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This retreat is 7 days and 6 nights in Kerala, India, and consists of a full schedule each day. Practices taught and activities provide rich content in Vedic culture designed to empower you into your self-awareness, enable deep relaxation as well as a sense of sacred within. Together you will explore various yogic practices like pranayama, mantra chanting, guided visual relaxation practices, yoga Nidra, and heart-based meditation practices. The ashram holds sacred space and energy for you to move deeply into inward retreat, practice silence, stillness, and contemplation throughout the duration of the retreat. Explore the natural beauty of the lush green hills of the Idukki region in beautiful Kerala, India.
Accommodations are shared by 2 per room and separated by gender. The rooms are simple and sparse but very comfortable. The founders of Atmanandam Mission Retreat Center established and developed a spiritually oriented space as a designated retreat center for you to abide in a quiet, restful, heart-oriented state of being while in retreat.
The ashram building is situated on 1.5 acres of beautiful and ecologically sensitive land in the remote hills of the Idukki District of Kerala, India. You can enjoy 360 views of the panoramic landscape of beautiful hills of the Idukki District. The ashram and surrounding land are infused with a gentle, calming, sacred, and spiritual energy.
The ashram is sanctified through Vedic rituals to hold sacred space and the aspect of Divine Consciousness personified as Sree Krishna is installed as the presiding deity in the ashram. The founders of the ashram are conscious and mindful stewards who carefully consider all those who wish to come into this space.
One set of bath towels, hand towels, and washcloth for a 7-day retreat is provided. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, hand soap, and toilet paper are also provided although you are encouraged to bring your own ecologically safe, non-fragrant personal products.
The internet access is limited at the accommodation. A deep natural artesian well provides pure ground water and a well that is filled with it. The water is purified using the latest RO and UV technology available and boiled for your safety. Water consumption is to be moderated strictly. No laundry services are provided to you presently and the weather stays damp during many months of the year. No parking is available for personal vehicles (car, motorcycle, RVs, bikes, etc.) at this time. Please do not drive your personal vehicle to the location.
Do not dispose of plastic or glass bottles at the facility. The accommodation is situated in an ecologically sensitive area and is not equipped to dispose of plastic, synthetic, and non-recyclable or non-compostable waste. Please take back any plastic that you will have brought with you. For ladies, do not flush personal products down the toilet as the septic system is sensitive. Any personal waste materials must be wrapped up in a newspaper and disposed of in the trash to be burned later.
Toilet paper usage and disposal must be used sparingly. The accommodation provides a bidet like a spray tap by each toilet for personal cleansing. For your safety, you are urged to not leave the ashram premises during the course of the retreat and is expected to follow etiquette and code of conduct while participating in retreats at the ashram.
Atmanandam Mission Retreat Center is not able to guarantee or provide private rooms for married couples and long-time partners at this time. Please bring earplugs as some room participants may snore. If you do snore, please notify Atmanandam Mission Retreat Center at the time of registration.
There are single beds with mattress, blankets, duvets, and pillows provided for each participant. One bath towel, 1 hand towel, and 1 washcloth are provided to you for the duration of your 7-day retreat stay. If you require additional towels, please notify the facilitator. Conserve water and electricity usage while in retreat. Switch off lights, fans, etc. when not in use. Turn on showers and taps for minimal water usage.
You are coming into inward retreat in a sacred and sanctified spiritual space (ashram). You are expected to follow etiquette to maintain the sanctity of this space. Please do not bring chewing or smoking tobacco, herbal cigarettes, drugs, smoking or drug paraphernalia, Paan / betel leaf, meat, eggs, or weapons of any kind to the ashram.
Intoxicants / stimulants of any kind, immoral conduct, partial / full nudity, etc. are not tolerated on the premises or surrounding areas. Violation of this guideline will result in immediate removal from the premises. Atmanandam Mission Retreat Center is not equipped for families and children. Young adults over the age of 18 who can strictly adhere to their guidelines may attend the retreat.
Sincerity and a strict adherence to the schedule are part of yoga philosophy and meditation disciplines. Hence, all programs within the retreat are mandatory / compulsory. You may not opt-out of any scheduled program. Please ask for guidance from the facilitators if you feel challenged by any event. Facilitators will guide you on the do’s and don't's while at the ashram. In case you experience any difficulty, please work with the facilitator separately and privately without disturbing other participants.
Atmanandam Mission Retreat Center cannot make special exceptions for individual participants. Please be mindful when you make requests of the staff and facilitators. To maintain the spiritual mission and vision of Atmanandam, they ask that you adhere strictly to the scheduled events and timings in their daily program. Please be seated in the meditation room within a few minutes of hearing the bell. Silence is observed out of respect for all participants who are attending.
You will begin the program by the evening of day 1 of the retreat and will end our program on day 7 morning after breakfast. Please do not engage in reading, writing, computer, and social media activities while you are on retreat. Remember that this is your retreat from the sensory world to go inwards and refrain from engaging with the outside world.
As part of ashram lifestyle, simple, clean, freshly laundered attire and dress with an emphasis on modesty is suggested. Light colored / white colored tunics and trousers in natural materials like hemp, flax, linen, cotton, wool, and silk are recommended. Avoid dark colors and black tops because this prevents natural energy from flowing in and around you.
