All the Action from the Ahimsa Retreat in Mumbai, this June

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On a crisp Saturday afternoon, we set out to the Ahimsa Retreat, held at a location far from the hustle and bustle of Mumbai. We loved that this doubled up to also be a great road trip! Keshav Srishti, located at Uttan is a beautiful resort with greenery all around. The peace and silence we felt around us there was truly energising and rejuvenating.

The retreat kicked off with a simple and delicious breakfast, followed by a few really interesting talks.

Ruchika Chitrabhanu spoke to us about how to lead a life filled with compassion and love, followed by Monica Chopra throwing light on sustainable fashion and how to follow a conscious, wholesome lifestyle.

Dr. Rupa Shah took us through dairy myths and busted them in her graceful way of highlighting facts. Through a presentation and visuals, we were taken step by step as to how dairy harms us and our body, as well as the environment.

After a quick coconut milk-tea, we assembled together to listen to the inspirational Venkataram from YouTooCanRun, a runner and athlete who aces half marathons. It is really remarkable that he accomplished all this after his open heart surgery! This was followed by Pradeep Shah, who spoke about the diet of nature and how the food cycle works. Atul Ambavat took it on from there to educate us about connecting with the environment in every way possible.

Fun fact: We really appreciate the fact that most of these lectures were in regional languages, which made it easier for everybody to comprehend.

The food at the retreat was so light on the stomach, yet incredibly delicious. The best part? We didn’t have to worry about asking “does this have cream or butter?”. Everything was plant based!

The entire group was divided into 4-5 groups, each headed by a mentor. We split into groups and began the activity by writing a love letter to ourselves. This paved way for smaller discussions where each of us had a chance to talk about their journey to living a compassionate life.

The next segment was super interesting! We had an informative and eye-opening talk by Reyna Rupani, followed by a cooking demo by Rose, both representing the ever-inspiring SHARAN. Here we learnt how to make milk, butter and curd.

The day’s speeches ended with Harish-ji, the man behind the delicious Aharveda thaali served at Golden Chariot. His powerful speech contained bits of spirituality, humour, personal anecdotes from the restaurant as well as a lot of helpful life gyaan.

We split for dinner, played a few games, danced around for a while, and then hit the sack.

The next day started pretty early with an energising yoga session with Nikita Solanki, who kept us absolutely focused. What a way to begin the day!

We regrouped with the mentors again for a brief session.

After another hearty breakfast, Shri Sunil Ramamurthy enlightened us with spirituality and the effects it has on our lives today and how ahimsa has a direct link to this.

Dr.Rashmi Menon took the stage to talk about what she does best - heal people through ahimsa. How it’s entirely possible to reverse diseases too. The stories she shared were as vibrant as the person she is! We also had the opportunity to hear the wonderful story of Dr.Harshad Parekh - he’s been vegan for 27 years now. He reversed a fatal kidney malfunction purely with diet and a positive mindset - so Inspiring.

We also spent time taking walks outdoors, cycling, socialising and sharing stories. There were so many stories to be shared and heard. We just couldn’t get enough.

Rohini Fernandes, a fabulous animal communicator wow-ed us with her experiences talking to animals and shared the power of telepathic communication. We’re still stunned by this!

Kuntal Joisher - the first vegan to summit Mt. Everest showed us snippets of his climb, and needless to say, he’s a living example of exemplary fitness through a plant-based diet. We feel so motivated!

Mr.Atul Doshi lead us with his words to a beautiful wonderland where only ahimsa was followed. That feeling was priceless!

Many goodbyes and hugs later, we left the retreat and returned to reality. Kudos to Ahimsa Parmo Dharma was organising something so wonderful that provided a much needed break as well as a lot of education through a retreat.

We hope for many more of these retreats in the future across the country!

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