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Please note class changes please see the new timetable page
Astral projection, Lucid dreaming & dream travel - Life of a dream walker
For those interested in going deeper with your practice you may find it of interest to read James' first blog
Welcome back if you have been away for the summer, we have a number of changes and new classes for the Autumn.
If you would like to book in for a class feel free to pay and book in online as the online booking system is up and running.
James's classes at Highfield School Hall have made a good start and with the extra space we have availability in these evening classes for those who are looking to start/get back into yoga.
We are now also offering some new classes:
Thursday Morning 9.10-10.30am Yoga class with James.
James's Thursday morning yoga class is starting up again on Thursday September 14th. This is a 12 week term at £108 with a 2 week break for half term. All are welcome. Please contact James on email@example.com if you would like to join the class.
Introducing Chris Burford -Tai Chi starting Friday Sept 22nd 4.15pm
£75 (£50 for those on WB package) for 10 sessions
A number may have already met Chris, (Anne-Marie's husband, James' dad). Chris will be offering Tai Chi classes starting Friday September 22
Chris now spends 2 days a week working as a psychotherapist please see his new website www.temenos-therapy.co.uk. For the rest of the week he works as a "company doctor" and with two charities St.Georges's Crypt in Leeds and St. Martin-in -the-Fields, London
Chris teaching Tai Chi in Malaysia
Meditation and Yoga Nidra with Anne-Marie Monday Sept 18th 4.35pm 10 sessions £75
Currently we do not have a meditation session running regularly at the studio. The latest NHS report shows 1 in 3 sick notes are for mental health issues
Meditation in our gardens
Learning to meditate can be one of the most beneficial things you can give to yourself to help manage stress, coupled with yoga Nidra this is a very powerful session.
Spiritual-Energetic protection and an Introduction to Shamanism Sept 9 11am -1pm
This workshop is part 2 of a 3 part workshop (this can be attended separately from the previous workshops) taught by James to give you the tools to become more effective and powerful with your spiritual and energetic practise in day to day life and to help you to cope and flourish in the 'normal world'. To book on please contact James on firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information you can see the facebook page;
Learn how to achieve perfect skin in this Neals Yard Skin Care seminar with Kelly Anne our therapist and Face Yoga with Anne-Marie Sept 20th 6.30- 8pm
Please join us for a wonderful opportunity to try out the Neal's Yard high quality products - which are all made with the maximum organic, natural and wild ingredients.
Kelly-Anne will demonstrate how to create an ideal skin care regime suited to your needs, everyone will have opportuity to try these lovely products while Anne-Marie will show you some Face yoga exercises to help the products absorb with maximun efficiency which will help and tone and lift the face naturally without the need to resort to invasive methods or surgery
Please note places are limited to a maximum of 8 so please book your place early to avoid disappointment
If you havent as yet seen the new luxury therapy room this is a good opportunity to do so
Gong Healing and Shamanic Drumming £10 Sat Sep 23rd 6.30-8.30pm
We will be back in September with our quarterly Gong healing and drumming with Craig Eddington. This is a wonderful healing and auditory experience, tickets sold out 1 week before the event last time so please book on early to avoid disappointment. Please follow this link below to book on:
Summer Bank Holiday Retreat
We had a very successful and enjoyable Summer Bank Holiday retreat
Having fun in the garden on our retreat
please see some of the feedback below
The retreat went very well. As a beginner, the persons that I've met were patients, good listeners and available. They inspired me to go further and keep having this philosophical approach for myself; I strongly recommend this retreat. A moment out of time
Rachel Bongi - Rachel back of picture on the right
I just want to thank you for a wonderful weekend retreat, I found it really uplifting and inspiring. It has given me some good foundations to work with to not only improve my health but also the inspiration to make changes in my life.
Thank you for welcoming us into your home, what you do at the centre is truly amazing and beneficial to so many.
