Catherine Mcdermott Great Britain
June 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining
The food was good
I am so disappointed in my retreat that I went on last week. The vidyha school of yoga does not exist. It is a man that puts a poster up in a hotel and rents rooms out to people who book on. I was the only person who booked onto the 7 day 'retreat' last week. The hotel, Sea Rock in Kovolam, was filthy. Everything you touched felt sticky and grimy, the corridors were dark and you could barely see even in the day and the whole place smelt of urine. Yes I had a sea view but the windows were so filthy I could not see out of Them. The bed linen was covered in stains and there were tiny ants everywhere, I was bitten very very badly all over my body with swollen weeping bites.
The 'yoga master' Jiju taught me yoga everyday but it is clear he had not planned anything nor did he want to be there, he checked his phone literally every minute of class. It was also the same poses, triangle, tree etc, and he seemed to lack content to fill an hour. He told me I needed to lose weight also! This all feels uncomfortable for me to say these things, unyogic, I am a yoga teacher in London myself and I have been to many retreats around the world, I understand basic and don't mind it, but this was different. I didn't last the whole week, I left early as I Had been bitten so much. I was also the only western person and felt vulnerable, jiju's yoga was not worth sticking around for.
Perhaps the most disappointing part is that I emailed bookyogaretreats last week with my feedback and have heard nothing back after paying over £700 for this 'retreat'. Please don't use this company.
Theresa Haimberger Germany
August 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining
Patricia Mallay Spanish State
July 2017, BookYogaTeacherTraining
this was not a retreat.i ve paid all together 1480 $ for a very transformational holidays indeed..ended up in hospital from a throat infection and entirely covered with bug bites.this yoga retreat at that time of the year...very low season is not worth more than 500 dollars .no tourists around.only indians.I was the only person booked in.and knowing that it was rainy season I thought there was a lot organised to keep you busy.instead of that I was basically locked in a room for 2 weeks.no swimming allowed in 3 months...no sunbathing. pool...what pool?wifi?TV...?when available..fridge?what fridge?you have sea view.ok.no star gazing.walk in the forest sunset meditation..I did that trip to see 2 liionesses and the so called elephant rehabilitation center. which is horrendous. the elephants are chained.and treated very badly.the only chance I had to get out of the place.the whole place was fllfy smelly.and depressing.after a week I ve asked for a refund to leave the place and go somewhere else with the argument of not getting any of the things published.they refused.that s when I got sick.jijiu brought me to hospital up the Rd. and hindu the massage therapist had a bit of compassion and brought me mangoes.and to compensate they offered me a few more treatments. but to conclude...I ve paid nearly 1500 $ and wasted 14 days holidays for a fake retreat.a total scam.and I m a yoga teacher.I ve traveled the world and organise myself retreats in tenerife. so I know what I m talking about
I spent a truly exceptional week practicing yoga with Jiju in Kerala. He is an amazing teacher and a very inspirational person.
Though having practiced yoga for a number of years back in England, there were certain postures that I had just accepted that my body would never be able to do. Within 3 days I was touching my toes for the first time since childhood, and by the end of the week I was able to go from shoulder stand into full plough posture- something I was very far from before, and I had always wanted to do before.
Jiju opens your mind to what is possible, and I now feel like I can achieve anything- this really is no exaggeration! Come and learn from him and experience this for yourself!
The School of Yoga Vidhya arranged my four-day stay in Kerala for a yoga retreat. Jiju was very communicative before I arrived, answering any questions I had and sending me a full itinerary before my stay. When I arrived, Jiju was there and was very accommodating. He made sure everything was taken care of for me and planned excursions around the area. I recommend School of Yoga Vidhya for any first time yoga retreats or visitors to Kerala.
School of Yoga Vidhya's website
Today in my country is Teachers Appreciation Day. I’d like thank you for all amazing yoga experiences in Kovalam. I’m grateful for all changes in my life. I've never felt so alive.
At first l thought it's miracle of India, which is land of miracles, but remembering the time that TTC course had finished (when we still stayed at Searock) proves its miracle of yoga.
Truth is I’m not even close to Aparigraha.
I miss Yoga At Kovalam.
I miss Pranayama classes. After each Pranayama session I felt like a free seabird.
I miss sunset on ocean in the middle of Ashtanga Vinyasa classes.
I miss your Om NamaShivaya chanting that sounds tone of God.
Wherever I go in my life, I will always remember my amazing yoga experiences with you. I know, I’m so lucky.
Thank you for sharing your gift with us.
You will always have a special fan, that’s me!
School of Yoga Vidhya's website
About organizer: I have chosen the yoga retreat on my own, never seen any reviews or seek any advice from anybody and it turn out really wonderful. Of course I was impressed by the package they offered me! Magically, I was meeting all nice people here, who believe in giving more than offered.
Place: It’s a beach hotel! When I arrived at my room I could hear the sea-waves, I was feeling so near as if I am on beach; however, as it was night, I wasn't able to see anything further. I stayed in the balcony for a while, just looking at the sky and some stars around, amazing breeze, was just enjoying my own company. Watching performance of nature, stars were shining so brightly, sea-waves were as if dancing on some melodious rhythm on awesome windy chorus, nice breezy romantic aura surrounded me allover. Awesome starting. Woke up early morning around 5:30 and opened my balcony door and this was miracle... what a beautiful view, I was standing in front of wide seashore unbelievable, I was like "is it true or a dream?" For around 10 minutes I was just watching the wide view of the sea and seashore and then I realized I should get ready and roam on beach, so rushed to my shower and just step out and I was right there on the beach. Roamed all around, from the right corner to left corner, while coming back, I saw some fishermen were catching fish and lots of tourists were pretending as if they are among them , so they were enjoying to pull those heavy ropes with them, haha, laughing , giggling all over. I watched for around 20 minutes, lots of people came and left, one after another, some of them were there till end, I clicked plenty of pictures, also recorded one small video. The fishermen were singing some nice song in beautiful rhythm, wow everything was so original and amazing! I also wanted to experience the same, so i joined them and what a fun it was! I also sat silently for 20 minutes and enjoyed every bit of it. Food- (mostly fruit-) sellers and toy-sellers were roaming all over the beach, coconut water is common in all corners of Kovalam, as well as bananas (I enjoyed especially the brownish big bananas). Tourists are mostly foreigners and some locals on weekends, also met some Indian families and groups.
