INDIA YATRA: PILGRIMAGE TO THE HEART

 January 20- February 1, 2020

 RISHIKESH – VARANASI – GOA

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Mama India. 

This pilgrimage is a journey to the heart. It will show you ways of living that you haven’t seen before, teach you things you couldn’t imagine before and help you find a depth within yourself that you haven’t been able to nurture before. Mama India will love you, shake you and transform you.

This is a journey to the roots of Yogic wisdom.  You will sit by the holy river Ganga and say your prayers, be part of sacred ceremonies, get blessed by vedic priests. You will see magnificent temples, hike in the HImalayas and eat outstanding Indian food. You will see the most amazing sunsets this planet has to offer, dance around hippie markets and look out for dolphins in Goa. You will deepen your understanding of Yoga as an holistic Art of Living that guides the way to an embodied life. Mama India will teach you how to live your life as a prayer. 

Get ready for a journey that will change your life. This is not a Yoga retreat but a pilgrimage to the heart. It demands openness to dive deep &  look beyond. It involves overcoming challenges, and cultivating patience and compassion. A little closer to our natural way of being, one breath at a time.

With so much love and excitement,

xxx Alexia

ABOUT THE PLACES WE VISIT: 

Rishikesh: 

Rishikesh is known to be the capital of Yoga. In no other place in the world you will find so many Ashrams (sacred centers of knowledge, wisdom, devotion & service) and opportunities to deepen your holistic Yoga practice. You will connect with the roots of Yoga by feeling the place, taking steps on the sacred soil and bathing in the holy river Ganga. This is an initation into the Yogic path as it is and always has been: A holistic science of life that is gracefully blessed by the art of the divine.

Varanasi: 

Varanasi is one of India’s most sacred cities. It is the place where life and death meets.  Hence the threshold from the gross to the subtle dimensions can be easily crossed. You will arrive here and SEE BEYOND WHAT YOUR EYES CAN SEE. Myths say that getting cremated in Varanasi gives you a fast ticket to heaven without having to incarnate again and again. The holy river Ganga passes through the city and is full of ashes of the dead. Prayers are sang 24/7.

Varanasi will make you question your own life. How deeply connected are you and how much fear do you have from letting it all go?  In Tantric tradition it is recommended to contemplate about death regularly to minimize the fear of dying and step into fully-embodied living.

Goa: 

Goa is India’s holiday heaven. To me, Goa has the most spectacular sunsets on the planet and holds a very unpretentious, raw and beautiful energy. Every moonsoon season Goa’s beaches are emptied and cleansed by months and months of rain. The cycle of life is very much represented in the small beachy towns that are impacted by Portugese colonies from the past.

Goa will give you time to be. To integrate the 9 busy days on pilgrimage, to reflect and to come back to your practice on your mat. We will move. sing. pray. dance. laugh. and eat the most delicious Indian food while watching the sunset on the beach. We can’t finish the pilgrimage in any better way.

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PROGRAM:

  • Jan 20: Arrival Rishikesh. Check-in. Welcome Circle.
  • Jan 21: Welcome Puja. Tour of Rishikesh. Laxman Jula.
  • Jan 22: Mama Ganga Meditation & Walk. Beatles Ashram. Arati.
  • Jan 23: Kunja Puri Temple (1555m), Hiking, Bharat Ji Temple, Visit Chandreswar Mahadev, Arati at Trivani Ghat
  • Jan 24: Mama Ganga Puja & Blessing, Vashist Cave, Satsang with Maa Gyaan Suveera (Alexia’s teacher), Arati in Haridwar, overnight train to Varanasi
  • Jan 25: Check-in Varanasi. Walking Tour. Ganga Arati.
  • Jan 26: Morning Boat Ride. Subai Banaras Program. BHU Temple, Mama India Temple, Stupa, Museum
  • Jan 27: Heritage Walking Tour, Local Markets, Classical Indian Dance & Dinner
  • Jan 28: Check- out Varanasi. Flight to Goa. Check in at the beach 😉
  • Jan 29- Feb 1: Goa. Beachsite location. 2h long Yoga sessions, Breakfast at the beach, most beautiful sunsets, Dolphins, Massages and tons of coconuts.

Flight Recommendations: 

Arrival airport is Dehra Dun or Delhi. The pick-up from Dehra Dun airport is complimentary.  Should you arrive in Delhi you can book a taxi from the airport to bring you straight to Rishikesh (6-7 hours/ 50€). Departure airport is Goa.

I would recommend to book the flights via checkfelix.com. Select “Multi-Stopp” and type in i.e. Vienna- Dehra Dun and Goa-Vienna (on return flight). This way you can book all at the same time and with the same airline and can check your luggage through all the way. 

India is different. It’s a different world with uncountable faces. For me, as it was my first time in India, visiting this new world was also a journey to myself. I was going there without any expectations, without any fear of the unknown, because I had enough trust in Alexia and her way of organizing this goddess yoga retreat. But this journey was more than a casual yoga retreat, with Alexia as a yoga teacher you always have the choice of how deep you’re diving into new experiences. She guides you threw a unique path, full of amazing landscapes, original villages and an the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. At the same time she gives you enough space, to dive into this new world and soak in every single moment as much as you need it. The way Alexia is organizing yoga retreats can challenge you and can take you more deeper into your yoga practice, on and especially off the mat.
Bianca Lokway, Vienna

Questions? Email me:

FAQ. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.

Yes. it is safe. Firstly, we will be traveling in a group. Secondly, we will be visiting mostly holy places, pilgrimage towns and home of Swamis and Sadhus. You don’t need to worry about safety, however, it is still advisable to keep your passport and money always as close to your body as possible.
That’s totally up to you. We are going to be in a climate with almost 0% humidity, so no mosquitos or nasty bugs around.
While the food in the Ashram and pilgrimage places is usually quite clean, mild and sattvic, I advise you to prepare with the following:

  • Grapefruit Seed Extract: Take either tablets or drops. Start a week before departing to India and take it every day on the journey. (Anti-septic, keeps the bad bugs away)
  • Oregano Oil (i.e. essential oil from doTERRA- you can order via me). Put 1-2 drops into your water bottle on the journey. It is highly anti-inflammatory and immune boosting.
  • PROBIOTICS. Get your good bacteria in to prevent your digestive system to collapse. I recommend “OMNIOBIOTIC TRAVEL”- It comes in little Sachets and you can just mix it with a glass of water every morning after you get up.
Yes. you do. Please make sure you do it timely in advance.

For a short trip, under 2 months, you can apply for an India Visa online HERE. However, if you are flying in to Jodhpur directly with the recommended flight (above), please get your Visa done and ready to go in your passport before you leave for the trip. In Vienna/Austria you can apply for a Visa here: http://blsindiavisa-austria.com

It costs €103 and lasts for up to 1 year. You can apply for 3 months, 6 months or 1 year. It all costst the same.

We will be visiting traditional places where it is not seen to run around with shorts and tank tops. I would therefore suggest you to take lose pants, short or long sleeve shirts (to cover shoulders), long skirts (beyond the knees), loose dresses (also beyond the knees and shoulders covered) and scarves. We will be going shopping en route, so you should also be finding suitable and cheap things as we go.