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Saturday June 23rd 11am Free Yoga in the Valley Gardens
Please see part of the press release below:-
The construction and planting phases of the Japanese Garden Restoration in Valley Gardens supported by a Heritage Lottery grant, are nearing completion, and should be finished by the end of April 2018. For the next twelve months the project is embarking upon a series of events in the garden to engage and inspire our visitors.
It is a well-known fact that both being and working in gardens and green spaces improves a feeling of wellbeing. Japanese gardens in particular, in various parts of the world, are already used for meditation and mindfulness techniques owing to their calm and peaceful ambience.
The Friends of Valley Gardens and Harrogate Borough Council are delighted that the Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing has teamed up with us to provide FREE 45 minute sessions for a maximum of 30 participants per session to explore ways of Wellbeing in the garden. These are the dates :-
Saturday June 23rd with Anne-Marie, July 14 James, August 11 Anne-Marie, September 15 Tai Chi with Chris all sessions are at 11.00am.
James leading the last session in the Japanese Gardens
Please note the sessions are for new people so please let your friends and families know
Summer solstice fire ceremony & Shamanic drumming and social June 23rd 6-7.30pm
We would like to invite you to this sacred evening of healing and social as we welcome the Summer Solstice.
We will be lighting the fire and begin with a guided meditation and sage clearing.
After the meditation James will lead the shamanic drumming as we connect to the heart beat of the planet for empowerment of self.
Tai Chi Friday 4.15pm with Chris
The link below is about Tai Chi and how helpful it is as we age and for pain relief
Gong Bath with Craig Eddington and Shamanic Drumming Saturday July 21st 6.30-8pm £10
Craig will be back with his gong bath in July. To book on please contact James on email@example.com
May Bank Holiday Retreat
We have just finished another lovely retreat we were blessed with beautiful weather and a very appreciative group of lovely people.
Here is some of the feedback-
I have just completed the weekend Ayurvedic retreat. I was looking for something positive for the weekend and definitely found it. A very special combination of yoga learning more about the Ayurvedic way of life and a superb aromatherapy massage. The centre is a very positive and peaceful space. As the CEO of a health charity I am keen to develop my understanding of ways to improve wellbeing and balance in our lives and I have learned a lot this weekend. Thank you to Anne Marie, James, Kelly Anne and my fellow students.
Sally Light 3rd from left in top photo
Ayurvedic cookery lesson with James
Thank you for a wonderful weekend retreat. The time spent in the garden was certainly a highlight.This was my first retreat, although I have practiced yoga for some years. The blend of practice, knowledge and information giving was second to none.I have come away feeling that I can integrate many of the Ayurvedic practices into my lifestyle and have already started doing so. I also feel more relaxed and energised than I can remember.The centre is so warm and friendly: eating delicious meals together and learning how to cook them in your own kitchen was a very special experience.The meditation, yoga practice, handpan playing, Ayurvedic massage techniques and seminars were all fantastic. will definitely return for more. My expectations were exceeded - a 5* experience! Thank you all so much.
Beverley Wilson in white top centre
I am so happy to have attended the recent Ayurvedic Yoga retreat. The knowledge I gained, the wonderful people I met and the peace I achieved will hopefully stay with me for a long time. I look forward to attending further such events. Thank you so much.
Catherine Ryecroft 4th from right in first photo
Yoga Nidra with Anne-Marie
Our next retreat Ayurvedic Yoga Summer Bank Holiday August 24-27 from £295 non res. res. options also available early bird before July 7 £250
This is the longest retreat we hold at our centre and a wonderful way to learn more about Ayurveda and Yoga and enjoy the summer in our beautiful spa town and the surrounding Dales.
Please see our website or Facebook page for full details
Face Yoga and meditation Monday 4.25pm
This is a unique, bespoke class including not only Face yoga exercises and eye exercises but also incorporating pressure points, breathing techniques, crystals and essential oils to enhance and deepen the practice.
Face yoga is not only an extremely effective natural face lift but it is also very helpful for issues such as migraines, eye strain, and an anxious mind.
