vaccines is a very personal choice, please consult your travel doctor before our trip to ensure you have the right vaccines and any necessary emergency medication. Personally, we think it is a good idea to have updated vaccines for Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Tetanus.
Do I need any special supplements or medications?
Again, this is very personal. Our retreat is hosted at a world famous, award winning Ayurveda Spa and Treatment Facility. Many natural Ayurvedic remedies will be on hand and readily available. Please bring any medications you normally take. I personally like to travel with Grapefruit Seed Extract (helpful if you suspect you ate something bad), Advil (there is no glory in suffering from a headache while traveling), Emergen-C or Airborne (it is a long flight!), Melatonin (helpful for jet lag), Triphala (Ayurvedic herb to keep you regular), and a couple tablets of Ciprofloxacin (strong antibiotic for emergencies only).
Do I need travel insurance?
Yes, travel insurance is highly recommended! Our favorite provider is World Nomads.
How Should I Prepare?
Start by calling all of your financial & phone providers to let them know you’ll be out of the country and setup the most appropriate travel plans for you. Once you’ve gotten logistics out of the way, we recommend reducing processed foods from your diet at least a week before departure. This will make your transition to an Ayurvedic diet much more pleasant. We also suggest setting up a consistent yoga & meditation practice for yourself, at least 2-3x a week if possible.
Are there any books I should read?
Reading is a great way to familiarize yourself with India! This is an incredible country with such rich history and tradition. Some books about India written by Indian authors that we recommend include The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, My Experiments with Truth by M.K. Gandhi, and Maximum City by Suketu Mehta. A few books on Yoga and Ayurveda include Yoga & Ayurveda by David Frawley, Ayurveda Lifestyle Wisdom by Acharya Shunya, and Happy, Healthy, Sexy by Katie Silcox.
Will the venue have internet & wifi?
The venue has wifi in the reception area if needed. The retreat center does not have wifi in the rooms because their hope is that we can unplug and bathe in the healing energies of Kerala without too many distractions. When traveling in countries such as India, the wifi can be very slow or spotty, so we recommend taking care of all your important internet matters prior to our trip. In addition, you’ll get a lot more out of the experience if you’re able to unplug!
Do I have to participate in the full schedule?
Everything offered is optional. You are encouraged to make the most out of this experience by attending as much as possible, but we also understand and respect that you may need moments of rest & solitude. Regardless of how many practices & excursions you choose to attend, the retreat fee will remain the same.
Is this retreat appropriate for all levels of practitioner?
Yes! I have been teaching yoga for 20+ years. I teach to all levels, beginner to advanced, and will find a way to make the practice accessible & interesting for you.