Ayurveda Courses: The Best Ayurveda Retreats

18th October 2021

Ayurveda and yoga go hand in hand as two independent but intertwined systems that can lead to not just greater wellbeing and good health, but a greater understanding of yourself too. Quite honestly, if you are looking for a full body, mind, health overhaul, I can think of nothing better than treating yourself to Ayurveda courses.

In case you don’t know, Ayurveda is the traditional medicinal practice of India that has been around since at least the 2nd century BCE and is still widely practiced in India today, making it one of the oldest ancient times medical systems in the world. Ayurveda advocates for a holistic approach to health, something which really resonates with me and why I put so much emphasis on vegan food and the right supplements.

ayurveda courses

Recently, I’ve been looking for places that offer Ayurveda near me, but, although there are a few Ayurveda spas and centers around, definitely the best options to get a true Ayurvedic clinical experience is booking in for an ayurvedic retreat or Ayurveda cleanse. Because Ayurveda is a holistic practice, emphasizing diet, treatments such as massages, and organ systems cleanses, taking some time out to really immerse your mind, body and soul in Ayurveda is the best option.

If you are looking to learn a little more about Ayurveda, keep reading for a micro Ayurveda course. Or, If you are just interested in some Ayurveda courses recommendations, jump straight to my list of the best Ayurveda retreats and courses worldwide at the bottom of the post. I’m still on the lookout for online courses and will update soon. For immediate access to ayurveda education, I know there are some Ayurveda online course and video lectures on Udemy that you can check out. Know of any online Ayurveda courses or ​​online program? Please get in touch!


Ayurveda 101

Before I jump in on the best Ayurvedic retreats and Ayurveda courses around I wanted to give a little Ayurvedic lifestyle breakdown so you know what to expect on an Ayurveda holiday. Overall, Ayurveda is great for giving you a physical, energetic, physiological, and emotional boost. There have been some clinical studies that show Ayurveda’s effectiveness in treating conditions such as different forms of arthritis and type 2 diabetes. However, if you have any diagnosed health conditions, it’s always best to seek medical treatment from a professional doctor and save your trips to the Ayurveda center and your Ayurveda treatments for when you want some serious pampering.

Doshas

The doshas are an integral part of the Ayurvedic principles — they are three energies that make up everybody’s constitution and affect everything from your body type and physical features, to what foods you should eat, and how you process emotions.

The three doshas are:

  • Pitta: characterized by fire and intensity. Think beady eyes, a quick metabolism, and highly driven… which may make them a little power-hungry at times.
  • Vata: these are your lithe creative types, with erratic appetites and energy and prone to forgetfulness as their heads are often in the clouds. Also prone to anxiety and energetic crashes.
  • Kapha: this lovely, luxurious type likes to take their time and enjoys their food. They are warm and giving but may also over indulge and be a tad lazy.

Your Ayurvedic practitioner will assess your entire being based on what dosha (or combination of doshas) you are primarily and how they may have gone out of balance. Your treatment will be based on bringing your doshas back into harmony for your unique constitution.

This is also why Ayurveda courses are so interesting as you can take a deep dive into understanding the doshas, and especially your personal constitution and imbalances. With this knowledge, you can continue to apply it to your life once the course or retreat is finished.

Ayurvedic Diet

ayurvedic diet

In the Ayurveda medical system, ayurvedic physicians emphasize a sattvic diet, a balance of nourishing wholefoods that will keep you energized, content, and grounded. It is definitely possible to eat a sattvic vegan diet; however, it is traditionally vegetarian as it includes dairy, and can be quite heavy on the ghee.

They also use a lot of specialized herbal medicine in Ayurveda, which may be incorporated into your treatment plan if you attend an Ayurvedic retreat with qualified Ayurveda doctors certified by the Complementary Medical Association.

Panchakarma

Panchakarma is a specialized Ayurveda cleanse that should be overseen by an experienced Ayurveda doctor. It is incorporated as part of a longer Ayurveda retreat, and will involve a limited diet, the consumption of a ayurvedic herbs concoction (often administered in a cup of melted ghee, so not vegan-friendly), and lots of treatments — from ayurvedic massage therapist support (yay), to enemas, purging, and nasal treatments (not so yay). Not for the faint-hearted.

