Padmakarma Yoga review
Transformational yoga & bodywork in Kerala
The Quick Read: Previously known as Yoga Shala, this simple place in Kovalam, India offers private and group yoga classes on a rooftop platform near the Light House Beach with owner Padma Nair, who fuses hatha, Iyengar and ashtanga vinyasa yoga in her teaching. Come to stay nearby for your very own retreat and combine her classes with a programme of daily Chavutti Thirummal, the distinctive Indian foot massage – you’re likely to leave a transformed person. There are no set retreats, so the length of stay is up to you, which is especially good if you are travelling without an itinerary. Come for a week, two weeks, a month or even more! There’s a simple guesthouse nearby to stay in, or Padma can help you arrange other accommodation nearby. Padma also offers 4 week Yoga Teacher Training programmes from September until April, accredited by the International Yoga Alliance.
More on Padma Nair: Padma is a native Keralan with over 30 years teaching experience, who holds a Masters degree in Philosophy as well as her impressive yoga and bodywork qualifications. Warm and funny, she’s a talented, brilliant teacher and therapist who has transformed lives – read a word from the queen on her experience with Padma.
More on Padma Nair’s yoga: Yoga is done on a roof top space, which is surrounded by palm trees just a few minutes walk from Light House Beach. There’s room for up to 30 people in each class, and guests stay close by in a choice of accommodations recommended by Padma.
Padma teaches her blend of hatha, Iyengar and ashtanga vinyasa at 7am and 4pm every day except Saturday and in English. Each session has a different focus, and Padma takes care to adapt the intensity to the individual needs of the group. Beginner or private classes can also be arranged.
More on Padma Nair’s yoga teacher training: You can also do a four-week yoga teacher training course, accredited by the International Yoga Alliance. Four weeks of training with this authentic, experienced, Indian female teacher renowned for her yoga and massage worldwide will give you a firm foundation in the basics of teaching, and the confidence to teach and propagate yoga.
More on Padma Nair’s bodywork: Padma’s signature therapy is Chavutti Thirumal, a massage given with the feet rather than the hands, and there’s also ayurvedic massage, Kalari treatments (originally designed to heal Keralan warriors!) and naturopathic healing too. Padma’s deep bodywork can iron out muscular-skeletal problems, cleanse your body of toxins and help release long-term emotional blocks. She recommends 10-14 days of yoga and Chavutti Thirumal massage to feel their combined benefits. You can also do a three-week Chavutti Thirumal massage practitioner course.
More on the accommodation: You can stay nearby in the simple Pink Flowers guesthouse below the platform, which has ensuite bathrooms, ceiling fans and balconies, with bed linen and towels are provided, or Padma can help arrange more luxurious accommodation nearby.
More on the food & drink: Eating revolves around the beach front restaurants and shops of Kovalam, which you’ll find within a few minutes walking from Padmakarma Yoga. You’ll find a good selection of vegetarian food and fresh tropical fruit (naturally including plenty of coconuts).
Fellow guests: Padmakarma Yoga brings students from all walks of life and from all over the world – here you’ll meet solo travellers, couples and friends.
What’s lowly: Not being a yoga retreat, Padmakarma Yoga may not appeal to those partial to group holidays or a resort environment.
Costs: Yoga classes cost €7 per class, €62 for 10 classes or €80 for a week pass. Chavutti Thirumal massage costs €30 for a 60 minute session, €300 for 10 75 minute sessions, or €1500 for the three week practitioner training. Pink Flowers Guesthouse costs from €16 euros per person per night for a room – other more luxurious accommodation will of course be more.
Reviewed by Rosie Watford
© Queen of Retreats