GUEST COMMENTS

I visited Ashtanga Nirvrta this past March and words cannot describe what a great experience it was!  When we drove up Philippa and Mahesh greeted us with big hugs and from that moment on, it felt like I was staying at a home away from home.   The estate is a little piece of heaven, located in a remote area surrounded by coffee plants and untamed nature, the perfect place to connect with all aspects of the Ashtanga yoga practice.   This beautiful scenery is made even more enjoyable when accompanied by an amazing meal created by Mahesh himself.  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so well or so much!!!  (It’s totally OK to over indulge a bit in the tasty food, because in the morning you know you’re going to get your butt kicked by Philippa!  That woman doesn’t miss a thing!)   Which brings me to the best part of the retreat, yoga with Philippa, whom I can’t thank enough.  In two short weeks my practice changed so much, working out bad habits, finding new ways to strengthen and open, focusing on proper alignment, and most of all being reminded that yoga goes beyond asana.  I was given a chance to reconnect with myself and my practice and for that I’m very grateful.  Philippa your love and commitment to the practice is truly inspiring and I strive to bring that kind of joy with me to my mat every day.  You are doing a beautiful job carrying on Guruji’s legacy.  Thanks again to Philippa and Mahesh, I will definitely be returning!  
– Breanna Baranec, Canada
The two weeks at Ashtanga Nirvrta were absolute bliss for me. Philippa and Mahesh have created a little piece of heaven in South India. The location is absolutely stunning surrounded by coffee plantations, bush and birds. I never tired of sitting outside enjoying the view in the sunshine. Everyday I was treated to the most amazing sattvic South Indian cooking. It’s worth the trip just for the food. Then of course there is Philippa, who is a very experienced and highly knowledgeable Ashtanga yoga teacher. She is incredibly passionate about the practice and beautifully honours the integrity of Guruji’s teachings. The whole experience was an absolute delight and I am looking forward to the next trip already. 
– Nea Ferrier, Australia
My time at Nirvrta was very special. Special because it was authentic.  Authenticity today is hard to find.  Nirvrta is just as you describe it on the website, as you hoped it would be.  Philippa and Mahesh have achieved what they set out to do – which is quite amazing in itself.  The buildings, the interiors, the found and collected objects, the food, the shala space, the garden, the outdoor kitchen, the surrounding landscape, the nearby village neighbours – all honest and interesting.  There is no pretence, no special frills or performance.  The space is open, comfortable and welcoming.  Philippa – your rigorous approach, professionalism, in depth knowledge and admiration for the Ashtanga system made it a privilege to spend two weeks in a small group under your guidance.  “Hands, feet, try again … Execute the perfect alignment of tristhana and the posture will reveal itself.”  Importantly your kindness and respect for all of us individually, both in the Shala and out, was a humbling experience.  I hope you have many many years of pleasure and joy from what you have created at Nirvrta.
– Janis Baskind, South Africa
My experience at Nirvrta has been exceptional in many ways. I was looking for a break from my busy life and at the same time, improve my yoga practice. Here I found a highly professionally-run homestay. The accommodation is perfect and the food fantastic. Mahesh runs the retreat in an impeccable manner. However … the yoga experience is the highlight! Philippa’s knowledge and ability to teach is truly impressive and I feel honoured to be able to learn from her. I will treasure this memory and apply what I have earned to my everyday practice. Precious, precious experience – thanks!
– Francesca Pellicano, Italy
I arrived feeling like a rather grey elephant and after two weeks at Nirvrta I feel lighter, with a spring in my step and my head held higher. I’ve learned so much from you Philippa. You not only know about the practice, but also how it applies and works for others and most importantly how to help them to find the practice for themselves. I watched a really great midwife work with different women, having really different birth experiences, in different ways. She truly worked to empower the women to find the strength within themselves to give birth. What you do in teaching Ashtanga is very similar – it maybe releasing a muscle, or making a muscle work; it maybe releasing an emotion long-held, or accessing an emotion that gives the courage or strength to go further, deeper and unlock more. It worked for me and I know how hard you’ve worked these last two weeks for our group and over the years to understand people and to create a joyful space where you can work your magic. It takes dedication and commitment, thank you!!! Mahesh, your vision and hard work in creating this space and providing the wonderful nourishing food has made life more colourful and beautiful. Thank you too!!
