2019 Summer Retreat

Yoga, Meditation & Brain Health

A retreat for people with neurologic disease or injury

June 30 - July 3, 2019
Ananda Ashram, Monroe NY

An experiential program focused on lifestlye &  mind-body therapies as treatment for neurologic disorders.

Suitable for those with Parkinson’s disease, mild cognitive impairment, migraine, or brain injury. 

About the retreat

This intimate retreat offers personalized yoga, meditation, and biofeedback instruction combined with preventive brain health education.  The program includes workshops & group discussions, cooking demonstrations, health coaching, and nightly sound healing. 

Retreat faculty: 

Sarah Mulukutla, MD MPH Neurologist and Founder, Mindful Neurology PLLC
Judy Benjamin, PhD - Health Coach and Yoga Teacher
Marion Jackson - Yoga teacher and sound healer

Join us to experience the peace and transformative insights
of daily contemplative practice.
Leave inspired to make meaningful lifestyle changes at home


Program Tuition: $850

Lodging:  $240 – $500 per person

Rates discounted when registering with a companion.  Commuter & Daily Rate available. Inquire for reduced fee options. 

Call to register: 516-884-2442

The 4 day program:

Day 1:  Arrive Sunday afternoon by 3pm for orientation and arrival yoga class. Dinner + evening program to follow. 

Day 2:  Combination of:

 Mind-body practice  – conscious breathing, yoga postures,  yogic sleep, meditation , etc

Brain-healthy lifestyle strategies – Nutrition coaching/demos, healthy sleep habits, health planning, discussion & learning with community.

Day 3:  Similar to day 2,  more relaxed and settled. 

Day 4:  Reflection and prepare for transition back home.  Document health priorities and concrete plan for achieving your goals. Program concludes after lunch.

Why retreat?

An overnight retreat is an opportunity to take deep rest, gain new perspective, and enjoy a few restorative days. The process of “stepping away from our daily lives” is extremely healthy for our brains for the following reasons. 

Did you know that each of us have a “Default Mode Network (DMN)” operating in our brains?  DMN is a technical term referring to the group of brain regions that cooperate to perform daily tasks and inter-personal relations. The patterns become efficient over time as the brain creates dense connections between various parts of our brain – known as neural networks.

When we work ourselves to exhaustion, it is the DMN that becomes most stressed. Without proper sleep or rest, the brain cannot clean out waste products, and we lose creativity and flexibility – the ability to jump in and out of health brain states. 

When we take time for rest, and work to quiet our persistent thoughts, our brain can achieve metabolic maintenance and also gains new ability to form new networks – a process known as neuroplasticity.

At a Mindful Neurology retreat, you can expect to:

1)  Obtain deep rest:  We will practice different ways to slow down our thoughts, reduce heart rate and stress hormones, and connect to a state of physiologic peace. The techniques are based on neurology research (such as fMRI data of the DMN !) and physiological monitoring, such as Heart Rate Variability. 

2) Eat healthy, nourishing food.  During this retreat at Ananda Ashram, all food is locally sourced, vegetarian, and includes brain-healthy ingredients.  Come learn fun facts about food and participate in the demos.  

3) Spend time in Nature. Slow down your brainwaves and improve your well-being. We will take advantage of the beautiful serene environs. 

4)  Leave with new insights about the miraculous function of your brain and body. We integrate discussions and short presentations when relevant. Dr Mulukutla loves to dive into the science.  

We hope you will join us. 


What to expect:

Relaxation exercises will focus on reducing tremor and spasticity. This is done by combining slow, conscious breathing with mindful movement, often small movements to help you appreciate what coordination and normal muscle tone feels like. 

In a relaxed state, the nervous system is in a better position to relearn motor tasks. 

Check out this video as one example:

Sound healing may also be of benefit. At least one study showed good efficacy of vibration therapy on symptoms of Parkinson’s. And it would be a lovely, uplifting experience to hear Marion Jackson’s sound bath, if nothing else!

After a traumatic brain injury, or stroke. the brain may need to recalibrate networks that have been shaken or disrupted.

People with history brain injury often experience sound or light sensitivity, decreased focus or other cognitive tasks, and sometimes mobility or musculoskeletal efficacy problems as well.

The program during Mindful Neurology retreat combines Heart Rate Variability to recruit autonomic system coherence to facilitate improved neural network functioning. 

Sound healing with gentle, soothing tones are used to reduce sensitivity to noise.  

Several days of rest and meditation are recommended to help identify mental thought patterns or anxiety as barriers to achieving optimal cognitive function.

Here’s an article on Heart Rate Variability biofeedback and it’s potential for post concussive or brain injury rehabilitation. 


While there are many reasons that contribute to impaired cognitive function, many of them can be addressed with lifestyle interventions:  Improved nutrition, sleep, and meditation or neurologic rest.

The program for Cognitive Impairment coaching will be lead by Judy Benjamin, who will lead you on a lifestyle routine that promotes improved brain function. 

Sunday June 30

2pm Check-in 

3 – 5:30:  Introductions, Orientation & Yoga class.


6:30pm – 9pm:  Evening program – Ashram Fire Ceremony, group gathering, conscious breathing exercises, sound healing 

Monday Jul 1


9am – Ashram Fire Ceremony

10am – 12:30pm: Session 1 – Neuroplasticity & Mind-Body Connection

  Heart Rate Variability biofeedback training


2 – 4 pm:  Session 2 – Foundations of Brain Health

  Cognitive Health Coaching

  Food demo  – cooking with spices & smoothie station

4pm – Yoga Class & Pranayama 


7:30pm – 9:30pm  – Evening Program:  Ashram Fire Ceremony, group gathering,  breathing exercises & sound healing

Tuesday July 2


9am – Ashram Fire Ceremony

10am – 12:30pm:  Session 3 – Cellular Health & Complementary Therapies

  – Small Group work focused on individual needs


1 – 4pm  1:1 Sessions or Small Group Focus Groups

4pm – Yoga Class & Pranayama


7:30pm -9:30pm  Evening Program: Ashram Fire Ceremony, group gathering, breathing exercises & sound healing

Wednesday July 3


9am – Ashram Fire Ceremony

10am – 12:30pm – Session 4:  The Healing Path

  – Health planning and determining health priorities


2pm – Checkout

Call Dr Mulukutla to register ! 516-884-2442

or inquire for more information