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April 2005
Greetings to everyone, may blessings fall down on you like rain.



Would you like to spend five days in the quiet country town of McGregor enjoying good, healthy food, massage, yoga, walks in nature and simply being at Temenos Retreat and Wellness Centre? Join us from the 2nd - 6th May. Click on the picture above for a link to more details.

We are delighted to let you know that Dr Nayana and Dr Sridhar Rao will be available for medical ayurvedic consultations and therapeutic panchakarma or detoxification & cleansing therapies. This gentle and highly effective branch of Ayurveda is particularly successful with chronic conditions as well as being an excellent preventative measure. Please see below for more information on this wonderful knowledge. Also Dr Rao will be giving a lecture on Monday 25th April. See below for more details

Ask Dr Rao : If you have a question for either of the doctors, kindly e-mail or fax this to us, and we will choose one to answer in the next newsletter.

New in our shop : We are selling copper tongue scrapers at R35 each. Copper has been found to be the most effective substance for removing ama or toxins from the tongue, thereby promoting a healthier mouth and fresh breath when used daily. By gently scraping this coating, you are helping the body to eliminate waste products.

New prices: Please click here for our  new Ayurvedic Massage prices

We wish all the best for Marina Merkel   who  has moved on to other adventures. And welcome to Sakhumzi, who is learning and practising cooking and service.


  • Dr Rao's
  • Panchakarma - Rejuvenation therapy
  • Keep Vata in balance this Autumn 
  • Jeera Rice
  • Cumin
  • Upcoming activities at our centre:

Rejuvenating Ayurveda Wellness Retreat
Medical Ayurvedic consultations
Lecture by Dr Rao
Practical Ayurveda evening
Vegetarian cooking course
Seasonal Cleansing Panchakarma Retreat

Dr Rao's

Nayana and Sridhar are both from traditional Ayurveda families of South India. Dr Sridhar completed his Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery in 1997 followed by a Masters degree. He has much experience through working in rural areas as well as Ayurvedic hospitals, lecturing, researching medicinal plants and difficult diseases, as well as organizing many Yoga and Ayurveda camps. He has much to offer and great enthusiasm for his work. Dr Nayana is a very dynamic and warm Ayurveda consultant. She has also worked in Ayurvedic as well as allopathic medicine hospitals. She is passionate and inspiring in her learning, practising, researching and teaching of Ayurveda, Yoga and meditation, specialising in its use for chronic and degenerative diseases.

Panchakarma/Rejuvenation therapy
Ayurveda emphasizes periodic cleansing, generally at every change of season, as a way to restore balance to mind and body. Although the body has an effective system for filtration of impurities, toxins can sometimes build up too rapidly for the body to cope. Also, after the age of forty, the body's ability to purify itself becomes weaker.

How you detoxify is very important. Fasting and harsh cleansing can aggravate the body and cause problems. Ayurvedic therapeutic cleansing, called Panchakarma, is gentle and balanced. The word means "five actions," and includes special massages, steam baths, and mild herbal enemas. Performed under the active personal care of an ayurvedic physician, these luxurious treatments extend over a period of several days and are designed to flush out toxins from the body and nourish and balance the system, leaving you feeling rejuvenated, renewed.

We invite you to a Seasonal Cleansing Panchakarma Retreat at Temenos, McGregor from the 27 June - 3 July

Make your appointment to see Dr Sridhar Rao between 25th and 28th April for medical ayurvedic consultation and/or panchakarma.

“What we do every day is our real religion, for it shows what we truly value in life…what we do every day makes us who we are.”                    David Frawley

Keep Vata in balance this Autumn 

In Autumn, Vata the air/ether elements with their light, dry and cold qualities increases in our environment and also within us. When in balance, Vata is responsible for qualities such as enthusiasm, energy and creativity. When Vata increases too much, anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation, difficulty with memory and concentration may disturb you. 

To counteract this tendency during this season, here are some important aspects to be aware of:

Routine:  Maintain a regular daily routine by waking, exercising, meditating, eating and going to bed at approximately the same times every day. 

Bedtime : Going to bed before 10.30 pm helps to keep Vata balanced. From around 6 – 10 pm we are under the influence of the heavy, sleep-inducing qualities of  Kapha time. Thereafter, is the more active Pitta time, causing mental stimulation and therefore provoking anxiety and restlessness. 

Eat three meals a day : Do not skip meals, eat the main meal at midday, and for Vata types, a substantial and grounding breakfast such as warm oats cooked with dates, raisins and nuts is recommended. 

