FAQ’s

“I’ve been to other Ayurvedic places in Kerala, but they don’t offer the three dimensional experience I had at Rasa Ayurveda.”
~ Suzanne R.

Is Rasa Ayurveda a spa or resort?

Rasa Ayurveda Traditional Healing Centre for Women is not a spa or resort, but a retreat—a “guruless” ashram and Ayurvedic clinic, dedicated to providing a nurturing space for healing and learning. Rasa Ayurveda is located in a village-like neighborhood, and the amenities make for a simple but comfortable environment. The main luxury offered is attentive care to your healing, education and transformation thru the therapies, foods and experiences designed just for your own healing, along with the personal connection you’ll enjoy with those who will make Rasa Ayurveda your home in Kerala.

At Rasa Ayurveda we hope you’ll discover that Mother Nature—and your own nature—offer all the guidance and resources you need to live a whole life.

Which airport is closest to Rasa Ayurveda?

Book your ticket to fly into Thiruvananthapuram, also still referred to as the Anglicized name, ‘Trivandrum.’
The airport code for Trivandrum is “TRV.”

Do you have any recommendations on finding an airline ticket?

We’ve seen patients find great ticket prices on Kayak.com.
If you want to use miles through your Frequent Flier airline or one of their partner airlines, please contact them and inquiry.

What are the Check-In and Check-Out times at Rasa Ayurveda?

You will be met at the airport regardless, no matter what time you arrive.

Check In Time: Airport/train station pickup as early as 7am.
(50% of the daily rate applies to airport pickups scheduled prior to 7am.)

Check Out Time: Airport/train station drop or clinic departure no later than 9pm
(50% of the daily rate applies to departures scheduled later than 9pm.)

Do I need a passport and visa for travel to India? Where do I get these?

Yes, you need a passport and tourist visa for entry into India before your flight.

Passport: Depending on your country of origin, passports can take up to 16 weeks to process, so apply early if you need a passport.

Tourist Visa: If you are coming from the U.S., tourist visas for travel to India are available thru Travisa. While it’s wise to apply for your visa early, rapid turnaround is also available. A visa can usually be secured within a week’s time.

What about immunizations?

Make an appointment with your doctor or clinic to confirm that you are up to date on any needed immunizations. Explain that you are traveling to South India. Some immunizations and prophylactics commonly prescribed for travel to Northern India, such as preventative malaria medicine, are NOT recommended for travel to South India.

For general info on U.S. government travel recommendations, visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/travel

Is travel insurance necessary?

Travel insurance is not required, but we strongly recommend that you protect yourself with travel insurance for airfare and programme costs. Some credit cards offer protection if used to pay for your trip. You can also ask your travel agent, or check out an insurer such as TravelGuard for low cost insurance. Here’s another good place to find a travel insurance policy that will suit your needs: http://www.SquareMouth.com.

I want to do whatever I can to reduce the negative impact of my activities on our beautiful Mother Earth. How can I offset my flights’ carbon footprint?

Here are a couple of websites offering information:
CarbonFund.org
Conservation.org

I’d like to stay in touch with family and friends while I’m in Kerala. Is that reasonable to expect?

Yes — it’s easy. Rasa Ayurveda has a computer and internet access available to patient/guests.

If you can, set up a SKYPE account for yourself and each family member or friend you’d like to stay in touch with. This is a convenient and free way to connect to anyone, almost anywhere in the world. To get set up, go to SKYPE.com, download Skype and open a new account.

Many women like to use GoogleChat to share video and audio. It’s free if you have a google account.

Phone cards are also available for sale. Patient-guests at Rasa Ayurveda are welcome to use the landline with a phone card to dial any phone on the planet.

Will the food and water be clean and safe to ingest? Will I like it?

While staying at Rasa Ayurveda, tasty dishes of Ayurvedic Kerala cuisine prepared from fresh ingredients are served at every meal. Most people are delighted to discover that not all Indian food is heavy with oil and spices, but can be light and redolent with subtle flavors and lots of fresh vegetables. An amazing variety of tropical fruits are available for snacking at all times. With few exceptions, meals are wheat and dairy-free and primarily vegetarian. Fish and mutton are offered occasionally as medicinal nutrition when required for some patients. Clean, safe drinking water is always available.

Special dietary restrictions will be honored. Just let us know of any particular needs.

What about toilets? I always hear about the lack of toilet paper in India.

Have no fears! Toilet paper will be provided for you. All toilets are cleaned daily and are flushed with water. Some rooms at Rasa Ayurveda have western-style toilets. Others have Indian-style, squat toilets. Be assured that you will be comfortable with the Indian-style toilet after trying it a few times. In fact, after a few days, many find they prefer the Indian-style toilets. If you have particular needs for either type of water closet, just let us know upon registration.

Can I learn to wear a sari? What kinds of clothing are appropriate?

Sure! Depending on your treatment schedule and on “doctor’s orders,” you should have a chance to do a little shopping in town. You can select traditional clothing, such as churidar or salwar kameez, try on a housedress to wear around the clinic during treatment, and pick out a beautiful Indian sari, have the tailor in our local community stitch a sari blouse for you, and learn how to wrap and wear the feminine and graceful sari for a temple visit, photo session or other occasion if you like.

Otherwise, bring loose-fitting clothing that covers your shoulders and hips. It’s a good idea to bring a shawl as well.

I notice that Niika Quistgard, director of Rasa Ayurveda, appears on the website wearing Indian clothing and a forehead mark. Is she Hindu and is Rasa Ayurveda oriented toward Hinduism?

Everyone at Rasa Ayurveda respects, and may be affiliated with, various religions. At Rasa Ayurveda we feel that the true philosophical value of Ayurveda comes not so much from its Hindu origins, but from Ayurveda’s emphasis on understanding the relationship with one’s own true nature, and with Mother Nature. This orientation is useful and healing regardless of one’s religion.

It’s true that you will find a Hindu altar in the yoga room at Rasa Ayurveda, and Niika may sometimes teach a yoga and meditation class, lead a kirtan (devotional chanting) session, or guide patient-guests in a visit to neighborhood temples, all of which are primarily Hindu. Niika has studied Hindu philosophy and embraces Hindu ritual and devotional practices. (Niika also follows many of the traditional cultural expectations of women in the area.)

However, a beautiful aspect of the Hindu religion, correctly understood, is the validity of all forms of the Divine, and a true appreciation for the value of each person’s relationship with the Divine, regardless of the form or religion they choose. We welcome every good-hearted person to Rasa Ayurveda—whatever their beliefs—for healing and personal transformation through Ayurveda.

Will personal, one-on-one meetings with Niika Quistgard be available?
Niika meets with each patient soon after arrival, either in person or by teleconference or telephone. Depending on availability, further private sessions and group classes with Niika can be arranged.

Will I see an elephant?
It’s quite like that you will! In fact, it’s not uncommon for elephants to walk right past Rasa Ayurveda’s front gate. If you especially want to spend time with an elephant in Kerala, let us know and we will try to arrange it.

Is Rasa Ayurveda only for women?
Rasa Ayurveda is primarily dedicated to women’s health, happiness and fulfillment of personal potential. Generally, you will find only women in residence when you come to Rasa Ayurveda. Men and children are welcome to come as companions only at certain times. Please inquire by email.

Have more questions?
We’re happy to answer all your questions. Please send us an email. We’ll respond very soon!

We look forward to welcoming you to
Rasa Ayurveda Traditional Healing Centre for Women

Rasa Ayurveda is operated by MayaShakti Ayurveda Pvt. Ltd., India. MayaShakti Ayurveda is dedicated to socially-conscious and ecological business principles.