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Kasbah Aladdin offers you a wellness stay, based on the association of meditation and yoga with the therapeutic action of Gnaoua music and rituals in a unique setting: the desert. Whether you are a believer or not, a materialist or an idealist, if you let your mind and heart free to escape throughout the journey, they assure you that this initiatory experience will have a profound influence on the course of your life.
You will stay in various accommodations during this tour. One night in Ouarzazate, four nights in M’Hamid, Kasbah Aladdin with a special Lila night, and two nights bivouac “The Charm of Aladdin” at the foot of the great dunes of Chegaga.
You will also have treks in the desert with camels from M'Hamid and Chegaga.
The tour starts in Ouarzazate, but you can optionally request a transfer from other airports in Morocco, in particular, Marrakech and they can also make a hotel reservation on your arrival city if necessary.
Depend on your arrival time, you will visit Ouarzazate, its typical place, the Kasbah Taourirt, the souk.
Hatha yoga: savasana - pranayama (full yogic breathing with breath retention full and empty lungs). A time to connect with the breath, a time to let the body totally relax. You will stay alert and conscious. A way for you to observe how people breathe for the pranayama of the week. Then gentle postures in consciousness, slow class. Your yoga teacher will observe the bodies of each participant to adapt to her classes for the week. Diner in Ouarzazate.
In the morning is the time to share, you will open your circle. Anapana meditation concentration on the breath (it is not pranayama) and Hatha yoga class are more or less dynamic depending on the group.
You will follow the Draa Valley which stretches for 100 kilometers from the Atlas to the Sahara Desert. It gives rise to a real miracle of life in a desert area. Kasbahs and ksur, fortified villages built of raw earth, follow one another along the immense palm grove to the last village on the edge of the desert.
In a not-so-distant time, M’hamid El Ghizlane was an oasis, a haven of peace for the nomads, the starting point for the large caravans that crossed the desert to Timbuktu. They will welcome you to the Kasbah Aladdin inn, between palm groves and dunes, within the family Zaouia of Ali, worthy heir of his ancestor the marabout.
You will get to know the local team who will accompany you along the way.
The afternoon will be devoted to explaining their approach and the means used to achieve it. Ali will introduce you to the mysteries of the Gnaouia culture, and in particular to the brotherhoods of musicians and their therapeutic ritual during the 'Lila' night.
Yin Yo the desert. Yin yoga is so slow that it brings attention to the breath, to stay conscious of the present moment and of the sensations in the body. A time of non-action, a time of letting go.
Dinner, musical evening, and night at the kasbah.
To discover it, you will have a day-long trek crossing the different desert areas of the route: dunes, regs, oasis. You will be accompanied by camel guides and their dromedary who will take care of you during the whole walk.
Love and kindness meditation concentration on the breath and Hatha yoga (savasana, new pranayama, and asanas).
After breakfast, there will be about 3 hours walk in the desert.
You will learn to the rhythm of the dromedaries to free yourself from stress, to let yourself be rocked by nomadic songs that will make you forget the demands of modern life, to let your mind get lost in the vastness of the landscape.
You will take advantage of the stop in the shade of the tamarisk trees for an hour of exercise or meditation while your guides prepare lunch. But you will also be able to admire their culinary know-how and even lend a hand. It will be an opportunity to learn more about their tradition and philosophy of life. Without being aware of it, nomads are the first followers of mindfulness! They know how to live in the moment, appreciate all its facets with a sense of humor, and think little about the future.
You will walk back to the track for about 3 hours, and return to Kasbah Aladdin in the evening.
After dinner, you’ll make way for exchanges and music in the Jaima or around the fire. Depending on the participants and their reaction, the guides will know how to direct the evening around the often-liberating speech or the laughter or the sharing of culture but will always end with the music and the captivating rhythms of the desert.
From afar you will see the great dunes of Chegaga, the largest stretch of sand dunes in Morocco, you will be looking forward to watching the sunset on the highest of them. At the Aladdin bivouac, you will be greeted with the welcome tea and you will be able to enjoy the dunes so close to isolate yourself for a moment of meditation.
Meditative walk on the dunes
After that you will then find and enjoy with pleasure the comfort of a bungalow and private shower before enjoying a typical dinner under our large Jaima. After dinner, you will enjoy and participate in a session of nomad music.
