Explore the roots and traditions of yoga and their relevance to modern life and practice at the source on the banks of the Holy river Ganges at a traditional Ashram just outside of one of India’s holiest cities. With the Himalayas as our background we will meditate, study philosophy and practice yoga in a quite, contemplative and more traditional way.
You can choose to join for the retreat only, or to join for a module of Advanced Teacher Training, which will make-up 75 hours.
- Dates: 14 to 22 September, 2013
- Where: Phool Chatti Ashram, Rishikesh
- Costs: Teacher Training ZAR 8,900 | Retreat only ZAR 6,500 | Early bird discounts for bookings before 31 July, 2013 | Costs include retreat / teacher training, full board and lodging.
- Book your spot: email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your space
Phool Chatti Ashram
Founded in the late 1800’s on an ancient pilgrimage route, Phool Chatti means “Land of Flowers”, and is appropriate, as the 120-year old traditional ashram is situated in the forested foothills of the Himalayan mountains. The ashram is close enough to Rishikesh to be easily accessible, but far enough for you to immerse yourself in the peace and quiet of the mountains and river. Read more here. See more pictures of the ashram here.
- 06.00 – 06.45: Sitting meditation to greet the sunrise
- 07.00 – 09.00: Open group asana practice
- 09.30: Breakfast
- 10.30 – 12.30: TTC Yoga Teaching Technique workshops and discussions or Philosophy Study
- 12.30 – 16.00: Lunch and personal time
- 16.00 – 18.00: Open group Yoga practice or philosophy study and discussion.
- 18.00 – 19.00: Pooja and Bhajan with Sunset (See FAQ if you are not sure what this is)
- 19.30: Dinner and day ends
Getting There and Back Again:
It is best to fly to Dehli, and get a connecting flight to the city of Dehradun. The most reasonable flights are on Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airlines. Connecting flights via local carriers are very frequent, but it is best to avoid Air India. Contact Michelle from Myoga Travel who will be able to arrange the trip for you until the end of July. After that Michele will be on maternity leave.
Dehradun is one of the oldest cities of India and is the gateway to the famous hill station of Mussoorie and the pilgrimage spots of Haridwar and Rishikesh. In Skanda Purana, Dehradun is mentioned as a part of the region called ‘Kedar Khand’, the abode of Shiva. Dehradun is located in the Doon Valley in the foothills of the Himalayas nestled between two of India’s mightiest rivers – the Ganges on the east and the Yamuna on the west.
From Dehradun you get a taxi to Rishikesh. Arrive at the top bridge which is called Laxman Jula, walk accross the might Ganges River and then take another taxi on to the Ashram.
It is a good idea to have a few days after or before the visit to the Ashram to explore a bit more of what India has to offer. The Taj Mahal is not far from Dehli, and there are many incredible things to do and see.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I Bring?
Comfortable shoes for walks.
Loose comfortable long sleeved clothing.
Flip flops for around the Ashram.
Swimsuit, sunscreen and a sarong.
A flashlight or headlamp as it is very dark at night.
A warm jacket in case we go up to higher elevations.
Allow extra space in the luggage as you may want to stock up on books or other collectables.
What is an ashram: Traditionally, an ashram (Sanskri: आश्रम) is a spiritual hermitage, in modern terms it denotes a centre of cultural activity away from regular life. Activities such as yoga, music, philosophy and religious instruction are undertaken. It can be seen as an equivalent to a residential dojo or studio.
Phool Chatti is a place of spiritual pursuit. It has been operating in this way since it was founded over 100 years ago. As guests of the head Swami, we should treat the place and all of the people there with utmost respect. Behave in the same way that one would behave in a monastery or church. The head Swami is not a receptionist, or manager. He is the spiritual guide and patriarch of the institution.
The rules in the ashram include no eating of meat, garlic and onions, no intoxicating substances. Though many ashrams also have rules against sexual conduct and often board men and women separately, Phool Chatti does allow couples to share a room.
There is a landline Phone but no cellphone reception. There is also no internet Wi Fi. Wifi and cellular reception is available Rishikesh town. And possibly at a point halfway along the on the road to town. If communications need to be made then there are fairly irregular jeeps passing by. It is also possible to arrange rental of skooters, and motorbikes.
What about local customs? Please be respectful of local customs. Dress appropriately – this means wearing long-sleeved shirts for both men and women. For women, walking around in yoga tights or sleeveless tops is not appropriate. Wear something loose-fitting. Local style clothing is comfortable and cool in the summer and is available in stores.
A visit to India is a great opportunity to buy beautiful silk and cotton fabrics.
The left hand is considered unclean (even if yours isn’t). So use the right hand to eat, hand something over or to touch someone or something.
What about health, food and water? Any trip taken abroad would not be done so without the appropriate travel and health insurance. Please make sure yours is up to date.
Please make sure you only drink bottled or boiled water. Boiled drinks such as Chai are generally fine, but very sweet.
Avoid eating salads, raw vegetables or fruits that have skins on them – they may not have been hygienically washed. There is a shop nearby that sells all manner of imported snack foods and breakfast cereals (including South Afrian) and other treats should you need them. They also do a good cappuccino.
Bring a hand-cleaning gel and use it frequently throughout the day.
All foriegn Nationals require a visa to0 visit India
It has become a little more complicated lately to apply for a visa even as a tourist so it is advised that you get started on the process.
All visas are now processed by a company called BLS International.
South Africans can find Visa Requirements and online forms here
Note that there will be an absolute minimum of ten days for processing. and that the Photo Dimensions for India are particular.