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Return to the source and Self-knowledge: Yoga and Ayurveda cleanse

A two-week retreat in India

We will provide you with the specific date as soon as possible.

14 days / 13 nights

with Sarva Atma, Padma Priya and Anaïs Ricco

Nedungolam – Kerala, India


6 am: Fire ceremony: ritual to purify consciousness
6:30 am: Sitting meditation with the sunrise (Dharana/Dhyana) to welcome the light
7 to 8 am: Morning Yoga practice (Asanas & Malas – poses and pose sequences) – waking up and integrating the physical body
9-10:30 or 10:30-12: 90 minute massage and ayurvedic treatment
1 pm: Lunch
2:30-6:30 pm: 1 hour of Yoga with a focus on “Self-Knowledge”: working on energy and prana, working on the breath (pranayama), understanding the poses (workshops focusing on the heart space, the spinal column), exploring the different types of yoga (yin yoga, hatha yoga, yoga nidra…)

We then organize outings or workshops: temple visits, a trip to the beach, shopping outings, a boat ride in the backwaters, making ayurvedic soap, Indian cooking classes…

7 pm: Dinner
7:45-9:15 pm: Satsang – teaching on “Self-Knowledge” with Sarva Atma and Padma Priya

Afternoon activities may be adjusted depending on the weather.

All activities (except the massage and ayurvedic treatment) are optional. It’s important to listen to your body, as some participants may find the cleanse makes them feel drained.

– Plane ticket
– e-Visa
– Travel insurance
– Tips and other personal expenses
– Additional ayurvedic treatments


The Pancha (five) Karma (actions) is a process of purification and rejuvenation of the body. On the first day, you will have a personal consultation with Dr Rahee, the ayurvedic doctor (meeting in English, with optional translation for French speakers).

The meeting is to determine your constitution according to the principles of traditional ayurvedic medicine. The doctor will examine physical characteristics such as your pulse, tongue color, hair and skin quality and ask you a series of questions about things like sleep quality and anxiety to determine your “dosha” (Vata, Pita, or Kapha). During the whole of your stay, your ayurvedic massage treatments will be prescribed and adapted according to your dosha; meals can be adapted as well. The treatments and meals are designed to help you detox, draining your toxins and eliminating them through your skin and digestive system.

A purge to clean out your intestines may be offered to you if needed. Every day, during the cleanse, you’ll receive a one hour whole body massage with medicated oil produced on site (made with a coconut or sesame oil base and ayurvedic healing plants). This massage is known as Abhyanga.

The massage is followed by a special treatment prescribed by the doctor. This may include, for instance, Dhara (oil on the forehead), Khizi (massage with heated cotton bags containing medicinal plants), or sweating, depending on your health and your particular needs. This treatment lasts 15 to 20 minutes.

You’ll then take a hot shower on site and relax briefly before moving on to another activity.

During the cleanse, we recommend that you avoid the sun as well as any draining physical activity. The Yoga practice is adapted to suit the cleanse.
Treatments are dispensed by experienced, certified staff.
Women receive massages from female masseuses, men receive massages from male masseurs.

A note for French speakers: the masseurs can speak a little bit of English, but do not understand French.
The doctor speaks excellent English and we will be available to ensure translation if required.
Finally, at the end of your cleanse, you’ll meet with the doctor again for your final assessment. You’ll have the option of purchasing a follow-up treatment to pursue at home if you wish to do so (not included in the retreat fees).

Ayurvedic medicine is mainly preventative. We start from the principle that you do not need to be unwell to do a cleanse.
If, however, you’re unwell during your stay, doctors on site will offer you an appropriate curative treatment.


the varieties of vegetables that are served during mealtimes at Maithrimandir.
Meals are taken together. They are typical vegetarian Indian dishes made with local, seasonal produce, and contain very little spice so that they don’t irritate our vulnerable organisms.

At mealtimes you’ll enjoy various curries, sambar, biriyani, chamanthy, appam and fresh fruit.

Unless you wish to lose weight or treat a physical ailment, you will not be asked to follow any special diet and you may eat as much as you wish, without restrictions except for alcohol and coffee, which are not available on site.
Drinking water is boiled or filtered and available on demand. Filter systems are freely available at each meal site.

