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2017 India Retreat

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Join me on a sacred retreat to the ancient land of Yoga, Ayurveda and deep spirituality. For 15 days we will be in the South Indian State of Kerala, also known as “God’s Own Country”, immersing ourselves in the practices of Ayurveda, Tantra, Yoga and Meditation in one-of-a-kind retreats, heritage hotels and bespoke homestays – oases of serenity in the midst of beautiful nature and stunning scenery, allowing us to go deep within.

HIGHLIGHTS

GreenLotus_Retreat_thumbs_mountain 7 day Ayurveda Wellness program in a Holistic Ayurveda retreat up in the mountains, surrounded by breathtaking nature

  • Daily Ayurveda consultations with the doctor
  • Customized Ayurveda treatments, herbal medicines and food
  • Daily Yoga classes and Yoga Nidra
  • Daily Pooja (fire ceremonies – Agnihotra)
  • Daily Mantra meditation (Chanting)
  • Satsangs
GreenLotus_Retreat_thumbs_backwaters 2 day stay in charming villas on an organic farm island in the idyllic backwaters of Kerala

  • Sunset river cruise
  • Farm tour (spices, bananas, coconut, vegetables)
GreenLotus_Retreat_thumbs_resort 2 day stay in a heritage resort on the banks of
one of Kerala’s legendary rivers

  • Peaceful resting point before and after road trip to Ayurveda retreat
GreenLotus_Retreat_thumbs_temple 3 day stay in a heritage home in the historic city
of Cochin on the Malabar spice coast

  • Point of entry into and departure from India
  • Curated sightseeing, cultural program and shopping
morning-pooja Daily Yoga, Mantra, Meditation, Ayurveda & Tantra talks, discourses on the Bagavad Gita

REGISTRATION & FEE


EARLY BIRD – $3,000 register by April 30
Regular – $3,200
Includes all accommodations, meals, Ayurveda treatments, sightseeing, ground transportation, and tour guide; Does not include airfare to and from the US to India; Space is limited to 10 retreatants.
TO REGISTER – Contact Sandhiya at sandhiya@greenlotuswellness.com or 949.842.7504

YOUR GUIDE • SANDHIYA RAMASWAMY CAS PKS MBA
~ Ayurveda, Tantra and Yoga practitioner ~Having lived in India the first 22 years of my life, I have had a life-long and intimate connection with Ayurveda, Tantra, Yoga and Spirituality. For nearly 10 years, I’ve been a practitioner, master teacher and chef of Ayurveda, facilitating the improved wellbeing of hundreds of women and men through my private consultations, teachings and workshops. My practice Green Lotus Wellness www.greenlotuswellness.com is in Dana Point, California.Prior to my current avatar, I was in the world of Finance, climbing the proverbial ladder in corporate America for nearly 15 years. A health crisis put things in perspective and brought me back to my roots of Ayurveda for my own personal healing – I have been studying and practicing Ayurveda ever since.Having lived in almost equal measure in both India and America, I strive to bring the right blend of Eastern and Western sensibilities in my practices and offerings.Taking people on carefully curated spiritual journeys to India has always been a great desire of mine, which has now become a reality. I am so honored, humbled and grateful for this.

 

Our Homes Away From Home | Pricing Details | Detailed Itinerary | Important Stuff | India!

 

 

OUR HOMES AWAY FROM HOME

Heritage Hotel, Kochi (Cochin) – 3 nights

A 100 year old ancestral property converted into a boutique heritage hotel, this small and tranquil property is a peaceful oasis in the midst of a bustling city that is Kochi. The property and the rooms showcase the fine Kerala architecture and craftsmanship. Here we will yoga under a mango tree and have delicious meals prepared by the chef especially for our group. The ancient and bustling port city of Kochi serves as our point of arrival and departure (airport code – COK) for this trip. During our stay we will take in the sights –among them the Chinese fishing nets, museum, and a 400 year old synagogue. One evening will be spent attending a dance performance at the cultural center.

GreenLotus_Retreat_thumbs_HeritageHotelKochi

River Resort, Calicut (Kozhikode) – 2 nights

Nestled on the banks of the legendary Chaliyar River is this beautiful resort. Inspired by the Nallukettu style (traditional Kerala homestead) of architecture this resort is spread across nine beautifully landscaped acres. The colorful Kerala mural art depicted throughout the resort, brings alive the mystical heritage of this state. This will be our resting point to and from the mountains of Wayanad.

