10 Connecting to the Sacred Yoga Retreat in Bhutan

10 Connecting to the Sacred Yoga Retreat in Bhutan

  • Thimphu Valley - Punakha - Phobjikha - Paro

Soul of the Sacred Bhutan Yoga Retreat

Journey inward. Press reset. Connect to your soul while connecting to the soul of sacred Bhutan. On this yoga journey, you will tread softly on the path of the soul, as well as the cultural, historical, and spiritual treasures of the mystical, ancient land of Bhutan. Expect to connect your mind, body, and spirit to Bhutan’s secret recipe for happiness on this journey with Samsara Asia.

Highlights

  • Daily yoga and meditation sessions
  • Desire Map and various self-development sessions
  • Hike to the lhakhang of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten
  • Visit Changangkha Lhakhang Temple and receive blessings
  • Excursion to Punakha Valley, the ancient capital of Bhutan
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • 9 days with instruction
  • English
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During this retreat, you will be staying at a minimum three-star hotel in twin sharing basis. Single supplement is also available.

Journey through enchanted and native forests paved with dwarf primroses leading to temples hanging on vertical cliffs. Practice yoga and meditation in an open rice field, on a mountain top with spectacular views of the Himalayan ranges against the backdrop of ancient Buddhist stupas as the sun peeks through the early morning mist. Relax and experience a soak in the unique hot stone baths, dance to the tunes of hypnotic cymbals and drums, and taste the organic Bhutanese cuisine.

Sample daily itinerary

DAY 1: Bangkok to Paro Bhutan en route to Thimphu Valley Highlights

  • Meet with Samsara Asia Team with a traditional offering of khaddar (white scarf) at the Paro Internaitonal Airport to mark the beginning of an auspicious journey intoBhutan.
  • Visit Tamchogg Lhakhang, one of the 108 chain link bridges built in the 14th century to reconnect with the spirits of Bhutan with a symbolic walk across this iron chain bridge from where you were to where you are going.
  • Head toward Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan at the cusp of modernity and tradition. Stroll through town area to observe and acclimatize.
  • Gentle yoga nidra to reset the body from the long journey from your home.
  • Blessing of the largest Buddha Doderma (sitting Buddha) in the world.
  • Welcome dinner and a brief talk on Gross National Happiness.

Day 2: Thimphu Valley Highlights

  • Early morning yoga class at the base of Chari meditation centre followed by buffet vegetarian breakfast
  • Mindful walk/hike to Cheri meditation centre through old growth oak forests adored with blooming rhododendrons and the call of the wild pheasants overlooking the meandering Wangchu (river).
  • Recognize + Releasing Patterns before exploring Pangri Zampa, the 16th Century monastery that houses astrological studies and make offerings.
  • Walk down and drive back to town for a local cuisine lunch at the Folk Heritage Musuem and Restaurant. The folk heritage museum holds interesting artifacts housed in a three-storied Bhutanese chalet-like house. . Witness an archery match (Bhutan’s national sport), explore the architectural marvels of Tashi Chhoedzong (optional) evening yoga class at hotel.
  • Dinner at the hotel
  • Heading out to one of Thimpu’s night clubs is optional to get a glimpse into the modern life of Bhutan.

Day 3: Thimphu Valley Highlights part 2

  • Early morning yoga class and breakfast at the hotel.
  • Yoga off the mat inspired learning
  • Visit the Changangkha Lhakhang, the 12th Century temple perched on a ridge above the centre of the capital city. Receive blessings from the ritual dagger and head toward the National Institute of Traditional Medicine (NITM). The NITM is an alternative healing regime based on Tibetan herbal medicines. Some 300 plant species are used to treat dis-eases cause by imbalances in the energies of the body.
  • Lunch will be served at another authentic Bhutanese local restaurant but a choice of continental and pizza places are available too.
  • Visit the 13 arts and craft School, a visual odyssey into the traditional art and craft of Bhutan- including sculpting, carving, embroidery, painting and metal work.
  • Afternoon visit to the national library that houses ancient Bhutanese and Buddhist literature and manuscripts.
  • Followed by an evening stroll toward Sangaygang and the Takin Reserve. Tea will be served on the hill overlooking the beautiful Thimphu City.
  • Dinner at the hotel
  • Yoga Nidra

Day 4: Thimphu to Punakha Highlights

  • Early morning yoga class and breakfast at the hotel.
  • Yoga off the mat inspired learning
  • Drive to Punakha through the Dochula pass with a spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges circumambulating the 108 stupas at Dochu La.
  • As we descend into Punakha valley, a short hike to Chimi Lhakhang and the legend of the red phallus of the Divine Madman awaits with a fine line between the sacredness and the profanity of human kind.
  • Lunch at a local restaurant en-route to the beautiful Punakha valley, the ancient capital of Bhutan.
  • Explore the Punakha Dzong, a religious and local government center strategically located on an island between the Pho Chu and Mo Chu (male and female rivers).
  • An evening stroll along the Phochu to search for the rare and critically endangered White-bellied Heron is optional but crossing the longest suspension bridge is an experience.
  • Dinner at the hotel with a short talk on the natural heritage and environmentalpolicy of Bhutan.
  • Optional yoga nidra

Day 5: Punakha Valley Excursion Highlights

  • Early morning yoga and breakfast and yoga off the mat inspired learning.
  • Begin a hike to the gorgeous lhakhang of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten through beautiful mustard and paddy fields dotted with traditional Bhutanese houses.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch and stunning view of the valley after the hike. Yoga off the mat inspired learning
  • Visit a nunnery and get a glimpse into the life of a Buddhist nun. Dream Soup.
  • A short talk of the Phallus and the Divine Madman at the hotel after dinner.
  • Optional yoga nidra

