Sivananda Dhanwantari Ashram
Neyyar Dam, Kerala

Two weeks Fasting Detoxification Retreat
Ayurvedic Massage

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 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.

In addition to the every day fasting and yoga activities, there are two individual therapy sessions each week with Ayurvedic massage. 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.

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

Benefits of fasting.
By Swami Sivananda

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.

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 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.

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.

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.



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