Yoga and Ayurveda Retreat
Neeleshwar Hermitage, Malabar Coast, Kerala
19 – 25 November 2022
Malabar Magic in Gods Own Country
Our exquisite South Indian retreat was set in the shade of a coconut grove on the pristine shores of the Arabian sea in Northern Kerala.
The bare-foot luxury at Neeleshwar Hermitage is a sublime retreat experience, set in beautiful verdant gardens, oriented towards the rising sun and the ocean. The palm-roofed Garden Cottages are of traditional Kerala design, surrounded by lush gardens, palm trees, hibiscus and frangipani flowers. The cottages are built in local stone and embellished with carved woodwork and hand-made furniture. Teak floors, contemporary art and open-air bathrooms create an ambient charm inspired by the yoga tradition.
Yogis harmonised by the waves, relaxed by the infinity pool and walked along the golden sands to the ocean horizon.
On waking up in this stunning location, we shared a sunrise Vinyasa Flow and Dharma Yoga sadhana. Moving through beautiful sequencing and creative namaskars, we explored elemental vinyasa: the Earth, the ocean, the birds, the sun, the sky, the stars, the universe within. In the afternoons, we surrendered to a yin yoga practice, allowing our being to rest, renew and rejuvenate.
Ayurveda has its origins in Kerala, thus yogis experienced traditional Ayurvedic massage and therapies to enhance total well-being and relaxation in the serene Priya Spa.
The Malabar coast cuisine is unforgettable, colourful, creative ’Art on a Plate’; a South Indian culinary journey of delicate, flavourful, plentiful, artistic food. My favourite dish has to be traditional Thali served on a banana leaf. Neeleshwar offers warm and welcoming Kerala hospitality at its highest.
Beyond the retreat, yogis immersed in local Malabar culture. We visited the Krishna temple where we lit candles for peace and received traditional blessing. We had the opportunity to participate in a vibrantly theatrical Theyyam performance, an ancient ritual dance that channels the gods to dispel darkness so that light may shine on the community.
On our last evening, we experienced a Sunset Cruise on The Lotus Houseboat through the enchanting Neeleshwar backwaters and river communities. The gentle sunset shimmered as opulence on the calm waters and as radiance in our eyes.
We gathered every evening in sweet santosha to watch the peach-pink sun set into the Arabian Sea. This was Gratitude Sadhana where friendships were formed to last a lifetime.
We were blessed to retreat together in abundant beauty of Kerala under the Indian sun!