Really Good 8.8/10
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What most of us urban dwellers need, if we are not suffering from serious illness, is to allow ourselves lots of rest, deep relaxation, and some expert guidance in healthy lifestyle habits that are suited to our individual make-up. The benefit in addressing these often deeply-entrenched habits is that we experience rapid and tangible results which elicit relaxation and thus initiate the more subtle inner changes that will create deep and enduring benefits. The philosophy at Ashiyana is that when you relax deeply you realize your essential nature - your inner peace of being. When you perceive the outer world from this state of peace, you are not troubled or disturbed. Joyful living then flows from the experience of being at easeand free of mental and physical tension.
Most of Ashiyanas accommodation are located on the dunes which seperates Mandrem river from the Arabian sea. The others are located on the mainland facing the river. There are huts sheltered behind the banks of the dune and others on the dune top. They all come with en-suite bathroom, fan and mosquito net. Whilst being the economist section of the accomodation, they have recently been upgranded with simple, yet chic interior-designed finishes.
Much of Ashiyanas accomodation is in a beautiful palm grove fronting the Mandrem river and facing towards the sea which can be viewed from some of the upper-floor-balconies. The accomodation is in the form of luxury-eco-lodges, tree-houses and stoned-build houses set admist lust tropical gardens, statues and water features. The lodges and tree-houses are built of local wood giving an Indonesian feel, through most finishing touches are borrowed from classical Indian design with plenty of natural fabrics and antique furniture.
All the rooms are spacious and comfortable with large windows and wonderful views. As far as possible the en-suite bathrooms have been built to allow a little of the outside in, with large open window spaces and blinds. Each room has ample cupboard space and its own balcony with day-bed.
The key to this retreat is the creation of a personalized program. This will involve a consultation process with one or more of our yoga therapists, who will listen carefully to you and guide you through your personal program, which includes yoga classes, yoga therapy sessions, dietary suggestions, meditation, and massages. They may also recommend a visit to our doctor of integrative healing or our Ayurvedic doctor.
Our intention is that you obtain the maximum benefit from the retreat, and also leave with a clear understanding of better lifestyle choices to support your inner peace of being. It is an individual retreat to allow you to focus on yourself and your needs. This retreat is also suitable for anyone wishing to simply immerse themselves in the depth of yoga, since it embraces the essential teachings of yoga.
The Ashiyana location offers a balance between the serenity of a coconut palm grove, bodered by the enchanting Mandrem river, and a beautiful quiet beach with the invigorating sound of the waves breaking against the shore just beyond the dunes. Mandrem, a remote and sleepy fishing village in the north of Goa, has a number of restaurants, an internet cafe, a travel agent, a small organic shop, general grocery store and places to rent motorbikes or hire taxis. Thirty minutes away by road is the large market town of Mapusa, which has good coach connections to other Indian towns and cities.
A pleasant 40-minute stroll (10 minutes by taxi) north along the beach is the lively and colorful village of Arambol. One of the main attractions to this distinctly 'hippy' hangout is the fresh-water lake separated from the sea by broad golden sands and it also has a post office, a small market, restaurants and beach-front bars, some featuring live music. A southward stroll takes you along a quiet stretch of beach dolted with beach shacks and restaurants.
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Whenever possible, organic produce are bought and the retreat mostly has vegetarian food apart from twice-weekly fish or chicken dish dinners.
Other than yoga and other retreats and events, Ashiyana is also offering a mix of creative workshops, including arts, craft, and musical. The detail for these visiting teachers are available on request, though often workshops are created quite organically.
Every Monday evening at 20:00, from about 1st November throughout the season they have a barefoot boogie which is inspired by contact improvised dance. This is a celebration of movement throught intimacy either in unison with others or simply on your own. It is a beautiful way to meet yourself and others more deeply and honestly than is usually possible with words and conditioned behavioral patterns.
They want to keep their activities physical presence as low-impact as possible, especially in regard to the quietness of Mandrem beach. There are kite surfing teachers along the beach and hand gliding from the cliffs. Elsewhere in Goa every imaginable water sport is well-catered for. Goa is also famous for its daytime and nighttime activities such as Baga night market on Saturday evening, Anjuna Flea market on Wednesday, Bondala national park and zoo, spice farms, old Goa, the beautiful old parts of Panjim (Goas capital), Dudsagar waterfall.
The beautiful spa and treatment center sits at the heart of Ashiyana, and has evolved into a haven of peace and tranquility within this tropical paradise. Offering serene luxury with a unique mix of informality and intimacy, it has Goas only natural swimming pool (naturally self-cleaning with no chemicals), a hammam (steam room) and six treatment rooms. The gardens around the large pool offer plenty of beautiful spots for meditation and contemplation, with a gazebo and lilly pond facing towards a majestic Buddha statue, all set amidst an abundance of plants and coconut palms. There will soon be a spa cafe offering healthy, light snacks and lunch, as well as a trpoical juice menu and teas.
