Treat your soul to a week in Kerala, India
Updated: Feb 18
India is one place that I have always wanted to go but found it very hard to convince Nath to join in. It is one of those places where you wouldn’t really think of the word relaxation but more hectic, culture and loads of people. It is one of those destinations that people generally love or hate.
India.....You want to go to India?
The best way to get Nath there was to make it short “test” trip, and book in a yoga retreat for a few days. We never thought we would reap so many benefits out of this short trip. After travelling through Europe for 10 months, indulging in too much delicious food and alcohol, it was such a rejuvenating experience.
It is so important to look after yourself, both physically and mentally. We found that a yoga retreat in India was so good for the soul. We started the day with positive vibes, reflected on what’s important in life, and changed our priorities on what we should do with ourselves and our hard earned money.
So what’s the retreat?
This all-inclusive retreat was an amazing place to get away, and easy to get to from Kochi airport with only a 45 minute drive. The healthy vegetarian food was delicious and plentiful, and even massages were included so you can really zen out. We decided to turn our electronics off for these 4 days to really get the most out of this experience. A detox for the mind and body.
We thought we would have too much time in our day to think. But with all the activities, our days filled up so fast, we barely had time to read. Every morning at breakfast, Unni (the owner) presented everyone with their schedule for the day. An example of this looked something like:
6am: Wake up call at your door
6.15 – 6.30: Tea time
6.30 – 8.30am: Yoga
8.30 – 9.30am: Breakfast
9.30 – 10.30am: Yoga Principles (optional class)
11.45 – 12pm Tea time
12 – 1pm: Meditation
1 – 2 pm: Lunch
3 – 3.45pm: Massage
3.45 – 4 pm: Tea time
4 – 6pm: Yoga
8 – 9pm: Dinner
Each day was unique in its own way, with either a massage, appointment with Ayurvedic doctor, optional day trip to the Backwaters or a trip to Fort Kochi. Or you could simply relax in one of the many hammocks and read a book or, take a nature walk around the garden to see all the delicious fruits, veggies and spices that go into our food – all activities are optional. One night a week they also have a cooking class that we unfortunately missed.
The retreat is very eco-friendly and the staff were all wonderful. Another great thing is they have children's classes that come through the gardens and are taught about sustainability and how to look after Mother Nature. Most people here were staying for a week and we wished we could stay for longer but had already booked 3 nights/4 days. If you aren't feeling the best mentally, please do yourself a favour and book here at Hinterland Village. This could be the thing you need to refresh your soul.
It really was a life changing experience and we couldn’t believe how cheap it was. Only approx. $500 AUD for 2 people for 3 nights/4 days including an airport transfer – AMAZING VALUE!!!
Where to visit close by
We stayed in Kumarakom in a lovely homestay along the backwaters. It is a very serene and quiet place. Also great to wind down after a yoga retreat. You can take a boat trip out along the waters and see all the beautiful nature and wildlife in the surrounding areas and villages.
Tip: Take the boat trip at sunrise (trust us).
Recommended stay: Mango Kerala Homes (found on booking.com etc).
Other areas to stay: Allepey is the most popular area to stay in the backwaters but also the busiest. M….. was also recommended to us if you also want to be on the beach.
While here, it is worth stopping in Fort Kochi to explore the nearby city. It is still much quieter than we expected from an Indian city. There wasn’t much to do here but we thought one night was a good enough amount of time to walk around and get some dinner along the water before flying out.
Recommended stay: Our Airbnb homestay "Ethen’s Home" was basic but very cheap at $17 AUD a night with the sweetest family ever. They even took us a little tour of Fort Kochi in their car then gave us some recommendations for the area. Only 5 minutes walk from the main area and the sea. Be sure to check out the local markets by the sea and also the large fishing net contraptions. Find Ethen's Home on Booking.com
Seagull restaurant is right on the water, whipping up tasty sea food by the ocean.
If you had more time, we would recommend checking out the tea plantations in Munnar, the beaches of Varkala and the Thekkady jungle - we have heard great things about all of these places.
After being here for only 6 days, we highly recommend a similar trip if you just wanted a taste of a yoga retreat and the Kochi area. We all lead such busy lives and we need to get outside the square and take some "ME" time, to check in with what is really important in life. Next time we return, we will definitely stay for a week in the yoga retreat alone. As you can do a day trip to the backwaters and Fort Kochi, we would just do this next time, but for the first time we recommend a night in the Backwaters as well.
SELF LOVE AND GRATITUDE BABY!