holistic health retreat



Moinhos Velhos
Fasting Detoxification Retreats
Purification of Body Mind Spirit
Yoga Meditation Complentary Therapies

Sivananda Dhanwantari Ashram
Neyyar Dam, Kerala


Two weeks Fasting Detoxification Retreat
Ayurvedic Massage


Programs 2014

November & December

During the fasting program at Neyyar Dam Ashram you will probably wake up and go to bed with the roar of the lions coming to you from the lion park across the dam.

Located a few degrees North of the equator, the Sivananda Dhanwantari Ashram is situated in a lush tropical area adjacent to the Neyyar Dam wildlife reserve. The singing of the tropical birds is only occasionally mixed with the enthusiastic spiritual music from the local villages.


The fasting program is conducted here

Dawn over Neyyar Dam


The juice fasting retreat at the ashram is very similar to the juice fasting programs at Moinhos Velhos but has been adapted to fit into the ashram schedule. Thus there are two yoga asana classes every day and the morning bell goes off at 5.20 AM for morning meditation at 6 AM. The daily fasting program is structured to allow the fasters to participate in most of the ashram activities.


A fasting/yoga lion?
Neyyar Dam


Daily Fasting Program




Morning bell, Neti








Lemon tea , Juice with powders




Yoga asanas




Juice, Herbs, Clysmatic




Juice and powders








Juice and powders




Yoga asanas




Vegetable broth




Herbs, Clysmatic






In addition to the every day fasting and yoga activities as listed above, there are three individual therapy sessions each week, two with Ayurvedic massage and one with the Quantum or other biofeedback or energy therapy. There are also group workshops and excursions trips. One week we will go to Kovelam beach and the next week we hopefully make the waterfall trip.


cleansing and detox in waterfall
fasters cleansing in the waterfall Juice fasting group on beach
Waterfall Jacuzzi
Fasting group taking the juice on beach


Swami Sivananda was a great advocate for fasting. To quote him:

Benefits of fasting.
By Swami Sivananda


Nowadays, many educated people do not observe fasting on this sacred day. This is due to the impact of the dark, vicious, materialistic forces. When the intellect develops a little, people begin to enter into arguments and unnecessary discussions. Intellect is a hindrance on the spiritual path. They who have not developed the heart but who have developed their intellect begin to doubt and question at every step. They are led astray. They want a why and a how for everything. They want scientific explanations for all phenomena.

God is beyond proofs and presumptions. One has to approach religion and the scriptures with great faith, reverence and purity of heart. Then only are the secrets of religion revealed unto him like the apple in the palm of one's hand. Does anybody ask his mother to prove who is his father?


Fasting controls passion. It checks the emotions. It controls the senses also. It is a great penance. It purifies the mind and the heart. It destroys a multitude of sins. Fasting controls the tongue in particular which is the deadliest enemy of man. Fasting overhauls the respiratory, circulatory, digestive and urinary systems. It destroys all the impurities of the body and all sorts of poisons. It eliminates uric acid deposits. Just as impure gold is rendered pure by melting it in the crucible again and again, so also this impure mind is rendered purer by repeated fasting.


Withdraw the senses and fix the mind on god. Pray to god to guide you and to throw a flood of light on your spiritual path. Say with feeling: O god, guide me! Protect me, protect me! I am Thine, I am Thine! Forsake me not! You will be blessed with purity, light and strength. Follow this sadhana on the days that you fast, ekadashi days in particular.

Fasting is one of the ten canons of yoga. However, avoid excessive fasting. It will produce weakness. Use your common sense. If you cannot fast for the full twenty-four hours, at least fast for 10-12 hours and then take some milk and fruit. Gradually increase your fast to 15 hours and then up to 24 hours. Fasting makes a man strong, both spiritually and mentally.

In his code, the manu smriti, the great Hindu lawgiver, manu, prescribes fasting for the removal of the five capital sins. Diseases that are pronounced incurable by doctors are cured by fasting. Occasionally, a complete fast is greatly desirable for all to keep up good health, to give adequate rest to the internal organs and maintain celibacy. All diseases have their origin in overeating and verily fasting is the only method to cure this.


