India Yoga Pilgrimage 2019

with Natalie Snooke and Eli Fletcher

14 - 28 October 2019

Discover the joy, devotion and spirituality of northern India on this unique 15-day Yoga pilgrimage. 

You'll experience a transformative journey to three of India's most sacred places - Rishikesh, Varanasi and Vrindavan - along with daily Yoga practice - guided by two highly experienced Australian yogis who share a passion and love for India.

  • Experience the unique fun, beauty and complexity of Indian culture
  • Deepen your self-awareness with daily yoga asana, pranayama and meditation practice
  • Relax in quality, four-star accommodation
  • Savour the powerful spiritual energy of yoga ashrams and holy temples
  • Learn about Yoga and Vedic philosophy from experienced teachers
  • Replenish your vitality with traditional Ayurvedic massage
  • Share the journey with a group of open-hearted yogis
  • Enjoy a balanced and diverse daily program.

Our Pilgrimage

"In India you're taught that there are certain qualities that make you a divine human being." ~ Deepak Chopra

Different to a holiday or a retreat, to go on pilgrimage is a joyful, ritual journey where every step along the way is intentional and has meaning.  The pilgrim-traveler understands that life-changing challenges, epiphanies and insights will emerge.

A pilgrimage to India promises an adventure like no other. India is full of contrasts. It is a beautiful, noisy, chaotic, colourful, sacred, magnificent and dirty place. The amount of grit is equal to the amount of grace!

But the amount of poverty is no match for the richness in spirit.

As we journey on the outside through Rishikesh (pictured left), Varanasi and Vrindavan, so too will we journey on the inside - letting-go of expectations, habits and mental obstacles to awaken the depths of our hearts and our being, made possible only by India's unique way of stirring the soul. 

India is often called ‘the Mother’. True to her nickname, she fully embodies the qualities of a mother - she is generous, fierce, warm and inspiring. She serves as a catalyst, asking you to engage, surrender and transform your body, mind, and spirit.  

The Home of Yoga

Yoga has its roots in ancient India. For over 5000 years, the science, philosophy and practice of Yoga has been handed down through lineages, from teacher to student.

A journey to India for anyone is transformational - and for yoga and meditation practitioners, it is extra special. Experiencing first-hand this ancient culture that is steeped in spirituality brings a deeper significance and connection to our practice and self-awareness.   

"India teaches us how to be yoga, to live yoga, not just how to do yoga." ~ Natalie Snooke

Yoga Sadhana - spiritual practice - each morning we will greet the day with a guided, mindful practice of meditation, pranayama (breath work) and yoga asana (vinyasa slow-flow and restorative) suitable for students of all levels and abilities. Beginners will be guided through the basics of practice. An essential part of our pilgrimage, our daily practice establishes our intentions and mindset for the day ahead.

Additional sessions for chanting, satsang (spiritual talks), philosophy and fire ceremony will also be offered throughout the pilgrimage, with interactive time for questions and discussion.

Just as Indians do and have done for centuries, when we visit Hindu temples or Yoga Masters, we will follow the local customs and immerse ourselves in darshan - we receive auspicious blessings and merit by seeing and being 'seen' by the resident devatas (dieties) or holy person. Whilst outwardly darshan might seem strange or even superficial, subtly and inwardly it stengthens our spiritual energy and 'lightens' our karmic load - a process that Indians take very seriously.

We welcome people on this pilgrimage who have a sincere interest in Yoga, India and/or the spiritual path - whilst some yoga experience is helpful, you don't need to be able to do advanced yoga postures!   

"I thoroughly enjoyed your India Yoga Retreat 2016. I loved visiting India for the first time with a new group of like-minded people, having the opportunity to get to know them through shared experience is very special. It was a unique, cultural immersion and worked its magic. And it was a photographer's dream! Since returning home, I have been aware of a subtle increase in my state of calm and a balance in my emotions. Thank you." ~ Louise

Program & Accommodation


Arriving and departing from Delhi in the North-East of India, our program includes:

Rishikesh (6 days) - known as the 'gateway to the Himalayas' and the 'yoga capital of the world' made famous by the Beatles.  Where the vibe is peaceful, the air is sweet and the sacred Ganges river flows through town. This is where sadhus (holy men) have been gathering to meditate and pray for thousands of years. We will explore ashrams, temples and the beautiful natural environment. In Rishikesh we will stay at the Divine Resort, with breathtaking views of the surrounding river valley.
 

Varanasi (3 days) - known as the city of temples and ghats, is believed to be the oldest living city in the world.  Famous for its Ganges River rituals of life and death (pictured above right), we will explore the city at sunrise and sunset, paying homage to holy places, as well as the local markets. In Varanasi we will stay at the Hotel Ganges View, a place where saints, seers and poets have resided over the centuries.

