What a lovely retreat center! I had let stress consume me, and I wanted to be healthy again. Just three days at this retreat center brought my body back into balance. The strength of this center is in the practitioners. For them, service is an act of love, and it shows. I felt instantly bathed in loving kindness from the moment I walked through the door and smelled the delicious blueberry muffins baking. All the workers at the center were gentle and kind, and anything I needed was provided. I developed a cold on the last day, and Richard gave me an Ayurvedic remedy to take home without charge.
Note that this is not a place to go if you want to be pampered in luxury. The rooms were simple and clean, the food is simple, delicious, and nourishing, and the center itself is rather small and in need of a bit of repair on the outside. That said, I'd take this over a fancy spa that focuses on providing merely physical comfort at the expense of real healing any day.
The health consultation provided the perfect start to my retreat, as Richard accurately diagnosed my mental and physical state. He provided simple, reasonable, and moderate guidelines to get me back on track, and his advice was full of gentleness. There's no tyrannical focus on one way of life. Though the Center is vegetarian, my prescription for health included meat options and chocolate!
The food was one of the highlights of my stay. It was simple and so very nourishing. I didn't miss the meat, and my body felt so light and clean after each meal. I can see how a longer stay would promote healthy weight loss for those of us prone to overindulgent or unhealthy eating habits. I especially loved the cooking class. I learned how to make palak paneer and ghee and the best rice ever (and I don't usually like Indian food).
The Royal Panchakarma treatments were deeply relaxing and healing. They seemed to help detoxify my body, and I felt wonderful afterwards. Yoga, in the same spirit of the center, was gentle and relaxing. This is not a boot camp, but a gentle invitation to a healthier way of living.
Other amenities include an inside sitting area with hot tea available all day and two outside sitting areas. If you bring a car, you can travel to nearby Gainesville or go visit the nearby nature areas (Devil's Millhopper, San Felasco Park). Some of the rooms have TVs with DVD players for evening entertainment. Also, the small town of Alachua has a picturesque Main Street that is only one block from the center. It makes for a nice stroll. Otherwise, there's not much to do, which is exactly what a retreat should be.
I've been at home one day so far, and my body still feels relaxed, centered, and happy. The chronic stress pattern was interrupted, and I'm starting to put the principles I learned into practice. I hope to come back for occasional tune ups and to take part in more cooking classes!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- We are open 7 days a week; you may reserve your personal Retreat at any time. You can come for a Traditional Panchakarma Retreat for up to 2 or 3 weeks, or come for a shorter R&R or Wellness Retreat. We are here to facilitate your journey to health and happiness through the sublime teachings of Yoga and Ayurveda. The Ayurveda Education Week offers an opportuntiy to immerse yourself in Yoga and Ayurveda in a nurturing enviroment. The Ayurveda Health Retreat (AHR) is one of the premier Retreats in Florida that offer traditional Ayurvedic medicine and Panchakarma treatments. The AHR was established by Richard A. Masla, Ayurvedic Practitioner, in 2001 and is located in the small historic town of Alachua, in north central Florida. The Retreat initially had only one treatment room and an office space. From these humble beginnings, it now encompasses three buildings: a beautiful yoga studio, a retreat center and a yoga ashram. Annually we serve hundreds of guests who visit us from all over the world. We are a group of dedicated health professionals who have created an authentic Ayurvedic retreat offering traditional Kerala Ayurvedic therapies. We have 3 Ayurvedic Practitioners, a psychologist, massage therapists, Reiki healers, and yoga & meditation teachers. Richard Masla, our Ayurvedic Practitioner, studied traditional Ayurveda under Dr. Vasant Lad, Dr. Pankaj Naram and Dr. Syama. Richard has mastered the ancient art of Kerala Ayurvedic Panchakarma and has trained all the massage therapists. We're here to accommodate you, whether you need a weekend refresher or a full 21-day retreat. We look forward to being of service! ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Ayurveda Health Retreat Hotel Alachua