India Yoga and Writing Retreat 2016

 

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‘The retreat was one of the biggest gifts I could ever give myself. It was exactly what I needed’ ~ Anne (Amsterdam, Holland)

REGISTRATION IS OPEN.  

NORTH GOA, INDIA SUNDAY JAN 17TH – SUNDAY 24TH, 2016

(arrival date should be Sunday Jan 17th, first night at the retreat property is 17th.  Practice starts Monday Jan 18th)

 Sometimes, it takes an invitation to inspire a dream.  Sometimes, it takes saying yes to an invitation to inspire, and change, your life.

sunset in India

Consider this your invitation.

If India has ever been a destination you’ve always wanted to visit, then this is a perfect opportunity to ease into the magic and spiritually rich culture that is Incredible India!

If you’re looking for a getaway that will truly change your perspective and reignite the feeling of life being vibrant and creative and inspired, then this yoga and writing retreat in India is for you.

Why is this retreat for me?

Yoga? It will be intelligent, thoughtful, relevant, deep & supportive.
Creativity? It will be expressive, personal, new, inspiring.
Culture? It will be new, it will be educational.
Beach? It will be at your door, every day. Waiting.
Life changing? You won’t have any choice.
Spiritual? It is in the wind, in the air. It omniscient, omnipresent. It will be in every pair of eyes you meet.
India? It will swell your heart.


 

Join me for a 7 night/day creatively minded yoga retreat and life affirming trip to Goa, India.

DSC00580 - Copy

Goa lies on the south west Coast of India.  It is lush with tropical mangroves, lined with quaint fishing villages and vibrant with a culture rich in laid-back seaside sensibility and fiery, colorful, Indian flare.  It is an oasis in the exotic sub-continent that exists as something of an anomaly, in an otherwise intense and densely populated country.

Your accommodations are set back in the mangroves only a few meters from the vast and stretched shoreline.  Built by a community of creatively minded people, The Mandala is an artists colony and a seekers paradise.

 

The Mandala is a place that invites inspired conversation and life dreams.

India yoga writing retreat

 

Your yoga retreat invitation includes:

7 night’s accommodation.

Daily asana/yoga classes.

Daily meditation.

2 Beachside Pottery Classes taught by the award winning potter Aparna Sukhija (not mandatory)

Writing/creative discussion/class/prompts led by Lyn Girdler

Songwriting workshops taught by Lindsay Giles McWilliams

A trip to the perfume Guru: Rama Krishna in the market place.

Breakfast & Dinner (dietary options available, please contact me directly about these requests)

Complimentary herbal teas

Spontaneity, synchronicity, wonder!

Options (not included but can be arranged) :

Nightly sunset drum jam held nightly on the neighboring beach (Free)

Local parties (Free)

Saturday night local markets in Anjuna (Cost of transportation only – can be shared)

Massages ($15-$20)

Ayurvedic consult and treatments ($10-$20 per hour)

Not Included:

Your airfare

Any transfers

Transportation to and from the retreat (advice, information and assistance is happily and readily available).

Shopping trips (but lots of advice on where to shop and buy gifts).

Practicing yoga in India

Why India? Why Goa?

Yoga IS the conversation in India.  It is ripe for inspired and creative life development.  Many westerners come here to find space from the maddening life of structure and obligations so that they can focus on feeling free, vibrantly alive and brilliantly themselves.  Relaxed, vibrant, connected and authentic is exactly what many experience.

In late 2012 I was invited by a friend to share in the 2 bedroom apartment she had rented for the season in North Goa.  I had never been to India and the opportunity presented itself right when I wanted to say yes.  I went for 3 months, using the house and Goa as a base, and traveled through South India.  Saying yes was the best thing I ever did.

Plans changed for my friend who could not end up coming out so the journey took a bigger, life changing purpose for me and India planted a seed in my heart that has been growing dreams and spiritual connection ever since.

You can read more about my journey here.

I want to offer that same opportunity for you.  I explored the area with a yoga and writing retreat in mind.  I made friends with locals, with this yoga and writing retreat in mind.  I made the right connections to share a cultural and unique experience, with this retreat in mind.  So, I was more than excited that everything aligned for the first retreat to happen in 2013.  But, India is like that – it provides access to synchronicity like I’ve never experienced before.

