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You will be escorted to the heart of spiritual India without having to organize any of the details or worry about how to stay safe or navigate the challenge of traveling in India. This is heartfelt yoga and travel for women who desire to reconnect with their spiritual side by getting away and immersing themselves in something wonderful. You are invited on a transformational yoga holiday that will deepen your appreciation of the ancient art form of yoga and its sacred roots in spiritual India.
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During this retreat, you will be staying at various accommodations including Eros Hotel in New Delhi for one night, The Grand Imperial in Agra for two nights, Suryauday Haveli - An Amritara Resort in Varanasi for four nights, and Mahabodhi Hotel, Resort, and Convention Center in Bodh Gaya for two nights.
You will arrive in Delhi and will be transferred from the airport to Eros Hotel. You will have an afternoon yoga, opening circle, and welcome dinner that starts at 3:00 p.m. You will be met by a local guide and transferred to the luxury hotel.
The guide will have a sign with your name on it at the arrival hall of Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). You will meet as a group at 3:00 p.m. in the lobby and enjoy a soft landing by practicing Yin and Restorative yoga as well as the opening circle. You will get to know the other members over a welcome dinner and together you will celebrate the beginning of the spiritual journey in Divine Mother India.
You will enjoy an early morning yoga and meditation practices. Then, you will have a leisurely morning to make the most of the luxury hotels pool and spa facilities. At noon, you will check out of the hotel and visit market mecca Dilli Haat.
You can pick up some local clothes to help assimilate into your new environment or simply enjoy taking in the arts and crafts of this exotic land. From there, you head to Agra by private coach and check in to the heritage hotel just in time for dinner. On this day, you will stay at The Grand Imperial, Agra. Breakfast, travel, and private coach to Agra which takes around four hours will be provided.
The morning is yours to enjoy the hotel. In the afternoon, you will head to the Taj Mahal for a visit to this spectacular monument to love. The Taj at sunset is magical with highlights of pink and orange as the backdrop to the white light emanating from this glowing masterpiece. On this day, you will stay at The Grand Imperial. Breakfast is included.
You will start your day with an early morning yoga and meditation practices. After breakfast, you make your way to the airport for the flight to Varanasi. Upon arrival into Varanasi, you will settle into your hotel whilst enjoying classical Indian music.
In this night, from the boutique hotel, you will drift off to sleep alongside the life force of Divine Mother India. Ganga Maa and the Ganges River are both a Goddess and a healer; her water is magical and mystical infused with transformational powers. On this day, you will stay at Suryauday Haveli - An Amritara Resort in Varanasi. Breakfast, travel, flight to Varanasi which will take two hours are included.
This morning, you will experience your first yoga practice with a local guru and meditation on the steps of the Ganges River. During the day, you will have an opportunity to catch your breath or go for a stroll. Late afternoon, you will enjoy a private puja (prayer and blessing ritual) for the group at the Shiva Temple and take a river cruise.
You will attend the infamous Aarti, sacred fire ceremony of Varanasi, as well as observe the sacred cremation grounds. As an optional activity, you may like to experience a personal astrology reading by a local Panditji. On this day, you will stay at Suryauday Haveli - An Amritara Resort in Varanasi. Breakfast is included.
After meditation and yoga practices with the guru on the rooftop, you will continue your spiritual journey through Varanasi. Firstly, you will visit Sarnath, an extremely important Buddhist pilgrimage site where Lord Buddha taught his first holy sermon. This is one of the four most important pilgrimage places for Buddhists in the world.
After lunch, you will visit two of Varanasi’s most sacred temples dedicated to different Gods and Goddesses represented in the Hindu pantheon. Late afternoon, you will return to the hotel to enjoy the view, taking in the sunset activities along the Ganga. On this day, you will stay at Suryauday Haveli - An Amritara Resort in Varanasi. Breakfast is included.
In the very early morning, you will take a river cruise to experience chanting and meditation at sunrise on Mother Ganga. The boat will drop you in the charming old city of Varanasi and you will walk through the cobblestone streets visiting the famous golden temple Kashi Vishvanath and enjoy a cup of chai and spot of shopping along the way.
You will return to the hotel by rickshaw taking in more of the sites and colors of India. This afternoon, you will visit the fifth generation silk weaving family and attend Ganga Aarti from a different perspective on the Ghats with the locals. On this day, you will stay at Suryauday Haveli - An Amritara Resort in Varanasi. Breakfast is included.
After yoga practice with the guru and early morning meditation, you will have a leisurely breakfast and prepare to check out. Today, you will travel to Buddhist pilgrimage town Bodhgaya by private coach. Whilst watching the world go by, you will have a chance to journal, reflect, and compare notes with your fellow travelers.
Once you reach Bodhgaya, it will be time to take rest and settle in to your new surroundings and a much slower pace with an early evening guided relaxation. On this day, you will stay at Mahabodhi Hotel, Resort, and Convention Center in Bodhgaya. Breakfast is included. The private coach to Bodhgaya will take around six hours.
After your yoga and meditation practices, you will venture out to the renowned Mahabodhi Temple complex as well as other dedicated Buddhist temples within the township. It was under this great Bodhi tree that Lord Buddha attained enlightenment.
This is a major pilgrimage site for Buddhists from around the world. After the temple visits, there will be time to shop in this quaint little holy town or simply relax by the pool in the hotel. Tonight, you will enjoy your farewell dinner together at the hotel. On this day, you will stay at Mahabodhi Hotel, Resort and Convention Center in Bodhgaya. Breakfast and dinner are included.
In the very early morning, you will return to the Mahabodhi Temple to listen to the devotional chanting of the Buddhist monks and join them for morning meditation. Breakfast is included on this day. You will also conduct your closing circle within the grounds of the temple and auspicious end to the journey together.
At midday, you will head to the airport for your flight to Delhi. Once you reach Delhi, which takes around two hours, you will say your goodbyes to your new friends and continue on to your international flights or alternative plans in India. Are the sweet whispers of Divine Mother India calling your name?
Belinda is an experienced yoga teacher and facilitator of international yoga holidays. She has spent more than 20 years living and studying the cultures and traditions of Asia. Her passion and enthusiasm for the spiritual tradition of yoga are enhanced and complemented by her down-to-earth, easy delivery teaching of this ancient philosophy. Belinda has a particular interest in developing opportunities for people to come together and learn the system of yoga as a tool for total well-being.
This retreat will take place in India covering New Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, and Bodh Gaya.
You will be provided with daily breakfasts and welcome and farewell dinners.
On day two, while you're visiting market mecca Dilli Haat, you can pick up some local clothes to help assimilate into your new environment or enjoy taking in the arts and crafts of this exotic land. You can also find shopping spots and enjoy a cup of chai while visiting the famous golden temple Kashi Vishvanath on day seven of the retreat.
Please book your flight to arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). Transfer from the airport is included. Belinda O'Dea will pick you up from the airport. To be safe, Belinda O'Dea would recommend organizing international flights after 11:00 p.m. to safeguard against possible delays.
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