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Ayurveda Holistic Retreat, Wayanad – 7 nights

Our temple of Ayurveda for 7 days. Authentic Ayurveda retreat set on a serene and breathtaking mountain top, in the middle of a nature preserve in beautiful Wayanad – the land of misty peaks, paddy fields and virgin forests. This place is a gift of nature for those who seek quietude, calmness and serenity. The healing begins by just being in this womb of Mother Nature. We will be LIVING Ayurveda (and Yoga) for 7 days here. In this temple of Ayurveda, along with communing with nature, we will be immersed in daily Ayurveda (customized treatments, herbal medicines, food), Yoga, Mantra, Yoga Nidra, Satsangs and Poojas (fire ceremonies). Here, all the food comes from the organic garden, the milk (and ghee) from the cows lovingly tended to on the premises, and the honey from the forest. This promises to be a deeply spiritual experience, allowing us to retreat and go deep within. Here you will have your very own private cottage to enhance your experience of going inward.

GreenLotus_Retreat_thumbs_HolisticRetreatWayanad

Organic Farm Homestay, Vechoor – 2 nights

No trip to Kerala is complete without visiting it’s legendary backwaters. This homestay is a breathtakingly beautiful organic farm on it’s own island in the famed Kerala backwaters. This is a working farm – growing coconuts, bananas, various spices and vegetables. Here, we will be lovingly taken care of by the family (the grandmother is renowned for her cooking), who have been farming this land for generations. We will be staying in beautiful and spacious villas, located on the outer dyke facing the peaceful backwaters. These villas,designed by famous local architects, are furnished with antiques, including some beautifully carved and hand crafted doors and windows, which have been meticulously collected over the years. With plenty of lush green space to Yoga, meditate and contemplate, this place is a true paradise on earth.

GreenLotus_Retreat_thumbs_FarmHomestayVechoor

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PRICING DETAILS

Accommodations

– For the 7 night stay at the Ayurveda retreat, each of you will be given your own private room/cottage – single occupancy
– The rest of the 7 night, stay will be double occupancy

If you would prefer your own private room for the entire trip, please let me know as soon as possible. It can be arranged based on availability and at an additional cost (add $720)

Trip Costs

$3,000 Early Bird Special (Registration and $400 deposit required by April 30)
$3,200 Regular (after Apr 30)
Add $720 for 100% single occupancy accommodations for entire trip

What’s included

– Accommodations for 14 nights
– All meals (15 days)
– Ground transportation for entire stay (including airport pickup and drop-off)
– 7 day Ayurveda Program – Treatments, doctor consultations, medicines, food
– Yoga, yoga nidra, meditation, Pooja, Satsangs
– Ayurveda talks, Tantra workshops, Bagavad Gita discourses
– Tour guide services
– Cultural program, entrance fee to museum visits & attractions

What’s not included

– Airfare from US to Kochi (Cochin) and back
– Any medicines prescribed by Ayurvedic doctor to take back home with you
– Personal Shopping expenses and items of a personal nature
– Food and beverages outside of what is provided as part of the retreat
– Tips (discretionary)

Payment Policy

Early bird

$400 deposit (non-refundable) by April 30 along with completed registration and signed forms to reserve your spot

Balance – $2,600
First Payment – 50% – $1,300 by May 31
Final Payment – 50% – $1,300 by June 30

Note – Trip can always be paid in full before June 30; Add $720 for 100% single occupancy

Regular

$400 deposit (non-refundable) along with completed registration and signed forms to reserve your spot

Balance – $2,800
First Payment – 50% – $1,400 by May 31
Final Payment – 50% – $1,400 by June 30

Note – Trip can always be paid in full before June 30; Add $720 for 100% single occupancy

Payment can be made by check, cash or Paypal friends and family (avoid service fee).

Credit Card payments are possible, with an additional 3% service fee.

Retreat Cancellation Policy

– $400 initial deposit is non-refundable
– If, for any reason, you need to cancel your participation in the retreat, 50% of
registration (minus initial deposit) will be issued up to 90 days prior to retreat start date
– Cancellations made less than 90 days in advance will result in no refund to the registrant
– In the rare case of cancellation of trip by me (due to unforeseen circumstances including but not limited to, family emergency, natural disasters, political unrest, dangerous weather, significant currency fluctuations or low sign-ups) you will be fully refunded

Please note that the cancellation policy is pretty strict, as I have to pay the retreats / resorts upfront and abide by their strict cancelation policies. Also, we will be traveling to India during the onset of ‘peak’ season when accommodations are in great demand, so it’s necessary to book well in advance, especially since the places we will be staying at are boutique and much smaller in scale than your average hotel / resort.