Goa, is a beautiful part of south India.  It’s an easy transition and introduction to the otherwise intense and wildly pulsing country that is India.  Westerners will find respectable comforts and the most basic of conveniences without losing the feeling of being somewhere extremely foreign and exotic.

A yoga and writing retreat that is focused on you, as an individual, opening to more possibility in life; affirming your dreams and ambitions and creative mind is the perfect way to kick off the year.

I also answered this question in a post I wrote here, before last year’s retreat.  The reasons haven’t really changed.

Here is a short video of The Mandala..the place where our week of magic will happen.

The Mandala Goa

About Yoga.  About writing.  About meditation.

I have been teaching alignment based, therapeutic vinyasa yoga since 2007.  You can read more about my yoga training here.  The classes will be modified for all levels of practice.  They will combine a vigorous flowing vinyasa style class as well workshop formats and we will incorporate restorative practices as well.  All classes will be suited toward the group that has arrived.

Inspired by the Goddesses, I bring the stories and myth of many of deities into our daily meditations.  The meditation practice will appeal to a beginner or someone who has moderate experience of meditation.  In fact, many of the past participants have gone on to study the goddesses further and incorporate meditation into their daily lives.

Writing exercises and discussion will be held daily.  You do not have to have strong, or even, proficient writing experience.  This is not a week of learning HOW to write – this is a week where I will offer time and space and experience to observe and ponder and create and yes, write.  Writing is a wonderful way to explore your own sense of spirit and to take notice of the small things in life.  It’s a chance to look life in ways that might not be all that obvious when you’re just living it day to day.  The prompts will use our surrounding area and turn your experience into a story you will want to read later on.

The schedule, and tips and advice on packing and transport etc. will be announced as we move closer to the retreat.

writing on a yoga writing retreat in India

A SAMPLE DAY:

8-10 AM:

Meditation / Yoga / Creative writing prompts (exercises)
Breakfast

Middle of the day Free
Options include (which I can help you organize)
beach lounging
temple visit
exploring the markets and main shopping area
day tour through Old Goa & spice plantation & elephant ride
massages
Ayurvedic consultation

4-6pm

Either yoga workshop/chanting workshop/restorative practice/creative writing/visit temple

6:30pm

Drum circle/jam on the beach at sunset (optional)

7pm Dinner

Free for the rest of the evening.

Testimonials: 

The way that Lyn has organised the course, yoga in the morning and writing in the evening, meant that we greeted each day with bodies and minds open to the sensory experiences that was the stuff of India. In the evening we were able to express those experiences with words through thought-provoking exercises aimed at exploring both the self and the world around us. The venue was gorgeous, the food exquisite and the people, warm and open. Loved every minute of it.’  Jean M (London, UK)

The retreat was one of the biggest gifts I could ever give myself. It was exactly what I needed at that time. Time for myself in an astonishing surrounding with a beautiful teacher. The location and the food were perfect and totally fitted in the whole perfect picture but off course that’s not what the retreat was about for me. It was about connecting with myself and discovering new things and finding new spaces I had not been before. The combination of yoga, meditation and writing made the difference. The writing-exercises Lyn gave us were extremely inspiring and gave me insights that ‘only’ doing yoga could not have given me in this single week. Besides wisdom, the writing gave me so much ease and joy and brought together everything that I could find in my mind, heart and body. Lyn challenged us to experience the week in a way that was perfect for ourselves, not for anybody else. I was most amazed with the effect of working with intentions for yourself. I could take big steps in doing something that is a great challenge for people who dare to live their life’s with eyes open and something that has always been a challenge for many of us: becoming more of you. During (and after!) the Yoga and Creative Week I became more of me. Incredibly thankful!!!!’  Anne L (Amsterdam, Holland)

I haven’t the words to correctly express how grateful I am for this retreat (ironically).  It wasn’t just for the opportunity to come to India, which I’ve always wanted to do, but then everything that Lyn brought to it.  Her hard work was evident in every moment and the group that came together was so special.  I am taking with me, some potentially, life altering habits and, as Lyn reminded us daily, I am going to trust my practices’ Marianne E (Connecticut, USA

