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8 Days Soul Garden Meditation and India Yoga Retreat

  • Banyan Tree Yoga, Mandrem, Aswem Wado, Goa, India

Overview

Relaxing Yoga Retreat Goa

Join Cathy Wallace and Ayesha Ali for a special week-long retreat to take you deeper into your practice in beautiful north Goa, India. Garuda Yoga has chosen a very special location for the time together in India. Being set apart from the busier resorts gives Banyan Tree Yoga a quieter and more peaceful atmosphere, which is perfect to truly switch off and reconnect with your practice.

Highlights

  • Morning Vinyasa flow yoga classes
  • Evening meditation and mantra sessions
  • Restorative, Yin, and yoga Nidra practices
  • Daily vegetarian brunches and dinners
  • Opportunities to explore the area
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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For this retreat, you will be staying in the Banyan Tree. Banyan Tree, built from the earth it stands on, is a small, but perfectly formed retreat center nuzzled in the countryside between Mandrem and Ashvem. Banyan Tree is made up of 15 eco-friendly huts made from local sustainable materials. The clay and grass from which the roofs are constructed, comes from the back garden and the walls are made from bamboo and nilgiri wood, which brings a beautiful play of light into the living space.

Each hut has its own private veranda, bed, and bamboo rack to hang your clothes. The outdoor en-suite, eco-bathrooms consist of a composting toilet and private shower under the sky. These unique bathrooms might take a little bit of getting used to, but it is all part of the experience, and you can be sure you are looking after the environment in this part of India where water is in short supply and the environment is fragile.

​The shaded yoga shala built using a traditional Goan building method mixing clay, mud, and cow dung offers a peaceful place to relax, recharge, and feel rejuvenated after a yoga or meditation session. Having only one shala, the group will have exclusive use of the space and the grounds.​ The accommodation and shala is surrounded by a beautiful garden, which is tended to each day with many blossoming flowers and vegetable patches where the Banyan team grow local vegetables for meals.

The shaded outdoor dining area offers a cozy environment for the group to come together over brunch and dinner. Fresh juices made from the tropical fruits that grow in abundance in Goa can also be ordered throughout the day. The beach is only a short walk or taxi ride away, so you can delve back into the buzz of India or find a restful peaceful spot on the beach anytime you like.

Accommodation options

  • A shared double room without hot water
  • A shared twin room with hot water shower
  • Single occupancy in a double room without hot water
  • Single occupancy in double room with hot water shower

Please note that spaces in each type of room are limited.

For each morning, you will enjoy approximately of two hours and 30 minutes to three hours of Vinyasa flow yoga classes. You will also have one hour and 30 minutes to two hours evening practices, including Restorative, Yin, meditation, mantra, and yoga Nidra. There will be no class on Wednesday evening and you can spend this time to visit the Anjuna flea market.

Guests on the retreat come from a diverse range of yoga backgrounds and experience. Classes will be suitable for those with at least six months of regular practice. There will be no yoga scheduled on the day of arrival, but there will be a welcoming dinner in the evening. On the day of departure, there will be a morning yoga session and brunch as usual.

  • Ayesha Ali

    Ayesha Ali first encountered yoga at her local gym around eleven years ago, but it was not until she attended an Ashtanga class in 2007 that she fell completely in love with the practice. She had always been attracted to the idea of yoga as a way to de-stress and unwind. In 2013, having found her happy place in the more fluid and free Vinyasa approach, Ayesha enrolled on the Apple Yoga teacher training program with Katy Appleton and completed the training in 2014.

  • Cathy

    Cathy's yoga classes are an open hearted offering for students to connect with their breath through a juicy flow to find an inner stillness. Against an eclectic soundtrack of music, she teaches bio-dynamically savvy alignment based practices thoughtfully prepared to take you on a spiritual adventure. Cathy has assisted teacher training and retreats. Alongside yoga, she enjoys rock climbing for exercise.

This retreat will take place in Goa, India. When living in India in Ayusha's early 20s, she was a regular visitor to Goa. This is her favorite part of the state. Whilst it still has a distinctly Indian flavor, this part of Goa has a laid back, sleepy vibe, perfect for taking time out, getting back to nature, and investing in yourself. The night market, flea market, and spice plantations make perfect excursions should you wish to venture beyond the beautiful quiet beaches.

Activities
  • Massage nearby
General
  • Beach nearby
  • Dining area
  • Garden
  • Yoga shala
Services
  • Local market

For this retreat, you will be served with nutritious homemade vegetarian brunches and dinners. These meals are made from organic produce grown at Banyan.

For those who would prefer to spend their time horizontal, the massage center in Mandrem provides 90 minutes traditional Ayurvedic massages for 15 GBP.

  • 5 evening practices
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • 7 vegetarian brunches and dinners
  • 7 Vinyasa flow yoga classes
  • Additional meals
  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Excursions or day trips
  • Extra treats and activities
  • Flight insurance
  • Massages
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Transportation to excursions
  • Travel insurance

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Goa International Airport (GOI). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. Airport transfers can be arranged on your behalf or you can take a pre-paid taxi from the airport. More information will be provided one month before the retreat.

  • Review by Grazyna Kasietczuk
    10 out of 10

    "Thoroughly enjoyed great pregnancy yoga course at Sweat Studios (Milton Keynes) run by Ayesha! The practice had a good pace and great balance between getting a good work out and being challanged, while respecting the limitations of a growing body. I certainly found what I was looking for, such as lots of movement, good stretch, and most importantly, feeling refreshed and energized after the practice."

    Garuda Yoga Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Denise West
    10 out of 10

    "I feel blessed to have found Ayesha teaching in the local village hall and was lucky to join her class. This was ideal for me being new to yoga, Ayesha is very hands on guiding me on my practice. Her classes are always challenging, but never pressured and I feel able to go at my own pace, whilst being encouraged to challenge myself. The music Ayesha plays during practice is inspired and I leave feeling energized and ready to face the world."

    "After joining one of Ayesha’s retreats last summer, I am looking forward to joining her in another retreat in Goa next year. Just before heated flow today, I heard a few ladies chatting in the changing room saying that Ayesha was their favourite teacher at the yoga center and they loved her class, so it isn’t just me! I am so glad that such a fantastic teacher is near where I live, my only wish being that I could attend more of her sessions. Thank you, Ayesha."

    Garuda Yoga Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Sophie Schrey
    10 out of 10

    "Ayesha’s yoga classes are enjoyable, as well as being diverse and challenging no matter what your level. She clearly puts a lot of thought into the planning (the yoga and the music) and each week is something a little bit different, which I love. I recently went on one of her retreats and I thought it was fantastic. It was so varied and it left me feeling inspired to develop my yoga and try new things. I would definitely recommend her as a teacher if only she still did London classes!"

    Garuda Yoga Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Lottie Williams
    10 out of 10

    "Ayesha is one of my favourite yogis. I leave my class with her feeling inspired, challenged, and relaxed. Ayesha creates a welcoming space where you feel able to give yourself to the practice completely. It is no coincidence that Ayesha is the only teacher who has been able to help me get into a headstand unaided, something I have struggled with for 10 years. Go and try one of Ayesha's classes, you will not be disappointed!"

    Garuda Yoga Facebook page, edited