After a stretched stay of summer, finally, monsoon is upon us. Season has changed, it has become cooler, nicer and started becoming greener. After June 21, which is a longest day(and also as recently announced International Yoga Day), the days started becoming smaller, bit by bit. Everyone was waiting for this change in weather. For us living in Pune, one of the first things to do when it starts raining is to visit Lonavala and Khandala. This British era hill-station and vicinity is famous for monsoon magic it offers. The whole area literally gets wrapped in the clouds, it does not rain there, but it pours. Wherever you take your sight, you will see waterfalls running down from the top of the mountains.
I also happened to travel to Lonavala, but for attending Purva Mimamsa(Indian Hermenutics) workshop at Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute. Lonavala and Khandala area is famous for various yoga, Ayurveda, naturopathy setups where people come to avail path of spirituality, rejuvenation, relaxation etc. Manashakti, Vedanta Academy, Balaji Tambe’s AtmaSantulan, and many more. I came to know about Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute when they had arranged international yoga conference in 2012. To my surprise, this institute has been there for almost a century now.
Kaivalyadham has a ashram(hermitage) in Lonavala. This campus is spread over 180 acres and is certainly impressive in the weather of Lonvala, especially in monsoon season. It was founded by Swami Kuvalyananda. Apart from traditional yoga training, Ayurvedic medicines based treatment and various camps related to spirituality topics, they also have research center for yoga. That interested me more. After a bit of googling on Swami Kuvalyananda, I learnt that he was passionate about research on yoga, and he started journal Yoga Mimamsa almost 70-80 years ago. The research center focus on philosophic-religious issues in yoga. I was in the campus for couple of days, and most of the time occupied with my own course. The food served during our course, was simple vegetarian meals. They did not serve regular Indian tea, instead they served herbal team with no milk and sugar. It is usually prepared with lots of spices and medicinal plants such as basil, lemon grass etc. For sweet taste, they provided honey as an option. I found it very refreshing during rainy season. As mentioned earlier on this blog, I like to experiment with my morning tea, this will be surely added to it.
I did not have enough of this place during my last visit, and I am surely going to visit them again, for longer stay. One for taking some residential yoga courses and another for taking a deep dive into their research corpus on the field of philosophy of yoga.