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Soul Retreats Ltd

Yoga Pilgrimage to India

Come on a journey of self discovery and dive deep into the ancient teachings of yoga during the Goddess Festival of Navratri. 

A 10-night pilgrimage to Rishikesh, the spiritual home of yoga. Staying in luxury accommodation right on the sacred river Ganga. Bathe in the flowing turquoise waters of Mother Ganga with private direct access to the river.

 

Journey to Rishikesh and Nourish your Soul in the Homeland of Yoga
15 - 25 October 2023

Join Laura Green, Sunitha Narayan & Lauren Gray for a 10-night all-inclusive pilgrimage retreat to Rishikesh.

Journey there in your mind for a moment . . .

Awaken as dawn breaks to the sounds of nature. Gaze out of your window to see the river Ganga flowing. Wander down to the river for morning meditation, sunrise chanting or a dip in the sacred waters. Spend the day immersed in the culture of yoga and exploring the sights of Rishikesh. Soak up the splendour of ancient temples, wondrous nature and the mythology of the Goddess.

Our retreat will take place over the festival of Sharada Navratri, the nine nights celebrating the Goddess Durga in the season of Autumn. Culminate your self-discovery journey on the tenth day with the celebration of Vijayadashmi or Dusshera; celebrating the era of enlightenment.

Deepen your inner wisdom through extended yoga practices, meditation, chanting, philosophy workshops and discussions guided by 3 teachers.

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.”
— The Bhagavad Gita

 

Retreat Overview

Yoga Practices

Twice daily yoga practices in the most beautiful yoga hall overlooking the Ganga. Experience a wide range of yoga styles and journey much deeper into your yoga than just the poses.

Our yoga classes will be deeply immersive and connect directly to the rituals of Navratri, and the significance of the temples, deities and places we will be visiting. Our classes will guide you to experience Rishikesh in a truly embodied and spiritual way bringing more meaning, heart & soul to your retreat. 

Meditation & Chanting

Start your day the spiritual way. A Sādhanā is a personal practice or ritual to start your day which cultivates a deeper connection to the wonders of life. 

You'll have the option to start your day as the sun rises, with guided meditations and chanting outside on the beautiful hotel grounds before bathing in the River Ganga. This daily ritual will soothe your soul and awaken a true connection to nature and the divine in every day. This will be followed by our yoga classes or the day's activities.  

Philosophy & Satsaṅga

An important part of this journey is the community that travels with you. 

A satsaṅga is a gathering of a group to engage in discussion and share wisdom with a commitment to explore truth, teachings, spiritual insight and growth.

We'll sit under a tree with a cup of chai and share the teachings of yoga philosophy with time to discuss how these teachings can apply to your life. You'll sit with local yoga elders and teachers to learn even more.

 

Ganga Aarti 

Ganga Aarti is one of the most special experiences that connects straight to your soul. Every evening at dusk the holy city of Rishikesh comes to a pause. Everyone gathers on the banks of the River Ganga and the sacred ritual of aarti is performed.

Aarti is a devotional ritual. Fire lamps are lit and circled around, accompanied by chanting. Everyone is invited to give an offering to the river, a small 'diya' with a candle and flowers. The offering is made to the Goddess Ganga, goddess of the holiest river in India.

Partake in a private aarti to learn and experience this ritual before joining the public Aartis for a truly authentic experience.

Navratri Festival

Visiting India is always a very special experience, but visiting India's holy city of Rishikesh during a festival is something that should be on everyone's bucket list!

This retreat is to coincide with the 9 nights of Navratri. This special festival
celebrates Durga, the mother goddess.

Durga is best known for killing an evil demon in a battle which lasted nine days and nights and that is why the festival lasts for nine days and nights.

Each day is represented by a different colour which symbolises one of her distinct characteristics or traits. The festival ends with what's known as Dussehra, which is the celebration of good over evil. 

Spacious Time & Rest

Sit back, relax and soak in the magic of India. Our retreat schedule is beautifully balanced with opportunities to explore and plenty of time to rest. 

Your peaceful abode, Ganga Kinare, is right on the banks of the River Ganga so you can relax in comfort and gaze out into nature.

Save a little time for an Ayurvedic Spa Treatment or a dip in the hotel Jacuzzi overlooking the Ganga.

