A sacred journey to the birthplace of Yoga
6-16 October 2016
Join us on a trip to some of India’s most amazing spiritual places. We will practice yoga and meditation on the banks of the sacred Ganges, as yogi’s have done for thousands of years. We’ll meet with sadhu’s, visit ancient temples, meditate in sacred Himalayan caves and dive deep into the wonders of Yogic India—most of them off the beaten tourist track. We will explore the main schools of yoga (hatha, karma, jnana and bhakti), and discuss the relevance of yoga in our daily life.
Mystical India will be a pilgrimage towards discovering our authentic Self. It is not going to be a sightseeing tour or a shopping experience. Yoga is a path that is supposed to lead us to Freedom and Joy. How do we embody these qualities in our life? What is preventing us from truly embracing these qualities? And what can we do to remove the obstacles that prevent us from living this truth? All the places we will visit have a strong meditative power, that can really help us in connecting with our divine essence. We will use tools from the yoga tradition to help us develop a framework for transformative practice.
Traveling through India with us will make you feel safe, comfortable and provided with anything you need. Transport, accomodation and meals being arranged for you saves a lot of hassle, stress AND money. The traveling schedule looks intense but there will be enough time for peaceful reflection and to let our experiences sink in. We will sleep in beautiful places; sometimes more basic, sometimes more luxury but always with the authentic Indian atmosphere. It is not a luxury retreat, it is not a shopping experience and not a sightseeing tour. We invite you to dive deeper and you will have a trip that you will never forget.
Day 1: Flight to Delhi
The participants will be welcomed at the airport and will go to our hotel in Delhi. The next morning we take a train at 6.30 AM.
Day 2-5: Rishikesh
We travel by train in 5 hours from Delhi to Haridwar and from Haridwar we travel directly by car to Rishikesh, the Walhalla of hatha-yoga. It is here where many yoga ashrams are located on the banks of the Ganges. We arrive at 13.00 in the Parmarth Niketan Ashram, our place of stay. After lunch there is resting time. During our stay in Rishikesh we will practice yoga on different spots, attend beautiful Puja’s (ritual offerings) and take sacred dips in the Ganges. We will meditate in a special cave where the sage Vasishta once meditated, and do a 4-hour raft on the spectacular Ganges river. In Rishikesh our focus will be on Hatha Yoga and Karma yoga.
In Rishikesh you will have one full day for your self, to relax and explore the area by yourself.
Day 6. Haridvar
In the afternoon we will travel back to Haridvar, where we will attend a beautiful and ancient evening ritual at the Ganges. Haridwar lies at the foothills of the Himalayas, where the Ganges flows into the plain of India. It is a famous pilgrimage place that means “Doorway to God”, as the Himalayas are regarded as the abode of the gods. In the evening time we take the night train to Varanassi, which in India is quite an experience.
Day 7-8 Varanasi
We arrive in Varanassi in the early aft
ernoon. After checking in the hotel, we will wonder around the River Ghats in this most ancient city on earth.
We will visit the burning grounds and meditate on the deeper significance of living and dying. In the evening we will attend a Ganges Puja and visit a classical Indian music concert. The next morning we visit the river Ghats and make a boat ride on the Ganges along the ghats (stone steps). We practise yoga and visit some of the main Shiva temples. Afternoon is free time to roam around this fascinating city. In the evening we take the night train to Agra. In Varanasi our focus will be on Jnana Yoga, the Yoga of Wisdom.
Day 9,10 Agra & Vrindavan
We will arrive around 06:00 and visit one of the great architectural wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal, at sunrise. We will then travel on by car to Vrindavan, which is an hour drive. We have lunch in a very luxury hotel in Agra on our way to Vrindavan.
In Vrindavan we’ll check in the MVT Ashram where we’ll sleep two nights. In the evening time we will vist some of the mystical temples of this amazing pilgrimage town, which is the birthplace of Krishna. We will visit Sadhu’s, walk some special pilgrim routes, and do lots of chanting and kirtan. In Vrindavan our Focus will be Bhakti Yoga.
Day 11 Vrindavan Morning time closing ceremony. Departure to Delhi
Some like to go via Taj Mahal to have a closer look 🙂
Investment: € 1.250,- incl. daily yoga and meditation, lunches and dinners, all transport and accommodation and all entry fees. Excl. flight, visa and insurances.
Info & bookings: please send your inquiry to email@example.com and you will receive our registration and information document.
Your guides: Arjuna van der Kooij & Noëlle Sterk
Arjuna van der Kooij works as an editor for Mandala Publising, a US based publisher on award winning yoga books. He authored “Myths of the Asana’s” and a few other books and edited many. He lived in India for 6 years, and is a long time practitioner of bhakti yoga and mantra meditation.
Noëlle Sterk is the founder of Natural Yoga and owner of Yogabreak. She teaches yoga with dedication and love, blending different styles of yoga with the 5-element principles of Chinese Medicine. Together with other professionals she initiates events, retreats and business programs that inspire to make a change. More info www.noellesterk.com