Mystical Ayurveda & Yoga Retreat 

Ayurveda Cooking Class

After the year that was 2020, I needed to press the reset button. I decided upon a one week retreat at Ayurvedic Health Retreat in Alachoa, Florida.

Hoping for sunshine, WHOLESOME Indian food and panchkarma, I headed on down. I knew I would either love it… or I would feel trapped and hate it !

So I went down there for the cure.

Panchakarma is a branch of yoga. It is a cleansing and rejuvenating program for the body, mind and spirit. It is over 5000 years old and is known for its beneficial effects on overall health, wellness and self-healing. It consists of: daily heavy-duty oil massage, steam baths, aromatherapy, herbal medicines, herbal oil drip forehead treatments and… herbal enemas. Not to mention meditation, pranayama, vegetarian food and yoga twice a day. They keep you busy that’s for sure !

Blue Springs Florida

The week prior, they had me go on a strict diet of kichadi (organic rice & lentils), organic oatmeal with steamed apples and organic ghee (clarified butter). By the time I was ready to go down to Florida, I was feeling pretty good… and even lost 5 pounds in one week.

Alachoa is a sleepy town in northwest Florida. The Ayurvedic Health Retreat is a couple of big houses with several bedrooms, treatment rooms, a yoga studio and a nice kitchen. I unpacked and was immediately immersed in the program.

First a consultation with the Director, Richard Masla. Turns out I had some issues (poor diet, too much drinking, caffeine, etc.). In Ayurveda, they categorize you by body type- which in my case turned out to be a “pitta.” It’s kind of like old-school DNA testing. Heck, Ayurveda built the old-school!

Sauna Box with Rosa Water Aromatherapy

Once you know your body type, you get suggestions for how to eat, exercise and live.

By the third day I was starting to feel very relaxed. In addition to all the activities, I enjoyed spending time with the cooks in the kitchen and seeing how they prepared their simple Indian fare. In addition to rice and lentil and oatmeal. They made a very nice coconut chutney and a salad of cooked beets, carrots and cilantro. They even hosted a cooking class one evening.

Upon further examination, I discovered this was a very complex and mysterious form of treatment indeed.


Result? My skin began to take on a radiant glow. Life began to slow down. My breath began to deepen and expand.

By day 7, I was feeling great and I had lost another 5 pounds. No meat, no alcohol, no TV, no coffee will do that to a man (and I still wanted to do another week).

Turns out, I loved this ayurvedic retreat. Look forward to doing more in the future.