Relax and enjoy knowing that 3 experienced yoga teachers and retreat hosts will be looking after you in every possible way! 


Ganga Kinare - Your Home

So much care and consideration has gone into finding the perfect home for this retreat . . .

Ganga Kinare is a luxury riverside boutique resort. Nestled snugly on the banks of the tranquil River Ganga and overlooking the Rajaji National Park.

Ganga Kinare has a truly stunning yoga hall with spectacular views over the river Ganga; an award winning Ayurvedic Spa and exceptional food with riverside dinning.  

Ganga Kinare is the only hotel in Rishikesh that is directly on the banks of the Ganga. The hotel has its own private access (ghat) to the sacred river for bathing and performs the beautiful ceremony of Aarti every day to give thanks to the river. 

From the hotel you can wander all the way along the River Ganga exploring the many temples, ashrams and shops along the way. 

Have a look at the Ganga Kinare website for more.

 

Included Spiritual & Cultural Excursions

Vashishta Cave: half-day

Departing Rishikesh after lunch for a 1-hour drive to the hidden meditation cave, Vashistha Gufa.This is an ancient cave where Sage Vashistha (namesake of vashisthasana, side plank) and his wife meditated for hundreds of years. This meditation cave is hidden in the middle of Gular trees and alongside the sacred River Ganga. This cave is beautifully maintained by the small Swami Purushottamanand ashram which is nearby.

Take the journey down the 200 steps as a descending meditation until you arrive at the entrance to the cave. Settle into the stillness on the soft mats inside the cave. Be held in the aroma of incense and the peaceful energy within. Meditate. 

Wander down to the sand beach, let the river ganga wash over you as we await the setting sun. Be guided through a beautiful chant to the Goddess Ganga as the sun sets. Journey back to Ganga Kinare for dinner, followed by Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra.

Deva prayāga: whole day

Deva prayāga is the sacred confluence of two visible heavenly rivers, Alaknanda and Bhāgīrathī, to form the Holy River Ganga. It is believed that a third river, the mythical Saraswati river, is underground and meets these two rivers at this point.

Departing Ganga Kinare after breakfast for a 2.5 hour drive to the sacred site of Devprayag, visting a few significant temples enroute. Learn how this town is believed to have a special spiritual aura having been the meditation grounds for Lord Rama. Stand with your feet in the very meeting point of these rivers. Experience the blending energies of the soft feminine flow of the Alaknanda River and the powerful masculine energy of the Bhāgīrathī River. See how these energies merge in flowing harmony.

Be guided through a japa mantra meditation to honour this spiritual site before journeying home for yoga, dinner and an evening of Kirtan.

 

Kunjapuri Devi Temple: half-day

Journey before dawn under the light of the moon up into the foothills of the Himalayas. Walk the path up to Kunjapuri Devi mountain top temple following in the footsteps of many pilgrims. Watch the moonset and the sunrise with panoramic views of the snow-capped Himalayan mountains. The Kunjapuri Devi Temple is a sacred site of immense importance especially during Navratri when a grand celebration is held. Kunjapuri Devi Temple is the temple of Goddess Durga the main Goddess of Navratri. It is a significant shrine and pilgrimage destination for Goddess Worship.

Be guided through the Adi Shakti chanting meditation to honour this auspicious site. Journey on to a nearby plateau to enjoy nature, a guided walk and movement meditation with expansive views over rural India. Continue home to Ganga Kinare for lunch and a relaxing afternoon.  

Beatles Ashram: half-day

The Beatles Ashram, also known as Chaurasi Kutia is on the outskirts of Rishikesh. During the 1960s and 1970s, as the International Academy of Meditation, it was the training centre for students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who devised the Transcendental Meditation technique. The ashram gained international attention in 1968 when the  Beatles stayed there and composed most of the songs for their White Album.

Today, the Ashram is abandoned but the influence that the Beatles had on this place remains. Wander the deserted yoga halls, sit and meditate in the many private mediation caves and enjoy the unique blend of vibrant art graffiti and jungle plants reclaiming the ruins.

 

Your Retreat Hosts & Teachers

Laura Green

Laura has been leading retreats worldwide for over 10 years and this is her 6th retreat to India. Laura fell in love with Rishikesh for its heady blend of culture, spirituality and food. As a teacher of yoga, Laura is most passionate about the spiritual and philosophical depths of this ancient practice. 