Dear Lyn, Thank you so much for your supportive following of my journey.  Your wisdom you shared regarding fear really pivoted my perspective and assisted in the shift I was looking for.  I pulled up the original email I sent you the other day and I felt so grateful for your faith in this journey for me from the beginning.  You led a beautiful, thought-provoking retreat.  I am so honored to be a part of it.  Thank you for your nurturing introduction to the beautiful and frustrating country of India’  Jessica R (Michigan, USA)

Price & Dates

Sunday January 17th through to Sunday January 24th
(actual retreat starts on Monday January 18th ends on Sunday January 24th )

All prices include breakfast, lunch & dinner, daily yoga classes, herbal teas & special beverages, daily meditation classes, daily writing classes, and spontaneous activities that will be organized closer to the retreat.

If booking after Dec 15th, 2015 the amount must be paid in full.  Please read the contract and conditions carefully.  All prices increase after October 31st, please note these prices changes.

If you don’t want to pay the retreat in full, there is an option for a $500 non-refundable deposit.  Please note, the remainder of the cost must be paid in full by December 15th, 2015.

Deposit of $500 is non refundable after 24hours.

For additional information, or to secure payment email lyn.girdler@gmail.com

Yanta Tent/Yurt.  Very comfortable, spacious and clean.  Don’t think family camping trip tent, think more ‘glamping’.  These are permanent structures on the property with comfortable queen beds, fan, mosquito net and closet.  Bathrooms are shared.  5 tents available.

Single: Before October 31st $1375
(After October 31st $1550)

Double: Before October 31st $1625  
(After October 31st $1850)

Nomadic Chalet.  Two story, two bedroom structure with very large shared bathroom on the bottom floor.  Top bedroom has a queen sized bed, and direct access to the balcony, bottom bedroom had two single beds and can be fitted with queen bed option.  The shared bathroom is separated by a door from the bottom bathroom offering good privacy.  Concrete floors, bamboo walls.  Has fan and mosquito nets.  Overlooks the lake.  2 Chalet’s available.

Single: Before October 31st $1750.
(After October 31st $1950)  

Double: Before October 31st $2250.
(After October 31st $2650)  

Art Room. Air-conditioned room in a 3 room block.  Solid structure, tiled floors, private bathroom with balcony.  Queen sized bed. 2 available.

Single: Before October 31st $1850.
(After October 31st $1975)  

Double: Before October 31st $2650.
(After October 31st $2850) 

Pandomandala Suite.  Top floor of 3 room block.  Fully air-conditioned room.  Large windows with good view of the lake and the property.  Large balcony with hammock.  Private bathroom.  1 available

Single: Before October 31st $1950.  
(After October 31st $2280)

Double: Before October 31st $2750. 
(After October 31st $2975)

Additional details

There will be a private facebook group set up for this retreat where you can share information with each other and where I will post tips and up to the minute information.  It’s also a great place where you can get to know each other and combine travel schedules to possibly travel together.

Emails will be sent out regularly from me with information on packing tips, local customs information and general help and advice with logistics.

All activities are optional but strongly recommended.

Please direct all questions via email at lyn.girdler@gmail.com.

The $500 deposit is non-refundable after 24 hours.

Pay deposit now: (You will be directed to another page – Please ensure you email me directly about the room you are wanting to purchase; lyn.girdler@gmail.com)

 

For more visual information, check out last years photo album

 

FAQ’S

**Please continue to check back here for more information.  As more questions are asked I’ll post them here for your information.

How do I get there?

Depending on where in the world you are coming from, many airlines offer flights to Dabolim, Goa International Airport. Some routes may have you stopping in one of the major airports (Mumbai or Bangalore).  If you’re coming from the U.S. almost all flights stop into Mumbai first and many have their flights to Goa the next morning, since flights from the U.S. usually arrive between 9-11pm.  However, be sure to check this information when booking your ticket as it is always subject to change. The airport code for Goa airport is GOI.

Once you arrive into Goa airport I will have arranged a taxi for you – or some kind of transportation up to Mandrem (town where the resort is).  In some instances we’ll hope to be able to share transport.  It’s about a $25, hour and half drive north, through some beautiful little towns and you’ll wind inland and along the coast.

I don’t have a strong yoga practice, will I be ok?