A new ingredient will be added to this day: the Silence day that starts after morning class during a trek in the desert.
Meditation and/or Kundalini, Hatha, or Vinyasa class, it includes pranayama and savasana (breathing and relaxation).
Hatha yoga and/or silent walk in consciousness.
You will return to the bivouac in the evening.
Meditation contemplation and Yin yoga.
Diner and nomad music session.
Anapana meditation and Hatha yoga (savasana, new pranayama, and asanas).
After breakfast, you will leave by 4x4 to M’Hamid, with a stop at the Sacred Oasis and a day of relaxation, meditation in the surrounding dunes, or sightseeing Old M’hamid where you will be invited to a traditional tea at the house. Lunch and evening meals will be adapted to allow you to prepare for the Lila experience, detoxifying your body with vegetables, dates, and fruit juices, which will help you to be more receptive to your emotions.
At nightfall, the great evening will begin in the heart of the Zaouia. A Zaouia, in all Islamic lands, is the place of refuge, the sacred sanctuary where the poor as well as the rich find food and rest on their way. It is a place where the body of a famous Muslim saint who belonged to a Sufi brotherhood is buried. A Sufi brotherhood is not only open to its followers: it must welcome foreigners. Everyone can access the vigil, find support and mutual help, but also the opportunity to purify and heal themselves.
In Morocco, a Lila (Ritual Night of the Gnawa) is organized to solve problems of everyday life that do not necessarily fall within the scope of therapy. Therapeutic musicians, organized in brotherhoods, the Gnaoua heal the ailments of body and mind during night ceremonies, or lilac ('night' in Arabic), during which the followers engage in possession dances to the rhythm of music and song.
The ritual repertoire of the Gnawa is the result of a syncretic mix of African contributions, Maghreb music (especially Berber), and Maraboutic culture. Whether you are sensitive or not to its mystical dimension, you will feel the traditional Gnaouie music which refers to the rhythmic origins of blues, rock, or soul.
For the Western travelers of different faiths, this night is very often lived, in your experience, as a liberation. Drawn by the songs and the throbbing rhythm of the instruments, and thanks to the atmosphere of confidence and understanding that you have created throughout the week, consciousness fades and emotions are expressed without restraint, expressing yourselves in laughter, dancing, crying, letting go of oneself and discovering new and unexpected sensations.
From your experience, you will need a day off to recover and prepare yourself for a return to the 'normal life'. Kasbah Aladdin will organize meetings to exchange and share experiences and at any time you can still enjoy the desert a bit to isolate and meditate.
Meditation and/or Kundalini, Hatha, or Vinyasa class, it includes pranayama and savasana. You will close your circle. Ali will listen to you with kindness to answer your doubts or questions about the experiences you have gone through. You will be amazed at your 'letting go' in front of him, being able to reveal yourself to 'an unknown person'. Africa has its mysteries!
Dinner, musical evening, and night.
After breakfast, you will return to the road along the palm grove, and they will drop you off at the airport or at your destination.
You will be always accompanied by a local team with extensive experience in accompanying travelers.
The yoga teacher will accompany you during the whole tour. She adapts her teaching to the levels of the participants.
Ali, the person in charge, is a descendant of the marabout that originated the Zaouia “Zaouite el Batha”. As a great fan of meeting and sharing, he will listen to you to make your stay a unique experience within an ancestral culture. The trek in the desert is feasible for all healthy people. The guides and camel-men take care of the whole organization and adapt without any problems to the needs of the participants.
Instructions regarding your personal belongings will be given to you depending on the time of your trip.
Valerie is a certified yoga teacher. Her method is concrete, simple, open, resulting from an original self-taught and cosmopolitan journey: it is a clever mix of the East by her Vietnamese mother and the West, by his Parisian dad, her children grown up between Montreal, Vancouver and Strasbourg, which led her to explore the range of 80s American experiences. Her goal is to bring the students back inside themselves more than doing gymnastics lessons.
This retreat will take you on a tour. The tour will start in Ouarzazate, then you will continue to M'Hamid, before you are leaving to the desert, Chegaga. You will return back to Ouarzazate or Marrakech.
You will have a half-board on Day 1 and the rest of the tour will be full board.
Marrakesh Menara Airport
Transfer available for additional US$57 per person
For this organizer you can guarantee your booking through BookYogaRetreats.com. All major credit cards supported.
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