Shopping: Nearby shops are mostly selling beach-ware, different patterns of elephant show pieces, handicrafts, precious stones and studded traditional jewelries.
Yoga Program: My yoga guru Mr. Jiju is an amazing human being and yogi. He has been to the Himalayas to study the authentic yoga, experienced and gained the highest wisdom from all great yogic gurus. It’s amazing to receive all insights and wisdom from him, so here again, it’s not only yoga postures and meditation techniques, one can also learn ancient dhyagna (wisdom). He shares different experiences which make you realize many new things about life, sometimes you feel like as if a whole new life is unfolding in front of you. Interacting with him was always my best memorable moments. We had nice question-answer session, where I cleared most of my doubts. You will feel as if you were in safe hands. He says “only way out is way inward and listen and believe in yourself“.
Food: I imagined it may be tasteless food, but again I was wrong here, very tasty delicious and still healthy food. Every dish I ordered has amazing taste. This menu is prepared by the founder, who is a highly-qualified ayurvedic practitioner, who started his practice some years back and then, at some point in time, he thought of giving full package to his guests. Every menu is designed by him and prepared by expert chef. It was interesting to interact with some foreigners as most of them were pure non-vegetarian, and here they ate only delicious vegetarian food. My favorites were cauliflower kurma made in coconut milk, fruit rice, veg biryani (with minimum and essential spices), banana thoran, inf act I liked everything, so yummy and mouth watering.
Ayurvedic Massage: Here again, a pleasant surprise when I did my first full body massage therapy, the therapist was very well-prepared. She is trained in proper medical college in Trivandrum (Kovalam), and most of all, she enjoys working here. I have also taken Shirodhara therapy, where a lukewarm ayurvedic oil is falling on your forehead for 40 to 45 minutes rotates from right to left, i was feeling like so stress-free and relaxed , slept for a while and when I opened my eyes I was feeling so fresh, as if if every part of my body is renewed and tension-free. It affects your whole body, very powerful treatment!
Excursions: Here, I can say I felt like I was a princess. First of all, they accompanied me everywhere, to make sure everything goes well, as I was alone. Otherwise, they normally organize cab with driver and that’s it and you will be on your own, of course, in order to respect your privacy. So that day, he was my guide and my photographer, as well, haha, kidding, he is an awesome person to travel with. I was taken to the best places, because of his wide and nice network... he knows every corner and all people so well. My two day excursions were really great. My tour to elephants rehabilitation center, lion safari, crocodile park, and deer park were absolutely memorable and the amazing part was, I was traveling everywhere in fairy.
So this is again part of yoga, nature walk and being close to nature. They can, also, organize for a forest-stay, where you can be accommodated in well-built cottages. There, one can be close to nature and do yoga and mediate, for long. Next day, I had a magical travel in between huge coconut, banana and mango trees.
Watching different birds with awesome colors was an amazing experience. And having coconut water, in between the regular water was really amazing. I have seen huge floating restaurants, as well as some comfortable and luxurious cottages near water. Yes! I like hospitality everywhere I go, and here, they make you feel you are special.
Restaurants: Hey, very interesting (maybe everyone is aware of this, but I would still like to share), most of the restaurants have big display-area, mainly at the entrance, so one may select the fish (raw) of his choice and they prepare it for you. This is common scenario in the evening, otherwise hotel guys show you the raw fishes they have and then, you have to decide which you wish to have.
Languages: Mostly English and of course, everybody knows Hindi. Even the small seller on beach know English very well and I observed well-behaved people all around.
Comments: On my last day, I was feeling bad to return back home! My stay was really remarkable and pleasant.
Message: I am really thankful to all of you for making my stay so, so wonderful, amazing, awesome and memorable!
School of Yoga Vidhya's Website
The School of Yoga Vidhya (which means correct knowledge or clarity) is a place of immense learning and personal development. Whilst not a traditional school in one location/building, the power of Jiju’s guidance and instruction transcends the physical space you occupy. We were fortunate enough to stay at both the outer forest and beachfront locations. The blend of two entirely different atmospheres provided an excellent backdrop to five days of yoga enhancement and powerful meditation. Jiju is an excellent yogi and spiritual guide, who understands the struggles we face in a modern Western society. His program has been carefully created to provide some incredible opportunities to enhance your yoga journey, and to enhance your individual ability to reach inner peace and clarity through meditation. The outer forest location in Kerala has some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen, and Jiju knows the very best places to take you for practice. If you are looking to learn in an authentic Indian yogic environment, where you can be taught non-judgmentally, by an expert, then the School of Yoga Vidhya is a wonderful place to go. I will certainly be back to continue my journey. Thank you, Jiju.
Chandni Chugh India
School of Yoga Vidhya's Website
Dear Jiju, thank you so much for such a great yoga experience. I could not have asked for a better yoga teacher to start learning yoga from. Really hope we meet again, soon! Do stay in touch! :)
School of Yoga Vidhya's Website
To my Guru Ji, thanks for these wonderful 10 days of relaxation!
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