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DETAILED TRIP ITINERARY (OCTOBER 14 – 28)

Please plan on arriving into Cochin on the 14th, ideally during the day time (I will send information regarding suggested airlines and flights with ideal arrival times into Kochi, once the group has coalesced). You will need to fly out of the US, either on Thu Oct 12 or Fri Oct 13 to reach Kochi on Saturday, Oct 14. Similarly, on the way back, please book your departure on a flight that leaves Kochi on Saturday Oct 28 during the day time versus very early morning flights, if possible.

If you would like to arrive in India 1-2 days earlier (i.e. earlier than Oct 14), please let me know and I can give suggestions and/or help make arrangements for your accommodations, transportation, meals etc.

Also, a few of you have expressed adding on a few days before and after to explore more of India. I will be happy to assist in this regard as well, as well as connect you with other participants, if you are looking for travel companions.

Please note that some of the activities (like boat cruises) may be subject to change due weather conditions, timing of arrival etc. Also, please remember this is your retreat. You are welcome to refrain from participating in some activities if you so choose.

Day 1, Saturday Oct 14 – Arrival at Kochi (Cochin) airport * A day of rest and relaxation after a long plane trip *

You will be picked up from the airport and brought to or home in Kochi – a heritage hotel in Fort Kochi.

Noon – Opening Circle, Intention setting and meditation (subject to change based on participant’s arrival times)

1:00 – 2:00pm – Lunch

4:00 – 5:00pm – Yoga Nidra / Gentle Yoga

6:30 – 7:30pm – Dinner

8:00pm – Evening circle – Spiritual Talk / Mantra meditation

Day 2, Sunday Oct 15 – Exploring Kochi

7:00 – 8:00am – Yoga

8:30am – Breakfast

10:00 am – 4:00pm – Sightseeing (Museum, Port, Jew town) with break for lunch

5:30 – 7:00pm – Cultural program (Dance/Music)

7:30pm – Dinner

9:00pm – Evening circle – Meditation

Day 3, Monday Oct 16 – Leave Kochi for Calicut (Kozhikode)

7:00 – 8:00am – Yoga

8:30am – Breakfast

10:00 am – Approx. 4 hour road trip to Calicut (resting point en-route to the Ayurveda retreat)

2:00pm – Arrival at the River Resort and check-in

2:30pm – Lunch

4:30pm – River cruise

7:00pm – Dinner

8:30pm – Evening circle

Day 4, Tuesday Oct 17 – Leave Calicut for Ayurveda Holistic retreat (Wayanad)

8:00am – Breakfast

9:00am – Approx. 4 hour roadtrip to Tholpetty

1:00 pm – Arrival at Ayurveda Holistic Retreat; Check-in

1:30pm – Lunch

4:00 – 5:30pm – Afternoon Yoga

6:00pm – Dinner

6:30pm – Evening Pooja and Fire Ceremony (Agnihotram)

7:30pm – Evening circle – Ayurveda talk, meditation

Day 5, Wednesday Oct 18 – Day 10, Monday, October 23 at Ayurveda Holistic Retreat –

The following schedule will be followed daily

5:00 – 6:00 am – Morning Pooja and Agnihotram (Fire ceremony)

6:00 – 7:30 am – Yoga

8:30am – Breakfast

9:00am – 12:00pm – Ayurveda Doctor consultation and treatments (upto 2 hours in total) – Some of us will have treatments in the am and others in the pm

12:00 – 1:00pm – Yoga Nidra

1:00pm – Lunch

2:00 – 4:00pm – Ayurveda Doctor consultation and treatments (upto 2 hours in total) – Some of us will have treatments in the am and others in the pm

4:00 – 5:30pm – Afternoon Yoga

5:30pm – Dinner

6:00 – 6:45pm – Evening Pooja and Agnihotram (Fire Ceremony)

7:00pm – Satsang (Wednesday and Saturday only)

7:30pm – Evening circle – talks, meditation, reflection

Day 11, Tuesday, October 24 Last day of treatments, leave for Calicut

5:00 – 6:00 am – Morning Pooja and Agnihotram (Fire ceremony)

6:00 – 7:30 am – Yoga

8:30am – Breakfast

9:00am – 12:00pm – Final day of consultation and treatments

12:00pm – Lunch

12:-30pm – Depart on roadtrip to Calicut (approx.. 4 hours)

4:30pm – Arrival at River resort and check-in

6:30pm – Dinner

8:00pm – Evening circle

Day 12 Wednesday, October 25, Leave for Vechoor

7:30 am – Breakfast

8:30 am – Depart on road trip (approx. 6 hours)

