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Experiencing Ayurveda in India with Sally Goldfinger

Azul hatha yoga instructor Sally Goldfinger will be going to India to lead a special two week hatha yoga and ayurveda retreat in Kerala this January. Here she tells us more about the ayurveda aspects of the retreat.

As many of you know I am deeply passionate about the tradition and spirit of ayurveda and yoga and I carry the tradition of both principles into my daily life. India is the birthplace of ayurveda and yoga and there is no better way to experience ayurveda and yoga than going to India.


Ayurveda originates from the Sanskrit word ‘ayu’ meaning life and ‘veda’ meaning knowledge or science – the science of life. It is the oldest science of holistic healing and has been practised in India for over 5,000 years. Ayurveda is preventive, protective and curative in nature. It provides guidance regarding food and lifestyle so that people can stay healthy and those with certain health difficulties can improve their condition.


ayurvedic treatmentYour body has a natural detoxification system that is governed by the liver, skin, lungs, kidneys and the colon, which work together to eliminate toxins. However, these organs/systems can become sluggish and overloaded from a continual intake of toxins from the environment via breathing, ingestion from foods and sugar or through physical contact. Most drugs, food additives and allergens can create toxic elements in the body.

When your body contains many toxins, it will start to display signs and symptoms such as indigestion, bloated belly, constipation, frequent colds, skin problems, low immunity, aching, lethargy, fatigued mind and low energy levels. Your mind can also become overloaded through stress and a constant barrage of negative thoughts.

An ayurveda–yoga retreat will help to improve your condition of total health, reduce stress, increase mental awareness and develop your resistance to disease without the use of artificial products, aids or chemicals.

Ayurvedic massage

Ayurvedic massage is an important part of the rejuvenation process. Abhyanga is ayurveda’s principal healing tool and the mother of all massages. It is a whole body massage given with herbal oils to detoxify, nourish and revitalise the body tissues. It nourishes layers of the skin to relieve fatigue and stress and release accumulated toxins in body tissue. This massage is a daily part of my ayurveda retreats.

Travelling to India

I often get the question “Is it safe to travel to India?”

For my retreats I always choose places in safe regions with the highest standards. It is important to me that they are authentic and peaceful places. This allows for an experience that will profoundly enhance your health, your perceptions and your life. I have handpicked places of immense natural beauty and culture to invoke your senses and allow you to relax with ayurveda and yoga in a non-commercialised environment.

The cost of an ayurveda retreat

Ayurveda retreats are more expensive than a yoga retreat because of the daily treatments, including specialised oils. When weighing up the cost it is helpful to consider all the unnecessary things you spend your money on – clothes, shoes, food, cigarettes, alcohol, internet shopping, etc, etc. Unnecessary shopping gives you short term comfort and is a way to escape stress and unhappiness. When the mind is full of negative thoughts and worries and the body is stressed for a long period and the stress is not managed it can lead to significant medical illnesses.

By choosing to spend your money on a retreat you can make your health and well-being your number one priority, respecting and loving your body and investing in your health. An ayurveda-yoga retreat is a unique holiday experience that can help you learn how to manage stress, negative thoughts and find inner peace and harmony through the power of these ancient traditions.

I hope to see you in magical India!

Stay happy and healthy,


About the author

picture-3Sally Goldfinger teaches authentic hatha yoga around the world and leads specialised hatha and ayurveda retreats in India. Her unique teaching style focuses on stress relief, inner balance, and cleansing of the physical body leading to the purification of the mind. Find out more about Sally at IONYOGA.