We ask that you please do not drink the tap water and use only filtered water to brush your teeth

Mealtime Schedule:
8 am: Breakfast
1 pm: Lunch
7 pm: dinner
Fresh fruit and drinks (filtered water, tea, chai) available on demand.


Each day, you’ll have the option of being guided in your yoga and meditation practice as follows:


6 am: Fire ceremony – ritual to purify consciousness with Sumi.
6:30 am: 30 minutes of sitting meditation to welcome the sunrise
7 am: 60 minutes of gentle postural yoga to awaken the body

In the morning, the fire ceremony, meditation and yoga session are open to all, and Indians enjoy joining our practice. Classes are given by Sarva Atma, Padma Priya or Anaïs in French.
Afternoon or Evening

Depending on the day’s program, another session may be offered exclusively for the group to explore a specific style of practice: gentle yoga, yin yoga, yoga nidra, or themed classes: opening the heart, the hips, special classes for the back. All of the practices aim to connect you with yourself and develop your Self-knowledge.

Workshops: postural work, pranayama, mantra singing, making a mandala…

Satsang: Satsangs are moments of introspection through teaching and open discussion. The focus of the stay is “Self-Knowledge”. Sarva Atma and Padma Priya teach evening workshops together. It’s a space for communication, when you can ask any questions that are on your mind.

These discussions are free, open to all and deeply enriching.

Yoga mats, cushions and meditation benches are available on site.

Even if you’ve never done any yoga before, you’re very welcome to join all of the yoga classes. Sarva, Padma and Anaïs will be present to help, guide and assist your practice.

For those who are more advanced and wish to refine their practice, it’s a perfect opportunity to go further with postural work adjusted to your level. Please don’t hesitate to share your wishes with us.

During the treatment, we recommend that you follow a gentle pace of life and listen to your body.

Classes are recommended to set off the transformation process, but they are absolutely not required.


Maithrimandir is an Indian association working for solidarity and exchanges between France and Kerala. The association was founded by Sarva Atma in 2003. In the spirit of solidarity, Sarva Atma was driven to help women and children in his community of origin, who are born into the “untouchable” caste. Cut off from society, untouchables suffer disastrous economic difficulties. The goal of the association is to support these women, who have suffered great financial and family hardships, to improve their living conditions and help them regain their dignity. To learn more:


CHF1665 for a stay in a twin room / CHF1665 for a stay in a single room (including single room supplement of CHF150 pp) The price includes: transport to and from the airport, full room and board, and all activities indicated in the program. Not included: plane tickets, visa, travel insurance, additional ayurvedic treatments, tips and any other on-site personal expenses.


The ashram includes several different sites, each of them as charming as the rest.
You’ll experience this retreat at VAYAL VARAM or AKASHA GANGA, a magical place facing the backwaters and a new house situated slightly up on the hillside.

Vayal Varam is home to 7 bungalows named after the goddesses: Priya Darsini, Satya Darsini, Kavya Darsini, Jnana Darsini, Divya Darsini, Ananda Darsini, Atma Darsini and the Akasha Ganga house with its 4 very spacious rooms and gorgeous view on the backwaters.

The rooms are full of light and very spacious for two guests. Each of the accommodations has two single beds in one room.
Adjoining the bedroom is a shower room with a toilet and sink. Bedsheets, bath towels, and soap are provided on site; you’re kindly asked to bring whatever else you may need.

The shower water is room temperature and unheated.
There is a small exterior terrace to enjoy the view on the backwaters. Outside, gently sloping alleyways lead to the treatment rooms.

You’ll be able to take a walk beside the Backwaters and enjoy the natural swimming pool. The Vayal Varam bungalows can accommodate guests with disabilities: the bungalows are accessible, with accessible showers and doorways wide enough for wheelchairs. The low massage tables and special shower systems allow guests to receive showers on the massage table. Please let us know if you need any kind of treatment accommodation for health reasons or accessibility issues.


The arrival airport is Thiruvananthapuram (TRV), also known as Trivandrum.
Your passport must be valid at least 6 months after your arrival in India.

When you select your flight, please check:
– whether checked baggage is included
– whether there are any stopovers with changes: some flights require that you transfer to a different airport on your own during your stopover, which is stressful and not recommended.


For the retreat dates:
Geneva – Trivandrum : 900 CHF – 1000 CHF (€820 – €910) 14 hour flight with stopover.
Emirates, Qatar and Etihad are all good airlines.

Download the full PDF with all the important details.