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Join this yoga retreat to escape the main tourist destinations and experience the real spirit of Sri Lanka. Practice different styles of yoga and meditative techniques under the guides of experienced teacher to find out which is yours. Enjoy a full-body massage with medicated oil and explore the amazing local nature, culture, and cuisine. Relax among the quiet and peaceful surroundings.
The mud chalets are designed in line with true Sri Lankan rural homes, which means an open-air concept. Saraii is the best place to escape the sizzling heat thanks to the cool cover of a man-made mini canopy of over 1,000 trees. You will enjoy a truly rustic stay with the feel of a private home in the wilds thrown in.
All rooms at Saraii Village have, free Wi-Fi, extra beds, a lounge, fresh linen, free natural toiletries, tea and coffee, room service, a private bathroom, and luggage storage. The lounge spaces are uniquely Sri Lankan in their design which means you can expect open spaces and not air conditioned rooms, mosquito nets and not poisonous repellants, a rustic collection of furniture, a comfy range of cushions, and mattresses and mats to sleep, chill, and lay on.
The large tree house suites are Saraii’s newest addition to the collection of treetop experiences. The tree houses are large enough and laid out to house even eight guests. Each tree house suite comes with two floors with an extra-large bed and inbuilt bathroom upstairs and a large spacious lounge downstairs. The suites are perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway or for friends who travel in groups.
The superior tree house is located among Saraii's oldest tree houses with two floors providing room for three to four persons. The superior tree house is built on a sturdy old Palu tree, the tree house is 25 feet high and lives up to its name, known for giving its guests an immense feeling of safety high up in the leaves. Once you clamber up the ladder you will discover why it's also a guest favorite. The superior tree house is a popular choice of accommodation amongst eco lodges in Sri Lanka and is also great for groups who want to bunk down together and families with kids.
The mud chalet suites are large and spacious with bigger than king-size beds and are perfect for the visitors wanting to stay grounded. The mud chalet suites are cozily placed for comfort. One faces the rising sun and is surrounded by garden patches of organic fruits and vegetables. The other is tucked away in the corner of the man-made forest. The mud chalet is private and spacious with a fan for additional cooling and mosquito nets. The cushioned outer porches of each suite at the eco lodge, allows guests to put their heels up and just enjoy the surroundings or catch up on some reading. The original mud chalets are unique in how they are built, using the age-old practice of mud walls that literally breathe. The walls absorb the cold and moisture at night, which help keep the interior cool during the heat of the day.
Tee superior mud chalet stands apart and alone but is best placed for privacy, comfort, and simple relaxation. Lovingly designed with antique doors and windows and its own private bathroom The superior mud chalet is a home by itself for couples wishing to just stay in and enjoy the peace and quiet or for the lazy guest looking for a quiet read, a comfortable bed, and breakfast in bed. The spacious area of the superior mud chalet also makes it perfect for groups of friends wishing to spend their holiday time together. The chalet has its own collection of board games, books, and a great collection of tea and coffee that will keep you up for those late night conversations.
During this retreat, you will have a unique opportunity to experience culture, traditions and nature of Cyelon. You will visit sacred places: Kataragama, is best known as a city of big “Pada Yatra” pilgrimage and one of multi-religious importance, and Sithulpawwa - ancient Buddhist monastery in Yala jungles; participate in Puja ritual and find out more about Buddhism in SriLanka. You will practice different styles of yoga and meditative techniques under the guides of an experienced teacher. There are no minimum numbers, so you may be lucky and have one to one tuition or in a small group with a maximum 5 participants. Wide range of meditative techniques is given: anapanasati - traditional Buddhist meditation; dynamic meditations from kundalini yoga; special anti-stress meditation. Deep relaxing traditional Ayurvedic full-body massage will help you to release stress from your body and mind. You will explore the amazing local nature during your visit to Yala National Park and Birds watching boat tour.
Start the day with a yoga session in open air. The yoga asanas and pranayama will help you to develop strength, stamina, flexibility, coordination, and gracefulness. To activate the metabolic processes in the all body's systems, dispose of back pain, posture and spine problems, get rid of the toxins and improve immune system, give a pleasant massage to internal organs, and to keep your mind and body in harmony. You will get a new experience with the special anti-stress meditative techniques.
During the anti-stress meditation sessions you will learn how to concentrate on the present moment and stop the flow of chaotic thoughts, how to calm down the mind, let it be free from worries, fears, and anxiety; and how to enjoy real peace and harmony.
Yala is the most visited and second largest national park in Sri Lanka and the home to the world's highest density of leopard, large herds of elephant, sloth bear, sambar deer, spotted deer, wild boar, crocodile, and many others forms of wildlife.
