INDIA RETREAT OCT 2012:
KERALA W/ARUN & MEGAN
September 22 – 29, 2012
September 29 – Oct 5 (optional Temple Tour)
Join Arun & Megan for 8 days and 7 nights at the Award Winning Ayurvedic Beach Resort, Somatheeram. Enjoy an invigorating morning practice of vinyasa krama yoga while looking down at the ocean. Come learn the secrets of Ayurveda at the very source and receive daily massages/treatments. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any questions.
The resort is spread lushly over 15 acres of greenery on a hilltop overlooking Chowara Beach, south of Kovalam and a short drive away from Trivandrum. The gently sloping grounds are sprinkled with traditional thatched cottages and Kerala style wooden bungalows, nestled among native medicinal plants and coconut groves.
It is a short walk down to the beach for swimming, morning or evening walks. Along the way down is the swimming pool where you can rest during the day sipping fresh coconut water! The resort has outdoor and indoor yoga rooms. Climbing up the hill you arrive at the Rejuvenation Center with a full staff of Ayurvedic Doctors, where you will receive your daily treatments including abhyanga and shirodhara, Kerala style!
The resort has a thatched restaurant with a panoramic view of the ocean, and delicious Ayurvedically prepared meals (3 vegetarian, dosha specific meals a day are included). The resort also offers full services, such as laundry, safe deposit and internet access for an additional fee.
Retreat Lodging Choices & Rates
Garden Cottage: Per Person
$2000: Book by July 15, 2012/$2300: Booked after July 15, 2012
Sea View Cottage: Per Person
$2100: Book by July 15, 2012/ $2400: Booked after July 15, 2012
Kerala House Deluxe (A/C): Per Person
$2400: Book by July 15, 2012/ $2700: Booked after July 15, 2012
Garden Cottage: Single Occupancy
$2300: Book by July 15, 2012/ $2600: Booked after July 15, 2012
Sea View Cottage: Single Occupancy
$2400: Book by July 15, 2012/ $2700: Booked after July 15, 2012
Kerala House Deluxe (A/C): Single Occupancy
$2800: Book by July 15, 2012/ $3100: Booked after July 15, 2012
Itinerary included in cost – 8 Day Retreat
- 8 days & 7 nights at Somatheeram/Manaltheeram Ayurvedic Beach Resort
- Lodging: Your choice of Garden Cottage, Sea View Cottage or Kerala House Deluxe (A/C)
- 2 hr Vinyasa Krama Yoga Sequencing w/Arun*
- Gentle Yoga and meditation w/Megan
- Ayurveda for Daily Living: 5 afternoon lectures**
- 6 days of daily Ayurvedic Treatments/Massages***
- Ayurveda tour: Includes visits of the herbal garden and the medicine-manufacturing facility with staff doctor and translator.
- A sightseeing daytrip to Kanyakumari Temples & Palace. Kanyakumari is the southernmost tip of India where three oceans meet. We will greet the rising sun here!
- Half-day city tour of Trivandrum w/shopping & sightseeing.
- 3 Delicious Ayurvedic Vegetarian Meals Daily (except on excursion day)
- Evening entertainment (as arranged by Somatheeram)
- Airport Transfer to/from Trivandrum International Airport
*Vinyasa Krama means the methodology & sequencing of asanas in a particular manner, so as to create a harmonious flow of prana/breath all through the movements (vinyasas), as practiced by the great Master, Shri Krishnamacharya and taught to Arun by Srivatsa Ramaswami These classes include pranayama and have been adapted by Arun to be suitable for all.
** Spread over 5 sessions, this immersion in Ayurveda is to teach and empower you in the ancient art of daily routine, correct diet, lifestyle and exercise as determined by your own unique constitution and needs. Bonus: A cooking demonstration!
***These treatments include abhyanga and shirodhara as well as any other treatments as determined as being beneficial to you by the Ayurvedic staff at Somatheeram. (Most of this will be included in your costs. Some treatments are additional and thus optional).
**** For the excursion day we will eat lunch at a wayside restaurant (minimal additional cost) or you will have the option of having the Retreat Center prepare a packed lunch for you (no additional cost).
SACRED TEMPLE TOUR (optional add-on)
Sacred Temple Tour Week Option (Per Person):
$600: Book by July 15 / $700: Booked after July 15
The cost for this segment includes the traveling by road (as well as the flight from Trivandrum to Chennai), your lodging, yoga sessions and all breakfasts. Temple and other entrance fees may be extra. Lunches and dinners may be extra.
