A Yoga retreat in Varanasi, the oldest living city and spiritual capital of India.
Yoga Retreat Includes:
- Opening Ceremony with sacred fire
- Kriyas (ancient cleansing techniques to cleanse the body from inside)
- Daily intense and restorative guided Yogasana practice
- Pranayama (yogic breathing practices in the outdoors)
- Walking the meandering streets of Varanasi
- Boat trip on the Ganges to admire the ghats and all their chaotic activities from a distance
- Visiting the J Krishnamurthy study centre at Rajghat
- Day trip to the Sarnath Buddhist temple
- Going on a gastronomic journey trying authentic north Indian street food- tried and tasted by your hosts
- Relaxing in the evenings with guided Meditation like yoga nidra meditation, laughter meditation, dynamic shaking meditation, heart chakra meditation
- Celebrating one of either the kite festival, or Dhrupad Indian music Festival, or Shiva Ratri, or Holi- the festival of colours
- Community living and various activities with co- retreat participants of sharing and bonding
- 12-17 January 2019
- 08-13 February 2019
- 20- 25 February 2019
- 03-08 March 2019
- 16-21 March 2019
Opening with Sacred fire Ceremony
Fire is very significant. In almost all cultures over the world, the offering of a fire ceremony or ritual is one of, if not, the oldest traditions known.
The element of fire was most important for ancient peoples, literally for survival. Fire helped keep them warm from the harsh elements, it cooked their food and protected them from predators. The fire, the hearth was a central hub for the community and the family – meetings and councils were held around the fire including time to gather in traditional ceremony, rites of passage and respite.
Ceremonially, while we engage with sacred fire, we choose to connect “as one” with fire using all our senses – allowing the spirit of fire to inform and transform us. The fire is lit and offerings of ghee or clarified butter are offered by all individuals while the priest reads sacred mantras.
Kriyas (ancient body cleansing techniques)
Warm saline water is poured from one nostril and drained from the other nostril using an ancient unique technique by a certified and trained professional. This technique cleanses the nasal cavity completely.
Drinking a large quantity of warm saline water and then expelling it out completely and naturally to cleanse the upper gastric system.
Laghu Shanka Prakshalana (LSP)
Drinking a large quantity of warm saline water followed by practicing 5 specific Asanas. This is done in 3 sets. Then the water is naturally expelled from the anus. This is a natural yogic colon cleanse. This process is followed by good rest and a strict diet of ‘khichidi’, an Indian boiled rice and lentils dish easy to digest and is like food for babies as the alimentary canal is renewed and rested.
A breathing technique and a Kriyas which cleanses the upper respiratory tract as the practitioner will exhale rather forcefully while flapping abdominal muscles in. The inhalation is passive.
Every morning we will start with a warm up, Asanas and then some intensive Ashtanga vinyasa flow to feel energised for the days activities.
Everyday yogic breathing practices will be done either in the morning after Asanas or outdoors in temple premises or other suitable outdoor spaces. Yogic breathing practices increase our lung capacity, alters mood and helps remove toxins from our body.
Walking The Streets of Varanasi
We will take you on guided walks into the fascinating ancient streets of the town and look at the old houses, some new shops, people and soak up the atmosphere around.
Boat Ride on The Ganges
We will take boat ride into the mighty and holy river Ganges and look at several ghats at the edge and it’s chaotic activities like the ganga aarti, people performing several Indian rituals from a distance.
Day Trip to Sarnath Buddhist Temple
Sarnath is a place located 10 kilometres north-east of Varanasi near the confluence of the Ganges and the Varuna rivers in Uttar Pradesh, India. The deer park in Sarnath is where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dhamma, and where the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kondanna. So it will be a wonderful trip back in time.
Trying Authentic North Indian Street Food
We will go to try all kinds of north Indian street food which have already been tried and tasted by the hosts. This will include the famous drink (the drink of Lord Shiva) – the Bhang Thandai, or the golgappa, chat and end it with the popular banarasi pan which will digest all that food.
Evenings will be used to relax, unwind, sing Kirtans or Bhajans, share with the community with various activities apart from many guided meditation be practices like the yoga nidra, which provides deep relaxation and rejuvenation. Laughter meditation, which is a great exercise for the heart, reduces stress hormones and blood pressure. Dynamic shaking meditation, which is great for releasing physical stress and tension and bringing you to inner stillness and silence.
Book a spot for you and your friends as we have only 12 to 15 spots per retreat!!!