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11 Day Iyengar Yoga Holiday with a certified Iyengar teacher in Gokarna, Kudle Beach #1 Hotel, India

Iyengar Yoga Retreat India

Namaste Yoga Farm invites you to join their 11 days Iyengar yoga holiday in the beautiful surroundings of Kudle Beach, Gokarna, India. This retreat offers you the chance to positively influence your physical, mental, and emotional well-being and cultivate awareness so you can have a much richer and rewarding experience of yourself, others and the world around you.

What distinguishes Iyengar yoga is the very high degree of attention paid to alignment. Props are used to increase awareness and to make the poses accessible. Iyengar yoga focuses on precision and endurance within a multitude of progressive sequences. A strong practice that incorporates dynamic, static and restorative postures to firm the body and steady the mind.

Retreat highlights

  • 7 daily yoga sessions
  • Restorative yoga practice
  • Certified Iyengar yoga instructors
  • Daily healthy breakfast included with various options
  • A round trip by boat visiting the most beautiful beaches
  • Complimentary bikes to explore the surroundings
  • 10 nights accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate

Yoga styles


9 days with instruction in English
Spoken languages: German, Italian, Spanish, English
The maximum participants in the group is 15

Airport transfer available:
Dabolim Airport (US$82 per person)

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Accommodation

Namaste Yoga Farm is famous for its well-known exclusive stay which provides its guests with an optimum comfort and peace. The feel however is like a homely and cozy type, with six exclusive rooms that present the perfect environment to do yoga, relax, and enjoy, plus seven Eco cottages. The interior of the place is naturally combined with attractive, elegant decor and quality, positioned near the Arabic ocean on Kudle beach. Each room here is designed to hold the coastal view and are featured with a private terrace or balcony. The rooms are located far from the noise so you can enjoy a quiet and peaceful environment.

Eco-tourism is more than a catch phrase for nature loving travel and recreation. Eco-tourism is consecrated for preserving and sustaining the diversity of the world’s natural and cultural environments. This accommodates and entertains visitors in a way that is minimally intrusive or destructive to the environment and sustains and supports the native cultures in the locations it is operating in. This is the reason Namaste Yoga Farm Gokarna uses thick volcanic, laterite stones for the walls and the roof is made from terracotta tiles on coconut wood rafters and the mattresses are made from coco nut fiber.

Namaste Yoga Farm Iyengar Yoga Retreat in India Itinerary

Introduction to Iyengar Yoga with a special focus on standing poses:

The base on which to build an effective yoga practice Yoga is termed a self-study (Svadhyaya) and is the journey of learning to practice so that we might study and come to understand ourselves. Iyengar Yoga applies the specific methodology to two of the eight limbs of Yoga: asana and pranayama. Through disciplined practice, these two limbs become instruments of a contemplative science, for this reason, the focus is ‘practice-based learning’.

The key methods of practice within Iyengar Yoga, including technique, timings, sequence, and repetition are introduced. Through the practice of asana (physical postures), students begin to explore the body, mind, and breath as relational forces and instruments of meditation. When one is new to yoga one begins first with the standing poses. The standing asanas are called 'Uttistha sthiti'. They introduce the student to herself. The student begins to discover the inter connectedness of the body. Often times a beginner knows where his big toe is on his body, but does not know his big toe on an intimate level. That is to say, there is no connection between the big toe and the mind. The student may 'will' the toe to move, but it is asleep.

The student begins to learn how an adjustment of the shoulder blades corresponds to the front body and lifting of the chest. He/she begins to blossom and open up literally, as hands and feet spread wide apart the student learns that his limbs can actually move: contract, extend, expand, abduct, adduct, rotate and circumduct! The standing poses include all the movements of the spine, such as "horizontal, vertical and lateral elongation as well as extension along with sideways, forward, backward extensions, and twisting. Thus, the standing asanas becomes the foundation for the rest of the asanas!

Sirsasana and Sarvangasana as “Father and Mother”

Headstand and Shoulder stand are considered by Mr Iyengar as the centerpiece of yoga practice. They are somewhat quaintly referred to as “father and mother” of the asanas and the ones that should be always practiced. Turning the body upside down in this way boosts the major systems of the body (circulatory, respiratory, nervous and glandular) and gives rest to the heart. Headstand is the more stimulating and invigorating pose, it helps to develop a vigorous body with a strong spine and a disciplined mind. Shoulder stand is the nurturing pose. It is cooling and quietening and a great aid to glandular and hormonal health, gives more a feeling of peace.

The two poses together bring a balance to our body and mind. Sirsasana and Sarvangasana are generally practiced together as part of the same sequence. It is possible to only do Shoulder stand but it is not recommended that one practise Headstand on its own. It needs the balancing effect of Shoulder stand to keep harmony in the body. At the core of yoga practice and philosophy, one always comes to this question of balance. If we do something stimulating to the system we need to counter with something cooling... as spicy food is accompanied by Yogurt to cool its fire!

