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This unique retreat is designed to explore the art of 'doing' (yoga asana) and 'not-doing' (chi kung and tai chi) weaving together the perfect blend of a yogic immersion. Yoga is about becoming consciously aware of what is happening within us, so during this 8-day retreat you will become more sensitive and in tune to the vitality of chi or prana, which is our life force energy. You will learn techniques to cultivate and cleanse to improve energy flow, creating positivity, fulfillment and happiness.
Over the 3 year period and 40 retreats held at H2O Yoga and Meditation Center, no retreat cancellation has ever been made so you can be assured that once you book, you will have a retreat to join. Held at their own retreat center located at the island paradise resort of Gili Air, there is no number of attendees required for the retreat to proceed. Their retreats have gained an excellent reputation and so no last minute disappointments.
H2O is the ultimate island escape - sunrise to sunset. Located only 300 meters from the beach front, it is abundant with nature and nestled amongst timeless local lifestyle. It is a wonderfully unique resting place and sanctuary for travelers and yogis alike.
At the heart of H2O is an inspiring open-aired, circular yoga shala, with a high-domed natural thatch roof. Classes are intimately set amongst natural beauty, and thus offer a deep sense of earth connection, healing and freedom. H2O Yoga and Meditation Center offers daily yoga classes for all levels, and a variety of workshops, yoga trainings and retreats.
The principles of vastu have been a guiding concept in the design of the bungalows at H2O Yoga and Meditation Center. Vastu is India's ancient Vedic tradition of design, architecture and sacred space, often called 'the yoga of design'. It is believed to create harmony and health in one's living space.
H2O Yoga and Meditation Centers bungalows are built from local natural materials and have beautiful thatched roofing. The bungalows are simple yet comfortable and offer a peaceful retiring space for our yoga guests. For those on a tighter budget a shared bungalow (6 beds) is available with shared bathroom. All rooms have fans, and both clean sheets and towels are provided.
In the magical island of Gili Air this retreat provides the opportunity to slow down and reconnect with your core essence, creating space for inner stillness and reflection. Sunrise and sunset meditations on the islands shores will complement your yoga asana and tai chi/chi kung practice and pave the way for our journey of inter-being, a feeling of connection with everyone and everything. Within the idyllic island setting of Gili Air, we will connect with the elements of earth, water, fire and air - feeling the ocean breeze, soaking up fresh prana, swimming with turtles - attuning our vibration with mother earth and father sky.
This retreat will take place at H2O Yoga and Meditation Center located in the tranquil island of Gili Air just two hours from Bali. Whilst traveling in 2009, the founder, Bindu, had the opportunity to tour the island and promptly decided that it was the place to realize his dream of setting up yoga and meditation center. From then on he had made many trips to Lombok and decided to open the center in May 2011.
Gili Air literally means 'island of water', the living earth with 70% water like that of the human body. The element water relates to emotions, which when in harmony, ebb and flow like great oceans. H20 represents health, happiness, and optimism. H20 is a peaceful sanctuary that provides space for intimate reflection and facilitates connection with other like-minded wanderers.
Gili Air's exquisite coastline offers beautiful white sandy beaches, sea view, and restaurants serving fresh fish. The tranquil water surrounding the island is perfect for snorkeling and diving and a great place to swim with turtles. H2O provides the opportunity to seek balance in body and mind in a superb natural, outdoor setting.
There are no motorized vehicles on the quintessential tropical island of Gili Air. The main means of transportation are bicycles and horse and cart. The island very much invites you to immerse yourself in a slower, more even paced way of being. The silent breeze is only intermittently broken by the sounds of village life, the call to prayer from the neighboring mosque, falling coconuts, and bird song.
Click to see more vegetarian-friendly Yoga Retreats
Food on Gili Air is unpretentious and is made with predominantly locally sourced ingredients. Some of the most appetizing options are the local Indonesian specialties, such as gado gado; steamed veggies with a delicious peanut sauce, or nasi campur; white rice with a selection of vegetables, tofu, tempe, chicken, or fish. Chicken or freshly caught fish sate is also popular choices as well as 'urap urap'; veggies with grated coconut. Ask for the local sambal (chili sauce) to give your dish an extra zing. Vegetarians will find the local dishes with their prolific use of tempe a viable meal option.
Restaurants tend to specialize in freshly grilled seafood and Indonesian dishes. Cheap beachside establishments cater for western palates and often serve Thai, Italian, and Chinese food also. Be sure to head inland to try the authentic local cuisine!
Fruit juices are ubiquitous throughout the islands eateries. The water of fresh young coconuts are a real treat and incredibly refreshing. Also, there are many 'warungs' on the island; small kitchens, usually attached to someone's home that serve good quality Indonesian dishes.
There is one main supermarket, where most food staples can be purchased, including natural yoghurt. Bear in mind that being an island, Gili Air is subject to fresh goods arriving by boat, and hence fruit selection varies from day to day. Papayas, bananas, avocados, and pineapple are always in abundance, as well as mangos in season. Exotic local fruits such as mangosteens, rambutan (local lychees), and dragon fruit are also widely available when in season.
