March 2-15, 2023
Registration Deadline Extended to Sept. 30, 2022
Sacred Ganges Yoga Retreat
Nourishing, simple, life-changing...
Imagine yourself in the birthplace of Yoga on the banks of the Sacred Ganges River in the foothills of the Indian Himalaya, infused with incense, chanting, ritual and the unfolding of your own transformation. Come home with a personal daily practice.
This retreat is an off-the-beaten track experience of an India unchanged since ancient times, with a strong spiritual focus. We immerse ourselves in very special rituals and practices at their source by living at Sri Ram Ashram, attending sacred Aarti worship on the River Ganga, meeting babas and sadhus, visiting holy places. All grounded in a beautiful daily practice of pranayama (breath work), meditation and asana (physical postures) led by Chetna (Tracy) Boyd. This is not a conventional retreat and you may never be the same.
Dates and Location
14 Days: March 2-15, 2023
North India: in the sacred mountain towns of Haridwar and Rishikesh.
Daily Yoga classes in Haridwar/Rishikesh
Accommodation (mostly double occ.)
3 meals/day in Haridwar
Breakfast in Delhi/Rishikesh
Assistance with Flight/Indian visa
8 Unique and fabulous Excursions
Group Excursion gratuities
International flight to India
Lunch, Dinner in Delhi/Rishikesh
Indian Tourist Visa
Travel Health insurance
Free time activities
Did We mention our Excursions?
With a strong spiritual focus, our excursions introduce you to the power and colour of Hindu rituals, temples, Gods and Goddesses, garlands of marigolds and fire ceremony. We learn about modern-day saints such as Mahatma Gandhi and Anandamayi Ma, feeling the peace and serenity of their respective sacred places. We sit at the edge of the Ganges River for worship rituals, meditation, glacial dunks and temple visits. We explore a mountain-top temple at dawn with a vigorous
hike to a waterfall. Further gems are a comparative religions tour "Any Way You Slice It (It's All God)" in Delhi with visits to the holy places of different religions, lunch at a fabulous eatery and the museum estate where Mahatma Gandhi spent his last months. We are also privileged to have an insider's view of a unique orphanage/Ashram spending the Festival of Holi playing with children in huge coloured-water fights and bonfires! The experiences are rich, rare and uniquely designed solely for our group. We guarantee you won't get this kind of deep-dive into Hindu culture in regular tours or retreats.
Did We mention the amazing Yoga?
Practice is balanced between breathwork that creates a clear mind for meditation and classic Hatha yoga poses which work with each student's current level. Deeper practices drawn from Yoga Therapy bring self-revelations and openings of the heart to each day. We are able to spend a few days with a local Indian teacher as well. We learn to bring our practice off the mat into daily life.
Yoga & Energy requirements:
This Retreat is for all levels and comprises meditation, pranayama, yogic philosophy and classical asana. Classes are
voluntary. There is daily Free Time to rest or explore. 2 days built-in at start of the journey to acclimatize.
We stay in clean,moderate-standard bed and breakfast (3 star) in Delhi and similar standard hotel in Rishikesh with western toilets, showers, ceiling fans and two single, two double beds. Due to space limitations in our Delhi guest house you may be in a triple room with two beds and a cot. As well, we stay in a traditional Hindu Ashram/orphanage in Haridwar in rooms with more basic facilities and two single beds, think summer camp. Our accommodations are not "chocolate-on-your-pillow but clean and simple. Retreat members share a double room with another member for most of the time, however, space is limited in our Delhi guest house so there may be an extra cot in rooms (triple). Accommodations are included starting the night of Day Zero (March 1) to night of Day 14 (March 18). Arrival anticipated in the early hours of March 4, 2023. Departure taxi to leave around midnight on March 15, 2023.
In Delhi and Rishikesh, vegetarian breakfast is included. Lunch, dinner not included. At Sri Ram Ashram 3 vegetarian meals/day are included. Those with special diet needs, allergies or those with diet restrictions can manage well with a little planning and communication. Haridwar and Rishikesh are alcohol-free vegetarian towns!
We have private bus/van for the journey between Haridwar and Rishikesh. We journey by train from Delhi to Haridwar and return trip is either train or private bus. Airport transfers are included. For those extending their stay in India, airport departure transfer is not included.