Jesus also recommended fasting. Quoting from The Gospel of Peace

And from all the temptations of your body and your spirit, coming from Satan, withdraw beneath the shadow of God's heaven. Renew yourself and fast.

For I tell you truly that Satan and his plagues may only be cast out by fasting and prayer. And fast till Beelzebub and his evils departs from and all the angels of our earthy mother come and serve you. For I tell you truly, except you fast, you shall never be free from the power of Satan and from all diseases that comes from Satan.

Jesus further recommends colonics. Quote:

Think not that it sufficient that the angel of water embrace you outward only. I tell you truly, the uncleanness within is greater by much than the uncleanness without. And he who cleanses himself without, but within remains unclean is like tombs that outwards are painted fair, but are within full of all manners of horrible uncleanness and abominations.

So I tell you truly, suffer the angels of water to baptize you also within, that you may become free from all past sins, and that within likewise you may become as pure as the river's foam sporting in the sunlight.

Jesus then goes on to describe how to make and do a gravity colonic. So colon cleansing is not something new, but has been practiced for over 2000 years. If diseases were caused by impurities and toxins 2000 years ago, how much more vital must it not be to fast and cleanse today, when we live in a world putrefied with chemicals and toxins.

If diseases were caused by impurities and toxins 2000 years ago, how much more vital must it not be to fast and cleanse today, when we live in a world putrefied with chemicals and toxins. I saw an article some time ago in a London newspaper, which claimed that a person living in London, UK is exposed to 500 different toxins every day. Children today are born with toxic blood:

Ayurvedic Massage
Ayurvedic massage used to be an integral part of Indian life.
The benefits of this oil massage is described thus:

It checks the aging process.
It prevents fatigue.
It improves eye sight.
It enhances the luster of the skin.
It brings the body to perfect health balancing the three humorals.
It provides resistance against disease.
It rejuvenates both mind and body.


Ayurvedic massage has a special relevance in the present era where pollution is predominant all over the world. Furthermore living a disciplined life is almost impossible for a person even if he wants to. A person thus gets sandwiched between pollution on one side and a scattered way of life on the other and ages prematurely. It is high time we ask ourselves whether there are any solutions? Yes, Ayurvedic massage can help tremendously.

In a very simple way, Ayurvedic massage can be explained as the methodological scientific external application of medicated oils to the entire body exerting optimum pressure. In Ayurveda external application of herbs and oils and the penetration of medicinal effect through the skin was well established and considered of equal importance if not more than that of oral administration of medicines. Medicated oils are prepared in strict conformity with the methods laid down, usually containing chosen herbs and plant juices which impart to the oils the required medicinal properties as powerful stimulants and counter irritants.

A scientific Ayurvedic massage, thus more than curing a patient of his/her illness, prevents the occurrence and recurrence of the disease and hence is advised even for maintenance and preservation of one's health.

The medical effect of the oils penetrates the skin, goes deep into the system and brings the toxins to the peripheral area of the body where they come out through the skin. Therefore a sauna, steam bath or hot shower is advisable after the massage.

All the marma (acupressure) points are given an optimal pressure by the masseur with his fingers which in turn activates the internal organ. Hence Ayurvedic Massage is not just to give soothing effect to the muscles and the skin, but also rejuvenates all internal organs.
According to Yoga-shastra, the index finger is for releasing the energy and the thumb is to absorb. Here the masseur uses mainly the index finger and the thumb and thus impart his/her energy to the person and takes the negative energy away from the person.
Ayurvedic Massage ensures proper circulation and relaxation of the muscles, and also removes tension. It increases circulation which produces more oxygen, glucose, protein and other vital sources for the blood.



kathakali dancers at the fasting|detox retreat


During the Xmas period there is a special cultural program hosted by the ashram. There are pujas, dancers, concerts, lectures and other events and performances all of which can be enjoyed by the participants of the two week fasting and detoxification retreat. Some of these events as well as special excursion trips extend till over New Year, so a participant in the fasting/yoga/detox program may consider spending a few extra days at the ashram at the conclusion of the fasting retreat.





Moinhos Velhos
Cotifo Box 951F
Lagos 8600-077 Portugal
Tel: 351 282 687 147 Fax: 351 282 687 697
E-mail: fasting@ip.pt