Ayurvedic Massage and Ayurvedic Medicine

Ayurveda is big on warm, oily massages. If you go to an Ayurveda spa expect to be massaged by one or two people within an inch of your life. There are special massages for the head, face, and body, which are called Abhyanga. Another common treatment is Shirodhara, which involves pouring a continuous stream of liquid (often oil) on your third eye.


Ayurveda Courses: The Best Ayurveda Retreats


Asia & Oceania Ayurveda Retreats


7 Day Panchakarma Ayurveda Retreat with Yoga and Meditation Practices in Rishikesh, India

Panchakarma Ayurveda Retreat

Often when looking for authentic Ayurvedic cleanses and retreats in India, people are drawn to an Ayurveda institute in Kerala in the south of the country. However, if you are looking for a more affordable option, I recommend heading north to this retreat in Rishikesh! This week-long retreat at a specialized Maharishi Ayurveda center includes consultations with an experienced Ayurvedic doctor, who will tailor a plan to your unique constitution (dosha) and imbalances. Alongside two ayurvedic treatments per day, there are multiple opportunities for daily yoga practices and meditation, as well as a completely sattvic diet. A Vedic astrology or palm reading is also included. Make the most of being in the North of India and enjoy the excursions to Kunjapuri Temple and opportunities to participate in prayer ceremonies at important sights along the river Ganges.

There are a ton of great Ayurveda retreats and Ayurveda college in India, but this authentic ayurvedic education strikes the perfect balance of in-depth treatments, affordability, and magical cultural experiences.

Duration: 7 days (6 nights)
Course fee: $700 USD
Closest Airport: Jolly Grant Airport (15 km), or Indira Gandhi International Airport (209 km)
Airport pick-up included? No, but can be arranged for an extra cost
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly? The food is Ayurvedic which means it will be vegetarian and will include dairy


8 Day AyurYoga Ojasi Wellness Yoga Retreat in Phuket

8 Day AyurYoga Ojasi Wellness

If you are after an Ayurveda and yoga retreat that includes in its scope of practice an Ayurvedic doctor on staff, ayurvedic psychology, a tailored daily ayurvedic treatment plan, daily yoga, yoga philosophy, and has a definite luxe vibe, then this is my top pick! When you are not undergoing ayurvedic treatments or eating delicious sattvic vegan meals, you can lounge by the pool, workout in the gym, or speed up the detox process by sweating out those toxins in the sauna. The emphasis of this ayurvedic program is on building Ojas, the essential vital energy of the body and mind, and an experienced staff of practitioners and yoga teachers are on hand to ensure your retreat is as vitalizing and nourishing as possible.

This retreat gives you the very best of a traditional Ayurvedic cleanse with the comforts of a luxury Thai island resort.

Duration: 8 days (7 nights)
Price: from $2,233 USD
Closest Airport: Phuket International Airport (35 km)
Airport pick-up included? No, but can be arranged for an extra cost
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly? Yes


United States & Caribbean Ayurveda Retreats and Courses


7 Day Explore Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat with Avani in Puerto Viejo de Talamanca, Costa Rica

Explore Ayurveda and Yoga

You don’t need to commit to a full-blown Ayurveda cleanse to enjoy a retreat infused with Ayurvedic wisdom and principles. This is a great retreat choice if you are interested in learning about Ayurveda, whilst deepening your yoga practice. The retreat includes Ayurveda workshops, an Ayurveda consultation, ayurvedic massage, an Ayurveda cooking class, and daily yoga and meditation. This all-round holistic retreat option with ayurveda professionals, nestled in the Costa Rican jungle and a stone’s throw from the ocean, promises to leave you restored in your mind, body, and soul.

Duration: 7 days (6 nights)
Price: from $1,199 USD
Closest Airport: Juan Santamaría International Airport (164 km)
Airport pick-up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English and Spanish
Vegan Friendly? Yes


3 Day Yoga, Ayurveda, and Hiking Weekend Retreat in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania

Ayurveda, and Hiking Weekend Retreat

It’s amazing how much can be packed into weekend training programs! Three+ yoga classes, Ayurveda lectures, hikes, Qi Qong, and meditation. Not to mention the meditation shrine and—my personal favorite—the coffee and chocolate factory located on the grounds of the retreat center! All of these activities will be fueled by nourishing organic Ayurvedic food, and there is also the option to book in for extra healing and Ayurveda spa treatments and massages. If you are pressed for time but looking for both a reset and an Ayurveda course, this is the perfect combination of rest and learning, all supported by the beautiful nature surrounding you.

