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ULPOTHA

A village in Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA - Ulpotha

Ulpotha has been a retreat site for thousands of years and remains a perfect place for a Yoga holiday or an Ayurveda retreat in the heart of Sri Lanka. It's a beautiful hide-away open to guests for holidays and retreats for part of the year and is a place of total peace. You may come here to experience Yoga holidays and Ayurveda retreats and the warm, generous and gentle hospitality the people of Sri Lanka love to offer.

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ULPOTHA

Sri Lanka, Ulpotha

A village in Sri Lanka

Ulpotha has an exciting programme of Ayurveda treatments and, by the very definition of 'holistic', possesses the ideal climate and environment for the practise of this deeply therapeutic and traditional art.

Photo: Ulpotha

ULPOTHA

Sri Lanka, Ulpotha

A village in Sri Lanka

The primary aim of Ayurveda is to balance the body’s energies and thus restore one’s health and vitality. Ulpotha is a particularly suitable place to underscore the holistic approach of Ayurveda itself.

Photo: Zuzana Zwiebel

ULPOTHA

Sri Lanka, Ulpotha

A village in Sri Lanka

Many of the world's most respected Yoga teachers come to Ulpotha. As the teachers change every fortnight, several types of yoga - usually Hatha, Sivananda, Iyengar and Astanga - are available at different times in the season.

Photo: Zuzana Zwiebel

ULPOTHA

Sri Lanka, Ulpotha

A village in Sri Lanka

What strikes you when you first arrive in Ulpotha is the physical beauty of the place as well as its extraordinary tranquillity. Environment is part of your healing proces.

Photo: Zuzana Zwiebel

ULPOTHA

Sri Lanka, Ulpotha

A village in Sri Lanka

All of the Ayurveda programmes begin with detoxification therapies, which consist of preparatory and specialized elimination treatments.

Photo: Ulpotha

ULPOTHA

Sri Lanka, Ulpotha

A village in Sri Lanka

Oleation therapies consist of: Abyanga, Angamarda Abyanga, Pattu, Shirodara, Sarvangadara, Pindasweda; administered with the intent of dislodging toxins from the body’s tissues and moving them towards the pores.

Photo: Sea Eymere

ULPOTHA

Sri Lanka, Ulpotha

A village in Sri Lanka

The specialised elimination therapies on the other hand consist of inhalation, purgation and emesis treatments among others. All of these are used to bring the body’s energies into balance.

Photo: Sea Eymere

AYURVEDA IN ULPOTHA

Ulpotha has an exciting programme of Ayurveda treatments and, by the very definition of 'holistic', possesses the ideal climate and environment for the practise of this deeply therapeutic and traditional art. 
There are seven treatment programmes on offer at Ulpotha:

  • Ashinsanaya (Benediction) – 5 days - $300
  • Sanasuma (Satisfaction) – 7 days - $400
  • Namskaraya (Salutation) – 10 days - $600
  • Abhishekaya (Coronation) – 12 days, $700
  • Aswesilla (Solace) – 14 days - $800
  • Samadhiya (Profound) – 21 days - $1,200
  • Mokshaya (Redemption)– 28 days - $1,600

Until recently, Ulpotha had offered non-specific and general native treatments such as steam and infused water baths. The main reason for the absence of Ayurveda in Ulpotha was that the founders wanted to wait until the right person crossed their path to carry out what is a very specialised therapeutic practise. When the founders of Ulpotha met Dr. Srilal Mudunkothge B.A.M.S., they realised they had found the person in whom they could place their confidence and trust to establish an Ayurveda practise in Ulpotha. They felt that his qualifications and credentials, combined with his understanding of the profound importance that a healthy and natural environment has to the process of healing, made him the ideal practitioner to introduce Ayurveda to Ulpotha. As an integral part of the arrangements made with Dr. Srilal, an Ayurveda clinic was established in August, 2005, to treat local villagers free of charge. This initiative, which includes free medicines, takes us back to the traditional way Ayurveda was dispensed, where patients rarely if ever paid in cash for the medical care they received. Instead they would make a symbolic offering of betel leaves to the doctor at the time of consultation and make their own services in kind available to the doctor.

The clinic is funded by the income generated from Ulpotha's Ayurveda treatments.

