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8 Days Hiking, Meditation, and Yoga Retreat in India

  • Sitla Estate, Mukteshwar, Nainital District, Seetla, Uttarakhand 263138, India

8 Days Hiking, Meditation, and Yoga Retreat in India

  • Sitla Estate, Mukteshwar, Nainital District, Seetla, Uttarakhand 263138, India

Living Yoga Retreat Himalayas

Join Yogacara Institute for a hiking and yoga retreat in the Himalayas. Discover a path that leads to creating perfect balance between you, your mind, your body, and the world you live in. Immerse yourself in ancient teachings, practices, and outdoor adventure, and begin a journey of self-discovery that leaves you feeling the most alive you have felt in years.


  • Hiking sessions
  • Guided meditation sessions
  • Living yoga philosophy classes
  • Daily yoga and pranayama classes
  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Daily healthy meals
  • Airport transfers
  • 7 days with instruction
  • English
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Surrounded by miles of dense jungles, orchards, and pine trees, Sitla Estate epitomizes Himalayan beauty. Sitla Estate is a charming 150-year old house on 39 acres of pure forestland with delightful rooms overlooking a breath-taking vista of lush forest and orchards. Sitla offers the warmth of a home in the peace and serenity of the Himalayas in the Kumaon region in Uttarakhand.

Tiled roofs and high windows invite you to explore the charm of the estate’s house of singular vintage. Here, you can choose to stay in a cozy room fashioned in the colonial style with wooden flooring and a compact fireplace or luxuriate in the unfettered convenience of a contemporary style room marked by the elegance of wood-accented, modernist aesthetics, and a dramatic framing of forested slopes in the foreground and the Himalayan range in the distance.

Awake at daybreak to an enchanting play of morning light across and between the living mountains of the legendary massif. Arrive at your own equilibrium in modern comfort.

Yoga asana

Your body opens, strengthens, and energies begin to flow. You learn to re-align your mind, your body, and your soul. Soon, the mental noise begins to fade away and you feel what it means to be present and awake. In the stillness of nature, you hear your soft inner voice - your inner knowing. You are filled with a sense of wellbeing and openness.

You leave the mat to become one with nature, ready to experience an outdoor adventure. You learn to be present, to trust, and to feel the vast expanse of who you really are, one with nature and the sacred and subtle energies of the universe.

Pranayama and meditation

You learn to connect with your vital life force that is the very essence of your being. You learn to relax the mind and to develop a more mindful state of being, becoming present to everything within you and around you. As your mind learns to relax and focus, you move your gaze inwards to connect with your inner self. You experience the vast essence of who you truly are. You realize you are not an isolated being but feel the interconnectedness to everything around you.


You will enjoy magical hikes through the lush Himalayan forest, to the sacred Shiva Temple, and enjoy fabulous bird watching opportunities. You will fully immerse yourself in these exquisite surroundings and you feel your soul come alive. You will expand well beyond your perceived limitations, connecting with the subtle and magical energies of the universe. You will learn to trust yourself and to surrender to the process that is unfolding.

Living yoga course

You will learn about the ancient science behind the practice. You will discover how to implement this ancient wisdom to yourself and to your daily life. You will develop a deeper understanding of your mind and how to work with its limitations and to go beyond the incessant noise.

As this process unfolds, you will feel the most alive you have ever been in years. Inspired, you will create a new vision for yourself and your dreams, forming a path for yourself that feels much more aligned with your soul. You will reclaim your confidence, clarity, identity, and vision.


  • 07:00 Iyengar yoga and pranayama
  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 Hiking
  • 13:00 Lunch followed by free time
  • 16:30 Living yoga philosophy course
  • 18:30 Guided meditation
  • 19:30 Pre-dinner get together
  • 20:30 Dinner
  • Radhika Vachai

    Radhika believes that the breath is the most powerful tool in helping you achieve balance, inner strength, and calm in your life. She teaches Iyengar yoga, meditation, and several courses on the mind potential and transformative learning based on the Yoga Sutras. She is also the author of a soon-to-be-published book by Tata Westland Books, Yoga: the Science Behind the Mind, Body & Living Stress-Free.