1 hour journey across the peaceful lake covered with lotus flowers in the vicinity of Tissa Temple gives you a glimpse of some famous dry zone bird varieties, crocodiles and of course an island which home to hundreds of bats. Our local guide will give more details of each species you spot.
Katharagama is best known as a city of pilgrimage and one of multi-religious importance, the city becomes a teeming gathering place for thousands of devotees during the months of July and August when it hosts its annual procession. The “Pada Yatra” ritual is a centuries-old pilgrimage on foot. Devotees walked for over three months from Jaffna to Kataragama re-enacting legends and myths along way, sleeping and living in the open, not knowing where their next meal would come from, and choosing self-denial to answer an intense spiritual calling.
Sithulpawwa is an ancient Buddhist rock monastery hidden in the lash jungles of Yala. Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya contains large number of stupas, cave temples, Buddha statues a stupa house and image houses spread among a large land area.
Having practiced yoga for eight years, Isakova started teaching after completing her Kundalini yoga teacher course. She continued her practice in Thailand and in 2014, she learned Thai massage. She has spent time in India at the Sivananda Ashram and completed an Ayurveda therapist course at the Ananda Spa Institute. Through practicing various styles, she has learned 'how' you practice matters more than 'what'. You can experience mindfulness with simple activities - washing dishes or jogging. For her, yoga is a way of life.
This retreat will be held at the Saraii Village in Weeravila, Sri Lanka. Saraii Village is located in Weerawila, in a prime spot amongst other Tissamaharama hotels, not far from Tissamaharama and Kataragama. This area is famous for the beautiful lakes and ancient temples, and known as "Yala gates". Saraii is one of the most sought after Weerawila hotels nestled inside a private estate in the middle of the dry zone.
At Saraii, the grounds have large green trees that are rare in the dry zone, which is known for its biting heat and lack of shade cover. Today, Saraii's garden is a haven for all visitors and that includes the birds, squirrels, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. Saraii is home to a total of over 1,600 trees. They include endemic hardwood trees like teak, mahogany, halmilla, ebony, burutha, sooriyamara, kaya, margosa, and other species were planted along with different types of fruit trees, mango, oranges, passion fruit, pomegranate, and papaya.
A key difference from the animals you spot in the wetlands is their color or the lack of it. Most of Saraii's residents except for the birds take on shades of brown, black and grey in keeping with their arid surroundings. Some chameleons take a vivid orange and red. Many small mammals such as squirrels and birds, especially peacocks from the area, visit Saraii thanks to the abundance of trees and fruits.
The lakes and tanks around Saraii are home to hundreds of birds and winter migrants. Also, in the larger lakes you are bound to spot other amazing bird species. Saraii is in close proximity to the most prominent water resources in the area, which attracts a considerable number of animals during the dry season. The most common animal of the area is the feral Buffalo.
During this retreat, you will be served three delicious locally sourced meals including a special traditional Sri Lankan breakfast by the lake, a bonfire barbeque dinner, and a picnic by the lake. Food is a central part of life in Sri Lanka and at Saraii Village; you will find some mouth-watering surprises on the homegrown menu of the resident artisan cooks that will serve you authentic Sri Lankan meals with an occasional diversion to a Western dish whenever you may demand it.
The authentic Sri Lankan meals are from a seasonal menu that is decided by what's growing in the local garden, what's selling at the local market, and what can be found locally. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be an abundant spread of local fruit, traditional Sri Lankan curries and salads, lots of bread and rice, and even a Western spread for those who don't favor the spicy cuisine. At Saraii Village, you may also enjoy vegan specialties, snacks, and special drinks for an additional cost.
The prizewinner on the menu is the giant lake prawn that sits half way across your plate. A guest favorite for BBQ or savory curry, the lake prawn, is followed closely by the range of vegetarian dishes that would awe the choosiest vegan. A mouth-watering range of organic vegetables are matched by a special range of greens, salads, and fruits, which are served at every meal.
At Saraii Village, you will have a full range of local snacking options. You may speak to the staff about getting your own sandwiches and salads or try out some more adventurous options like bakery rolls, the famous "malu paan" or fish bun, the popular garlic infused potato snacks plus the coconut chili salad called "pol sambol".
Drinks on demand might find you always sipping something tropically sweet fruity or even spicy. While the kitchen is not short of its own list you are welcome to share your recipes for fresh fruit smoothies, tropical infusions, and of course the tea and coffee. Telling them early will allow the staff to go find any seasonal ingredients in time for whizzing up your drinks and smoothies.