Day 6: Phobjikha

  • Early morning breakfast.
  • Drive to Phobjikha via Wangdiphodrang.
  • Make a smoke offering at one of the highest passes at Pelela among firs, rhododendrons and junifer forests.
  • Lunch at Pelela/Lawala and visit the Gangtey monastery perched in a small hill with a stunning view of the glacial valley that is home to the Black-necked Cranes which migrate to Bhutan from Tibet in the winters.
  • Visit the Carpet making factory.
  • A light downhill walk toward Khewang and the Black-necked Crane Information Center with an en route stop at the Khewang Lhakhang.
  • Tea at the BNC Center with presentation on the valley, its culture and natural environment
  • Evening Yoga at the BNC Centre.
  • Phobjikha to Paro

Day 7: Phobjikha to Paro

  • Early morning breakfast and yoga off the mat inspired learning
  • Drive to historic Paro valley with lunch at the Dochula Chorten.
  • Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in town.
  • Visit to the national museum.
  • Head down a hillside trail to visit Rinpund Dzong with a commanding view of the Paro Valley and follow an ancient path to Tshongdue town while becoming grounded in your CDFs.
  • Evening yoga near a river side close to the hotel and syoga off the mat inspired learning.
  • Dinner at the hotel.

Day 8: Paro Valley and Chelela

  • Early morning yoga class and breakfast at Chelela Pass with a stunning view of Bhutan’s famous mount Chomolhari against the backdrop of wild flowers and colourful prayer flags.
  • Lunch in town and yoga off the mat inspired learning.
  • Drop down to the valley and visit the 8th Century Kyichu lhakhang and come face to face with the present life-sized Buddha, a replica of the Jowo in Tibet Lhasa.
  • Spend a day on a farmhouse and dine with a local family and partake in folk and masked dances.
  • Day 9: Paro Valley and Taktsang
  • Take a short drive to the north of Paro Valley to Ramthankha to begin your hike to the legendary Taktsang Monastery (Tigers’ Nest), a famous landmark which requires a hike of approximately three hours to learn the history and birth of Buddhism in Bhutan.
  • Hike down and head back to the hotel for a late afternoon rest
  • Final evening yoga class
  • Hot stone bath with local brew to relax soothe the aces from the 9 days of winding roads and mild hikes around Bhutan
  • Farewell dinner at the hotel

Day 10: Homebound

  • Group breakfast and check-out
  • Transfer to Paro Airport (PBH) for your flight to Bangkok

Throughout the journey, you will be having several excursions and hikes. You will stroll through Thimpu on your first day to acclimatize, hike to the gorgeous lhakhang of Khamsum Yuelley Namgyal Chorten, follow the hillside trail to visit Rinpund Dzong with a commanding view of the Paro Valley, and follow an ancient path to Tshongdue, and several other light walks.

  • Tshering Lhamtshok

    Tshering Lhamtshok is a photographer and a tour specialist on Bhutan and the Himalayas. She is classmates with Wendy Reese and has a bachelor degree in economics and a master's in conservation and development. She has lived and worked across Bhutan as an environmental advocate and a social developer. She is an ardent mindful living practitioner and she specializes in organizing mindful tours across Bhutan and the Himalayas. In 2014, she founded Journeys with Samsara Asia to create sensory retreats based on her own traveling experiences through some of the most sacred places on earth.

  • Wendy Reese

    Wendy is a 500-hour registered yoga teacher with 15 years of teaching experience. While she is trained in classical Hatha yoga, she has developed a specialization in yoga for healthy backs, hips, shoulders, and energy. Wendy is also a yoga lifestyle coach, author, speaker, host of The Whole Being Zone, and a Desire Map facilitator. She is passionate about helping people live their yoga off the mat by infusing ancient wisdom with pragmatic woo-woo in an applicable, fun, and slightly irreverent ways to optimize wholeness.

This retreat will take place in Thimphu Valley, Punakha, Phobjikha, Paro, Chelela, and Taktsang in Bhutan. Bhutan is the Eastern Himalayan biodiversity hotspot. There, you can find the rarest plants, animals, and bird species on earth - some of which are critically endangered, including the white-bellied heron and royal Bengal tiger. Environmental conservation is driven by stringent policies and belief systems.

Bhutan’s economy is based on agriculture, hydropower, and tourism, with a few mining and manufacturing sectors. Most people in Bhutan are bilingual, with English as a widely-spoken second language.

Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, and beverages are included in the total price.

On day nine, you will have the opportunity to soak in hot stone baths to relax and relief yourself from the long journey.

  • 9 nights accommodation
  • A comfortable tour vehicle with a licensed driver
  • Airport transfers
  • All entry fees and permits
  • Bottled water
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, dinner, and beverages
  • Daily yoga and meditation sessions
  • Full service and assistance before, during, and after the trip
  • Guided tours with an English-speaking guide
  • Government royalties, taxes, and surcharges
  • Other comfort accessories (if necessary)
  • Personal yoga mentor and Desire Map coach throughout the tour
  • Visa for Bhutan
  • Additional activities
  • Airfare
  • Alcohol
  • Any video or still camera fees assessed by the monuments or places of interest
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips or gratuities for your Bhutanese guide (all other gratuities are covered)
  • Travel insurance

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Paro Airport (PBH). Transfer from and to the airport is included in the price. Samsara Asia will pick you up from the airport.

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 30 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on departure.

Thimphu, Bhutan

On a journey with Samsara Asia, you will tread mindfully on the historical and cultural heritage of Bhutan and the Himalayas and leave wanting to come back.

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10 days / 9 nights

Availability

Arrival: Sunday May 6, 2018
Departure: Tuesday May 15, 2018

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