Since I’m already answering these questions for someone on LinkedIn, I thought I’d go ahead and share my answers and the additional information here. Here is the website, if you’re interested: http://ayugreen.com/
I’m not looking for the massage/beauty aspect as much as I am looking for a nutrition/herb/cooking type of study. I don’t need anything fancy. How long have you been at Greens? And so you totally recommend it?
I’ve been here 2.5 weeks so far (as of this posting, over 3). Plan to be here 3 more weeks.
Classes are good: 1-on-1, a nice mix of theory and practical (lecture and hands-on). The staff are incredibly hospitable and accommodating. They customized a course of study for me.
Nutrition/cooking is a mix of nutrition/digestion/food combining theory and time in the kitchen preparing meals for the different constitutions.
Herb study is part of the pharmacy course. You spend time in their production facility, chopping, stirring, straining as well as lecture/theory, AND using the herbal preparations on yourself or others. But like I said, they’ll totally customize everything you want and don’t want for classes (if you know and make it clear ahead of time).
Unfortunately, I’d say their weakest point is knowing the mechanism of and how each ingredient works from a bio-chemical or physiological perspective. They are very good at explaining it in the theory and terminology of Ayurveda, but not so good at translating that to Western understanding of biology and anatomy. (Of course, some of it just can’t be.)
Conversely, they do talk a lot about anatomy and western understanding and diagnosis of disease. So in that way it is more accessible.
They’ve just opened a new building, which is comfortable, quiet, good by Indian standards but not deluxe. The normal food they serve is mediocre at best (but they’re supposed to be hiring a chef). You can get treatment at the same time as study.
When I arrived, there were 4 other foreigners here for either study or treatment (1 US lady, 1 German lady, 1 NZ guy, 1 Russian guy). So it’s an international crowd that changes every week or 2.
And her follow-up set of questions.
Is it true that the treatments and everything is included in the price?
Only treatments as part of training are included in the price. If you actually need to undergo panchakarma or want massage, facial, nails done outside of training, then you’d pay for that yourself. Panchakarma is fairly reasonable though, at around 300-500 euro for the full package. A basic facial or manicure or pedicure costs around IRP200-400. Otherwise, I’d say basically everything is included. They’ve given me basic medicines (to prevent cold, a face mask) without charge.
Also, would it be worth it to get a room on the beach or with air conditioning for the extra cost? I’d be going in January or February for a month or so.
January and February are winter months so I’d say A/C is not necessary. Even now no one uses it. Besides classes are in the open air so you’re still going to be sticky/sweaty much of the day anyway. As for beach, that’s your call depending on how much you love the sound of the ocean. The rooms in the main building (not beach hut) are nicer, newer, and far more convenient for going to class. If you’re at the beach hut, you’ll have probably 15-20 minute walk to the main building for meals and class.
Also, is there much else to do nearby? I read it was in the middle of nowhere.
Simple answer, no. 15 minute walk to the beach. 20-25 minute walk to the nearest town (10 minutes by bus or auto rickshaw) where there’s a church, a few bars, clothing stores, and restaurants. Otherwise 20-25 minute auto-rickshaw ride to the next bigger town where there is the same thing, plus some temples, and I think a movie theater.
Is that how it is in Kerala for the most part?
Um, yes. Kerala is rather rural, undeveloped… but much friendlier, easier, and calmer than Delhi and Golden Triangle parts of India. I don’t know what you’re expecting. I didn’t look at sites/activities in India/Kerala, I only searched for an Ayurveda course.
Is it easy to get around and out to take excursions?
Have you been to India? In my limited experience, nowhere in India is easy to get around. There are public buses, auto rickshaws, and trains, all of which are feasible for someone with a little sense of adventure. If there are enough people, Greens will organize trips to the drive-on beach, martial arts training center, weaving factory, Calicut (bigger city and nearest place with a proper shopping mall and airport), etc.
Have you gotten bored at all? lol.
Me… bored? I blog, run a business and am starting another business, do yoga, attend class, study, and read a book a week… It depends on what you like to do, but if you bring a computer or books (and they have a decent library) you can always entertain yourself. Make friends with the staff–endless hours of amusement. There is cable TV in every room. Go to the beach. If you’re doing Panchakarma treatment, it can take a lot of time and drain your energy such that you’re not wondering what to do beyond class and meal times anyway.
What other activities are there in case?
Other activities… Doing your laundry by hand. LOL. But no, I’m not joking. To be honest, with the way the daily schedule is, plus the heat/humidity that additionally drains your energy, most people don’t have a lot of time or ambition to try to do stuff outside of the ayurveda center. Whatever your hobby is–writing, jewelry making, photography, painting–bring the essentials along and other supplies (e.g. nice gemstones) you can get here.
Straight up, here are my biggest complaints: internet going out (again, with being so dependent on the internet, this is a biggie for me), power going out, food (they’re working on it), location, cold water showers (which has been fixed, sort of), water running out (getting less frequent, though).
Overall it is fantastic. Exactly what I had in mind. Great value. And for further endorsement, an ethnic Indian (son of emigrants) who is an Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant, returns here every year for on-going professional development. Coming from an Indian, if that isn’t a strong yes for this place, I don’t know what is.