A testimonial about Ashiyana

Ashiyana Team posted on 27 January 2015

Below is a testimonial from Phyllis, who stayed with us recently:

It is difficult to describe a life-changing and life enhancing experience like Ashiyana, because to feel its real benefit and understand its effect, you have to be there.

From the moment you enter this oasis of palm-covered glades, a peace and serenity comes over you. It is beautifully designed, but it is not smart or fashionable; the food, cooked by Nepalese chefs, is delicious but it is not gourmet; beautiful women waft about in floral maxis, but you would feel equally comfortable in an all-day track suit; it is not luxurious but there are comfortable, cushioned sofas on which to sink, hammocks in which to relax, small grottos with low cushions in which to chat or even be alone. There is a spa, set alongside a natural swimming pool, built amidst the trees, but the professional and caring treatments are for physical and inner well-being, rather than glamour.

The temperature when I went in December was 30 degrees, but the palm trees covering the site make it cool. You leave the site, cross the river over a wooden bridge and reach the ocean. Here you may need sandals because the sand is so warm, but you are on an unspoilt beach peopled only by those in Ashiyana or the local village.

Ashiyana is a yoga retreat, but it not a conventional Ashram with a specific religious community. There is certainly no prescribed religion, but it is 'spiritual' - there is a sense that there is something more than a material life. The inner well-being comes not only because you are relaxed but from the generosity of spirit, tolerance and loving kindness that is given here.

There is no alcohol, smoking or drug taking at Ashiyana. If this sounds judgmental or proscriptive, it is not. The simplicity and tranquillity that pervade the retreat mean there is no need, or indeed desire, for any external stimuli.

The yoga teachers differ widely in their approach. Some are more physical than others, some more 'spiritual'; some play music while you do your asanas or relax; some provide sweet-smelling essences - but they all share the same values and 'vision' of Ashiyana - of harmony, care and love. They make you aware of your inner self, and with self-awareness (but not self-obsession) comes inner peace.

Ashiyana is not about doing, but about being.

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