Surya Namaskara also known in English as Sun Salutation:

Sun Salutations, or Surya Namaskar, are traditionally performed in the morning to greet the new day. Tadasana (the most difficult posture in yoga); Urdhva Hastasana (reach the ceiling by rooting in the floor), Ardha Uttanasana (lean forward by bending backward); Uttanasana (the head down the energy rises); Chaturanga Dandasana (the challenge more difficult), Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (focus on the lower back).

Adho Mukha Svanasana (the complete position) Namaskarasana (surrender). The sequence of 8 postures can be a complete practice in itself or can prepare you for a longer asana routine.

Forward extensions, twisting and back extensions:

Forward Extensions are calming and quieting. Many of the asanas involve extending the spine and perhaps forward ‘bends’ teach this the best. Make sure that you keep the front of your spine lengthening and that the movement to go forward comes from the pelvis rotating over your legs. Stay in the forward extensions at least two minutes, longer if you can be quiet there when you practice restorative postures.

Twists. The turning or twisting of the spine along with the abdomen in any asana is called Parivrta Kriya. Twists create mobility in the spine by giving lateral rotational movement, these poses are essential for everyone since they delay aging of the muscles of the spine and back.

Back bends; The posterior part of your spinal column is compressed as you bend backwards, which helps push the disks in your vertebrae away from the spinal nerves, and decompresses the front of the vertebrae. As a result, the damage from forwarding bending (over time) can be reversed.

Restorative practice with focus on the breath:

Restorative practice is a form of yoga that seeks to achieve physical, mental and emotional relaxation with the aid of props. The use of props makes it easier for you to maintain balance while you are stimulating and relaxing your body. While some restorative yoga poses are beneficial to the entire body, others target specific parts of the body, such as the heart or the lungs.

Benefits: Restorative practice provides healing for the body and the mind. It is especially useful when you need to eliminate fatigue and stress that result from your daily activities. It can also help you recover from illness and injury or overcome emotional depression and anxiety that are caused by traumatic events. It is known that restorative yoga can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which enables automatic control of the body. As such, the regular nervous system will be at rest, and the muscles will become more relaxed. Constant practice of restorative yoga will make your body less vulnerable to stress-related illnesses and help you achieve optimal health.

Daily shedule

Day 1

  • 15:00 Arrival and welcome drink
  • 18:00 Meeting at the chillout
  • 19:30 Dinner

Day 2

  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 11:00 to 16:00 Temple tour
  • 13:00 Lunch in Gokarna Town
  • 16:00 Free time
  • 19:30 Dinner

Day 3 to Day 9

  • 07:30 Hot drinks, dried fruits and nuts
  • 08:00 to 10:00 Iyengar Yoga
  • 10:30 Breakfast
  • 11:00 Free time
  • 13:30 Lunch
  • 16:00 to 18:00 Iyengar Yoga
  • 19.30 Dinner

Day 10

  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 11:00 to 17:00 Boat tour visiting different beaches
  • 14:00 Lunch on Om beach
  • 19:30 Dinner

Day 11

  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 12:00 Departure

Included excursions

A one day boat tour where you will have the opportunity to watch dolphins in their natural habitat whilst visiting nearby beaches like the Half Moon beach and Paradise beach and a guided temple tour through Gokarna with a Brahmin are both included in the price.

Instructors

Stefano Bendandi
Stefano practices Iyengar yoga for 18 years and is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher. He has participated in numerous workshops with senior teachers and advance in Europe as in India. He studied regularly at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune, in the Iyengar Yogashraya and in Yogabhyasa in Mumbai, and in the School of Iyengar Yoga in Ravenna. He started teaching in 2007, has been certified Iyengar Yoga in 2012. He teaches regularly in Gokarna and in Marina di Ravenna, he conducts seminars in Italy and abroad.
Francesca Ferrero
(Yoga)
Francesca meets the practice of Yoga at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in South London in 2004.She returned to Italy in 2006 where she followed Iyengar Yoga classes in the period prior to the trip to India, where for 6 months she attended the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute classes daily. During the same period she dedicated herself to the studyof Ayurveda, Indian medicine, and learn the techniques of massage. Back to Italy, she began her teacher training at Yoga Wisdom Institute in Florence where she graduated in 2011. She continues to pursue upgrading sessions held by senior teachers.

Retreat location

Gokarna is a town on the Arabian Sea, in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. A popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus, it’s known for sacred sites like Mahabaleshwar Temple, which has a shrine dedicated to the deity Shiva. Nearby, Koti Teertha is a temple tank where devotees wash in the holy waters. The town is also home to beaches such as palm-lined Gokarna, in the center, plus Kudle and Om farther south.