The local fisherman set out each morning to cast their nets or to check on their overnight bait. Your task will be to help them out, watch out for that giant lake prawn and the crocodiles that rise to catch an early snack on your fishing tours in Sri Lanka. If you already have your own fishing gear, then advice on the best spots from the locals is all you need. Set the hook, mend your line, watch your drift, and haul in your catch.
If you are not a fan of fly-fishing you can always cast a different kind of net. Throw nets or "visi del" are a popular form of fishing, you can either watch or participate. You may let the team cook up that fresh catch with a tantalizing array of southern spices. The regular accompaniment of manioc and pol sambol sprinkled with some homemade lime pickle is literally a hot favorite or you can also cook your own fish the way you like it as well.
At Saraii, you may have several activities to choose from before you enjoy your quiet night by the lake. You may go out for an evening boat ride and catch some fresh fish for the grill or stay ashore and prep the site until the crew makes a jolly landing. You can light up your site with a nice array of Saraii lanterns or ask for those extra cool solar lights from Saraii that are definitely smash, trod, and baby proof.
Kirinda beach is near from Saraii and is easily one of the most attractive beaches in the Southern coast. Made famous for being the landing place of Queen Viharamaha Devi, considered one of ancient Sri Lanka's great heroines.
Cycling is a popular mode of transport at the Sri Lankan village and although the bicycles you will find at Saraii maybe a little tougher looking than your average village cycle, the challenge will be to ride in the dry heat with only a warm breeze to cool you down. For those willing to explore, Saraii is a treasure trove of bike paths that run through local homes and fields, some of which has not been discovered yet.
While the main highway is probably the biggest safest main road, it is recommended to take a guide from the hotel for more scenic roads, which run through shrub jungles paddy fields, and even around the Wirawila Lake.
Saraii is close to the Wirawila Bird Sanctuary, which is about one kilometer away, and the Bundala National Park. Both are well known bird watching hotspots, making Saraii the perfect base to set out on Sri Lanka bird watching tours. Arm yourself with a set of binoculars and take a boat along the Wirawila Lake at dawn, which is the best time for observing bird life in the dry zone.
The Bundala Bird Sanctuary is an internationally important wintering ground for migratory water birds in Sri Lanka; it is home to over 197 species of birds like the greater flamingo that migrates in large flocks.
At Saraii, you may relax under a night sky without the sounds of traffic and the light pollution of the city, you may explore wide-open spaces without concrete and cables to block your view and just chill to the sounds of nature at its best.
Going out on a motor-less boat with just the swish of the oars is almost meditative early morning. Dawn is the perfect time to go across the Wirawila Lake just as the sun warms and sparkles on the water on one of the most memorable Sri Lanka eco tours that you will ever have. If the fishing tours prove too adventurous you can always grab a paddle and help the local fishermen steer their boats, who will be your cheerful coaches. Early morning and late evenings are the best times to set out in a boat unless you fancy the dry heat and merciless sun, which even the local fishermen dare not weather.
You may appease the Gods or simply observe the rituals of the most elaborate religious procession on the island. It’s a melting pot of colors, sounds, sights, and smells. You may take pictures or join the procession or do both. Katharagama is best known as a city of pilgrimage and one of multi-religious importance, the city becomes a teeming gathering place for thousands of devotees during the months of July and August when it hosts its annual procession.
The “Pada Yatra” ritual is a centuries-old pilgrimage on foot. Devotees walked for over three months from Jaffna to Kataragama re-enacting legends and myths along way, sleeping and living in the open, not knowing where their next meal would come from, and choosing self-denial to answer an intense spiritual calling. While modern transport has changed the traditions, thousands still take part in the “Pada Yatra” and flock to the sacred jungle shrine of Kataragama to re-enact the same legends and rituals every year.
You may also enjoy heritage tours to explore from temple caves to ancient monasteries, nature walks, and tours around the local organic farm.
During this retreat, you will enjoy one Ayurvedic Abhaynga full-body massage of 60 minutes and a Udwarthanam full body scrub with herbal powder of 45 minutes. Other massages available for an extra fee upon request.
The Abhaynga massage is a full body massage with medicated herbal oils. According to Ayurvedic manuscripts, this oil massage is the most important part of your daily routine to be performed every morning. The benefits are deep relaxation for the body and mind, increases blood circulation, helps to rid of the toxins, balances doshas, uses natural oils and healing herbs, provides nourishment for the skin, stimulates deep tissue and nerves, is recommended as a therapy for arthritis and paralysis conditions, and refreshes and revitalizes the body.
Please book your flight to arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA). Transfer from and to this airport is available upon request. A one-way transfer from Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) to Saraii Village costs 123 USD per person.
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