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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.
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.
You will meet the Samsara Asia team with a traditional offering of khaddar (white scarf) at the Paro Airport (PBH) to mark the beginning of an auspicious journey into Bhutan. Afterward, you will 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.
You will then head towards Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, at the cusp of modernity and tradition. Stroll through the town area to observe and acclimatize. In the evening, there will be an "Opening Soul Limber" yoga circle in the shadows and blessing of the largest Buddha Doderma (sitting Buddha) in the world. Later, you will have a welcome dinner and a brief talk on Gross National Happiness.
You will start your day with an early morning yoga class at the base of Chari Meditation Centre and have a buffet vegetarian breakfast at the same place. Afterward, you will have an "Empowerment and Soul Archeology" session before a mindful walk to Cheri Meditation Centre through old growth oak forests adorned with blooming rhododendrons and the call of the wild pheasants overlooking the meandering Wangchu River.
There will be a "Recognize and Releasing Patterns" session before you explore Pangri Zampa, the 16th-century monastery that houses astrological studies and makes offerings. Walk down and drive back to town for a local cuisine lunch at the Folk Heritage Museum 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), and have an evening yoga class and 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.
You will start your day with an early morning yoga class and breakfast at the hotel before having "Choose! Setting Core Desired Feelings" session. Afterward, you will visit the Changangkha Lhakhang, the 12th-century temple perched on a ridge above the center of the capital city. You will 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 diseases caused 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.
You will also visit the 13 Arts and Craft School, a visual odyssey into the traditional art and craft of Bhutan, from sculpting, carving, and embroidery to painting and black smithy. In the afternoon, you will visit the national library that houses ancient Bhutanese and Buddhist literature and manuscript followed by an evening stroll toward Sangaygang and the Takin Reserve.
Tea will be served on the hill overlooking the beautiful Thimphu City. You will have dinner at the hotel before a yoga Nidra session.
You will start your day with an early morning yoga class and breakfast at the hotel. Afterward, you will have "Intro to Goals with Soul" session before driving to Punakha through the Dochula pass with a spectacular view of the Himalayan ranges circumambulating the 108 stupas at Dochu La. As you 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 humankind.
You will have lunch at a local restaurant en-route to the beautiful Punakha Valley, the ancient capital of Bhutan. You will have a "Choosing Your Goal Vocabulary and Energy Exfoliating" session for 45 minutes. Afterward, you will 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).
You will have an evening stroll along the Phochu to search for the rare and critically endangered White-bellied Heron (optional, but crossing the longest suspension bridge is an experience). You will have a dinner at the hotel with a short talk on the natural heritage and environmental policy of Bhutan. Later, there will be an optional yoga Nidra session.
You will start your day with an early morning yoga session and breakfast. Then, you will have Your “Stop Doing List" session before 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. You will then have "The Art of the Holy 'No'" session.
You will visit a nunnery and get a glimpse into the life of a Buddhist nun before "Dream Soup" session. Take a short talk of the Phallus and the Divine Madman at the hotel after dinner. There will be an optional yoga Nidra session after.
You will start your day with an early morning breakfast before "Surrender Fear - Eclipsing Thought Forms" session and then drive to Phobjikha via Wangdiphodrang. You will make a smoke offering at one of the highest passes at Pelela among firs, rhododendrons, and juniper forests.
You will have lunch at Pelela or 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 that migrate to Bhutan from Tibet in the winters.
Afterward, you will visit the Carbet making factory and have a light downhill walk toward Khewang and the Black-necked Crane Information Center, with an en-route stop at the Khewang Lhakhang. You will have tea at the BNC Center with a presentation on the valley, its culture, and natural environment before having an evening yoga session at the BNC Centre.
You will start your day with an early morning breakfast and discover your soul tribe before driving to the historic Paro Valley with lunch at the Dochula Chorten. You will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in town and visit 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. You will have an evening yoga session near a riverside close to the hotel to set "Goals With Soul" before having dinner at the hotel.
You will start your day with an 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 colorful prayer flags. You will have lunch in town and creat your action plan for living your desires.
Then, you will drop down to the valley and visit the eighth-century Kyichu lhakhang and come face to face with the present life-sized Buddha, a replica of the Jowo in Tibet Lhasa. You will spend a day on a farmhouse and dine with a local family and partake in folk and masked dances.
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 before the evening yoga class to solidify and declare desires. You will also have a hot stone bath with local brew to relax and soothe the aches from the nine days of winding roads and mild hikes around Bhutan. Farewell dinner will be at the hotel.
After the last group breakfast, you will check out and 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 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 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.
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.
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