The following guidelines apply to both men and women. Partial / full nudity or transparent attire are not permitted. T-shirts and tops must cover shoulders and upper arms, no bare chests, tank tops, or sleeveless tops. No low-cut tops and T-shirts must cover up to neck and not show cleavage. Tops should tuck into the trousers and / or cover the buttocks. No bare mid-riffs. No tight-fitting clothing, no exercise shorts / bike shorts. Avoid leggings, tights, and shorts. Trousers should be loose fitting, below the knee or longer. Personal hygiene must be maintained at all times. You are required to shower at least once a day preferably in the morning.
Avoid all fragrances and strong-smelling personal products out of respect for the facilitators and participants with chemical sensitivities. Keep all long hair tied back in a ponytail, braids, or in a bun. The center is not equipped with hair-dryers at this time.
Outside footwear / shoes are not permitted inside the retreat center. You may bring soft-soled slippers designated as indoor shoes or you may choose to walk in socks or bare feet. Note that since there is a lot of rain at various times of year, wearing water-proof footwear outside is recommended.
Do not bring valuables and expensive jewelry to the retreat. The center is not equipped to store any personal valuables. They are not liable for the loss of any personal property including digital devices, jewelry, or other items. Clean up hair and waste in around sinks, toilets, and showers after bathroom usage.
Do not bring digital devices to the ashram since the goal is to maintain a space with minimal EMF impact. You may bring a cell phone for basic essential communication purposes only. You must also turn off (not silent) all mobile and internet devices while in meditation, during discourse, dining, etc. Phones or mobile devices may be used only for emergencies.
Personal calls and lengthy conversations, social media posting, and emails are discouraged during the course of the retreat. You may notify your family or loved ones upon arrival regarding your status. Internet access via a local computer can be provided only on as needed basis only to make travel or flight arrangements only and to check-in with your family members to let them know that you are safe. Please do not ask for the Wi-Fi password or to turn on Wi-Fi.
You are recommended to wean yourself off all conversation and social media interaction to maintain decorum and etiquette of an ashram or spiritual retreat center. Please switch off any lights and devices and turn off water taps tightly when not needed. Bring a small battery operated flashlight to help aid night-time bathroom trips if needed without turning on the overhead lights or to aid during power outages. Also, conserve electricity and do not leave digital devices plugged in.
As a young child, Gayathri grew up in many cultures with a profound awareness of her connection to earth wisdom and to the many manifestations of the energy of the universal source. She enables others on their healing journey from their stories of past experiences to empower them on their sacred path in the ever present now. She brings a strong sense of intuition, clairvoyance, and a deep connection to the sacred divine, in her presence process to others. She recognizes that everyone has the inherent spiritual power within and that this must be carefully cultivated with intention & attention.
Shylesh Nair is a yoga instructor. Born and raised in Northern India, into a humble South Indian family, Shylesh spent much of his formative years living in a disciplined spiritual setting and contemplating on life’s mysteries. Simple yet always aware, accompanied by an innocence and child-like sense of humor, he firmly believes that everyone who is born, must realize their "higher self" and that they have no choice or alternative. Through many deeply profound yet humbling spiritual experiences, he realized that it is only through self-knowledge and a constant practice.
Atmanandam Mission Retreat Center is located in the beautiful village hamlet of Pullikanam amidst the rolling hills of Idukki District in the Southeastern state of Kerala, situated at the tip of the Indian peninsula. The center is located in a remote area at an altitude of 3100 feet above sea-level surrounded by lush tea estates and plantations of vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, and other rich natural resources.
There are wildlife refuge and animal sanctuaries nearby and the land is ecologically sensitive. Moderately cooler temperatures make this area an appealing tourist destination and the occasional movie production crew as well. Pullikanam and nearby areas are home to many monastic, religious, and spiritual traditions, including major churches and temples. The surrounding hills are repose to saints and sages of old.
The renowned DC School of Management, Architecture & Technology (DCSMAT) situated 6 kilometers away is a residential college campus offering graduate programs to students from far and wide. Medical services are limited in the nearby town of Vagamon, the nearest town, which is 10 kilometers away. Any medical emergencies above and beyond basic first aid are provided at hospitals in Thodupuzha (28 kilometers northwest) or Pala (50 kilometers west).
You will get tea, water, as well as vegetarian and vegan food. Three vegetarian South Indian style meals will be served daily (no fish, meat, or eggs) and based on Ayurvedic principles of food combining. Some mild spices will be used (cumin, turmeric, coriander, etc.). Food will not be overtly spicy or oily. Ghee, yogurt, and milk may be included. Afternoon tea will be served around 3 to 3:30 p.m.
The center is not equipped to handle special meal options at this time. Please do not make one-off requests of the staff as this will disrupt the ability to provide consistently for all others. Hot water will be provided at all times along with herbal water for drinking.
If you have any known food, nut, or other allergies, please notify Atmanandam Mission Retreat Center on your registration application process and bring appropriate medications including an Epi-pen or antihistamines as needed. Please do not bring non-vegetarian food items and other outside snacks into your retreat regimen.
Please book your flight to arrive at Cochin International Airport (COK). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. Arrangements for transportation from and to Cochin International Airport (COK) can be provided at an added cost.
The nearest major bus station (KSRTC) is Pala or Thodupuzha and connecting buses are available to Vagamon.
The nearest train / railway station is Kottayam (KTYM) or Ernakulam (EKM).
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