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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.
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.
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 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'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.
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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.
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.