AYURVEDA TREATMENT PROGRAMMES

The primary aim of Ayurveda is to balance the body’s energies and thus restore one’s health and vitality. Ulpotha is a particularly suitable place in which to undergo Ayurvedic treatment, as the food and the environment complement the therapies and serve to underscore the holistic approach of Ayurveda itself. Subject to availability, all guests may consult Dr. Srilal, Ulpotha’s resident Ayurvedic doctor, to learn about their state of health from an Ayurvedic perspective or to simply satisfy their curiosity. This first consultation is free. If a treatment programme is desired, Dr. Srilal will prepare a personalized detoxification and rejuvenation treatment plan for each individual. Central to the drawing up of a programme is the consultation. Through this the doctor will get a sense of what imbalances are present,and which one of the seven different type of body types is involved. Once a treatment programme is chosen, the doctor will then vary the use of treatment ingredients and medicines accordingly and administer one of the therapies below: All of the Ayurveda programmes begin with detoxification therapies, which consist of preparatory and specialized elimination treatments. Preparatory treatments are called oleation and fomentation. Oleation therapies consist of the following:

  • Abyanga: Oil application for the first layer of the body
  • Angamarda Abyanga: A deeper oil application for the second layer of the body
  • Pattu: Application of a detoxifying herbal paste on the body – though this does not involve oil, it is an important step in the process of opening the pores of the body to facilitate detoxification
  • Shirodara: Dripping of oil on the third eye to detoxify, relax and still the mind
  • Sarvangadara: Involves the dripping of oil on the whole body
  • Pindasweda: Application of oil with a milk rice poultice

All of the above oleation therapies are administered with the intent of dislodging toxins from the body’s tissues and moving them towards the pores. These toxins are extracted through the fomentation therapies, which consist in turn of herbal baths, steam baths and herbal saunas.

ELIMINATION THERAPIES  

The specialised elimination therapies on the other hand consist of inhalation, purgation and emesis treatments among others. All of these are used to bring the body’s energies into balance, though not all of them will be necessary in all cases. Once a balance is achieved, nourishing therapies are administered to maintain that balance. These rejuvenation treatments consist of traditional Aayurvedic oral remedies using organic ingredients. In order to experience all of the prepatory and elimination treatments, it is necessary to choose the Namaskaraya (10 day) or longer programme. On your arrival in Ulpotha you will be introduced to Dr. Srilal, who can book you in for a free consultation. Depending on whether you have pre-booked a programme or, if not, your suitability for treatment and availability, he will administer the programme length of your choice and/or needs. Please note that you need to be in Ulpotha for at least two days before starting an Ayurveda treatment if you have arrived directly from overseas.

WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT

All treatments, regardless of the personalized elements of a treatment that stem from a personal consultation, contain preparatory and elimination therapies. The preparatory therapies are the ones everyone likes and most Ayurveda is known for - massages, oil applications, steam baths, saunas and herbal baths. Elimination therapies on the other hand, are the ones that some - if not most - people will find a little bit more challenging to accept. They consist of what is more commonly known as Panchakarma (ie. the five specialized elimination therapies): inhalation, purgation, emesis (vomiting), enemas and blood-letting. The latter three are very rarely carried out in Ulpotha. If a treatment is short in length, say the five day Ashinsanaya or one week Sanasuma programmes, then you only have enough time for preparatory treatments that would support inhalation as an elimination therapy. If you have time for the ten day Namaskaraya, 12 day Abhishekaya or two week Samadhiya programmes, then you can also undergo purgation. However, the consultation is critical to determine which of the elimination therapies are required. If someone is particularly weak, then they will be subject to much more of the preparatory treatments and very little of the elimination therapies regardless of how long a programme they have chosen. In other words, while you need to be on a long programme to undergo elimination therapies, it's not necessarily the case that you will definitely be subject to them. For the one week long Sanasuma (Satisfaction) and ten day Namaskaraya (Salutation) programmes, guests will receive treatments every day. Each day will consist of roughly two hours of treatments. The 12 day Abhishekaya and two week long Aswesilla (Solace) programmes will have one or two rest days, while the three week long Samadhiya (Profound) programme will have two or three rest days and the four week Mokshaya (Redemption) programme will have three or four rest days. If we take an example of the Sanasuma treatment, which is administered over the course of seven days, the first day will consist of a full head and face and body massage oil application, called Abyanga (a superficial tissue, or relaxing oil application that soothes the first layer of the body) followed by a herbal bath.

  • Guests will also be given appropriate remedies to take, starting the first day for each day of their treatment - these remedies are meant to facilitate the treatments being received.
  • The second day may consist of intensive, deep tissue oil application that is meant to penetrate to the second layer of the body, which is called Angamarda Abyanga (no head and face) followed by a sauna or steam bath.
  • The third day will consist of a relaxing body oil application massage followed by Sshirodara oil application on the forehead and head.
  • The fourth day will consist of an inhalation therapy accompanied by a head and face oil application and a face steam.
  • The fifth day will be a Sarvangadara oil treatment (from a layman's terms, this is a Shirodara but one for the whole body) followed by a steam bath.
  • The sixth day will be a full body body massage oil application carried out using poultices made of a special milk rice consisting of medicinal decoctions followed by a warm water bath.
  • The seventh day is a herbal facial treatment consisting of cleansing scrub, face steam, massage and herbal pack.

Treatments will be scheduled either in the morning or in the afternoon. Guests will have the rest of each day to hang out and do other things, including the optional yoga classes. Guests having treatment will be able to attend at least one yoga class a day. Sometimes they may prefer to just relax after treatments which is fine. The doctor says the more relaxing the yoga the better, which means Ashtanga yoga would be better avoided.

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