Anne-Marie is a highly qualified and experienced teacher (initially a secondary school teacher). She subsequently trained as a health education tutor, working in G.P practice with referred patients and later as an RSA YMCA exercise to music teacher Pilates and yoga teacher. Anne-Marie is committed to developing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being and is a certified "Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga" teacher with the world renowned Chopra Centre for Well Being, California.
James spent over five years of study and training in India from 2007 to 2012. He is a Sivananda Hatha yoga and Ashtanga yoga teacher, as well as a Pilates teacher, Ayurvedic massage therapist, and a Reiki master. James provides in-depth teaching of all aspects of yoga and its underlying philosophy. He has sound understanding of Pilates and physiology with 10 years of experience in Pilates and appeared in Anne-Marie's DVD "Pilates on the Ball". James has a keen interest in sports, travel, and music, and is a grade eight pianist and also plays the guitar and djembe drum.
Chris helps host the retreats. He is a great cook and helps prepare the amazing Ayurvedic food, some of which comes from the Chopra Centre cookbook. He is also involved in men’s retreat work and is a psychotherapist at Regent’s. Chris is also a Tai Chi teacher which he is always happy to demonstrate and will teach a class if requested.
Kelly-Anne is a passionate, knowledgeable and very experienced spa and holistic professional. Trained in London with 13 years' experience as Press Therapist, trainer and manger of five-star spas, she offers a wide range of reconnecting and recharging therapies, including Ayurvedic treatments that are recommended in Ayurveda as part of the treatment strategy, while her chakra balancing treatments perfectly enhance the experience on the Chakra Tantra retreat.
from United States, August 2017
La retraite s'est très bien déroulée. En tant que débutante, j'ai rencontré des personnes à l'écoute, disponibles et patientes. Ils m'ont transmis l'envie d'aller plus loin, de continuer cette démarche philosophique. La durée de la retraite était idéale car les activités prennent beaucoup d'énergie. Je recommande vivement ce stage. Un moment hors du temps.
Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing website
I just want to thank you for a wonderful weekend retreat, I found it really uplifting and inspiring. It has given me some good foundations to work with to not only improve my health but also the inspiration to make changes in my life.
Thank you for welcoming us into your home, what you do at the centre is truly amazing and beneficial to so many.
Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing
Having just returned from a weekend at The Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing I can't recommend the retreats here enough. Anne-Marie, James and Chris were so warm, welcoming and knowledgeable in yoga and meditation techniques and the Ayurvedic lifestyle in general. A fantastic start to the New Year; I learned so much more than I'd hoped, alongside a group of really lovely and interesting people. I shall definitely be back to learn more, either to another retreat in Harrogate or to experience the retreat in Kerala!
Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing
I have just returned from a two week retreat with Anne-Marie to Kerala in Southern India. We were due to spend a week at Ahimsa Garden Retreats and a week at the Turtle Beach Hotel but in fact ended up staying 11 nights at Ahimsa with three very relaxing days at the lovely Turtle Beach at the end. Ahimsa is the brainchild of Dr Daisy Kuchinad who founded the retreat centre with her husband in 2013 to preserve nearly 400 species of Ayurvedic medicinal plants including rare and endangered species. Although Daisy is a doctor trained in conventional western medicine, she was drawn to learn more about Ayurveda after a member of her family became seriously ill a few years ago and her quest is to holistically combine the best of both medical systems to ensure that the body is kept in balance.
Upon arrival, you have a consultation with Dr Nair, the consultant Ayurvedic doctor, who assesses what treatments will be beneficial to balance your body. Each day began with meditation and yoga in one of the two beautiful indoor yoga studios which are positioned high up to make the most of the panoramic views over the treetops. What a stunning experience it was to do Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation) to the backdrop of the most spectacular sunrises.
The daily Ayurvedic treatment followed, the like of which I’ve never experienced before. Two young ladies (male therapist for the men) worked on your body for up to two hours with a variety of ayurvedic massage techniques which included warm oils and hot herbal poultices. The massage was like a carefully choreographed dance as they both worked in complete unison on each side of your body and I was interested to hear that their intense training takes them a year to complete. I was lucky enough to experience the sublime Shirodhara for my last three days of treatment which involved hot oils being drizzled backwards and forwards across your forehead – absolute bliss! Where time allowed, we also incorporated a late afternoon meditation and yoga practice into our day.
The vegetarian food at Ahimsa is delightful and freshly cooked using many ingredients which are grown in the garden and the spice level can be adapted to suit your taste.