SACRED TEMPLE TOUR ITINERARY:
September 29: Arrive Chennai. Transfer to hotel. Evening at leisure.
Chennai, formerly known as Madras, is the capital of the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It is the country’s fourth-largest city and the gateway to the South. Tamil tradition and culture is a celebration of beauty – dance, clothing, textiles and sculpture. It is also a land of temples and priests, home to some of India’s most sacred locations. The area we will stay in is a lively street of colorful shops and eateries for those who feel like exploring!
September 30: Kapaleeshwar Temple and Vivekananda House.
The Kapaleeshwar Temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is an excellent introduction to the Dravidian architecture of Tamil Nadu and one of the many Shiva Teertha-s that are so sacred to the Yoga and Tantra traditions.
Swami Vivekananda is considered a key figure in introducing the Indian philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga to the western world in the 19th century. He is perhaps best known for his beautiful and inspiring speech to the Parliament of the Worlds Religions in Chicago in 1983, which began, “Sisters and Brothers of America.“. Hear it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxUzKoIt5aM)
Vivekananda House holds a permanent exhibition on Indian Culture and the Swami’s life.
October 1: Chennai – Mahabalipuram (Shore Temple & Pancha Ratha) – Pondicherry
Two hours south of Chennai, Mahabalipuram is a stunningly beautiful coastal village; famous for its temples and intricate stone carvings with complex depictions of gods and goddesses. We will visit the famous Shore Temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu, and the Five Rathas—depicting the five Pandavas from the Mahabharata, a series of rock carvings, which were buried under the sea and were excavated only 200 years ago. Later, we will arrive in Pondicherry in the evening, where we have many different dinner choices, including pizza, which by that point might seem a divine offering! We will then settle into our boutique hotel for the night.
October 2: Pondicherry/Auroville
The charming seafront town of Pondicherry Town is a former French colony that still retains its French culture and architecture, superimposed with typical Indian culture and style. It attracts many travelers who come here to study yoga and meditation at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram.
Auroville is a yogic Utopia, the practical vision of a universal town with the purpose of realizing human unity – in all its diversity. Today Auroville is recognized as the first and only internationally endorsed ongoing experiment in human unity and transformation of consciousness.
After a morning yoga practice, we will spend a half-day here exploring its avant-garde spirit, sweeping grounds and delicious organic cuisine, locally harvested. The Centre has some of the best shopping too.
October 3: Pondicherry – Arunachala/Tiruvannamalai
Leaving Pondicherry, we will spend the morning again at Auroville and meditate at the Matrimandir, an experience in and of itself, indeed. After lunch we will leave for Arunachala, stopping along the way at a quaint and off the beaten track Hanuman Temple where we may find ourselves being inquisitively approached by monkeys, who love the Temple! We will check into a lovely resort on the outskirts of the town and spend a quiet evening in its meditative grounds.
October 4: Arunachala
After a morning yoga practice, we will visit the famous Arunachaleswar Temple, one of the largest and most captivating in India build in 11th century and a living symbol of ancient Tamil Architecture. Arunachala Hill, the home of Ramana Maharishi is acclaimed as a ΄Spiritual Center of the world΄. We will visit his tranquil ashram, the Sri Ramanashramam. Later, we will have the options of visiting the cave where he meditated in seclusion for over 50 years, and in the evening of circumambulating the Arunachala Mountain, a truly mystical experience in this Tamil serene nature setting.
October 5: Arunachala – Chennai
On our final day, we’ll enjoy a leisurely breakfast before beginning our drive back to Chennai. If we have time on the way, we will stop at Kanchipuram, nicknamed “The City of Thousand Temples,” where we will visit the Temple of Kailasantha. This is the oldest temple in Kanchipuram, built in the 8th century CE and dedicated to Shiva. Back in Chennai, we will enjoy a last dinner together before transferring to the International airport for the return home.
Please note: If you are traveling with us on this exciting second portion, you will want to book your travel home from Chennai and not Trivandrum. Most International flights will leave early morning so it is best to book for Oct 6 departures.