Here is some recent feedback
I have found Face yoga is a great way to learn to relax at the same time exercise your face and learn acupuncture pressure points. It has given me more movement in my very restricted jaw after old injury and I am really enjoying the meditation - Which is helping me relax on all levels and is and all round beneficial experience
Alice Thompson ( at the front of the photo)
I started face yoga in addition to ordinary yoga to tackle chronic head and neck tension. I have found that I can feel the muscles relaxing in the sessions and in addition I find myself really looking forward to the 20 minutes meditation which it leads into. I have found prolonged meditation hard to do by myself and Anne-Marie is very skilled at setting up good conditions for this.
Dr.Sarah Pease - ( furthest away in the photo)
Our new extension is well underway now and while there is some temporary inconvenience, we believe the end result will be all worth it as we will have a large reception opening onto our gardens which will be suitable for social events, classes etc and will be much lighter and warmer with underfloor heating. We apologise for any inconvenience, please bear with us during this period, we hope it should be finished mid July - all been well!
The importance of the Pelvic floor
Your Pelvic floor is the equivalent " of the "foundation" of your house/ body and it is essential that we exercise it daily as a specific muscle, which we do in all of our Pilates classes and in yoga to an extent too. The news link below explains this in a humorous way, we however go into more depth in our Pilates classes and teach you how to use your pelvic floor properly and efficiently please join us to learn more
Ahimsa Garden retreats Kerala new dates and price options
We have now visited Ahimsa Garden retreats five times with several of our students now having been more than once, this is an outstanding experience and we delighted that we are now able to offer more price options with a lower starting price which we hope will enable more of you to come. Also the ongoing plan is for Anne-Marie to lead one retreat ( this year two November 2018 as well as our February retreat) and for James to in future lead the February retreat
February 23rd- March 2 2019
Anne-Marie and James Nov 2016 on our first visit to Ahimsa with Dr.Nair- our Ayurvedic Doctor on the left and Dr.Kuchinad M.D owner of Ahimsa in between AM and James
Ayurvedic Yoga Retreat from £1200 ( single occupancy basic room ) upto £1500 ( luxury room private bath)
shared occupancy available at reduced cost
The Retreat Includes :-
Daily yoga and meditation
7 days of bespoke 1.5 hours, 2-3 person administered Ayurvedic treatments
Consultation with Dr.Nair and his son both Ayurvedic Doctors at the beginning and end of the retreat
Guided walk of the medicinal gardens & Talks on Ayurveda with Dr.Kuchinad
Backwater afternoon sunset house boat/beach trip*
*extra charge if less than 6 on retreat
Kalaripyattu demonstration ( the ancient martial art of Kerala founded in yoga)
Pick-up from Cochin airport
Three daily Ayurvedic vegetarian meals, evening tea and tea/coffee bar
Sunset on the house boat
February 2018 group with the Kallitpattu group
Yoga only ( no treatments ) From £750 (single occupancy basic room private bathroom) upto £1000 (luxury room single occupancy private bath)
all inclusions apart from daily Ayurvedic treatments - treatments can be booked while there if required
Each time we go we find more more improvements have been made and by February 2019 ( possibly by November 2018) there will be 4 more luxury rooms
Feedback from our Ayurvedic Yoga retreat February 2018
Here is Melanie's feedback:-
I’ve recently returned from my second visit to Ahimsa Garden Retreats owned by Dr Daisy Kuchinad in Kerala. I was lucky enough to spend 10 days there in February with a fabulous group of people. In addition to the lovely, nourishing food, the local trips and the daily meditation and yoga, the highlight of the retreat for me was the wonderful daily massage treatments. These are prescribed for you by Dr Nair, the Ayurvedic Doctor, who you meet for a consultation upon arrival. The interesting thing for me was that I found the treatments much more relaxing this year as on my first visit they were at times a little uncomfortable, if not painful, which is quite usual at the beginning. I also had an issue with my shoulder and a huge knot in my calf last year which I’m pleased to say had not returned. I was astounded to hear from Dr Nair and his son, also an Ayurvedic Doctor, that the effects of the treatments can last up to a year – how amazing! The feedback from them at my final consultation was that I looked very different from when I arrived and I agreed as my skin and eyes were shining and I felt so much better in myself. They suggested that I continue with exactly what I’m doing in terms of carrying on with yoga (important for me to improve my flexibility), meditation (to keep me grounded and my mind calm) and recommended I do pranayama exercises, particularly the energising ones in winter to keep me warm. They also suggested I have Chyawanprash (an Ayurvedic herbal rejuvenating jam) on a daily basis and continue taking Ashwagandha which will help to keep me strong and healthy. I can thoroughly recommend the experience of a visit to Ahimsa.