The stay also included a number of trips including a cruise on the backwaters on a houseboat accompanied by Indian classical music, a visit to a local convent, orphanage and old people’s home, a display of traditional Indian dance and a demonstration of an Indian martial art based on yoga called Kalaripayattu which had me astounded at the strength, agility and flexibility of the students. Given everything that is included in the retreat, I do think it represents excellent value for money.
One of the most important aspects of the stay at Ahimsa for me was the time which Daisy devoted to spending with us. It was like having your own personal tour guide and I learnt so much from her about the life and culture of India as well as benefiting from her wisdom on anything and everything over some lively dinner conversations! She is a truly visionary lady and I can’t help but think if there were more people like her, then the world would be a much better place.
It’s hard to describe just what a magical and inspirational place Ahimsa is. I went on the retreat to the Maldives last year and whilst I had a wonderful time, the experience at Ahimsa was in a different league for me. The experience has truly nourished my heart and soul and I didn’t want to leave. For anyone who may be considering whether to go to Ahimsa and a little unsure, I’d urge you to just do it. I know you won’t regret it and I for one will be back.
Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing
I highly recommend the retreads offered by the Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing. The Ahisma Garden Retreat in Kerala has been amazing! What a little gem! I have tried various treatments and therapies around the world over the years - in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, etc. but Ayurvedic treatment is in a league of its own.
It is possible to visit an Ayurvedic centre after chemotherapy and radiation to restore the immune systems; it is unique and highly effective. Dr Daisy Kuchinad, the founder of Ahimsa, knows only too well as her own beloved son had Cancer aged only 20. A physician based in the US, she researched the planet to find someone to help her son and found Dr Nair. He is a top Ayurvedic doctor based in Kerala. There is something very special about this man; his intuition is incredible - he truly has a sixth sense. He treats patients with panchakarma, Ayurveda's premier mind-body healing treatment; a unique programme of deep cleansing, purification rejuvenation to detoxify the mind and body, strengthen the immune system and restore balance.
I genuinely feel different after a week of treatments - plus the added bonus of looking younger with less cellulite! Daisy has set up a lovely, homely villa with beautiful tropical gardens in which she is conserving rare Ayurvedic plants and the most incredible yoga studios with wooden floors restored from ancient temples, set at tree level amidst the Indian jungle.
In accordance with panchakarma, Daisy's wonderful staff serve delicious, organic, mainly home-grown, Ayurvedic, vegetarian food to cleanse the body for the duration of your stay.
There is time to relax and recharge and time to experience the amazing Indian culture with a boat trip on the stunning backwaters, live traditional Indian music and dance, a visit to a Hindu temple and an Indian yoga and Kalaripait martial arts' show.
This has been a trip of a lifetime! It is life changing! I truly feel that Ayurveda is a lifestyle to be as healthy as possible in a non- aggressive way, one that I intend to continue to follow. I now feel that annual Ayurvedic treatments are key for today's busy life in the West. I think I would have burned out and become seriously ill if I had not taken the time to heal myself and it is an ongoing, lifelong healing process. The combination of East meeting West with a top conventional doctor and top Ayurvedic doctor means you are in the safest of hands with the best advice from both schools of thought. Ahimsa is not only an Ayurvedic retreat but also a yoga retreat, with our own highly experienced, international teacher - Anne-Marie Burford leading the yoga
At meal times, Dr Kuchinad leads inspiring discussions, putting the world to rights, including chats about Ayurveda, modern medicine, philosophy, yoga and praynama, to name a few.
I have learned a lot; I feel enlightened, inspired and extreme positive! All this for a very reasonable price. I am so grateful and I shall be back!
Yorkshire Centre for Wellbeing
This retreat was a unique experience. Arriving at Ahimsa we were given a most warm welcome from the staff and were truly made to feel at home. Dr Daisy Kuchinad is a warm, passionate and very funny lady who goes out of her way to give her guests the best of experiences. The aim of the retreat is ultimately to cover the costs of the garden that Dr Kuchinad has created, trying to save endangered plants and medicinal herbs while giving her guests the best traditional Ayurvedic treatments available. There are two magnificent yoga studios. Each studio is at tree top height affording beautiful views. Our morning meditation and yoga practice was enhanced by bird song and music from a nearby temple while watching the sunrise. The delicious home made food was made from organic fruits and vegetables from the garden. The lovely staff were prepared to make us our favourites. The Pranchakarma treatments are prescribed according to our constitutional type and individual problems. Treatments are performed by professional therapists who I found to be charming and caring. Cultural experiences were organised for us either in house or by arranged visits. We enjoyed traditional music, dance and martial arts and a fantastic Back Water house boat trip. Panchakarma and yoga were the main reason for my visit but I experienced so much more. We all left visibly rejuvenated in appearance and also in body and mind. I can't wait to return.