2:30pm – Arrival at Farmhouse ; check-in and lunch

5:30pm – Sunset cruise on country boat

7:30pm – Dinner

8:30pm – Yoga Nidra and Evening Circle

Day 13 Thursday, October 26

7:00 – 8:00 am – Yoga

8:30am – Breakfast

10:00 – noon – Farm Tour

12:30pm – Lunch

2:30 – 4:30pm –Ayurveda / Tantra workshop
5:30pm – Sunset cruise on country boat

7:30pm – Dinner

8:30pm – Evening Circle

Day 14 Friday, October 27

7:00 – 8:00 am – Yoga

8:30am – Breakfast

11:00 am – Check-out and depart for Kochi (1.5hrs.)

12:30pm – Arrive at our Heritage Hotel (same one we stayed at upon arrival into Kochi)

1:00pm – Lunch

2:30 – 6:00pm – Kochi sightseeing & shopping – spice market, handicrafts, apparel

7:30pm – Celebratory Dinner

9:00pm – Closing circle, meditation, reflections, feedback

Day 15 Saturday, October 28

7:00 – 8:00 am – Yoga

8:30am – Breakfast

Drop off at Kochi airport – board flight to US / continue on extended India trip

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IMPORTANT STUFF

Travel Insurance

It is highly recommended that participants purchase a comprehensive trip insurance that includes trip cancelation, international medical & emergency evacuation insurance – there are many companies to choose from including Travelex, World Nomads and InsureMyTrip that offer such coverages at a modest cost

Passport & Visa Requirements

A valid passport and visa are required for entry into India!

US Passports: If you don’t already have a passportplease log onto www.travel.state.gov for more information. Please note that your passport MUST be good for six months after the completion of your trip.

Visa

You MUST have a valid tourist visa to travel to India and it is recommended to arrange for this sooner than later, because depending on your choice this process can take up to a month.

You can either go through:

Cocks & Kings Global Services CKGS – (This company works directly with the Indian Consulate)
516-206-1463
www.passport.in.ckgs.us
Once you fill out the paperwork on their website you are then directed to the Indian consultant where there is more paperwork to fill out. One of my friends recently updated my visa and did this process and it was a bit time consuming but there is telephone assistance as you go through the steps if you need.

Private Agencies

The following company is a private firm that will handle the whole procedure for you, there is an
additional charge, but this is absolutely the easiest way to proceed.
Travisa: https://www.travisa.com

For Orange County residents, there is a local company that handles visas
The Passport Proshttp://thepassportpros.com/visas/

Visa applications sent by mail generally are said to take about 7-9 business days to process from the date of receipt. However, it is better to err on the side of caution. If you are applying for a 6 month visa, please know your visa’s validity begins on the date of issue! Please plan accordingly. Tourist visas are available for 6 months, 5 or 10 years.

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INDIA!

Deeply spiritual and utterly unforgettable, India is unlike anywhere else on earth – a melting pot of ethnicities and religions, a treasure trove of history and culture, and a curious mixture of chaos and serenity.

Stretching across more than three million square kilometres, it encompasses a staggering array of landscapes, vistas and environs, and offers unparalled travel experiences – from the beautiful beaches of Goa to the compelling craziness of big cities like Mumbai and Kolkata, the sacred Ganges river banks of Varanasi, the snow-capped peaks of the Himalayas in Kashmir and the ancient, exquisitely crafted temples dotted across the entire country. Not to mention the vibrant, friendly people, and the incredible cuisine.

This mystical and beautiful continent with its allure of exotic cultures and traditions offers a diverse array of experiences. From the majestic landscapes of the snow-dusted Himalayas, geometric tea plantations, vast Camel-dotted deserts and the sun-washed beaches; to the tranquil temples, colourful festivals, crumbling fortresses, swarming spice bazaars and vibrant cities, India is an intoxicating cultural cocktail that has been known to capture the heart and elevate the soul.

Home to a billion and an half people, India is not for everyone! While it is getting more ‘westernized’, it can still be a challenge for many not used to this part of the world. It is exotic, colorful and deeply spiritual. It can also be chaotic – a crazy mix of sounds, smells, and sights. The best way to experience India is to be open minded and open-hearted. Be open to all the experiences and delight in the beauty, the warmth and the ancient mysticism of India and her people, and you will have the trip of your lifetime!

I hope you will join me on this spiritual sojourn.

Namaste,

Sandhiya

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