INDIA RETREAT: SEPT – OCT 2012

Click to download Flyer

INDIA RETREAT OCT 2012:

KERALA W/ARUN & MEGAN

September 22 – 29, 2012

September 29 – Oct 5 (optional Temple Tour)

Click to download Yogarasayana Registration Pkg 2012

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.

Namaskaram!

Arun Deva                                          

yogarasayana@gmail.com

+1-310-435-4197

Megan McCarver

megan@meganmccarver.com

+1-949-280-9968

Somatheeram~Manaltheeram

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

DOUBLE OCCUPANCY

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

SINGLE OCCUPANCY

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.

 

Yoga

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.

Ayurvedic Treatments

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 TemplesOn 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!

 

Weather

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!

Click to download Yogarasayana Registration Pkg 2012


APRIL EVENTS 2012

This time, more than ever, it has taken me a while to recuperate from the India/Greece adventures of Feb/March. Perhaps I am getting a little old… 🙂 (and that is a wry smile…)
But now April beckons and I am ready:

APRIL 19-22:  NAMA CONFERENCE 2012 in Bellevue, Washington:
I have the honor of presenting:
PRANA, TEJAS & OJAS: THE TIES THAT BIND

 
Arun Deva, Diploma Ayurveda, Yoga Therapist (IAYT), E-RYT/500
The Ties that Bind:  Prana, Tejas & Ojas as the Essence of any Healing Process:  From Personal to Communal

Arun is a CAAM Board Member and practices yoga and Ayurveda in Los Angeles. Having started his studies as a child growing up in India, he has made his home in Los Angeles for the past 30 years. He is the founder of Arunachala Yoga & Ayurveda, teaches Ayurvedic and Yogic lifestyle workshops, writes articles for different publications and offers Ayurvedic consultations and various treatments including panchakarma. http://www.yogarasayana.com
Link Here!

Towards the end of April, I invite you to spend a most rejuvenating few days with me at the Sivananda Yoga Farm in Grass Valley. It is so beautiful up there. There is a sense of timeless peace and it is a place in which to breathe in your essence, pause your active life for a moment, and to let something happen that is just for you. Enjoy the grounds, the lovingly prepared vegetarian, fresh meals, and please join me for the following:

Coming up:
May 2012: Salt Lake City: details to follow…

May-August: Anand Saagar Teacher Training:
SAVE THE DATE!
2012 YOGARASAYANA KERALA, INDIA RETREAT!
YOGA, AYURVEDA, DAILY MASSAGES, AYURVEDIC FOOD, OCEAN AT YOUR FEET, KANYAKUMARI VISIT.
W/ARUN DEVA, MEGAN McCARVER & MNI SHASTRI
END SEPTEMBER: 7  DAYS ~OR~ 14 DAY CHOICE INCLUDES THE EXTENDED TAMIL NADU TEMPLE TOUR!
If you are interested and would like details now, so you can start planning: please write Arun at yogarasayana@gmail.com or call 310-358-9555.

Kerala House

A cottage: yours?

View from your cottage

The pool…best place to have a coconut

From the restaurant overlooking the ocean

Ganesha

At the ocean

Ayurvedic cooking demonstration

Nightsky

Ardha Matsyenandra

Parsvakonasana

At the yoga room

musings on spirit tour of India…

This February I had the pleasure of taking my dear friends Vivi and Eraj from Greece, along with a group of their students form NYSY Yoga Studio, Athens for a Temple Tour of India. We were about 14 altogether and we began our journey together in Chennai. After visiting the Shiva Temple and the Vivekananda House, we got on the road and visited Mahabalipuram’s Shore Temples and Five Chariot Temples. In Pondicherry, we spent a night exploring the town and then the amazing eco-village, Auroville and its Matra Mandir. Onwards we went, to Chidambaram and the Shiva Tandava Temple, Kanchipuram and the Mango Tree Temple and onwards still to Tiruvanamallai, the home of Ramana Maharishi and the Arunachala Hill I have named my seva project of Yoga & Ayurveda offerings…
Once back in Chennai, we were in for a most unusual experience. Supposed to catch a short plane ride to Varanasi to spend Mahashivratri in that most sacred city, we were instead destined to fly to Bangalore, sit on the plane, hop to Delhi, sit on the plane, hop to Lucknow and, it being dark now, get on an old bus and drive 7 hours to end up the next morning in Lucknow! Below is the poem that came out of it:

COMING INTO BENARAS: AN ODE TO SHIVA

Chennai, early morning of Maha Shivratri
An easy ride to the airport with well crafted plans
At the counter, a first hint of what is to come
The unraveling takes place, patiently directing us
To catch up, breathe, hold, plunge, let-go, then:
What is His wish? Because there is little doubt
Who is orchestrating this, the symmetry is uncanny
So then the parts to play: good cop, bad cop
Watching it all as the parts are spontaneously revealed
Phone calls, texts, a stern matriarch who takes no shit
Their turn to play good cop, bad cop, tables turned
They win, so we can let go, relax, surrender
So much arises on this crazy, nonsensical
Plan of theirs, which they truly are convinced
Is the only way, and we are in for a ride.