Located close enough to Delhi for easy access, and far enough to be the ideal retreat, Sitla Estate is a serene little village cocooned in the Kumaon region of the Himalayas, 7,000 feet above sea level, in the Nainital district of Uttarakhand. The hills in this region give ample scope for hiking and offer a 180 degree view of the greater Himalayan snow peaks like Nandadevi, Panchuchuli, and Trishul.

The Kumaon Region has a distinct culture, a lot of which is reflected in its beautiful and distinctive handicrafts. Those looking for authentic Kumaoni artifacts can head to the local handicraft stores, and also visit some of the NGO's. The stores stock a range of interesting knick-knacks and fine specimen of regional handiwork sourced from multiple NGO's across the Himalayan Range.

  • Hiking
  • Shopping
  • Table tennis
  • Dining area
  • Fireplace
  • Garden
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Library
  • Tour assistance

You will enjoy delicious Western and Indian cuisine cooked with Ayurvedic ingredients to nourish your soul. Vikram loves to cook, he takes the practice off the mat and into the kitchen, nourishing your slowly evolving and balanced mind and body. The ingredients are mostly natural, a lot of which come from Sitla Estate itself.

There’s a lot to do at Sitla. If you’re an indoorsy sort of person, then spend as many hours as you like in the cozy library lounging in front of the fireplace. They have all sorts of books, from adventure and travel writing, to historical and cultural writing and a wide collection of fictional works.

For happy campers who are here for the outdoors, there is so much to do. Traipse off on walks of different grades and lengths covering different sorts of terrain, sling on a pair of binoculars, and indulge in the rich birding opportunities, go exploring through the thick jungle surrounding the estate (guide compulsory), or just lounge under the many apricot, plum, and pear trees with a good book in hand.

For bad weather days or those stay-in moments, there are all kinds of board games, a table tennis table, dart board, and a pool table as well as the inescapable Wi-Fi connection for those who just cannot palate being disconnected for too long.

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • Daily healthy meals
  • Daily yoga classes
  • Guided meditation sessions
  • Living yoga course classes
  • Pranayama classes
  • Additional meals
  • Airfare
  • Insurance

Arrival by airport

Please book your flight to arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Yogacara Institute will pick you up from the airport.

Arrival by train

Take a train to Kathgodam and then a two and a half hour drive to Sitla. There are two trains from Delhi, the overnight Ranikhet Express that operates between Old Delhi station and Kathgodam Shatabdi, a morning Shatabdi that operates between Anand Vihar station and Kathgodam.

  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 2 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.


  • Review by Jeannette from Europe
    9 out of 10

    "The Yoga Philosophy Course gives you a good knowledge and understanding of the Yoga Sutras and Bhagavas Gita. It leaves you thinking about your individual path, and your connection to this physical world, and gives you the practical wisdom to navigate through the challenges presented to you in daily life.I really enjoyed this course as it was a great balance between theory and practice. Personally it was a great way for me to begin to understand the Indian culture. I loved the lunch every day. It was healthy and satisfying and the caf was an excellent venue to get to know other people in the course as well as to discuss some of the course content."

    The Yogacara Institute website, edited

  • Review by Jill from United States
    10 out of 10

    "The Yogacara TTC was an amazing way to advance my personal yoga practice and delve into yogic philosophy/sutras. It was remarkable to experience the application of yoga in my every daily life. Each course instructor specialized in a particular area and gave great depth to each class with their area of expertise.While the teacher training component is valuable and central to the course outcome, the platform for personal development during the course is remarkable. Radhika is supportive and really guides students through the waves of transformation that are possible during the course. I could not have asked for more in 5 weeks! I look forward to staying connected with Yogacara and the community it supports."