Lisa Burnett - Lisa kneeling on the left
Age and ill-health : Fight Back
You may find the following account helpful and inspiring especially if you are currently dealing with a more serious health condition or multiple health issues
I am now 69 going on 70 and now retired after leading an active life without having to worry too much about my health and fitness. However, in recent years this has all changed starting with the onset of heart failure, a condition which is monitored and managed with numerous tablets. I know it is important for me to keep fit and active and walking has played an important part of that for me.
It seems to me that a problem with ageing is that the health issues can come thick and fast and one thing can impact on another. I have recently battled my way through cancer, pneumonia and arthritis, all of which – but particularly the last – have limited my activity and mobility for periods of time so that I have taken a significant step down in general fitness – a step which looked like becoming a spiral!
Sally - my daughter (Sally also comes to class) booked me in for a session with Anne-Marie. Anne-marie could see my increasing stoop and lack of activity and was confident from her own experience with back pain that Pilates would help. The one-to-one with Anne-Marie identified a number of Pilates exercises to do at home which would start to counter the decline. She also thought that her Yoga relaxation class on Friday would help. She was right: the yoga might look inactive but you can instantly feel the benefits of the stretching and breathing techniques. I can personally vouch for the fact that yoga can assist with countering atrial fibrillation.
Although I do the Pilates at home, I now also benefit from attending a weekly Pilates class which is a longer session than my home efforts and introduces a wider repertoire of moves and equipment for me to take on board.
Pilates and Yoga – and, in my case, regular walking – are definitely helping me to improve fitness and mobility at a difficult time in my life and have given me something positive and uplifting, which has been very welcome.
Chris with Anne-Marie in class at the studio
Thank you to Chris for writing this piece. As I am sure you will agree, it's inspiring to know that we can make significant improvements to our health, even when they are life threatening illnesses with a natural approach - which is the whole philosophy of the centre.
When Chris first started at the centre he was understandably very low on all levels. The most important aspect of helping him to become well, we felt initially, was to enable Chris to relax and feel better in himself - a softy, softly approach was necessary so as well as suggesting the gentle exercises he could do at home and to walk daily Chris also started our Restorative yoga and Yoga Nidra class on Friday at 10.30 am.
Restorative yoga and Yoga Nidra is a wonderful class, as the name implies it restores the body, mind and soul while the deep relaxation practised during the class has the result of creating more energy as we learn to breathe properly and let go of of deep seated held tensions.
Yoga Nidra is a powerful practice not only for relaxing the physical body but helping on a deeper level. It can be used for many conditions such as chronic pain, insomnia, stress, depression, ante/post natal, PTSD to name just a few.
For more details about the benefits and power of yoga Nidra please see the article.
The fact that Chris now copes perfectly well in a mainstream class is amazing, as at the outset we were not sure that this would be possible, all credit to Chris for having the determination and will power to stick to the regime especially in the early days when even getting to the centre was sometimes a real effort
Kerala retreat update
After Dr. Kuchinads very successful visit to us a couple of weeks ago the November retreat is now almost fully booked, we are just waiting on confirmation from a couple of people, so due to demand we have now set the February dates, please read below Nicky Snazell's account of her meeting with Dr.Kuchinad - we are delighted that Nicky and her husband are joining us this November.
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
Retreat New dates Harrogate and Kerala
Chakra Tantra retreat Oct 6-8 £225 early bird by Sept 5 £195 non res price residential options also avaialble
For all of those who wish to learn how to create healing and balance through the Chakras
Ayurvedic Yoga Retreat with Panchakarma Nov 10-18 Ahimsa Garden Retreats from £1350 ( inc 21% govt tax) due to illness now 2 spaces reoffered
and new date February 16-24 from £1350
The Retreat Includes :-
Daily sunrise and evening yoga and meditation
Seven days of bespoke by Dr. Nair & Dr.Kuchinad 1.5 hours, 2-3 person administered Ayurvedic treatments
Classical Indian music and dance programme
Backwater afternoon sunset house boat/beach trip
Kalaripyattu demonstration x 1( 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
2-3 informal talks by our Ayurvedic practitioner and Dr. Kuchinad about health, nutrition and specific Ayurvedic and Yoga practices to decrease stress and improve quality of life
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.
Mayu, Jose and Dr.Nair
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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