Arun Deva, DASc, AYT, E-RYT(500) is a Senior Ayurvedic Practitioner, an Ayur*yoga Therapist and a Vinyasa Krama certified yoga teacher. The founder of Arunachala Yoga & Ayurveda, Arun serves on both the National & State Ayurvedic Associations: NAMA & CAAM. He teaches internationally, lectures at Conferences, writes articles for different publications, has been featured on both radio and television and has a yoga & Ayurveda clinic for consultations and various treatments including Panchakarma and yoga therapy in Los Angeles. He also teaches the Ayurveda and Yoga modules for many Teacher Training Programs around the world. Most recently, he has presented at the IAYT SYTAR Conference 2011 and at the NAMA Conference 2012. Born in India, Arun has made his home in Los Angeles for the past 30+ years.
Vinyasa Krama Yoga comes from the tradition of Shri TKV Krishnamacharya whose well known students include BKS Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Desikachar and Indra Devi.
Arun’s teacher, Srivatsa Ramaswami, spent over 33 years studying privately with Shri Krishnamacharya and it is from this deep well of knowledge that Arun draws his inspiration and love for the practice. In addition, the Ayur*yoga Teacher Trainings have given Arun a great sense of respect for the dynamics of Ayurvedic principles in teaching and therapeutics.
We will have a morning practice that will include asana, pranayama, chanting and meditation.
Megan McCarver, M.A., E-RYT (500), Yoga Therapist and YogaWorks Certified, teaching yoga since 1994. Her advance trainings and experience in yoga techniques, pain management, massage therapy and psychology gives her a customized program to achieve wellness and a balanced lifestyle for her students. Megan co-founded Santa Monica Yoga in 1993, is currently teaching at YogaWorks in Mission Viejo and the Wellness Consultant at Orange County Pain and Wellness in Santa Ana.
Gentle Yoga and Mindful Meditation in the early evenings. Megan’s teaching style branches from the Krishnamacharya lineage with the emphasis on balance, strength, alignment, breath and great compassion.
Ayurveda for Daily Living Immersion
Ayurveda for Daily Living is a 5 afternoon lecture and practicum series taught by Arun and the Somatheeram Staff with the goal of bringing an understanding of this ancient healing art into practical perspective. Learn to fashion your own diet, exercise and lifestyle skills. Included will be a guided tour of the herb gardens and medicine making facilities. As well as a cooking demonstration.
Arun, a DASc in Ayurveda, will guide this journey with the assistance of the Somatheeram Doctors.
Kerala is well known as preserving the ancient arts of Ayurveda in their traditional forms. It is famous for its massages and treatments, such as abhyanga (full body oil massage) and shirodhara (warm oil poured in a continuous stream across your forehead to induce deep release and relaxation).
From a menu of over 20 treatments, you and the staff doctors will design a plan that fits you personally. A set amount of time (around 2 hours!) and certain treatments including above-mentioned, are included in your costs. You are always welcome to add to this to deepen your experience, such as by turning it into a Pancha Karma Program!
The Cuisine at Somatheeram
Based on an Ayurvedic diet, many dishes are labeled according to dosha (ayurvedic constitutional types). The meals are always freshly prepared with seasonal vegetables and include the more well known Southern as well as Northern cuisines of India.
Additionally, western and other dishes are often included in the mouth-watering array that greets you at every meal! Non vegetarian meals are available for an extra charge. Please note that Ayurvedic doctors, quite often wondrous chefs themselves, have created most of the dishes!
Shopping, Sightseeing & Excursions
Right outside the Retreat Center is a quaint street chock full of exotic shops. There are tailor shops with excellent materials on the streets and in the retreat center. Please bring your favorite fashion magazine to show them just what you want made from the fabrics they have! Some great gift shops are strewn across this meandering path! Along the way down to the beach be prepared to be met by street vendors who have excellent wraps and shawls for cheap…bargaining is a tradition, so enjoy it!
Included with the Retreat is an excursion to:
- Kanyakumari Temples – On the southernmost point of peninsular India, it is the meeting point of three oceans: The Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Besides its importance for its temples, it is famous for its beautiful views of both the sunrise and sunset over the waters. The multicolored sand is a unique feature of the beach here. There are many legends associated with this sacred place. We will also visit the Padmanabhapuram Palace close by.
- Trivandrum – a picturesque 45-minute drive away. Great shopping, museums and wonderful sites to see!
Balmy! Temperatures drop down to a comfortable 68F (20C) at nights and the days are usually a pleasant 85-89F (29-32C). The air will be clear and breezy with an occasional tropical rain shower…beautiful weather for a little outdoor yoga practice, swimming in the ocean, shopping up the street or walks in the garden and of course night time is wonderful for star gazing with friends!