    The Yogacara Institute website, edited

  • Review by Livia from Europe
    10 out of 10

    "The TTC program at Yogacara was a memorable and life changing experience. The Yogacara curriculum is the most complete and unique you will find anywhere, and the instructor are an inspiration to all of us. I have learned a lot not only about yoga, but about philosophy and about myself. It was the best decision I've taken in a long time to spend those weeks deepening my yoga practice and awakening my spirituality. I highly recommend the Yogacara TTC program to anyone who has a real interest in Yoga. Each class will complement each other and by the end of the course you will have a great understanding of what yoga really is and how to apply the yoga way of life as you go back to your normal routine. Thank you so much everyone at Yogacara for a wonderful experience! I look forward to returning for the 500h program!"

    The Yogacara Institute website, edited

  • Review by Marita from South America
    9 out of 10

    "The Yoga philosophy course has given me a much clearer vision of my inner most being and my inner world. I am grateful that I followed my inner intuition to do this course though I am a complete newcomer on the Yogic Path, and neither am I a Yoga teacher. Abhishek, Shailaja and Radhika have all been excellent and complement each other in a perfect manner- be it with explaining the history and background, the Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras, and then bringing all of this alive through guidance and practical implementation into daily life, to create a more fulfilling life experience. The course has been spiced with a lot of information, and it has been a revelation for me to see my life clearly. I enjoyed the whole atmosphere, the students, the daily sattvic yogic lunch, the discussions, and the exchange of thoughts."

    The Yogacara Institute website, edited

  • Review by Michael from Asia
    9 out of 10

    "I got a lot out of the yoga philosophy course; a deeper understanding, and more clarity about myself, about the yogic path, including my remaining questions about the path of yoga. I feel motivated to continue my study and development with more discipline. And the deliberate creation track is exactly what I need in the coming year."

    The Yogacara Institute website, edited

  • Review by Renee from United States
    10 out of 10

    "The yoga teacher training has been a great personal challenge as well as a fantastic human experience. I would not have been able to complete it without the constant support and dedication from Radhika and the entire Yogacara team. They have welcomed us every day and created supportive learning atmosphere around us. I particularly enjoyed being trained by multiple teachers, each one of them an expert in their respective fields. The TTC is now over for me, but it does not mean I am done with Yogacara, as it has become my second home and the beginning of my path of yoga."

    The Yogacara Institute website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from United States
    10 out of 10

    "I had been offered interviews by graduate schools in the US that I had applied to earlier on. I was nervous and in a chaotic state of mind. I started attending Iyengar yoga sessions at Yogacara, under the able guidance of Ms. Radhika Vachani. After the very first session I felt calmer. With every session, my thoughts became more focused and my temperament more tranquil. It was truly an experience of self-discovery that made me more confident and fearless.Apart from helping me from a mental perspective, the sessions made me feel physically stronger and more energetic. The peaceful and paradisiacal location takes you far away from the hectic Mumbai lifestyle; this coupled with guidance from highly skilled and enthusiastic instructors assures physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing.I highly recommend Yogacara to anyone who is interested in self-enrichment that transcends the materialistic realm."

    The Yogacara Institute website, edited

  • Review by a traveler from Asia
    10 out of 10

    "In 2004, at age 56 I had a heart attack. All the chambers of my heart were badly damaged. Two years later on June 14, 2006, I had a medical examination and the report showed large area of infarct involving the apex, septum, and anterior wall, and small areas of inducible ischemia in the apex and apical inferior wall.In other words, the doctors informed me that I had badly damaged arteries, and dead tissue and cells in the myocardium region of my heart. I was told to expect these areas to never recover again. I continued with my check-ups.I joined Yogacara, and one year later on September 30th, 2011 went for another checkup. My medical reports stated: No further evidence of inducible ischemia anywhere in the myocardium. The muscles, tissues and cells of my heart had regenerated, and my heart is now functioning as normal.The only change in my lifestyle had been the incorporation of Iyengar yoga under the able guidance of Radhika Vachani, with pranayama and meditation, three times per week at Yogacara on a very regular basis since July 2010."

    The Yogacara Institute website, edited