– Hilary Booth, UK
I spent the most wonderful two weeks with Philippa and Mahesh at their idyllic homestay NIRVRTA. They have created something truly homely and charming. It is difficult to pin down what I liked most as there was such an effortless perfection to the set up and all our activities were orchestrated with such ease and in such a carefree environment. Philippa, thank you so much for the dedication, patience, perseverance and kindness that you have shown us in your teaching. Mahesh, a big thank you for the masterful cooking you spoiled us with every day. And who could forget all the laughs we shared over our meals? Anyone whose main focus is Ashtanga taught in the traditional way and with a lot of personal attention, this is the place to be!
– Katerina Peskova, Czech Republic
Nirvrta was my first trip to India. As a yogi who has taken practice as part of life for a few years, I had a lot of questions. I was curious as to why putting legs behind the head would bring peace to my mind. Above all, what I was looking for most, was a break from the fast-paced life I have always lived. I’m delighted to tell you why I found it all here… The teacher:  Yoga retreats can’t be a good, without a good teacher. Having heard that Philippa is one of the top teachers, spending two weeks with her I could simply see why…She is a gifted teacher. In our group we all have different levels of practice experience, age and various types of bodies. Philippa was able to tailor-make the practice to suit each of us as individuals. We were made aware of our body types, and how to work with what we have to its best. Philippa’s teaching through my eyes, is to simplify the intensive practice to suit our lifestyles. The place:  Two weeks at Nirvrta acts as a detox for everything I have ever known. Located in a small village away from the city, each morning I was awakened by the sound of birds chirping. I would either start the day having my coffee enjoying the breeze until the morning practice starts, or I would walk up the small hill for a mountain view covered in greens. Three words to sum up the place: Simple, beautiful and soul-soothing. The food:  I never thought that raw, organic, vegan food could taste this great. Using local ingredients, Mahesh was the person behind all the freshly made food and the dishes were all absolutely delicious! Two weeks of the retreat went by with lots of laughter, intensive practice, great food, fun and relaxed people. I notice a lot of changes within myself, both physically and mentally. Definitely a highly recommended place to be. 

– Nattanuch Plakornkul, Thailand
I have had such a wonderful time at Nirvrta and I am deeply grateful for this amazing experience. I have learned so much from you Philippa – you have opened a new level in my Ashtanga Practice (physically and mentally) – thank you so much!!
– Nina Servatius, Germany
I really appreciated my time working with you Philippa, such an amazing teacher with so many tricks and tips 🙂
– Andrea Gutierrez, USA
Spending two wonderful and unforgettable weeks at Philippa and Mahesh’s retreat was a great blessing for me. From the moment I arrived I had this feeling that I’m in good hands and being taken care of. Philippa is an amazing teacher who loves to teach and share her knowledge with others with love and generosity. She helped me in a perfect way to get rid of the injury I made a year before when I was doing my self-practice. She made me confident again and believe in my ability to do my daily practice, with right alignment in order to avoid injury.  Food, rooms and atmosphere are perfect and feel like home. I just can’t wait to attend my next retreat. Thank you Philippa and Mahesh for creating such a lovely space and for sharing it with all of us.
– Arezoo Bayat, Iran
Upon arrival Philippa and Mahesh made me feel so welcome. They are the perfect hosts, introducing our group and encouraging conversation until friendships were grown. “Nirvrta” is an absolute haven with such beauty. I will miss this peaceful country retreat. The food is amazing – Mahesh’s passion for creating delicious food at every meal is a special treat. As for the yoga, Philippa’s friendly character shone through in her teaching. She is kind and encouraging, but the toughest teacher ever! Try and try again until you get it – my new mantra! Philippa has helped me so much with my practice – every posture has improved. She has boosted my confidence, taught us perseverance and broadened our minds with yoga, way beyond the asanas. It has been hard work and unbelievably rewarding. Thank you Philippa and Mahesh for a wonderful two weeks, which I will never forget.