Use herbs such as cinnamon, ginger, cumin and asafoetida to keep Vata balanced. Half a teaspoon of the first three can be steeped in boiling water to make a warming and calming tea.

Keep warm with a hat, scarf and by keeping out of the wind. 

A warm sesame oil self-massage in the morning before bathing helps to promote emotional stability and mental clarity and keeps your body feeling warm and alive.

Dr Nayana made us a delicious rice when she was visiting our centre, we enjoyed her Jeera Rice. We asked her to share her recipe with you. Jeera is another word for cumin.

Jeera Rice

1 cup basmati rice

Rinse, bring to boil in

2 cups water

Cook until all water is absorbed, set aside

2 T ghee

Heat in pan, then add

½ t mustard seeds


2 t cumin seed


½ t turmeric powder

When mustards seeds pop, add

1 big onion, finely cut


½ t black pepper, ground


1 t salt


2 t freshly chopped ginger & garlic

Fry together for 2 min. Add in the cooked basmati rice and mix well for 1 min. Remove from heat and garnish with

Fresh coriander leaves

T=tablespoon, t=teaspoon. Serves 3-4.

This dish is suitable for autumn as it balance all three doshas, or constitutional types. It is also suitable for anyone suffering from digestive disorders as it is easily digested.

Cumin enhances the digestive fire while at the same time cooling  the internal fire element . Cumin neutralizes digestion and improves the absorption of  food . Cumin also burns "ama." Ama is the ayurvedic term for any toxic or foreign substance in the body that impairs the body's natural functions. And since ama is the main cause of disease, any food or activity that removes ama improves our health. Cumin should always be cooked and never eaten raw. Ground cumin can be cooked with vegetables. Cumin seeds can be dry roasted or sautéed in olive oil or  ghee.

Upcoming activities:
  • Rejuvenating Ayurveda Wellness Retreat at Temenos Retreat Centre: 2 - 6 May

Remember the eternal and wise nature of your true self through ayurvedic massage and meals, gentle yoga, creative play, meditation, walks in nature and periods of silence.

Taking time for yourself gives you the chance to become aware of what is out of balance, to remember your purpose and direction and to open yourself to possibilities for change in your life. By the end of the retreat you can expect to feel more alive in your body, have a quieter and clearer mind and an increased sense of emotional balance and enthusiasm.

  • Medical Ayurvedic consultations by Dr Raos 

A consultation will include some or all of the following:

Constitutional Prakriti Analysis
Imbalance Vikriti Assessment
Ayurvedic treatment for the ailment
Diet & Lifestyle  
Detailed Ayurvedic health  profile
Detox  Panchakarma therapies  
Yoga and  meditation techniques

Cost: R300

  • Lecture by Dr Rao: Ayurveda - Ancient wisdom for holistic health and longevity.

Introduction to Ayurveda - Definition
Fundamental principles and concepts of Ayurveda
Ayurvedic understanding of and interrelationship of the body, mind and spirit
Ayurvedic concept of health and disease

Date and time : Monday 25th April at 7.30 - 9.30 pm 

Cost:  R135 and includes a vegetarian meal prepared with ayurvedic principles.

  • Practical Ayurveda evening 

Would you like to enjoy a relaxing evening beginning with Yoga, followed by a vegetarian meal prepared with ayurvedic principles, a discussion and a practical experience of Ayurveda related to the theme for the evening. All for just R90, and that includes handouts!

If this sounds appealing to you, please join us  on 23rd May  for our next Practical Ayurveda evening from 5.45 pm until 9.30 pm. Please bring a yoga mat or a towel, and a blanket. Dress warmly and comfortably . 

Thereafter, the next date to diarise is 13th June for the following Practical Ayurveda evening . 

  • Vegetarian cooking using ayurvedic principles

Join us for a  practical and sensual experience which will cover the following:

o what makes cooking with ayurvedic principles different

o some commonly used ingredients of Indian and Ayurvedic cooking

o basic methods of preparation

o preparation of soups and dals

o the importance of good digestion and how you can enhance this 

Date : Sat urday 14th May, 10 am to 3 pm. Cost: R135

  • Seasonal cleansing panchakarma retreat

We will be at Temenos Retreat and Wellness Centre, McGregor from 27 June - 3 July

Please call us for more details

Thank you for reading our newsletter, we hope you enjoyed it. 

We are looking forward to welcoming you here or hearing from you soon.

With much love, and gratitude for your support,

Margit, Sakhumzi, Samantha, Xolisile and Zinhle

If you wish to read our previous newsletters, please see our website



Welcome to Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre