Date(s) - 26/10/2019 - 03/11/2019
Ram Yoga House
Mindful Movement & Meditation in the Mountains!
7-Day Tai Chi & Yoga Retreat in Dharamsala, India – Saturday 26th October – Sunday 3rd November 2019
€540pp sharing (twin/double en-suite w/mountain-view balcony)
All welcome – no experience necessary!
“India is the beating-heart of the world and the Himalayas are the heavens of that heart!” – Michelle Gupta!
Join me , Michelle Gupta, with over 8-years teaching experience, ‘on top of the world’ for 7-days of mindful movement and meditation in the heavenly Himalayan mountains! We’ll enjoy a week of spacious surroundings, ancient spiritual cultures, nutritious and delicious food, majestic scenery and monks mingling with monkeys!
There will be DAILY TAI CHI, YOGA AND MEDITATION and this unique environment will be the inspiration and breathtaking backdrop for our classes!
We’ll be based in the holy and historic town of Mcleod Ganj, near Dharamsala, India – home for the past 60 years to HH The Dalai Lama. It’s a magical melting-pot of ancient cultures where you can mingle with monks, Indian locals, and Tibetans who live in harmony and who practice and protect ancient Buddhist and Hindu traditions.
There’ll be plenty of time to visit the local temples, cultural centres and museums, shops, Western, Indian and Tibetan restaurants and there will also be a choice of optional, free and paid excursions eg. to the Dalai Lama’s Temple complex, a forest and lake walk, visit to a historical fort and ruins, a night-time fire ceremony, a visit to a Tibetan cultural and crafts centre.
Our base and sanctuary for the week – guesthouse ‘Ram Yoga House’ – with its own rooftop yoga studio overlooking the Himalayas and a lovely cafe serving fabulous Indian and Western/European breakfasts, lunches and evening meals – is just a 5 minute walk from the amazing atmosphere, sights and smells of this holy, Himalayan town. Here, we’ll soak up the breathtaking mountain views from the rooftop Yoga studio during our daily Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Yoga and Meditation classes. An Ayurvedic cooking experience is also included in your fee (2x meals cooked during our Ayurvedic cookery classes!). No experience is necessary and you can take all classes at your own pace as you’ll have a whole week to immerse yourself in this special environment.
My Dad’s family are from India so I have a personal connection with this amazing country. During my 6th visit, at the end of 2016, I visited Mcleodganj for the first time and was truly captivated by this very special, welcoming town and guesthouse, its people and its unique spiritual heritage – not to mention the majestic mountains, the friendly monks – and the monkeys too! Now I’m delighted and excited to hold a retreat here – it’s a dream come true on the roof of the world!
Here’s a 50 second video made by our guesthouse owner, Ram, in Jan 2019 highlighting what you can see from his guesthouse, our venue for the week – including the Himalayas, the Dalai Lama’s home and the rooftop-hopping monkeys!
Here are the DETAILS of this fun, fabulous & fulfilling retreat! :
WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE RETREAT FEE? In a nutshell….
- Daily Tai Chi & Chi Kung, Yoga and Meditation classes (3-classes per day, all on-site) for 7 days – all overlooking the Himalayan mountains (NB. on arrival day there will be one short evening class / no classes held on departure day)
- 8 nights shared twin/double en-suite room with mountain-view balcony
- Transfers by car from and to Dharamsala Airport (approx 45 mins each way)
- 2x Ayurvedic cookery classes – where you’ll learn about, cook and of course eat your own Indian vegetarian meals!
What’s not included? :
- All flights (see below for travel information)
- All meals/drinks – except for the 2x meals cooked during our cookery classes.
- Paid optional excursions
- Personal expenses
BOOKING AND PAYMENTS – You can book one or multiple places online below or get in touch by email / phone to pay by card. Places and accommodation are limited and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis so pay your deposit now to avoid disappointment!!
Full retreat fee Euro €540 pp is based on a shared twin/double en-suite room with balcony.
- Deposit – A non-refundable deposit of €140 pp to secure your place. PLACES ARE LIMITED and subject to availability of accommodation so I suggest you pay your deposit ASAP to avoid disappointment! NB. if no places are available at your time of booking then your deposit will be refunded in full.
- Full retreat balance of €400 pp is payable no later than 31st August 2019
- Early arrival date – If you wish to book an earlier arrival or later departure date please let me know and I’ll inquire on your behalf regarding accommodation availability. An extra accommodation fee of €30pp per night will be charged. I’ll be there for at least a week beforehand and possibly a couple of days afterwards so will be there to greet you!
- Cancellation policy – The deposit is entirely non-refundable. The full-balance is non-refundable after 31st August 2019. If cancelling before this date, your balance will be fully refunded.
INTRODUCING YOUR HOSTS & INSTRUCTORS –
Michelle Gupta – Tai Chi, Chi Kung & Meditation Instructor, Massage Therapist & Reflexologist. Based in Cork, Ireland :
Since running my first overseas retreat in Greece in 2018 I knew that India had to be the next location! I will be holding daily Tai Chi, Chi Kung and Meditation classes with you in a relaxed and fun way, making it easy to learn the graceful and flowing, meditative movements and guiding you through seated and lying meditation sessions.
My daily practice of these healing arts for the last 10+ years – plus teaching at my classes, workshops and retreats since 2011 – has been fundamental in improving my own health, harmony and happiness. Having attended around a dozen retreats around the world myself (eg. Thailand, Italy, Spain, France, Scotland, Ireland) I can’t wait to “Chi-lax” with you and share the wonderful benefits of Tai Chi, Chi Kung and Meditation in the magical, nurturing and heavenly Himalayas. I’ll be there every step of the way to ensure you have a comfortable, enjoyable and healthy experience. It really will be a re-treat for the mind, body and spirit!
For more info about my Tai Chi, Chi Kung and Meditation sessions click here
And to see what you’ll be learning, here are 2 videos showing Tai Chi and Chi Kung performed while in Sikkim, India in November 2016 with a Himalayan backdrop!
Ram Bhardwaj – Guesthouse owner “Ram Yoga House”, Ayurvedic Teacher and Thai Yoga Massage Therapist :
Ram was born in a village near Dharamsala and has been an Ayurvedic and Yoga practitioner and Massage therapist for many years having trained and taught workshops and courses all over the world, as well as in his hometown.
Ram Yoga House: Our retreat venue is Ram’s award-winning guesthouse, most recently winning the booking.com 2018 Guest Review award with a review score of 8.3! In addition to facilities mentioned above there is free wifi and fairly good mobile phone reception. All towels and bedding are also provided in your en-suite (shared) room.
Our Yoga classes: Ram has practiced Yoga from an early age and employs a highly experienced Yoga Instructor at his fully-equipped roof-top studio. He offers classes all year round and as India is, after all, the original home of Yoga we’ll be in very good hands! Rest assured that Ram will ensure our classes are suitable for beginners so you can take it at your own pace and build on your experience during the week.
Ayurveda – Ayurveda is the ancient Indian system of health and wellness and includes the principles of diet, exercise (Yoga) and spiritual practice such as meditation. Ayur means “knowledge” / veda means “life”. Our Ayurvedic cooking experience : Ram will be holding 2 Ayurvedic cookery classes with us (included in retreat fee) where you’ll learn to cook traditional Indian vegetarian meals – and enjoy eating them afterwards! NB. There will be opportunities to have one-to-one Thai Yoga Massage sessions or Ayurvedic health consultations with Ram and he’ll be happy to advise prices and book appointments with you during the week.
- IMPORTANT INFO: Arrival day is Saturday 26th October – please note that a number of international flights from UK/Europe to India arrive the DAY AFTER DEPARTURE so you will most likely need to depart on Fri 25th Oct!
- VERY IMPORTANT!! BEFORE booking your international flight to Delhi, please ensure that it connects to a domestic flight to Dharamsala with AT LEAST 2 HOURS TRANSFER TIME at Delhi airport (to allow for immigration/customs and luggage pick-up etc) or you may have to stay overnight in Delhi and potentially miss out on some of the retreat! (See below for more info).
- VISA & PASSPORT – you will need a tourist visa to visit India. This is an E-visa and can, in most cases, be ordered online. You must have a minimum of 6 months remaining on your passport AFTER your return date to your home country from India eg. Ireland or UK. This link to Trailfinders Visa service has lots of useful information about E-visa applications. https://www.trailfinders.com/visas Costs vary according to the country of origin of your passport. Here also is a link to the Indian E-Visa website: https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html
FLIGHTS to Delhi and Dharamsala :
- International flight to Delhi – It’s naturally your choice who you decide to fly with but I’m taking the following Virgin flight from Heathrow. It works very well regarding cost, flight-time and domestic connections from Delhi to Dharamsala. Most flights require full payment up-front but I booked through J. Barter Travel in Cork and paid only €100 deposit to secure the fare!! (the balance is due 8-weeks before departure). Cost : Approx €650-700 return (as of January 2019 and this includes connecting flight from Cork to Heathrow). Contact Michelle or Marie-Olive at J. Barter to see what they can find for you Tel: +353 21 489 4084 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Details of above mentioned flight :
OUT (operated by Aer Lingus for Virgin) : Cork 16.00-LHR 17.25 / RETURN LHR 22.00- Cork 23.15
Virgin flight : OUT LHR 21.40 – DEL 10.45 (next day) / RETURN DEL 13.35 – LHR 17.30 (same day)
NB. There is only ONE connecting flight from Delhi to Dharamsala which connects to the above outward flight at 14.30 with Spicejet so it is important to book this flight to avoid having to stay overnight in Delhi! SEE BELOW.
NB. RETURN flight as above with Virgin departs Delhi at 13.35 and there is ONE flight which connects on the same day at 08.30 with Air India – or, of course, it’s also possible to leave Dharamsala on the day before your flight out of Delhi. Also see below.
- Domestic flight from Delhi to Dharamsala – These are run by 2 airlines in India : Spicejet and Air India. NB. remember to allow a couple of hours at least between arrival in Delhi and your domestic flight as you’ll have to go through customs and collect your luggage! Payment is made in Rupees (INR) or USD$. Times are as follows (subject to availability – PLEASE CHECK ONLINE BEFORE BOOKING YOUR INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT TO DELHI and note that not all flights run every day – I’ve listed the flights that are scheduled specifically on our arrival and departure days – see airline links below:
Air India OUT: DEL 06.20- DHM 08.05 OR DEL 10.55- DHM 12.20 / RETURN: DHM 08.30- DEL 10.05 OR DHM 13.05- DEL 14.50
Air India Website: http://www.airindia.in/
Spicejet OUT: DEL 10.50- DHM 12.15 OR DEL 14.30- DHM 15.40 / RETURN: DHM 12.35- DEL 14.05 OR DHM 16.00-DEL 17.40
Spicejet Website: https://www.spicejet.com/
- Transfers from Dharamsala airport to our guesthouse : these are included in your retreat fee – we will arrange your transfers by car from and to Dharamsala airport. Please advise all your flight details as soon as you have them by email to Michelle email@example.com.
- NB. All times and costs are correct as of Jan 2019. Travel details are subject to change and availability will, of course, depend on your individual chosen route and airline.
TRAVEL INSURANCE, HEALTH & WEATHER :
- You will need to arrange your own travel insurance in advance of travelling to India
- Malaria – it’s not generally deemed necessary to take anti-malarial tablets in the Northern Indian region we’re staying in. However, we advise that you bring mosquito repellent for use after dusk (see below my all-natural, tried and tested recipe for homemade mozzie spray!) if in doubt, see the India Malaria map below and contact your local travel-health clinic. > https://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-east/india/india-malaria-map
- Other immunisations – you may wish to consult your local travel-health clinic to check if you need any immunisations / jabs before travelling to Northern India.
- Weather – temperatures around end Oct should be a very pleasant average of 20 degrees, possibly as high as 24 degrees and down to 12-15 degrees at night. As mentioned below – layers are the key when packing clothing! Little or no rain is expected as it will be well after the rainy season.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list but here are our suggestions to help make this an amazing and comfortable experience for everyone –
- Cash is handy to have in Euros, GBP or USD. Exchange rate as of Feb 2019 is €1 = 80 INR (Indian Rupees). It is usually not possible to obtain INR outside India but there are plenty of exchange bureaus and cash machines at Delhi airport and also some in Mcleod Ganj. Not many local restaurants or cafes will take card payments but a number of shops will. NB. Personal expenses and food/drinks (except for 2 Ayurvedic cookery meals) are not included in your retreat fee. Nor are paid, optional excursions. A daily budget of €25-30 is suggested for food and drinks.
- Sunscreen / sunhat
- A torch
- Mosquito repellent and bite cream / antihistamines. Here’s my recipe for homemade, tried and tested mozzie spray that is totally natural and kind to your skin: Mix the following in a spray bottle and shake well before use: Per 100ml = 50ml pre-boiled water, 25ml witch hazel, 1tsp liquid oil eg. Jojoba. Essential oils : Citronella x40 drops / Tea tree x10 drops / Lavender x10 drops. You can also add Lemongrass OR Eucalyptus x10 drops.
- A wrap / layers for the evenings as it can get chilly at night
- Your own preferred teabags and snacks etc
- Sturdy shoes/runners
- Plug adaptor for India
- Immodium and Dioralyte incase you get an upset tummy!
- Women are advised to bring their own tampons as required as they are not readily available in India.
DISABLED FACILITIES: Due to the location and landscape, this retreat is not suitable for those in wheelchairs or who are immobile.