– Jenny Laycock, Australia
I’ve been on numerous yoga retreats, holidays and workshops, but the two weeks spent at NIRVRTA with Philippa and Mahesh, are by far the best. 
Jane Donaldson, New Zealand
Yoga: I feel blessed to have Philippa Asher as my Ashtanga yoga teacher. She is born to teach, to share her knowledge with love. Her teaching is about quality and focuses on right, perfect alignment and in this way you never injure yourself. She always corrects you with a smiley face and positive energy and never gets angry or exhausted doing it. She loves to teach. She is an amazing, generous, motivational, inspirational, ecstatic teacher who knows the limit of her students and that’s incredible. Sharing her experience along with historical and philosophical talks on yoga, on top of the hill is a great idea. Sometimes she’ll ask you a question that you don’t know the answer to, yet manages to get you to answer it. WOW! Meditation at the time of sunset helps to make sense of everything in life. Thank you my dear teacher.  Homestay: To be here for two weeks is a homely feeling, with home-cooked healthy, appetising, aromatic, delicious South Indian food. Pure fresh unlimited coffee, tea and chocolates for those who love it. Thank you Mahesh and cooking team. After brunch you can rest, read books, play bowls or games like Monopoly and after dinner watch documentaries or feature films. Day off is a trip around Sakleshpur (Kadamane Tea Estate, Manjarabad Fort). The climate is wonderful. It is a heavenly experience surrounded by nature where there are trees, mountains, birds, flowers and unknown creatures everywhere. Sounds of nature and twittering in the morning, the chirps and whirs at night. The homestay experience is only possible through the tireless job of Mahesh. He works so hard to make it feel like home for the guests. Thank You Mahesh!
– Narendra Kumar, Delhi
Thank you Philippa for having opened the door to your house, heart and knowledge of Ashtanga yoga. I will keep a wonderful memory of you and I  thank you for your patience. You are undoubtedly a great teacher. So I’m very lucky to have crossed your path.
– Peggy Baudelle, Corsica
Absolutely incredible location.  Well done on finding this gem of land.  I have been on several retreats, but this is by far the most memorable.  The house is magical and we were made to feel at home as soon was we arrived.  The food is out of this world.  Thank you to the lovely ladies and Mahesh, who fed us like royalty for the last two weeks.  We have been spoiled!  As for the yoga, I cannot thank Philippa enough for being such an awesome teacher.  I have learned more than I imagined possible in such a short time.  Every morning I shall hear “straighten your arms, use your inner thighs” as I practise at my home shala in Dubai.  You are a born teacher with a passion for the ‘real’ yoga and keeping true to the tradition (which is super hard to find), so I will be ever grateful for the past two weeks.  You also gave me a kick up the arse, which was needed!  Mahesh and Philippa you have both been outstanding hosts.  I honestly could not have had a better time.  As soon as I know my holiday entitlement for next year, I’ll be back again to practise with you in 2017.  Thank you both for everything!
– Jessica Hellin, Dubai
If you’re reading this far down the comments page, maybe you’re still deciding whether to go or not go on this retreat. Why? You Go!!! There’s no decision to be made when you can immerse yourself in an idyllic safe setting; receive amazing individual tutelage (whatever level your practice); be nourished with delicious foods and leave feeling spiritually light and body refreshed. You Go! Like me, you’ll look forward to going back!!  thanks again for a wonderful experience!
– Debbie Jenkins, UK
Phil, thank you for the yoga teachings.  A door has opened for me, I feel more deeply connected with myself and my body, another layer has been revealed. I am so happy to have so much to work on until we meet again and that it feels such a natural path to walk upon. Mahesh, thank you for organising so much for us. The visit to the temples was beautiful and so much fun. Thank you for adding happiness logs on our fire every day, for the belly laughs, the wit, the spices, the photos and of course the amazing food. My head is full of bird songs, warmth, laughter, delicious smells, yoga thoughts, walks, contentment and calmness. My imagination is running wild as unleashed, fully inspired by the wonderful homestay you both have created and the kindness you have showed us all. The settings are truly magical.