Whether you wish to simply relax body and mind, enhance your current level of wellbeing, or perhaps address some particular symptoms or health issues that you are experiencing, the expert therapists are available to offer treatments and to create a tailored program for your particular requirements.
The consultation and treatment procedure has been created according to the "Elemental Yoga Therapy System" (EYT), which concerns itself with the five naturally occuring elements - air, fire, water, earth and space, and how they are behaving within your body. The system teaches the therapist to 'listen deeply' to your whole being and determine 'elemental' imbalances, and then assess your precise needs in that moment. The treatment process of EYT is natural and simple, deeply rooted in the traditional practices of yoga - in deed it might also be called "yoga as medicine".
Whether you take a single treatment or opt for one of our longer programs, the therapists will assess the nature of your mental, physical and emotional imbalances, and then either offer an appropriate treatment, or create a personalised program for your stay. The philosophy here is of gentle, holistic 'healing', and this requires a trusting collaboration between therapist and client.
If your retreat or chosen program includes the full "Elemental" welbeing consultation and assessment, then you will be given a detailed program for your stay, including yoga practices and associated treatments in order to transmute unhealthy patterns back to a natural state of rhythm and flow. You will also be advised of general lifestyle guidelines, including diet, exercise, relaxation and life balance, to support your return to optimal health and vitality.
Intergral to the philosophy is the wish to empower you so that yoga can become your personalized wellbeing system, once you know how to listen to what your body is asking for.
A consultation with one of the EYT therapist is recommended and available on request. The therapists are highly trained in supporting and guiding you in obtaining the most from your stay, whether you are looking to detox, de-stress or simply relax deeply.
"I have now been on several of Melanie's retreats at Ashiyana in Goa. With her excellent Ashtanga yoga teaching, as well as her focus on breath through pranayama, relaxation, and improvements in your practice, it happens almost without you noticing! As for the wonderful setting, healthy food prepared by the Nepalese chefs, and cooling plunge pool, well, what can I say? Come and enjoy the fun and healthy regime!"
BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited
"To Chris and his lovely team, thank you for a wonderful week of heavenly yoga, lush food, and peaceful surroundings. I have walked away with a sense of calm and ease, which I hope to bring into my everyday life now. You will be pleased to know that I have continued with an hour of yoga daily and am even practicing with my nine-year-old daughter. Thanks and maybe see you again one day, hopefully in Brazil. Best wishes."
Ashiyana website, edited
"This is a very nice place for a yoga holiday. It is not an ashram, so people seeking a more authentic spiritual Indian atmosphere might be better off somewhere else. The decoration is beautiful. The garden is rich and nicely maintained. It is a wonderful experience to practice yoga outside, surrounded by palm trees, with the sound of tropical birds in the background. We stayed in one of the beach huts near the river: simple, but you have got all you need. The mosquito nets are helpful against being bitten. The huts are close to the restaurant and the yoga shala and yet still very quiet, except for the dogs barking during the night. There were some problems with the pool so, unfortunately, we could not use the pool, but maybe they have found a solution by now? Brunch was always very nice, delicious food (freshly baked bread, fruits, yogurt, and homemade granola), dinner was at 7:30 and also simple and delicious dal dish and vegetable dish, salad, and a cake. I highly recommend the place to everybody who likes to be in the middle of nature in a stunning little world with simple but delicious food and very friendly staff."
TripAdvisor website, edited
"Wow. I have never been somewhere so stunning. The huts were beautifully designed and full of amazing furniture. The premises and yoga shalas were fantastic. The yoga courses were all different and all good. The food was healthy and delicious (though the chai was boring). Only problem was that the resident yoga trainee teachers were a bit weird. They seemed to float around kissing each other like pristine angels with bodies of a temple. We met some teacher trainers from the other yoga center down the road and they were normal people."
TripAdvisor website, edited
"This is the second time I have stayed for a yoga holiday here. From the moment you walk in you seem to just become quieter and calmer, all the staff are fantastic as was our room and, of course, the food. I stayed in a raj double this time, which was amazing. It was a lot busier than the last time I stayed, as a yoga retreat season arrived, but it did not take anything away from my stay. There are something for everyone, be it detox, teacher training, retreat, or drop-in yoga classes, which cater for every level. The teacher training program must be really good as they produce amazing teachers. I also love all the people that I met here from all over the world, I cannot wait to go back! "
TripAdvisor website, edited
"Yoga teacher training in Ashiyana is the best treat you can offer to yourself; teachers, atmosphere, spirit, location, and food! I hope you get to know and enjoy this place as much as I did, sure going back as soon as possible."
TripAdvisor website, edited
"I have just come back from Ashiyana and it is a stunning place, I fell in love with it. Does what is says on the tin: helps you relax, totally! Beautiful lush greenery, peaceful and quiet, on a beautiful and non-crowded beach. Two yoga classes a day and different workshops on top. You can hide in the corner or you can mix up with the other guests, it is up to you. Great veggie food. I felt completely relaxed."
TripAdvisor website, edited