Melanie is a wonderful example of someone who has truly embraced the yoga/ Ayurvedic lifestyle . Although Melanie says "years ago I hated my first experience of yoga. This was primarily because the focus was purely on the Asana and it felt very competitive I compared myself to everyone else and thought I was useless!"
However, having now attended a number of our retreats and workshops and also now being on two retreats at Ahimsa Garden, Melanie maintains good health, a calm and balanced life and is also outstanding in her work ( she was recently voted Yorkshire P.A of the year and now mentors others). This view is also reinforced by our Ayurvedic doctors and Dr.Kuchinad.
Dr.Kuchinad (on left ) with Dr.Nair discussing our treatments
Those of us who have visited Ahimsa more than once have been told by our Doctors that we can expect to maintain good health and wellbeing as we age, if we continue to follow the Ayurvedic lifestyle and ideally make the Ayurvedic retreat an annual commitment.
On a personal level, neck issues that I have had for years after treatment from Dr.Nair and his team have now been completely resolved as I now have full range of movement and no pain.
Without these treatments I would've continued to believe, as I have been told by a number of practitioners in the area, that it was wear and tear and as I age it was something to be expected, which I can quite categorically state now IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE
Melanie in the purple top
Enjoying one of our delicious Ayurvedic meals with organic food from the gardens
Ahimsa Garden Retreats November 2017 Feedback
We have just returned from our November retreat, here is some of the feedback from our lovely students (see below)
On return from my stay at Ahimsa how much improved I am, my joints are no longer painful and I can walk with ease and as a bonus lost 4lb in weight and carrying on with the Ayurvedic diet I continue to loose weight. The Indian doctors Dr Daisy Kuchinad M.D and Dr.Nair our Ayurvedic doctor and all their staff were just so lovely. So a big thankyou to all but especially Anne Marie as without her this would not have happened.a big thank you to everyone involved and new friends from the Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing & Harrogate Retreats
Jenny Stanley- green top
Kelly-Anne (our therapist at the centre on the right) with Dr.Nair next to Anne-Marie and Dr.Kuchinad next to Kelly-Anne
I wanted to say a few words of thanks Anne-Marie for introducing me to Daisy and for my experience at Ahimsa. I found the retreat to be a very authentic Ayurvedic experience. Dr Nair and his team were impeccable . I feel I have had a truly medicinal transformational programme of therapy.
My Mum has also benefited greatly so I want to offer my deepest thanks to the whole team!
Nicky Snazzels view -Author & pain management specialist with Harley St. practice
I have just completed my Human Garage Trilogy of books on Mind, Body & Soul. In these books I have opened my heart to explain my beliefs on what we all need to live a longer, healthier, happier and more fulfilled life. Imagine then my unbelievable joy in meeting a kindred spirit in Dr Daisy Kuchinad, a USA based physician.
Daisy was born in India, a US citizen and an experienced western physician in the USA and who has practiced there for over 30 years. Over that time she has worked with all that western medicine has to offer, seeing first hand its strengths and weaknesses and the latter has been of great significance to her own immediate family, where western medicine fell short of achieving true health and recovery. Fortunately Daisy was able to call upon an ancient eastern medical system of Ayurvedic Medicine, as she had set up a Medical Charity in her ancestral village in Kerala, India, to help hundreds of local people. She lost no time and took her own family to her centre and there she saw, first hand how Eastern Medicine could complement Western Medicine; and witnessed a level of recovery which was simply not possible with Western Medicine alone.
Over the following years this drove Daisy to read extensively about Ayurdevic Medicine and although, by her own admission, she is not qualified in this, she has extensive knowledge of its history and principles. This in turn had driven her to develop her Kerala Centre with the aim of ensuring its long term sustainability for future generations. Her care for her people and its environment are intoxicating. Just as in many parts of the world, where we are destroying much of the local habitat and wiping out whole species of life, likewise this is happening in a rapidly developing India.
