Lonavala, Maharashtra, India
6 nights
Live on Land

Ashva Ananda

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About the experience

What will I experience ?

At Ashva Ananda, your experience will center around deepening your bond with horses through engaging activities such as walking, feeding, and riding in a picturesque natural setting. These interactions are designed to enhance your connection to these gracious animals, enriching your understanding and appreciation of their nature. Additionally, the retreat offers you the chance to partake in artisanal cheesemaking, enjoy serene sessions of birdwatching, getting ayurvedic treatments and practice yoga and meditation—each activity complementing your primary experience with the horses, against a backdrop of tranquil landscapes.

Benefits of this experience

Participating in the Ashva Ananda retreat allows you to build empathy through direct interactions with horses. As you engage in activities like feeding, walking, and riding, you learn to read and respond to the horses' non-verbal cues and emotions. This enhances your ability to understand and share the feelings of another, a key aspect of empathy. The gentle and responsive nature of horses makes them perfect companions for cultivating this deep emotional connection and sensitivity.

Incorporation in daily life

Consider volunteering regularly at a local animal shelter. This ongoing interaction with animals will help maintain the empathy and connection you developed with horses. 

About the destination

Fazlani Nature's Nest, nestled in the serene hill station of Lonavala, spans 68 acres and serves as a sanctuary dedicated to holistic wellbeing. The retreat is enriched with a vibrant ecosystem, hosting a variety of animals including horses, over 200 birds, ducks, rabbits, and turkeys. It features an Ayurvedic center and offers regular yoga and meditation sessions, designed to enhance physical, mental, and emotional health. As the venue for the Ashva Ananda retreat, it provides an ideal environment for reconnecting with nature and rejuvenating the spirit.


Place of experience

Lonavala, a picturesque hill station, offers you a tranquil escape into nature, enhancing your wellbeing with its lush green landscapes and serene environment. Known for its refreshing climate and scenic views, it's a perfect setting for rejuvenation and relaxation. The natural beauty and quiet surroundings support mindfulness and stress relief, making it an ideal location for wellness retreats like Fazlani Nature's Nest. Here, you can immerse yourself in outdoor activities, meditation, and holistic therapies that capitalize on the calming effects of this peaceful locale.

Most suitable time to visit

The best time to experience the Ashva Ananda retreat at Fazlani Nature's Nest is during the monsoon and winter seasons (July to February). This period highlights Lonavala's lush greenery and pleasant weather, enhancing the overall sense of tranquility and connection with nature.

Ancient & modern provenance

Ancient texts and treatises:

Ancient text name: Mahabharata (circa 400 BCE - 400 CE)

  • Context: One of the two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India, narrating the history of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kaurava and the Pandava princes.
  • Mention of Connecting with Animals: The Mahabharata often reflects on the relationship between humans and animals, emphasizing the virtues of empathy and compassion. These narratives suggest that caring for animals can cultivate emotional understanding and resilience.

Ancient text name: Panchatantra (circa 200 BCE - 300 CE)

  • Context: A collection of animal fables in verse and prose, intended as a guide for princely education in governance and practical life.
  • Mention of Connecting with Animals: The stories demonstrate how relationships with animals can teach important life lessons, promote emotional intelligence, and enhance interpersonal skills through allegorical content.

Modern scientific researches:

Title: The Benefits of Equine-Assisted Activities: An Exploratory Study

  • Main author: Christian M. P. Holmes
  • Date of publishing: 2012
  • Abstract: This study explores the benefits of equine-assisted activities (EAA) for adolescents with emotional, behavioural, or learning difficulties using quantitative measures. A significant reduction in trait anxiety was found, although no changes in self-esteem were reported. This suggests such programs could reduce anxiety in at-risk populations.
  • Link to the paper

Title: Mental health benefits of mounted equine-assisted therapies: A scoping review

  • Main author: Jessica Ward
  • Date of publishing: 2022
  • Abstract: This scoping review explores whether mounted activities in equine-assisted therapy contribute distinct therapeutic benefits. It suggests that mounted activities positively contribute to a variety of mental health issues experienced by different client groups.
  • Link to the paper

Full plan of experience

The following schedule provides a general outline of the duration and activities aimed at facilitating the integration of the retreat's teachings into your daily life.

At the place
Lonavala, Maharashtra, India
6 nights
$3,450 / person

Experience schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Orientation

  • Morning: Arrival and check-in
  • Evening: Introductory horse session and welcome dinner

Day 2: Integration Day

  • Morning and Evening: Horse sessions
  • Afternoon: Personalized Ayurvedic consultation

Day 3: Deepening Connections

  • Morning and Evening: Horse sessions
  • Afternoon: Guided bird watching activity

Day 4: Artisanal Exploration

  • Morning: Yoga session
  • Evening: Horse session
  • Afternoon: Artisanal cheese-making workshop

Day 5: Ayurvedic Treatments

  • Morning and Evening: Horse sessions
  • Afternoon: Ayurvedic treatment session

Day 6: Reflection and Meditation

  • Morning: Guided meditation session
  • Evening: Horse session
  • Free afternoon for relaxation or optional spa treatments

Day 7: Departure

  • Morning: Final horse session and farewell breakfast
  • Afternoon: Check-out and departure

Fazlani Nature's Nest

A wellbeing sanctuary for building connection with animals

6 nights
$3,450 / person
Upcoming next:
1st week of August, Sept & Oct 2024
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