Lauren Gray

Lauren has a deep love for India having trained as a Yoga Teacher in Goa in 2014 and has travelled extensively around this beautiful country. Lauren's love of mythology and meditation is infused throughout her teachings. She has extensive experience hosting retreats and leading heartfelt journies. 

Sunitha Narayan

Sunitha was born and raised in India and got married in Rishikesh in 2010. She has lived her life immersed in the traditions and practices of Indian Vedic culture and can't wait to share these with you in yoga's homeland. As a teacher Sunitha shares passionately her understanding of Hindu deities and practices in a way accessible to the modern yogi. 

The Experience . . .

The Food

Dinning on this all-inclusive retreat is a cultural and gastronomic experience to nourish your belly and soul. As Rishikesh is a designated holy city no animal products or alcohol can be consumed. This retreat includes 3 meals per day when onsite at Ganga Kinare, but there are plenty of opportunities to eat off site for more adventurous travellers. The Jal Jalebi restaurant at Ganga Kinare is well known for its fine dining riverside experience. The buffet style menus show case the best of Northern India cuisine whilst also catering for international tastes. 

 

Room Options

The deluxe ensuite rooms with a partial view of the river Ganga have all the modern amenities. You can lose yourself in the luxury of the comfortable beds and fully air-conditioned rooms with all modern day amenities such as Wi-Fi, television, intercom, sitting area, safety deposit locker, mini-fridge, bathrooms with luxury toiletries. You can book a single private room with queen bed or opt to share with another retreat guest in a spacious twin room. 

 

Travelling to Rishikesh

The best pilgrimages start with a journey! Let us take you by the hand and guide you through travelling in India. We'll recommend which flights to book from the UK and put you in touch with other guests so you can travel together. To get to Rishikesh you first fly to Delhi and then take a short interconnecting flight to Dehradun. We recommend budgeting £700 - £900 for your flight but this may fluctuate. We will guide you on what flights to book. For the best prices we recommend making two separate flight bookings, one from London to Delhi and then an internal flight from Delhi to Dehradun. Once at Dehradun you'll be collected by our airport transfer specialists for a 30 min drive to Rishikesh. But don't worry we'll tell you which flights to book and hold your hand every step of the way! Please note the cost of flights is not included in the retreat. Upon booking this retreat we'll supply more information about travelling in India such as visas, travel vaccinations and more. We really are here to make sure you have the best time travelling to India. 

 
 

The Price

£2,445  + Flights

Per person sharing Twin / Double Room

£3,465  + Flights

Single Occupancy

 

What's Included

Accommodation

10 nights of luxury ensuite accommodation at the boutique resort of Ganga Kinare

Tuition

Daily studies and tuition from 3 experienced Yoga Teachers, Laura Green, Lauren Gray & Sunitha Narayan. 

 

Airport Transfer

Return Airport Transfer from Dehradun Airport (30 minutes)

All Meals

3 meals a day when onsite at Ganga Kinare. 

All Yoga Classes / Workshops

Twice Daily Yoga Classes, Morning Meditation, Philosophy Workshops, guests talks and evening activities.  

 

Excursions / Activities 

4 excursions plus cultural walks and local experiences.

 
 
 

Book Your Space Today!

If you would like to book this retreat please fill in your details below and we'll get back in touch with you to iron out the finer details. Our retreats sell out quickly, so don't delay. We look forward to welcoming you.

Registration Form
 

Payment Plans

Pay in Full at Time of Booking

If you are able to pay in full you'll also be gifted a complimentary spot at this year's Navratri - Taste of India Day Retreat, a personalised bespoke journal, a beautiful set of meditation mālā beads and a printed retreat countdown yoga philosophy calendar. If you are in the position to pay in full this is greatly appreciated as we have been requested to pay in full for the hotel to confirm our group booking.

 

Pay in Two Installments

A 50% deposit to confirm your booking and the remaining balance due February 2022. If you select this option you'll also be gifted a personalised bespoke journal, a beautiful set of meditation mālā beads and a printed countdown yoga philosophy calendar.

 

Pay in Three Installments

A £500 deposit to confirm your booking, then two further equal payments in February 2022 and August 2022. If you select this option you'll also be gifted a printed countdown yoga philosophy calendar.

 
 
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