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2 October 2015 @ 00:00 - 11 October 2015 @ 00:00
Join us on a pilgrimage to India’s most amazing spiritual places. Practice yoga and meditation on the banks of the sacred Ganges, 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. The places we will visit have a strong meditative power and will help us in connecting to our authentic Self.
Yoga is a path that is supposed to lead us to enlightenment. What does that mean? We will explore the main traditions of yoga (hatha, karma, jnana and bhakti) and discuss the relevance of yoga in our daily lifes. Yoga is about transformation; about letting go of negative habits that prevent us from truly blossoming. Seeing things from a yoga perspective can widen your box and help you create an inspired and fulfilled life. Not without sacrifice but by sowing the right seeds we can pick the beautiful fruits later.
During this trip you will experience the divine essence of prayer, ritual, yoga, meditation and selfless service. It will be a powerful imprint in your memory and it will give you a new perspective. India will remind you of the essence of life and prevent you from falling into an empty race after hollow experiences. And when it happens; you know where to go to refuel your soul.
Travelling 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
You 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 to Rishikesh.
Day 2-4: Rishikesh
We travel by train in 5 hours from Delhi to Haridwar and from Haridwar we travel directly by car to Rishikesh. 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 a sacred dip in the Ganges. We will meditate in a sacred cave where the sage Vasishta used to meditate and do a 4-hour raft on the spectacular Ganges river. In Rishikesh our focus will be on Hatha Yoga and Karma yoga.
Day 5. Haridvar In the afternoon we will travel back to Haridvar, where we will attend an impressive 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 6-7 Varanasi
We arrive in Varanassi in the early afternoon. After checking in the hotel, we will wonder around the river Ghats in one of the most ancient cities on earth. We will visit the burning grounds, experience the burning rituals 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 will 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 8, 9 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. 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 10 Vrindavan
Morning time closing ceremony. Departure to Delhi
Early bird (booked & paid before May 1st):
€ 875,- incl. daily yoga and meditation, lunches and dinners, all transport and accommodation and all entry fees. Excl. flight and insurances. Normal price: € 950,-
Interested? please send your motivation to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 other books related to yoga. He lived in India for 6 years and is a long time practitioner of bhakti yoga and mantra meditation.