 Jet Airways to Bangalore is bumpy and sudden
Great finessing by ground crew: easy off, easy on
We sit and watch, this is not a dress rehearsal
Not wishing to be mere spectators, we act out importantly
More phone calls, check the group, where is the promised food?
Then we are on our way to the next stop, my stomping ground
Delhi is approached with peace prayers and chants to Shiva
And it occurs to me: pleas to Brahma take forever to fructify
Pleas to Vishnu are about achieving His abode
But prayers to Shiva are never denied, as He knows
Our secret wants, He panders to the ego’s will
Creates such strength of it that we flounder in desires
Ravana conquered all the worlds, his insane appetite
Is mirrored thousand fold today in our Hitler-s and such like
Shiva gives to those who ask, till they beg for a Rama
To end their ravenous hungers, eating up all other egos, ages
Swallowing smaller fish, minions in millions, even the very
Earth, Water, Sky fall prey, as the demons seek Salvation
Or the Destruction of the very Lord, Who alone can save them,
By fiery astra-s, astral missiles armed with Spirit-s of Devata-s,
Consuming, burning, devouring, even hungrier than us all

 But now we touch Delhi, softly we take off again
Onwards to Lucknow, a city with childhood meaning
We will pass briefly through it onwards to Varanasi
It is another short ride there, ending in dusk,
Knowing little of what lurks in the shadows
Led to an unlit bus, again it is about who is in control
From the airline rep being all business to the world weary
Munni Bhai, straight from Bollywood casting, with bleary eyes,
Reeking of paan and yet he drives us onwards confidently
On crazy Indian nighttime roads filled with truck drivers
Railroad crossings, countless speed bumps on the highway
What is it we can do now but sing to Shiva Himself
On this wedding night of his; he knows where he wants us
And it is not in a hotel room in Varanasi but instead
On an old bus singing his praises all together, each one
With his or her thoughts but willing to let this unfold
The surrender is part exhaustion and part exhilaration
But the witnessing is in each one’s eyes, which are
Trained upon me, looking for signals that can explain
This madness adventure as it is in sense that we seek
Our understandings and acceptances, the unknown
Must remain an enigma, the moment needs rationale

 Varanasi appears gradually, it is now that quiet before dawn
Dogs are awake and there is stirring in the new day, Shiva’s wedding
Now belongs to last night, now the wedding city calls us
To rest, in a hotel I will never again stay in
But for now, it is welcome as the journey ends.

Later, we continued to Delhi and then I begged leave to rest before flying to Greece to teach there before returning home, a much richer man: so much treasured learning had happened on this trip.
Album of photos from the trip: Click Here

At a little off the beaten track Hanuman Temple

ENTERING 2012: SPIRIT TOUR OF INDIA, GREECE WORKSHOPS, MORE…

SPIRIT TOUR OF INDIA: FEB 2012 (Click here for details)

Starting our yatra in Chennai, we will tour the spiritual landscape of Tamil Nadu and its magnificent temple architecture.

A stone carving at a Shiva Temple

Continuing on through Mahabalipuram, we come to the quaint, once French, town of Pondicherry, home of Sri Aurobindo.
And the nearby Eco-Village conceptualized by The MotherAuroville.

Meditating inside the Matra Mandir is to access pure energy.

It is a yearning that draws one to Tiruvannamalai, the pure joy of visiting the home of Ramana Maharishi
and the mountainhe loved so much as the home of Lord Shiva: Arunachala!

The sun sets at Arunachala

We visit the sacred town of Chidambaram, where the Shiva Temple is dedicated to his Yogic form as Nataraja, the Cosmic Dancer.

Thillai Nataraj Temple

Completing our yogic journey of the south, we fly north to Varanasi, perhaps the oldest living city in the world!
While immersing in the sacredness of the Ganges, visiting its ancient Temples and walking its ancient streets, we study Tantra with scholars and listen in the old gharanas to the music of one of its 15th generation classical musician families.

Varanasi, the river Ganges and its ancient temples

Finally, a small group of us will venture on to Rishikesh to visit the Ganges in another of its most sacred homes, Rishikesh:

Where ancient rishis lived once and a bridge now takes us across a river Lord Rama crossed by boat back somewhere in the mists of time

HOWEVER, 2012 begins in January with another Sacred Art of Eating workshop, this one in Malibu as it traverses its way across the culinary landscape of Southern California: perhaps it is time for you to immerse in its aromas, tastes and visual pleasures?
January 29: 1-7 PM at a Private home in Malibu: Space is limited to 12. Please contact Lynn Dolin at lynndolin@aol.com to sign up.

BACK in Greece after the India Retreat, we invite our international friends to join us for a Teacher Training Immersion in Ayurveda for Yogins: March 1-4:
Ayurveda for Yoga Teachers, Level 1: The Path of Healing & Realization
with Arun Devaat NYSY Yoga Studio, Athens
(Click Here For Details)

UPCOMING!

APRIL 2012: PRANA, TEJAS & OJAS: THE TIES THAT BIND: NAMA CONFERENCE 2012
Link Here!

APRIL 2012: SVATANTRA: CERTIFICATION COURSE AT SIVANANDA YOGA FARMS, GRASS VALLEY
Link Here!