Bharat Mata - Mother India

April 01, 2018

Kate Bentley, Ayurvedic Practitioner

Midway down India’s southwest coast, cut off from the rest of India by a wall of mountains, Goa offers beautiful white sandy beaches, ancient temples, famous herb and spice gardens and old Portugese colonial architecture. A trip to India is a life changing experience and after my first adventure to these fabled lands, decades ago… I knew I was changed!

Immediately upon arrival you become an active participant in the steady swirl of information and engaged in the sensory dance of the indriyas. From your first taste of milky, sweetened chai at the train station to the colorful array of powdered pigments and saris in view along the bustling roads, you become the observer and the observed. The continued drone of India’s latest pop chart hit or ancient mantra blasts out of speakers on every street corner, reverberating in your ears long after you have hit the pillow for a nights sleep. The smells of frying curry leaves and toasted mustard seeds mingle with that of incense and garland flowers, over ripened fruit and animals as people closely jostle past you in search of a pathway through streams of activity and routine.

As a group of fellow travelers and students as well as seekers of health and healing, we will spend our first two weeks together in charming Goa. Where a short bus ride can take you away from the steady hum of the hotels and restaurants of this world famous destination spot to empty beaches and enchanted gardens.

Here, in Dr Shanbag’s wellness sanctuary, Gaya Thri Ayurveda and Yoga Academy, nestled on the banks of beautiful River Sal we will immerse ourselves in a full healing retreat center, learning traditional therapies, practicing yoga, observing a master and deepening our knowledge of pulse. These clinic sessions include master faculty observations of consultations with clients, question and answer times and detailed explanations. Additionally, there will be opportunities to relax and swim in the pool, wander the nearby beach, kayak in the river, cycle or play badminton.

We depart from Goa via domestic flight and continue our journey to the energetic and industrious city of Coimbatore in the foothills of Tamil Nadu. Here in Southern India, at the source, the famous AVP Hospital, offers special ayurveda treatments of Panchakarma, where we will learn to cleanse the body’s deep tissues of toxins and open up the subtle channels that bring life enhancing energy back into the body.

This area of Southern India offers an astounding array of temples, dense palm forests, vibrant green paddy fields, botanical gardens and an extensive network of sacred sites. These sacred sites have attracted and inspired souls for thousands of years and many experience the deep spiritual atmosphere of these sacred places on this journey of a lifetime.

Connecting with the spirit and culture of Mother India we will gain a deeper understanding of who we are and how we fit into the great role of healing. A pilgrimage of body, mind and soul we will be exposed to the land that birthed this healing tradition and this connection to the source will shift the way you see the world!