Travel health insurance with for the duration of the trip is mandatory. All travellers to India are required to have full vaccination (2 shots) for COVID-19 at this time. There is an Indian government app to download before arrival with results of pre-departure PCR test. Upon returning to Canada, we are required to have PCR results downloaded to ArriveCan app. We will be monitoring rules and regs closely as Retreat time draws nearer. At this time, facemarks are being worn in public spaces in India and recommended on flights. Other pre-trip immunizations are optional. If you choose to consult a travel clinic, make an appointment 6 weeks prior to travel.
A Word About COVID-19:
The global pandemic has changed the face of international travel forever and for that reason, we are closely monitoring rules and regulations carefully for before, during and after our trip to ensure all travellers stay healthy. This may entail quarantine details, pre-travel tests, personal protective equipment and may alter our regular daily hygienic practices. Rest assured that the group's health and safety are paramount in our minds as we learn to enjoy our experiences fully within the challenges presented by the present environment. Group members will be updated regularly as restrictions unfold.
Getting there and home:
The cost of flight is not included. We suggest a direct flight chosen for its expediency, but members are free to make their own arrangements if desired. We offer extensive pre-trip education and support for preparation. For those continuing to explore India on their own, Kajal India Tours can design an exciting onward journey or share ideas for your adventure.
Cancellations and Refunds:
Greater than 60 days prior to departure-receive 100% of Retreat fee as a refund (before Dec. 30, 2022)
Between 30-60 days prior to departure of the trip (Dec. 30 -Jan. 29, 2023)-forfeit deposit (return of balance).
Less than 30 days prior to departure (Jan 30-Feb. 28, 2023)-forfeit entire cost of Retreat.
Kajal India Tours/Dancing Lotus Yoga reserve the right to cancel a Retreat at our discretion and monies received by us will be fully refunded.
Leave 2 days in advance
Day 1-March 2: Arrive to Delhi (Indira Gandhi International airport) in the early hours, transfer by pre-arranged taxi to the Master Guest house (www.master-guesthouse.com). A day to de-lag, get into the rhythm of India and enjoy home-cooked meals at our delightful B&B. Breakfast incl.
Day 2-March 3: Delhi: Full day excursion on our Any Way You Slice It (It's All God) Tour experiencing the holy places of various religions such as Hindu temple, Sikh gurudwara, Islamic mosque. We learn the different viewpoints and practices of each group. Lunch stop at the fabulous south Indian eatery Saravana Bhavan for masala dosa before visiting the museum at the site where Mahatma Gandhi spent his last months.
Day 3-7-March 4-8: To Haridwar: Train ride (5 hrs) to the holy city of Haridwar alongside the sacred Ganga where you begin your Yoga Retreat in earnest, staying at Sri Ram Ashram (3 meals/day and yoga included) studying the eight limbs of yoga with Chetna Dancing Lotus Yoga. Join the children at the inspiring adjoining orphanage for rousing evening worship and the festival of Holi with water and coloured powder fights. Visit temples along the Ganges and the sacred place of female saint Anandamayi Ma. Witness the unchanged ancient rituals of Aarti with chanting, flower and fire offerings at Har Ki Pauri. Watch your perceptions shift around you as layers of understanding unfold. Allow the body and mind to come into perfect balance.
Day 8-12-March 9-13: To Rishikesh: A short drive (1 hr) to this fascinating town, made famous in the West by the Beatles. Incense, yogis, sadhus, orange-robed sages and sunset worship on the Ganges. Stay at Divine Ganga Cottage (www.divinegangacottage.com) (breakfast and yoga included). Visit Chaurasi Kuttia (Beatles Ashram) to see where the White Album was born. Stretch your body with Temple Walk and the Kunjapuri Trek, an excursion to hilltop temple followed by hike down to waterfall.
Day 13-March 14: To Delhi: Return by private bus or train (5 hrs) back to your familiar hostess with stories of your adventures! Reflect on all the inner changes absorbed in these weeks. Resolve to carry your serenity and a daily yoga practice home with you.
Day 14-March 15: Delhi: Last day to perhaps hit up a few sights or enjoy shopping in Connaught Circle. Say goodbye to the magic and chaos of India as you taxi to the airport for departure late tonight.