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April 2007

“And it is our greatest treasure to be able to wait for the right moment. The whole existence waits for the right moment. Even trees know it--when it is time to bring the flowers and when it is time to let go of all the leaves and stand naked against the sky. They are still beautiful in that nakedness, waiting for the new foliage with a great trust that the old has gone, and the new will soon be coming, and the new leaves will start growing. We have forgotten to wait, we want everything in a hurry. It is a great loss to humanity.... In silence and waiting something inside you goes on growing--your authentic being.”

Osho Zen: The Diamond Thunderbolt Chapter 10


Dearest friends and readers,

The one thing we can count on is change – especially of the weather in Cape Town at this time of year - one moment it's winter, then it's summer again. We are very grateful for the wind which clears the air and brings in something new. As you probably know by now, any change increases v ata , or air/space.

That means you need to balance and strengthen yourself by bringing in the earth and fire elements. Join us for a Wellness Retreat from half a day to 21 days and learn how to do this on a daily basis using the simple, yet effective tools of oil massage, food as medicine, yoga, self-care, gratitude for Nature, hot water therapy and deep breathing.


            How you can help us to empower and inspire others
· Patience & Trust
· Autumn/Winter 2007 Specials
- Wellness Massage & Cooking Retreat
- Full day Ayurveda Wellness Retreat incl lunch
- Ayurveda Wellness Day
- Discounted vouchers

· Recipe: Whole mung dal
· New!  Cooking courses every Wednesday morning or evening
· Diary of Activities
· We offer a two year in-house training
· Nalanda is available as a venue for your workshops, events, conferences

  • How you can help us to empower and inspire others

Margit Gilliot, my story:

After I had left Germany, while working in ground handling supervision at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, I fell in love with the magic of Ayurvedic Massage and later with the rich wisdom of Ayurveda itself. I listened with fascination to my teacher Kiran Vyas, who grew up in the ashram of Gandhi, as his father was a very close friend.

During my training, I participated twice in a seven day Ayurveda Wellness Retreat. I felt completely renewed and transformed in body, mind and spirit and for many months to come after the Retreat, I felt the amazing difference that these days filled with massage treatments, vegetarian food and contact with nature had made to me. My mind was so much more clear and calm, I felt emotionally balanced and able to make health promoting choices for myself on many different levels.

There was born my desire and profound commitment to make Ayurveda an holistic, natural and healthy lifestyle available to mankind. In 2002 Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre was born.

Since living in South Africa, it always gave me pain to see young people in the prime of their life, when they should be busy building their skills for the future, sitting at home without a job/ training and no dreams of a future. We wanted to create a company with a socially balanced and responsible approach and humbly and amateurishly started giving the opportunity for training and empowerment to people without any pervious skills or job experiences. Many couldn't take their opportunity.

Today there are 4 young woman in the Nalanda team who had the commitment and endurance to develop themselves and who have not only become very confident Ayurveda Wellness Massage Practitioners, but who also prepare meals for clients, and their teas and snacks, and are able to deal with most of the logistics of the Centre. One team member has recently upgraded herself to our receptionist. All have gained a lot of experience, but are also aware that life gives us ongoing opportunity to learning more.

We recently started with a new intake for a 2 years in house training, and will still accept more candidates.

We would love to support many more people in the future to gain confidence in themselves and skills for a better future. Our limitation to do so is on a financial level. We would be very grateful for any advice, support, sponsorship, donation or recommendations to move forward towards this goal of creating more deeply fulfilling job. Please do contact us if you would like to join into realizing with us the dream of the Nalanda team.

Any massage or retreat you book with us also will support us in growing the dream.

· Patience & Trust

One of the most wonderful and most painful things about getting older, is seeing the effect which repeated thoughts and actions have over a period of years.

“My body is flexible, my chest is open and my posture is upright because of the Yoga I have been doing for 20 years. I don't want to imagine how I would look and feel today, if I had not been doing it all this time.”

“All those years of ‘meditating', I felt: nothing is happening, why am I doing this, my mind is such a wild monkey, it can never be tamed, I'm wasting my time. Now, when I sit with the intention of just being, usually there are still plenty of thoughts, sometimes just a more relaxed body, maybe a taste of peace, occasionally just the breath and bliss, always a benefit. So I am more patient and accepting, knowing that there is a range of experiences and they all have their place.”

“A couple of months ago, I went to fetch my daughter from school, we spend only one afternoon together during the week.  It was a blistering hot day and when we got back to the car, I saw we had a nearly flat tyre. I had no spare tyre as it had been stolen when my car was stolen, and no spare cash either!  I decided then and there to treat the whole experience as an unexpected and exciting adventure and to see where it would lead us. With great enthusiasm, I conveyed this to my daughter, not giving her any chance to predict negative outcomes. Minutes later, a friendly mechanic was offering to repair my tyre and lots more on my car. We ended up driving home only half an hour later than usual with the repaired tyre which has been absolutely firm since then. The whole ‘problem' had cost me only R20.”

“Now I am at a stage in my life when I can see how repeated patterns of thinking have created my life as it is at present. When I imagine the worst case scenario – that is usually how it turns out and when I go into a situation with openness and total trust that the outcome will be positive for all concerned, then this is what happens. Replacing the first attitude with the second, requires many years, perhaps lifetimes of repetition – of positive practices such as being in the company of positive and uplifting people, affirmations, conscious breathing, mindfulness, Yoga etc.”

Be patient with yourself. When you slip back into unhelpful ways of acting and thinking, trust that repeatedly bringing your awareness to an issue where you feel stuck, will eventually bring a shift. When the time is right .