Daisy and her husband have saved a potential ecological disaster of ripping down local land to be converted into a quarry, by buying it and then going on to investing love and care and creating a sanctuary for over 400 endangered medical plants and trees. This in turn is helping save endangered animal species which are returning to her eco system for an almost unique source of food and habitat.
Within all this Daisy has created her Ahimsa Retreat. Ahimsa means ‘no violence’ and her vision for Ahimsa is that no violence should be done to any living thing, whether plant, animal or person. At Ahimsa, Daisy has gathered a team of skilled practitioners alongside her medical centre and this is all on hand to visitors at the retreat, plus of course Daisy herself. Every aspect of the centre was hand chosen by Daisy right down to the wood which would be used, then skilfully hand carved into the most exquisite furniture throughout. Every part of the Ahimsa Centre reflects one of true love and at one with the environment.
“I can’t tell you how excited I am to have met Daisy and I hope this will go on to be a life long relationship, where, as kindred spirits, we can together go on to open the eyes of as many people as possible to the health benefits of other than conventional western medicine alone.”
As part of my relationship with Daisy I have already chosen my first, I hope, of many visits to the Ahimsa Retreat in November, where my ‘holiday’ will be one of purpose to gain new knowledge on improving health, happiness and contentment. Add to this the rich diversity of history, culture and of course enjoying warm weather in the cold UK winter; for me it is infinitely more appealing than the more conventional western holiday.
Consultant Physiotherapist in spinal pain, Health Harley St, Harrogate, Stafford, Author
February feedback 2017
I have just returned from a two week retreat with Anne-Marie to Kerala in Southern India. We were due to spend a week at Ahimsa Garden Retreats and a week at the Turtle Beach Hotel but in fact ended up staying 11 nights at Ahimsa with three very relaxing days at the lovely Turtle Beach at the end. Ahimsa is the brainchild of Dr Daisy Kuchinad who founded the retreat centre with her husband in 2013 to preserve nearly 400 species of Ayurvedic medicinal plants including rare and endangered species. Although Daisy is a doctor trained in conventional western medicine, she was drawn to learn more about Ayurveda after a member of her family became seriously ill a few years ago and her quest is to holistically combine the best of both medical systems to ensure that the body is kept in balance.
Upon arrival, you have a consultation with Dr Nair, the consultant Ayurvedic doctor, who assesses what treatments will be beneficial to balance your body.
Each day began with meditation and yoga in one of the two beautiful indoor yoga studios which are positioned high up to make the most of the panoramic views over the treetops. What a stunning experience it was to do Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) to the backdrop of the most spectacular sunrises
The daily Ayurvedic treatment followed, the like of which I’ve never experienced before. Two young ladies (male therapist for the men) worked on your body for up to two hours with a variety of ayurvedic massage techniques which included warm oils and hot herbal poultices. The massage was like a carefully choreographed dance as they both worked in complete unison on each side of your body and I was interested to hear that their intense training takes them a year to complete. I was lucky enough to experience the sublime Shirodhara for my last three days of treatment which involved hot oils being drizzled backwards and forwards across your forehead – absolute bliss! Where time allowed, we also incorporated a late afternoon meditation and yoga practice into our day.
The vegetarian food at Ahimsa is delightful and freshly cooked using many ingredients which are grown in the garden and the spice level can be adapted to suit your taste.
The stay also included a number of trips including a cruise on the backwaters on a houseboat accompanied by Indian classical music, a visit to a local convent, orphanage and old people’s home, a display of traditional Indian dance and a demonstration of an Indian martial art based on yoga called Kalaripayattu which had me astounded at the strength, agility and flexibility of the students. Given everything that is included in the retreat, I do think it represents excellent value for money.
One of the most important aspects of the stay at Ahimsa for me was the time which Daisy devoted to spending with us. It was like having your own personal tour guide and I learnt so much from her about the life and culture of India as well as benefiting from her wisdom on anything and everything over some lively dinner conversations! She is a truly visionary lady and I can’t help but think if there were more people like her, then the world would be a much better place.
