THE GANGA YATRA 2018
I invite you to come play in the field of enlightened masters, ancient priestesses, brave adventurers, cosmic devis, and a nature that embraces you in its wild and wonderful majesty. This February 2018, we will visit ancient temples, explore the caves of the first Yogis, dip into the holy Ganges, wander the forested foothills of the mighty Himalayas in India, join thousands from around the world at the International Yoga Festival and enjoy an organic retreat with Dr. Vandana Shiva at her farm in the Doon Valley.
Our adventure begins with a four day Ganga Retreat at a beautiful, serene and very holy place right on the banks of Mother Ganges in the foothills of the Himalayas. You will be received with a loving, warm welcome that will include one Ayurvedic massage, nurturing herbal teas and grounding, nourishing meals. Our Ganga Retreat will include Morning Yoga + Meditation, Ganga Puja and and bathing rituals, Vedic story-telling, Mantra and Dharma talks on the power of “Ma Ganga” to sanctify, heal and uplift our lives. We will take a day trip to the Vashista Gruha (caves) and visit a local sage in her hermitage on the river. This period will be both restorative and incredibly inspiring.
February 24-28: Ganga Retreat, upriver in the forested foothills of the Himalayas.
March 1-6: we will celebrate with Yogis from around the world at the International Yoga Festival 2018 in Rishikesh
and learn from saints, sages and masters.
March 7-8: we are invited to offer Seva to the children at Ramana’s Gardens.
This Ganga Yatra offers a 75-hour Yoga Teacher certificate that covers Yoga philosophy, techniques and tools, Ayurveda basic philosophy, and transformative practicum and experientials, for Yoga teachers.
For everyone, this Yatra offers an experience of a lifetime.
Details and Registration
Beginning February 24, 2018, our Ganga Yatra is an Ayurvedic-Vedic Sage Retreat to the Himalayan north of India, receiving Ayurvedic treatments, attending the International Yoga Festival on the Ganges, followed by a 5-day retreat and training upriver in the mountains.
Ganga Yatra: February 24 – March 12
Rishikesh, Ayurveda Retreat, Vedic Temples, Devi Shrines, Yogic Caves, Ganges Rituals, International Yoga Festival – a 7-day Yoga Festival with esteemed Vedic Sages, 4-day secluded Retreat upriver in the Himalayan foothills, and a retreat at the world renowned Navdanya Organic Farm
India Yatra 2018 Registration Packet with Detailed Itinerary and Application
Please Note: These dates do not include travel days to and from your home country. Departure is morning, March 12
Keep reading for pricing and more detail, which we will update as more of our trip plans are confirmed.
Ganga Yatra & Retreat
Our Journey takes us north to the foothills of the Himalayas, where we begin our Yatra at a beautiful, former home of a Princess right on the banks of the Ganges. This 4-day Ganges Retreat will be a unique and extraordinary opportunity to recharge in the beauty of this most glorious setting, where you will enjoy Ganga Yoga, Meditation, and Mantra, daily talks and story-telling, river purifications, delicious meals, and evening song. (Includes the Ganga Yoga Training)
Each day we will observe silence for a period of time. Without technology or our usual daily distractions, we will instead allow ourselves to drop into the soul and listen to the sounds of nature, beauty, grace, peace. You can leisurely soak up the prana of the land, opt for guided walks, and learn some of the greatest wisdom of the 10,000 year old tradition of the Vedas.
From there we travel an hour or so through the Rajaji National Park to Parmarth Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, know as the “Gateway to the Heavenly Himalayas.” There we take a walking tour of “Swarg Ashram,” an area of Rishikesh with ancient temples, as well as shops, cafes and restaurants right on the banks of the Ganges. We will visit the now dilapidated “Beatles’ Ashram,” where these famous musicians stayed while learning from the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. You will also enjoy an Ayurvedic treatment called Abhyanga, either upon arrival or in your first few days, according to availability – yours and the clinics.
We will attend the International Yoga Festival – a fabulous, fascinating, joyous meeting of Yogis from every part of the world, convened by some of the world’s greatest saints, sages and Yoga teachers. In between all the classes, Satsangs, music and friendship, we will “escape” to explore a Shakti Peeth, a “holy cave,” and the hillsides where Shiva is said to have done his most intense meditations (Neelkanth). There will be Pujas, Aartis, Temple blessings, Yoga on the Ganges, and at least one intimate Darshan with Swamiji, the spiritual head of the Ashram. There will also be opportunities, at your own choice and expense, for further Ayurvedic treatments, river-rafting on the Ganges, mountain hikes, and chai and meals at local restaurants.