  • Autumn/Winter 2007 Specials
    1. Wellness Massage & Cooking Retreat at Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre

The slow pace of this long weekend will allow you time to rest and rejuvenate, to retreat within.  You will be part of a small group enjoying a health promoting daily rhythm which includes:

  • Being pampered with various deeply relaxing Ayurvedic Massages
  • learning to make tasty, wholesome, health-promoting vegetarian meals using Ayurvedic principles
  • sunrise homa therapy
  • sesame oil treatment for healthy teeth, gums and face , as well as other self-care treatments
  • stretch and breathe with Yoga to start the day
  • morning meditation
  • learning to give & receive simple massage
  • informal discussions on various aspects of practical Ayurveda
  • morning and afternoon snacks & herbal teas
  • cosy log fire
  • relaxation time in peaceful garden with saltwater pool
  • slow Nature walks along the Disa River
  • sunset homa therapy
  • evening relaxation
  • sleeping in spacious and peaceful thatch roofed farm house

Margit Gilliot “The experience of how good a balanced vegetarian meal or a massage can make me feel, inspires me to share this with others. I have a simple, totally practical approach to both cooking and massage, but both are for me a way to serve, honour and respect the divine and nature.”

and Samantha Wittenberg, together with the whole Nalanda team

Dates: Friday 27th – Tuesday 1st May. Early booking advisable as space is limited.

Send an e-mail to with “Massage & Cooking Retreat” in the subject line, to see the full program and pricing.


2. Full day Ayurveda Wellness Retreat incl. lunch

Keep yourself balanced & well at this change of season with warm oil and deep relaxation

Dates:  at your convenience, from 9 am – 4.30 pm.


  • Grasshopper, invigorating seated shoulder & upper back massage, excellent for mental relaxation and prevention of repetitive shoulder and upper back tension. Induces deeper breathing and is helpful in preventing chest problems and colds, 30 min
  • Luxurious Pizchauli, flowing full body massage using 1 litre of warm oil, given by two people simultaneously, 45 min
  • Deeply relaxing Ayurvedic foot massage with bowl, 45 min
  • Hand pampering, 45 min
  • Pagachampi, a dry leg massage using pressure, stimulating circulation and all body functions, supporting elimination and detox, helpful in menstrual imbalances, removes heaviness from the legs and gives a feeling of relaxation for the whole body, 45 min
  • Lunch, tasty and nourishing vegetarian meal, freshly prepared according to ayurvedic principles
  • Healthy snacks & herbal teas

Price: The more friends you bring, the less you pay - on special for one person: R900, two people: R810 each, three people: R720 each. Usual price R1080. Weekend surcharge does not apply to this special.


3. Ayurveda Wellness Day – One Day Silent Group Retreat
A day of relaxation and renewal for only R450

: 10 May, 26 May, 7 June, 24 June


·         deeply relaxing Ayurvedic Massage
·         morning and afternoon snacks & herbal teas
·         leave stress behind: stretch and breathe
·         tasty, health promoting vegetarian lunch buffet 
·         being together in silence
·         relaxation time in peaceful garden with saltwater pool
·         sesame oil treatment for healthy teeth, gums and face

4.    Discounted vouchers

The benefits of your Ayurvedic Massage are greatly enhanced when received several times within a space of a few weeks. Make this commitment and invest in the most important relationship in your life – the one with your Self!

Spoil yourself or your loved ones 10 Nurturing Ayurvedic 90 min full body oil massages including foot massage with bowl worth R300 each
Value R3000, on special for R2100 which gives you three free massages!
Can be transferred to friends, family, colleagues. 

On special if paid and used up before end of 2007. Please note: Treatments given after 5 pm on weekdays and any time on Saturdays are 10 % extra. Treatments given on Sundays and public holidays are 25 % extra. The supplement will be added to the discounted price.

Men and women will benefit equally from all our activities.


  • Recipe: Whole Mung Dal


1 c whole mung dal


Soak in 3 cups of cold water overnight. Drain. Rinse until water runs clear.

2  c water

Boil and add dal,

¼ t turmeric


Pinch of sea salt


Cover and simmer over medium heat for 50 minutes.

1 T ghee

Heat in a small skillet, add

1 minced green chilli pepper


1 t grated fresh ginger


1 t cumin seeds

Heat until browned. Add

1 t coriander powder


Pinch of asafoetida

Add to dal together with

1 t fresh lemon juice


¼ c water

Cover and continue to simmer for an additional 30 minutes over low heat.

Enjoy this dal as a nourishing and cleansing soup on its own or as a sauce with rice or chappatis. It will balance vata. Use less ghee if you are overweight or congested.


  • In-house training
    We still have space for candidates to join for our 2 year in-house training. Ask for more info by mail.

  • Nalanda is available for your workshops, events, conferences

We are now making our beautiful peaceful healing space available for you. You can enrich your event with our vegetarian, nutritious catering and pampering Wellness Massage.

Our centre is a meat, fish, alcohol, caffeine, drug and smoke free place. Please enquire.

  • New!  Cooking courses every alternate Wed morning from 9-12.30, starting Wed 4th April or Wed evenings from 6-8pm, starting 11th April.  Be inspired to prepare and share a simple wholesome meal and gain insight into ayurvedic prinicipals for a healthy diet. Cost R180, meal included.

Facilitators: Larissa Green or Margit Gilliot and the Nalanda team

“If we were born with a user’s manual for our body, mind and spirit – it would be Ayurveda”

Dr Rama Prasad

We wish all our readers strength and patience with the changes which take time.

Warmest regards from the Nalanda team 

If you like this newsletter, please forward it to your friends or family.



Welcome to Nalanda Ayurvedic Centre