Yes.  Absolutely.  This is not an exclusive – advanced only – retreat.  I teach all levels and make all modifications necessary.  This retreat is not about throwing yourself into hard-core, sweaty strong vinyasa…though that is available if you want it.  It is about exploring new ways to move, immersing yourself in something sacred and creative and it’s about discovery and new environments.

I am well versed in injury prevention, proper alignment and making the correct modifications.  We’ll workshop some classes and there will be plenty of opportunities to learn more about the practice and about your own abilities.  So, you will be well looked after and respected regardless of your level of asana ability.

I am not a professional writer.  I do like to write though, but I haven’t written anything creatively in a while.  What is the writing portion about?

It’s about discovery.

The exercises that I’m teaching, and will be working with you all on, are designed to re-ignite creativity – whether you’re actively writing on or not.

The discussion is going to be inclusive and conversational and we can all look at ways to improve our writing and the direction we can take with whatever creative talent comes up.

India has this ability to bring out the creative in all of us – it has quite a powerful and palpable energy there. Many people experience deeply vivid dream states and have the urge to write or draw or take pictures again. So, the purpose of the retreat is to really tap into and harness some of that energy to inspire us all to dig deep again.

I’m a woman traveling on my own, will I be ok?  What is the attitude toward women?  How should I dress?

Like any time a woman travels, or is on her own, there should be a healthy level of vigilance.  You should have a strong sense of your own boundaries and level of security.  That said, Goa is fairly westernized part of India and is quite safe.  Women are fine to wear bikini’s on the beach and you’ll see a lot of free-swinging hippies that are very exposed all the time.  Sun dresses and regular, lightweight attire during the day when you’re in restaurants and socializing is fine.  A cover up for the beach is something you might want to consider.

Occasionally, you’ll get a group of young Indian men who have taken their first trip to Goa and are mesmerized by women in bikini’s – they’re harmless but it can feel a little exposing.

If you plan to travel outside of the beach areas and into more local town in the state – and especially if you decide to come to any temples – you must respect custom and cover your shoulders and legs.  This is most respectful.

When it comes to attitude toward women – men are more curious than harmful so you might feel a little uncomfortable with the intense stares.  For the most part, this is harmless.  However, there have been a recent spat of reports of rapes in the country.  Statistically speaking, it is extremely low and have mostly happened in bigger cities.

I did not feel unsafe at all while in Goa.

Should I get vaccinations?

This is a completely personal choice.  Goa is not a state that has malaria but there are other things you might want to look into.  I did not get vaccinations and, instead, used preventative measures and natural therapies.  But, again, please do your own research and make a decision that will give you peace of mind.

Can I pay the retreat off in a payment plan?

Since this will be a small retreat and spaces are limited – I’d rather not have a payment plan in place because the margin of risk is too large.  I do suggest that people use their credit card, if they can’t pay in full, and pay that off.

7 days isn’t a long time to travel such a long distance – why only a week?

This retreat is a fantastic way to ease you into the country.  I HIGHLY recommend staying at least another week on either end of the retreat – or, at least a few more days.  There are many beautiful spots within Goa to explore.  I can also recommend some trips for you to get a little more of an adventurous experience within the country.  Feel free to email at lyn.girdler@gmail.com

Should I be worried about the food?  What about the water?

Bottled water is EVERYWHERE!  Goa is well accustomed to western needs.  Always drink bottled water and brush your teeth with bottled water and rinse any fruit with bottled water.  By no means drink anything from the tap.  That’s the most important.  That said, you might want to bring immodium or a natural supplement like grapefruit seed extract for any stomach issues.  It’s not uncommon so you just have to be vigilant.

The local food is pretty standard ‘gravy’ style sauce dishes like curry and rice.  Goan cuisine is heavy on fish.  You’ll have some of the most deliciously fresh fish – probably caught that day (it’s also fun to watch the fishing boats come in with their catch).

Because there are so many western visitors they have standard food that will be familiar.  Of course, they don’t cook it the same way and the flavors might be a little different but you can get pretty standard fare.  You’ll just have a hard time finding red meat.  Chicken is available as well as bacon.

On our retreat, the owner is the chef and we will be served a combination of local dishes and gourmet dishes using local ingredients.

Of course, coconuts and papaya and mangoes and figs and the most delectable fresh fruit will be at your fingertips for less than 20cents everywhere you go. This is the most delightful part, I think.