It’s hard to describe just what a magical and inspirational place Ahimsa is. I went on the retreat to the Maldives last year and whilst I had a wonderful time, the experience at Ahimsa was in a different league for me. The experience has truly nourished my heart and soul and I didn’t want to leave. For anyone who may be considering whether to go to Ahimsa and a little unsure, I’d urge you to just do it. I know you won’t regret it and I for one will be back.
Melanie Richardson March 2017
While there Dr. Nair worked on my neck, I have had neck discomfort for sometime now and have spent a considerable amount on treatments having been told by the various practitioners I have seen that it was wear and tear. However, Ayurveda takes a completely different approach, Ayurveda is completely holistic and looks at the whole person. Dr.Nair told me that he had rebalanced a gland in my neck and since I have had no discomfort whatsoever.
Dr.Nair working on my neck and the short video below is of some of the treatment
Learning to walk again after a serious accident
While at Ahimsa Mayu Tsuruta joined us on our retreat, Mayu is a famous Japanese actress and film star. Her yoga teacher was Jose- who was staying with us here at Ahimsa Garden Retreats. Jose is Dr. Kuchinads' cousin who, a few years ago, was a well known yoga
Here is Jose practising Suraya Namaskar as you can see he was an amazing yogi !
But due to an accident, he is now sadly, partially disabled. Mayu came specially to Ahimsa Gardens to see Jose again.
Here is a short video taken 3 weeks ago of Jose, Jose is trying to show us some yoga moves, as you can see he moves very slowly and is quite stooped
Jose has just finished 3 weeks of treatments with Dr.Nair, the video below of Jose, was taken a couple of days ago at Dr.Nairs clinic after Jose has now taken 3 weeks of Ayurvedic treatments with Dr. Nair, as you can see Jose can now can walk up and down steep steps unaided and stand up straight !
This was impossible before - an amazing testimony to the power of Ayurveda but in particular when administered by a real healer and someone of Unnikrishnan Gurukkal experience and vast knowledge.
We are so fortunate in that Dr. Nair treats us on our yoga retreats at Ahimsa Garden Retreats
One of the wonderful things about Ayurveda is that it can achieve wonderful results with conditions that western medicine has only limited or no success with, and all done with natural methods and drug free, but it needs to be experienced to get a true understanding.
Ahimsa Garden Yoga/Panchakarma retreat Kerala 2016 feedback
I highly recommend the retreads offered by the Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing. The Ahisma Garden Retreat in Kerala has been amazing! What a little gem! I have tried various treatments and therapies around the world over the years - in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc. but Ayurvedic treatment is in a league of its own.
It is possible to visit an Ayurvedic centre after chemotherapy and radiation to restore the immune systems; it is unique and highly effective. Dr Daisy Kuchinad, the founder of Ahimsa, knows only too well as her own beloved son had Cancer aged only 20. A physician based in the US, she researched the planet to find someone to help her son and found Dr Nair. He is a top Ayurvedic doctor based in Kerala. There is something very special about this man; his intuition is incredible - he truly has a sixth sense. He treats patients with panchakarma, Ayurveda's premier mind-body healing treatment; a unique programme of deep cleansing, purification rejuvenation to detoxify the mind and body, strengthen the immune system and restore balance.
Dr. Nair on the right, Dr. Daisy Kuchinad centre, Dr.Nair's daughter left- also an Ayurvedic doctor
I genuinely feel different after a week of treatments - plus the added bonus of looking younger with less cellulite! Daisy has set up a lovely, homely villa with beautiful tropical gardens in which she is conserving rare Ayurvedic plants and the most incredible yoga studios with wooden floors restored from ancient temples, set at tree level amidst the Indian jungle.
Yoga practice in the smaller studio
In accordance with panchakarma, Daisy's wonderful staff serve delicious, organic, mainly home-grown, Ayurvedic, vegetarian food to cleanse the body for the duration of your stay.
There is time to relax and recharge and time to experience the amazing Indian culture with a boat trip on the stunning backwaters, live traditional Indian music and dance, a visit to a Hindu temple and an Indian yoga and Kalaripait martial arts' show.
Some of the children performing Kalaripait moves based on yoga, Anne-Marie and James trying to copy!