– Caroline Gurney, France
It was a very pleasant experience to spend two weeks at Ashtanga Nirvrta.  Philippa and Mahesh were very warm and welcoming and treated their guests like long-time close friends and family.  Philippa is a wonderful teacher, very knowledgeable and skillful.  Her insights of the practice are great and I just adore how she uses the practice based on how Guruji taught her.  The location of Ashtanga Nirvrta is perfect. It is everything that I expected it to be: away from city life, quiet, serene, peaceful and relaxing.  I love that it is far from regular life, but still has homely comforts. The food is phenomenal. The local Indian ladies who prepare the food are the best.  The food I ate during my two weeks stay is probably the best food I have ever had. Everything about my experience at Ashtanga Nirvrta is just awesome.
– Lloyd Anthony Arandia, Philippines
Ashtanga Nirvrta is a fabulous experience.  The location is beautiful – no wonder it took them so long to find.  The weather was great and the sights and sounds of the jungle surround you all the time.  The yoga is exceptional, the workshops are deeply moving.  Our class size was small, so it was as if we each had a private 1-2-1 lesson each day for 2 weeks.  There is nowhere to hide from Philippa’s eye, she sees everything and adjusts and assists your postures.  I learned more in two weeks than I would have done in years of led classes back home.  When I got back to my usual classes everyone was amazed at how much I had improved.  The food is all freshly prepared and vegan, it was a constant surprise and delight.  Thank you both so much for my time at Nirvrta.
– Tim Goldsmith, UK
Ashtanga Nirvrta’s location is the perfect combination of nature, tranquility, calm and Eden and is an amazing place to escape to.  The home-cooked food is unbelievable and the local women’s attention to detail in their cooking, flower and rangoli decorations, teach you so much about this amazing culture and country.  Philippa and Mahesh are absolutely impeccable hosts, who make you feel as though Ashtanga Nirvrta is your home.  They open their outstanding homestay and share with you priceless moments.  Philippa’s love and knowledge of yoga is so powerful.  She has taught us with passion and I will always keep in my mind, her sound advice. Thanks for everything and see you soon.
– Francesca Bompani, Italy
Philippa is a wonderful wonderful teacher and we feel super lucky to have met her! The homestay was a truly special experience – Thank you Philippa and Mahesh for sharing your home with us and taking such good care of us! A beautiful idyllic spot in Karnataka, amazing home cooked food, and lots of chats and laughs:) We had such a lovely time that we’ve already booked our next stay them. Can’t think of a better place to practise yoga – counting the days till we go back – we’ve been searching for a place in India like this for years ! Thank you Ashtanga Nivrtra’
– Urvashi Aneja & Avinash Kumar, Goa
I came to Ashtanga Nirvrta to relax from working way too hard and to get back into my practice. It seems I got way more than I could hope for… In no particular order: Practicing with Philippa is amazing! Having someone with her experience and presence giving you this personal attention is unique. I learned so much in just two weeks! Philippa and Mahesh are the perfect hosts. They make you feel truly welcome in their home & there is a limitless supply of great coffee and good conversation. Three local women cook healthy vegan meals every day, all fresh, all locally grown, all super yummy and traditional cuisine! The surroundings are beautiful and quiet, very rural, offering great walks in between classes. Philosophy lectures on top of a hill are the best idea ever! All in all, I had a great time and truly did not want to leave!
– Darja Tjioe, Holland
Thank you both for being such amazing hosts and for such an incredibly unforgettable journey into the jungle and on my mat! I feel so honoured to have practiced with you Philippa – I’m really grateful for your direction – my practice has taken a new fuller, more fulfilling dimension under your guidance.
– Uossy Atytalla, Egypt
I was lucky to be part of your retreat. Thanks for your guidance for taking me miles ahead and deep in my practice. And heartfelt thanks for your warm hospitality. Looking forward to join next year’s retreat…😊 Namaste
– Lavanya Alney, Hyderabad
For Philippa’s anecdotal account of moving to India to build a yoga retreat CLICK HERE