"For thousands of years, the yogis of the Himalayas observed, experimented, and fine-tuned their approach to life. And, today we reap the rewards of their dedication. We are, simply put, in pursuit of health. Full health requires a diet that nourishes and sustains us, whilst at the same time has purifying and cleansing qualities too. We offer a vegetarian yogic diet to our students that is designed to help them get the most out of their bodies and their practice."
At Rishikul Yogshala, the essence of yoga extends beyond the mat to nourishing the body and spirit through a mindful and balanced yogic diet. Rooted in the principles of simplicity and mindfulness, their approach to food emphasizes sattvic choices—fresh, whole, and plant-based ingredients that promote physical well-being and mental clarity. This vegetarian or vegan fare is carefully prepared to honor the body as a temple, focusing on foods that harmonize with the practice of yoga and meditation. Through conscious eating, participants not only fuel their bodies but also cultivate a deeper connection to the holistic philosophy of yoga, fostering a sense of balance and inner peace that resonates far beyond the dining table.
What we choose to eat in order to sustain our physical bodies is as important as how we move, bend, stretch, flex and twist in asana practice, how we breathe during pranayama exercises and how we focus in our meditation practices.
Students who are exploring their physical limits in Ashtanga and Hatha asana practice need to be well nourished and hydrated, if they are to get the most out of their learning and, of course their physical practice.
Yogic Diet is based on natural healing, rejuvenating and energizing elements from the revered science of Ayurveda. It is a perfect food for nourishing the mind, body and souls of budding yogis.
Filtered water is always available and bottled water is for sale in the Reception area. The first tea urn of the day appears at 6 am, time to fill your mug with lemon tea or sometimes green tea and start taking in fluids to keep the physical body hydrated – not waiting for thirst to manifest.
In fact, if you feel that you are thirsty, then the process of dehydration has already begun! At breakfast and all subsequent meals, the urn comes out again – when it is filled with chai(tea) there is particular merriment amongst the students. Indian masala chai, fragrant, spiced tea with milk, perfect accompaniment to the breakfasts that are on offer here. Regular tea breaks are built in with our timetable, ensuring hydration as an integral part of everyone’s daily habits.
Dishes are lovingly prepared using Ayurvedic Indian herbs and spices, such as turmeric, cinnamon, clove and cardamom. The freshest fruit and vegetables are sourced every day and, from these the culinary team prepare a plethora of dishes for every meal.
The selection on offer is astonishing and every student will find a favourite or two that delight the palate. Food is delicious and aromatic while avoiding the more pungent spices that can aggravate a person’s constitution.
Rishikul Yogshala takes into account that many students may not be used to Indian food so the school takes care that the selection is appropriate for people from diverse backgrounds. Students with specific dietary requirements and/or allergies are catered for as a matter of course.
Ah, breakfast. By the time the students come to break their fast, they will have completed an Ashtanga or Hatha yoga practice and taken part in a pranayama session. It is a matter of pride for those who serve the food to keep the trays full, replenishing when necessary so that everyone will get as much porridge, papaya or banana that their heart desires. Apart from fruit and porridge, there are always a couple of savoury dishes and carbohydrates on offer. The mouth shall continue to water at the thought of breakfast in the garden even after completing the course.
By lunch, the students are in need of further sustenance and the school does not disappoint. Here is a chance to sample some spectacular vegetable curries, dal(lentil) and many more savoury dishes. There is always a wide range of foods on the table, with rice and chapatis to complement the flavours.
This wonderfully balanced diet is on offer once again every dinnertime. The planning of the school menu is careful and comprehensive. Individual and collective needs are met in remarkable fashion. Indian cookery workshops are offered so that our students can take home some skills with them as well as the memory of the delicious fare that kept them learning and practicing during their time here at Rishikul Yogshala.
"Attending the yoga retreat at Rishikul Yogshala in Kerala was an absolute delight! The tranquil setting amidst Kerala's natural beauty provided the perfect backdrop for a transformative experience. The daily yoga classes were led by highly experienced and compassionate instructors who guided us through various asanas and breathing exercises. The meditation sessions were deeply relaxing and helped me find inner peace. The retreat's warm and friendly atmosphere, combined with the delicious vegetarian meals, made the entire experience even more enjoyable. I left the retreat feeling physically and mentally rejuvenated, with a renewed passion for yoga. I can't wait to return for another soul-nourishing retreat."
"Rishikul Yogshala's yoga retreat in Kerala is a haven for yoga enthusiasts and those seeking a mindful escape. The retreat center's serene location amidst the lush greenery of Kerala instantly put me at ease. The yoga instructors were incredibly knowledgeable and supportive, accommodating practitioners of all levels. The daily yoga and meditation sessions provided a perfect balance of physical activity and mental relaxation. Additionally, the opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals from around the world created a sense of community and belonging. My experience at Rishikul Yogshala's yoga retreat was nothing short of transformative, and I'm deeply grateful for the profound impact it had on my well-being."
"I recently had the pleasure of joining the yoga retreat at Rishikul Yogshala in Kerala, and it was an enriching experience. The retreat center's serene ambiance and the dedicated staff immediately made me feel at home. The yoga classes were exceptional, focusing on proper alignment and breathwork. The personalized attention from the instructors allowed me to deepen my practice and explore new aspects of yoga. The meditation sessions were truly meditative, providing a sense of clarity and mindfulness. The retreat's holistic approach to yoga and well-being left me feeling refreshed and inspired. I would highly recommend Rishikul Yogshala's yoga retreat to anyone seeking a transformative and spiritually rewarding journey."