This has been a trip of a lifetime! It is life changing! I truly feel that Ayurveda is a lifestyle to be as healthy as possible in a non- aggressive way, one that I intend to continue to follow. I now feel that annual Ayurvedic treatments are key for today's busy life in the West. I think I would have burned out and become seriously ill if I had not taken the time to heal myself and it is an ongoing, lifelong healing process. The combination of East meeting West with a top conventional doctor and top Ayurvedic doctor means you are in the safest of hands with the best advice from both schools of thought. Ahimsa is not only an Ayurvedic retreat but also a yoga retreat, with our own highly experienced, international teacher - Anne-Marie Burford leading the yoga
At meal times, Dr Kuchinad leads inspiring discussions, putting the world to rights, including chats about Ayurveda, modern medicine, philosophy, yoga and praynama, to name a few.
I have learned a lot; I feel enlightened, inspired and extreme positive! All this for a very reasonable price. I am so grateful and I shall be back!
This retreat was a unique experience.
Arriving at Ahimsa we were given a most warm welcome from the staff and were truly made to feel at home.
Dr Daisy Kuchinad is a warm, passionate and very funny lady who goes out of her way to give her guests the best of experiences. The aim of the retreat is ultimately to cover the costs of the garden that Dr Kuchinad has created, trying to save endangered plants and medicinal herbs while giving her guests the best traditional Ayurvedic treatments available.
There are two magnificent yoga studios. Each studio is at tree top height affording beautiful views. Our morning meditation and yoga practice was enhanced by bird song and music from a nearby temple while watching the sunrise.
The delicious home made food was made from organic fruits and vegetables from the garden. The lovely staff were prepared to make us our favourites.
The Pranchakarma treatments are prescribed according to our constitutional type and individual problems. Treatments are performed by professional therapists who I found to be charming and caring.
Cultural experiences were organised for us either in house or by arranged visits. We enjoyed traditional music, dance and martial arts and a fantastic Back Water house boat trip.
Traditional Indian dance programme in the main yoga studio
Panchakarma and yoga were the main reason for my visit but I experienced so much more. We all left visibly rejuvenated in appearance and also in body and mind.
I can't wait to return.
The retreat was an incredible experience and one that I’m looking forward to repeating next year. The retreat has two purpose built yoga studios and the views from both are breathtaking. It is almost impossible to explain the sensation of practising yoga whilst watching the sun rise above the lush green Keralan landscape, you must experience this for yourself to fully appreciate. Ayurvedic treatments are available and are carried out by an incredible team of practitioners. Treatments are bespoked to fit your specific requirements as prescribed by an Ayurvedic doctor. I cannot pretend to understand the full content of the treatments but I can say for me the results have been excellent, resulting in amongst other things, a more relaxed outlook, better sleep and greater energy levels.
The food at the Ahimsa Garden Retreat was consistently of the highest standard. The bedrooms were spacious and of good standard. All rooms had access to ensuite facilities. The grounds were amazing with an incredible array of flowers, herbs, trees, fruit and vegetables all growing across the three acres. Additional activities included performances by local musicians and traditional dancers laid on at Ahimsa Gardens, both exceptional.
The standout memory for me will have to be boating on the Keralan backwaters and watching the sun slowly set. The staff at Ahimsa Gardens made it feel like my home and for that I am grateful, their hospitality knew no bounds.
On the backwaters
Final word must be for Kerala and its people. Beautiful place, beautiful humble people who through both their gentleness and kindness have truly inspired me. I didn’t want to leave and can’t wait to return.
Is the ultimate mind-body healing experience for detoxifying the body, strengthening the immune system, and restoring balance and well-being. It is one of the most effective healing modalities in Ayurvedic Medicine as it promotes detoxification and rejuvenation. Panchakarma consists of various treatments our retreat will last 7 days but Panchakarma may need to be taken for a longer period e.g 14-28 days if there is a more chronic problem, as it can be used very effectively to restore the body to full health and treat even chronic illnesses. If you need guidance if the treatments will be suitable for you or how long you should take Panchakarma for Dr.Kuchinad will be able to advise you.
For more details of the retreats please click here
For Dr. Kuchinad's personal statement please click here
Why Ayurveda & yoga ? & the benefits of our Panchakarma retreats.
Both Ayurveda and yoga are totally natural healing systems which we would encourage you to use when ever possible.
- the following quote from Dr. Greenberg bears this out
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