Ramana’s Gardens is an orphanage with some 65 children. Ramana’s runs a school for all ages with the express purpose of raising children to be enlightened and responsible citizens of our world. They also run a restaurant that is popular among western travellers to Rishikesh, and which is partially staffed by the children as a way of making money to save for college. Prabha, the founder and director of Ramana’s, has personally invited us to come spend time with the children offering our Seva. While we offer our selfless service we are truly the ones who will be receiving the most, as Ramana’s Gardens is one of the true treasures of Rishikesh.
This year, we have the most exciting and magical opportunity of all – we have also been invited to an Organic Retreat at Navdanya Farm in the Doon Valley to attend a relaxed workshop with the exceptional Dr Vandana Shiva on what she calls EcoFeminism: Unleashing the Creativity of Women and Nature.
Our trip concludes on the morning of March 12th.
Healing Heart Photography
My friend, of Healing Heart Photography, will be accompanying our trip, taking photos of all our blessed moments. She is a divine gorgeous soul, who will also be offering the opportunity for portraiture on the Ganges.
In addition to offering our group extraordinarily beautiful photos of our trip, absolutely for free, she will be offering take your portrait on the Ganges for a special Yatra fee. Of her Retreat photography she says, “Let the magic unfold and get to stay in your experience instead of taking pictures. I will capture your beauty and your significant moments to remember later, to give you art for your home and portraits for your website.
Having led groups on 9 separate trips to India, I have a deep affection for the country, its history, its customs, and above all, for its people. India is the land of my heart, and it gives me deep delight to share it with true Sadhaks, those spiritually mature persons who can understand without explanation the depth of presence, kindness and wisdom in the modern day people of the ancient storied Bharat. I am also schooled in the sacred texts, mantras, practices and narratives of the land, so our journeys are filled with story-telling and song, heart connections and Love.
I am asking that this trip be filled with Yogis who appreciate three things: 1) the beauty of silence and the value of authentic sharing; 2) the transformational power of a trip like this and the empowerment of taking full ownership for all that is personally experienced; and 3) that this is a spiritual trip, not a material trip, so while there will be a few opportunities to pick up trinkets or spiritual tokens, my hope is that you find beauty in a rock, treasure in a feather, grace in a blade of grass, souvenirs in the eyes of a child, and infinity in the present moment. Traveling through India is difficult on the physical body. But for those who have, as Antoine St. Exupery said, “The eyes to see with the heart,” India offers immeasurable, life-altering value, and heart-expanding connections. This is a trip of a lifetime.
February 24 – March 12
For 16 days in India with sages, saints, vaidyas, yogacharyas, ganga darshan, himalayan heaven, jungle adventure, temples and meditation caves and an unforgettable trip immersed in sacred healing, vedic teachings and extraordinary beauty ~
Includes all accommodation, meals (except if you choose to go out), 1 Ayurvedic treatment, week-long
International Yoga Festival, excursions, group travel, Ganga Yoga Training + Retreat + 12-hour Ganga Yoga Teacher Training Certificate.
Ganga Yatra ~ $3200
Early-bird by December 15, 2017 ~ $2900 (a $300 savings)
These trips are limited in size. To secure your place, we need two things from you:
Once you’ve registered, we will email you our thank you email with travel booklet.
If it doesn’t arrive within 24 hours, send up a smoke signal (ie, firstname.lastname@example.org).
Your $500 deposit is refundable until December 10, after which it becomes a non-refundable deposit. For the early-bird pricing, payment in full is due on or before December 15, 2017. Otherwise, all payment must be in by January 20, 2018. Please write if you would like a payment plan: email@example.com and remember Paypal allows you 6 months to pay interest free.
Please note: Flights are separate. Etihad has great prices and great service, and a great fight path. Jet Airways can get you from delhi to Dehradun where we can arrange to meet your flight and bring you to our Ganga Yoga Retreat by car. It’s great to fly together, and we will create a group forum to meet your fellow Yatrikas, share flight details, and connect, once we’ve received your deposit.
In addition to transatlantic flights, all airline baggage costs will be your responsibility.
An immense thank you to National Geographic photographer Peter McBride for his gorgeous images here that were taken when he journeyed to India with us a few years back. Peter’s award-wining article for National Geographic, Chasing the Sacred: Down the Ganges From Source to Sea is stunning. I highly recommend it is a taste of what we will experience and where we will be.
This article Here Comes the Sun is a great description of Peter’s trip to India with us.
Jai Ma Guru!