The island's most favored activity is to simply rest back and delight in the sheer pleasure of being here. Most visitors swiftly slip into the slower pace of island life and find Gili Air a perfect setting in which to unwind and just be. Whether at a beach side restaurant on a sun lounger, or a secluded spot on the sandy shores, visitors frequently find themselves drinking up the stunning views, getting lost in a book, or even writing their own. There is however plenty of activities to keep you busy if you so desire. One of Gili Air's main attractions is its coral reef and wonderfully diverse ocean life.
Visit local pearl farms, waterfalls, the resort town of Senggigi, or take a drive along forested road with amazing coastal views and monkeys abound. Relish the epic, untamed coastline of Kuta-Lombok, which offers great surfing and exciting diving options. With the new International airport in Kuta, Lombok this stunningly wild landscape is expected to develop quickly so go see it now to enjoy its full natural spectacle.
Diving is inexpensive in Indonesia and a great way to appreciate the magnificent underwater world. Gili Air boasts 9 dive centers; many tourists coming to the island specifically to make use of them. The schools offer a quick course and dive in one day; the 'discover scuba diving', or the 'open water' 3 to 4 day certification program.
For those wishing to further their training; advanced and instructor level courses are also offered. There are approximately 18 unique dive sites around the island, featuring coral seascapes, wrecks, sharks and a plentitude of brilliantly colored fish. Oceans 5 Dive center, have professional staff, modern/up to date equipment, and top class service.
There are a number of regular and impromptu music events and parties that take place on Gili Air. These are typically advertised on flyers circulated around the island. Many of the locals have remarkable musical talent. Live singing and guitar playing can often be enjoyed when walking past the many restaurants in the evening. There are several bars that regularly host live bands and DJ's, whose audiences dance the night away on the beaches, beneath the stars. There is also the occasional bonfire on the beach as part of spontaneous gatherings of guitarists, singers, percussionists and whatever musical talent may be present on the island - a magical way to spend the evening.
Also on Lombok is the picturesque Volcano Mount Rinjani. Though the 2 to 4 day hike to the summit is challenging; at 3010 meters, you are well rewarded with spectacular views of the nearby Crater Lake. Tours that include a guide and camping equipment usually range between 140 to 200 USD. The village at the base of Rinjani, Senaru, has a variety of accommodation options and offers several easier walks to local waterfalls also.
To visit Gili Meno or Gili Trawangan for the day take the 'island hopper' boat for around 2 USD each way. Explore the deserted beaches of Gili Meno, or the high vibe and many restaurants of Trawangan, before returning to our favorite island (Gili Air obviously) in the late afternoon.
Or salute the sunset with a cocktail as you watch its golden rays slip behind the sacred volcano Agung on Bali - a perfect way to end another day in paradise.
H2O has a selection of wonderful books, which can be enjoyed whilst relaxing on the Zen veranda. With a wide range of titles on yoga, alternative healing, meditation, Buddhism and other spiritual topics you'll never be short of inspiration. There are also 'second hand' bookshops on the island where books (mainly fiction) can be both exchanged or purchased.
All around the island and just a stone's throw from the shore an abundance of vibrant sea life awaits your exploration! Snorkel alongside the critically endangered hawksbill turtle, and encounter the colorful clown fish. Enjoy shoal upon shoal of tropical fish, and sea anemones, as they weave their way through the striking coral. Equipment is widely available to rent or can be purchased from most of the dive shops. For 3 USD you'll get a snorkel, mask and fins for the day. Take a day trip on a local 'glass-bottom' boat to snorkel some of the island's most highly regarded spots, and see Gili Air from a whole other perspective.
On the southwest side of the island there is a reef break approximately 200 meters from the shore. This is a popular spot to catch great waves and attracts many surfers during the big swells. Surfboards can be rented from Seven Seas. The local surfers are generally very open in sharing their hot tips.
In front of Scallywag's restaurant is a natural pool. These brilliantly blue waters with their flawless sandy floor make a perfect spot to bathe.
A gentle stroll or power walk around the island is a must, and a great way to experience Island life. A casual walk takes just short of 90 minutes. For those that like to get their energy zap, there is a track for running that offers spectacular views of the Island.
You will be responsible in booking your flights to and from Denpasar International Airport (DPS) or Lombok Airport (LOP).
A flight from Denpasar International Airport (DPS) to the new Lombok Airport (LOP) takes 30 minutes and will cost approximately 50 USD to 100 USD. On arrival in southern Lombok you will need to take a taxi to Bhangsal Harbour in the north (2 hours), costing around 30 USD. The 15minutes boat journey from there across to Gili Air costs approximately 20 USD for a chartered boat.
Fast boat - This is the most common option. All travel agents offer combined tickets, which include pick up from your accommodation at around 7 a.m. and a 1.5-hour mini bus ride to Padang Bai Harbor. Finally, take a 1.5-hour ride via fast boat to Gili Air and arrive around 11:30 a.m.
Slow Boat - This involves two minivan rides, a 5-hour ferry ride, and a final short public boat ride. This option takes 12 hours, and gets you to Gili Air at around 6 p.m.
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