Namaste Yoga Farm is an oasis of peace just 3-minutes walk from the golden sands of Kudle beach and the famous Rama temple/Shiva cave of Gokarna. Sleep in ocean view rooms, Eco-cottages with their own veranda or yoga deck or amidst lush greenery in one of the enchanting tree houses build under a canopy of stars. Organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs grow amongst tropical flowers, healing plants, and abundant bird life. Explore nearby beaches, local villages, ancient temples, and caves.

Transform mind, body, and spirit through yoga and meditation, indulge in Ayurvedic massage or take a kayak tour on the ocean. Enjoy art classes and chess club on Thursday's ... or perhaps just simply relax, unwind, and grab a book from our huge library and chill aside the fish pond.

Unique features

Activities

  • Art classes
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Table tennis

General

  • Beach
  • Garden
  • Lounge
  • Luggage room / storage
  • Meditation garden
  • Multilingual staff
  • Yoga deck
  • Yoga shala
  • Yoga studio
  • Pet friendly

Services

  • ATM / banking
  • Cell phone rental
  • Currency exchange
  • Free bicycle
  • Free bottled water
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Free Wi-Fi / computer
  • Internet access
  • Laptop rental
  • Laundry
  • Library
  • Mosquito net
  • Newspapers
  • Tour assistance
  • Wireless internet

Food

A healthy breakfast will be served in the morning with the option of sweet or salty such as fruit musli, homemade yogurt, local fruits, idly and dosas, honey, extra virgin olive oil, tahini, brown German bread, fruit salads, coffee, and tea. Hot drinks, dry fruits, and nuts are available 30 minutes before the first class.

Lunch will be a healthy snack like a variety of salads and steamed vegetable and a 100% pure juice from a "sloooowww juicer". Anything that's not to heavy in your stomach before the afternoon class.

Dinner will be a variety of different local vegetable and grains, yummy desserts with the focus on "Health"! Because Namaste Yoga Farm likes homemade foods, they produce tofu, yogurt ourselves and also buy from local families other homemade products like a peanut - cashew butter, cheese and brown bread. Ingredients are cooked simply to maintain the maximum nutritional value and flavor. Let Namaste Yoga Farm know about any issues with foods you might have and we do our best to adjust accordingly.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
  • Snacks
  • Drinks

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Organic
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Fruitarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

If you fancy a day off the mat, or have some time after your yoga retreat, there are some wonderful places to visit around Gokarna. From boat trips to spotting dolphins and kayaking to secret coves, to exploring the coastline by scooter. Drive through picturesque villages to the Yaana falls and caves or you can seek out the Half-moon beach for a swim.

Gokarna has more than 1000 temples to be explored with its pristine beaches and breathtaking landscapes, Gokarna is a Hindu pilgrimage town in Karnataka and a newly found hub for beach lovers and hippies. Gokarna is not very conventionally touristy. The beaches are meant for a slow, relaxed holiday and everything on the beach goes at the same relaxed pace. Full of coconut and palm trees, the ocean and clean sands, Gokarna is a 'one of its kind place' in the country.

Nature lovers will enjoy Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the world's biodiversity hot spots just 90 kilometers north of Gokarna. Whether or not you catch a glimpse of an elusive leopard or a troop of monkeys, the mountainous jungle scenery is spectacular.

Shoppers and souvenir seekers will love the markets in Gokarna, where you can find everything from silk scarves and silver jewelry to sandals, sarongs, and spices. Remember to haggle - its all part of the experience!

What's included

  • Water
  • Drinks
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 lunches, and 10 Dinners included
  • Snacks
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • 7-day teachings 4 hours daily
  • Temple tour
  • Boat tour
  • Linen and towels provided

What's not included

  • Tourist visa for India
  • Airfare
  • Transfer "to" and "from" Namaste Yoga Farm
  • Health insurance

How to get there

Arrival by airplane

Please book your direct flight to Goa International Airport (GOI) or via Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) in Mumbai or Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in Delhi. It is a 3.5 hours taxi drive to Gokarna from Goa. Transfer from and to the airport is available upon request. Namaste Yoga Farm can pick you up, if you send your flight details in advance.

Arrival by train

The other option is with the train to Gokarna Road station (GOK) or to Kumta (KT) or Ankola (ANKL) by train which is 30 kilometers from Gokarna, in case you come by train from Mumbai (BCT) or Delhi (DLI). From the airport, you have to fight your way to Madgaon train station (MAO), which is with a taxi about 30 minutes far. At 1:00 p.m., every day a train leaves for Gokarna and reaches about three hours later. Tickets can be bought directly in Madgaon at the station for less than a dollar.

Airport: Dabolim Airport Airport transfer available: Dabolim Airport (US$82 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 55% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 60 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 7 days before arrival.
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