Vrindavan
(5 days) - known as the birthplace of Krishna, here we relax and experience the simplicity of yogic living, ashram-style.  We will stay at the peaceful MVT Guesthouse (pictured above left) and experience Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion, during the colourful festivals of Diwali and Kartik - the most auspicious times to visit. 

Our daily program offers a balance of yoga practice, visits to sacred places, free personal time and planned activities. During your free time you are welcome to rest, reflect and relax by the hotel swimming pool or in the ashram surrounds, enjoy a healing Ayurvedic massage or body treatment, venture out for a mindful walk or enjoy the colourful shopping that India is reknowned for.

Each locality will have its unique schedule and demands, and changes to our schedule often become necessary to fit in with activities. It's impossible to plan too far ahead in India!

Two delicious, balanced vegetarian meals are included each day - the third meal is flexible and up to you, depending on your appetite and our schedule. Food in India is delicious and plentiful! North Indian cuisine can be spicy, typically with roti/naan (toasted flat round bread), dahl, samosas, vegetable curries, plentiful fruit and some salads. Western-style cafes and foods will be available, including good coffee and chai! Because we are on pilgrimage, we will refrain from consuming alcohol or illicit drugs. Smoking will be permitted.

Download our Pilgrimage Program and Itinerary (subject to change) for full details about what's being offered each day and helpful tips about getting the most out of the pilgrimage. 

Pilgrimage Leaders

Your pilgrimage leaders, Natalie Snooke (pictured top right, wearing the sari) and Eli Fletcher (pictured above left) are knowledgeable, experienced and compassionate guides.  

Natalie Snooke is the director of Momentum Coaching & Yoga and has been a dedicated practitioner and teacher of yoga and meditation, as well as a life coach, for 11 years.

Natalie made her first visit to India in 2007 for yoga studies where she lived for six months and has made return visits several times since. This will be Natalie's sixth international led yoga-group and her second to India. Natalie loves to share the special charm of Indian people with others.

Eli Fletcher (pictued above left) first started traveling to India at the age of 19. As a devoted yogi and spiritual seeker, he visited Ashrams and studied with yoga and meditation teachers of different traditions and lineages. You can follow Eli and his latest Indian adventures on Instagram @srisriyogibaba108.

At the request of friends asking to join him in his Indian visits, Eli started Maharani Tours in 2002 travelling through both northern and southern India. Eli has a life-long love affair with India and takes great joy in sharing India's sacred delights with others. He enjoys customising people's experiences to the unique Indian way of living and being.

Booking Details

The pilgrimage includes: 

* 15 days/14 nights' twin-share/double deluxe accommodation (single room option available at extra cost);
* airport transfers and taxi/coach land transport within India;
* three internal India flights;
* two vegetarian meals daily;
* daily yoga and meditation classes;
* Ayurvedic massage/body treatment; and
* daily planned excursions and temple visits.  

The retreat cost does not include airfares to/from India. 

Places are limited to 14 people - and previous groups have booked out - we encourage you to book early to secure a place!


Insurance & Visas:  Participants are required to take out comprehensive travel insurance and must obtain a Tourist Visa to permit entry into India prior to leaving their courntry of residence. Indian visas take up to six weeks to process and should be planned well-ahead of time. Please refer to your country-specific guidelines for India visas and allow plenty of time.  Australian residents can access visa information and apply at VFS Global.                     

Getting to India:  The pilgimage starts and ends in Delhi, the capital city of India. International participants are required to arrange their own flights and arrive at the Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport by 7pm Monday 14 October, from where they will be met by our local Indian tour contact and safely transferred to our hotel to join the group. Particpants from within India should arrive at the Lemon Tree Premier Hotel (near Delhi Airport) also by 7pm on Monday 14 October.

Dates:      Monday 14 - Friday 28 October 2019   

Cost:     $3,300 AUD Early-bird paid in full by 1 April 2019
             $3,500 AUD Standard paid after 1 April 2019
                $780 AUD Private room surcharge (optional)

Deposit: $500 AUD (non-refundable and transferable)

Before you book please read our Retreat Refund Policy.

Registration Form: As part of your booking, please complete a Retreat Registration Form.

Once you book and pay your deposit (or full fees) you will receive an emailed receipt from us that confirms your registration.
Within a week of your booking, we will contact you via email with further welcome information.

Enquiries: Please contact Natalie Snooke in Perth, Western Australia (GMT +8hrs) 
                +61 (0) 8 9330 1988 or info@momentumcoachyoga.com.au.
                
We look forward to sharing sacred India with you! Namaste.



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