Duration: 3 days (2 nights)
Price: from $555 USD
Closest Airport: Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport (49 km)
Airport pick-up included? No
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly? Yes

Looking for some more weekend retreats in the US? Check out the best US yoga retreats.


Europe Ayurveda Courses and Retreats


7 Day Ayurveda Abhyangam Massage Personalized Training in Alicante, Spain

Ayurveda Abhyangam Massage

This one-week Ayurveda massage course is a great way to combine a holiday with learning a new skill. Every day consists of six hours of Ayurveda theory and massage therapy training by experienced Ayurveda massage practitioners. At the end of the week, you will receive a diploma or certificate attesting to your skill in abhyangam oil massage for the whole body with one or two people (aka, two or four-hand massage), and specialized ayurvedic head and face massages. You will stay in a quiet house nestled in a valley with walking trails through parklands nearby. When you are not immersed in your studies, you can chill by the pool with a book from the house library, visit the beach, which is just a ten-minute drive away, and explore the nearby towns.

Duration: 7 days (6 nights)
Price: from $2,237 USD
Closest Airport: Alicante–Elche Airport (74 km) or Valencia Airport (84 km)
Airport pick-up included? No, but can be arranged for an extra cost
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English and Spanish
Vegan Friendly? Yes


4 Day Yoga Getaway with Ayurvedic Treatments in Gerlos, Austria

ayurveda and yoga austria

The only thing more refreshing than four days breathing in the crisp fresh air of the Austrian alps? Four days in the Austrian alps with daily yoga, three Ayurveda massages, and luxury spa facilities in a four-star exclusive Ayurveda hotel! When you’re not chilling by the pool, relaxing in the yoga garden, or sweating it out in the sauna, you can enjoy the gorgeous hiking trails that surround Gerlos, or even hit the ski slopes if you stay in Winter. You will also enjoy food from the hotel’s Ayurvedic kitchen crafted by their award-winning chef. Bliss.

Duration: 4 days (3 nights)
Price: from $950 USD
Closest Airport: Innsbruck Airport (53 km) or Munich Airport (123 km)
Airport pick-up included? No, but can be arranged for an extra cost
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: German and English
Vegan Friendly? Yes

Just after some straight-up yoga? Check out my top yoga retreat recommendations for Europe.


Africa & the Middle East Ayurveda Workshops and Retreats


8 Day Yoga, Meditation, and Ayurvedic Detox Massages Retreat in Trou Aux Biches, Mauritius

mauritius

Quite possibly the yoga and Ayurveda retreat of dreams. This (think of it as a micro Ayurveda course) takes place in a dedicated holistic wellness center and spa, with a special focus on Ayurveda. Your day commences with pranayama and Ayurvedic cleansing practices, such as neti, followed by a mid-morning Hatha yoga class, and rounded out with an evening meditation session. If that is not enough, you will also receive your choice of daily massage treatment, and if you want to switch it up from the range of Ayurveda massages on offer, you can opt for a Thai or Balinese massage, or even Shiatsu! The rest of your day can be spent lounging by the pool, relaxing on the nearby pristine white sand beach, exploring the local surroundings, or even going on a diving trip.

Duration: 8 days (7 nights)
Price: from $1,190 USD
Closest Airport: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport
Airport pick-up included? Yes
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English, organizers also speak French and Hindi
Vegan Friendly? Yes


6 Day Yoga, Ayurveda Workshops, Moroccan Orchestra and Dance Holiday with Vegan Meals in Talamanzou, Morocco

ayurveda morroco

This magical retreat takes place in a Berber kasbah, secluded in the natural beauty of the countryside outside of Marrakech. This retreat promises to not just leave you physically and spiritually nourished, but culturally fulfilled too. You will enjoy multiple sessions of daily yoga, meditation, philosophy, and pranayama, as well as a festive evening of Moroccan music and dance. There are also opportunities to take vegan cooking workshops and uncover the joys of dance meditation. And of course, your Ayurveda fix — included is an Ayurveda massage, as well as a reiki session, an Ayurveda workshop, and three sattvic vegan meals a day, with the possibility of developing a personalized detox plan.

Duration: 6 days (5 nights)
Price: from $1,228 USD
Closest Airport: Marrakech Menara Airport (44 km)
Airport pick-up included? No, but can be arranged — contact the retreat organizers for more info
Skill Level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Languages: English
Vegan Friendly? Yes

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