RETREAT IN NORTH INDIAN HIMALAYAN PLATEAU
'ART OF BE-ING'
LADAKH AUGUST 13-24, 2024
YOGA - VEDIC MEDITATION - TREKKING
August 13th - 24th I am leading an 11 night adventure into the magnificent Himalayan plateaus. Not only will we explore this striking and inspiring land - trekking, rafting, camping, glamping, and star gazing, we will also dive deep into the SELF with daily yoga and Vedic meditation practices. Read below for a general overview of our adventure in the mountains:
Welcome to Ladakh, "the land of high passes." (3500 mts) Arrive in Leh at Kushok Bakula Airport. Check in to our hotel and the rest of the day is free so you can take rest to acclimatise with the environment. In the evening we will meet each other for a group dinner and an overview of our 12-day journey ahead.
For those needing initiation into Vedic Meditation I will hold the puja and teach you your individual manta in an evening ceremony. We will all gather together for our first Vedic meditation group sit.
Explore Le Town. Vedic Meditation sit and morning yoga with the views of the snow-capped mountains followed by breakfast. Explore Leh Town and enjoy an easy day for further acclimatization. Walking tour including the famous Leh Palace, Tsemo Castle, and women’s alliance. An evening meditation sit followed by a visit to Shanti Stupa and the charming shops of Changspa street. Overnight stay in a hotel.
Rafting on Indus river & visit Basgo Fort. Begin the day with a meditation sit and morning yoga rituals to prepare for an exciting day of rafting on the top of the world. Rafting through astoundingly beautiful mountains, many of them with tiny hamlets and imposing old monasteries nestling among the valleys for approx 2.5 to 3 hrs. Enjoy an evening meditation under the stars. Overnight stay and dinner in trekking tents in Basgo village.
Likir village (3519m) trek to Yangthang (3677m) via Phobe La (3580m). Morning meditation and yoga in the high altitudes, and after a typical Ladakhi breakfast we drive to the start point of our 3 days trek from Likir village. We give a quick visit to Likir monastery and from here we start our trek for approx 3-4 hrs covering the distance of 10 km to Yangthang Village. From Likir the route heads west up to Phobe La (3580m) and beyond this lies Sumdo village. The trail goes steadily upwards till you get to Chagatse La (3630m). Across the pass is the village of Yangthang (3630m) where we camp for the night, next to a stream. Group dinner, meditation and stargazing.
Trek Yangthang to Hemis Shukpachen (3632m) via Tsermangchen La (3750m). Morning meditation and yoga in the lap of the mountains. Today is an easy walk and we follow the trail that heads north, to Tsermangchen La (3750m). After a short rest at the pass, we head down to HemisShukpachen. The village, named after the grove of cedars, is one of Ladakh's prettiest. There are several sparkling streams surrounded by shady willows and large barley fields that provide a touch of green to the otherwise desolate, Rocky Mountains. We will camp in the middle of the village. Unwind with group meditation, yoga and dinner.
Trek Hemis Shukpachen to Temisgam (3230m) via Mebtak la (3750m) 4hrs. As we awaken with the sun we start the day with our meditation and yoga practice and begin the last day of our trek. The trail goes upward to the Mebtak La (3750m) marked by prayer flags. From the pass, we head down the gorge to Ang, and to Temisgang a charming village with apricot orchards, where we camp for the night with meditation, a bonfire and group dinner.
Visit Lamayuru monastery & Alchi Monastery – Leh. This morning enjoy a sleep in, followed by meditation and after breakfast, we will drive to the famous Lamayuru monastery standing dramatically against a unique moon-like landscape. Later we visit the Alchi monastery in Alchi village. We continue our drive to Leh city, and upon arrival, we check in to the hotel. Enjoy hot showers and a group meditation. Your evening is at your own pace. Overnight stay in a hotel in Leh.
Leh to Nubra Valley via Khadunlga Pass (5359m). Enjoy morning meditation and yoga practice together and after breakfast, we start to drive to Nubra Valley. En-route stop at Khardung La Pass, the highest motorable road in the world at 5359 meters. On arrival check-in to our glamping accommodation and in the afternoon we visit Diskit Monastery. The impressive statue of Maitreya Buddha that stands at the height of 32m was inaugurated by the Dalai Lama in 2010. Overnight stay in glamping tents. Yoga, meditation, and group dinner to unwind.
A day of rest Sleep in and awaken with the sounds of nature. Join a group meditation, enjoy a relaxed Ladakhi breakfast and spend your day how you wish. Later we meet for an afternoon yoga workshop, meditation and group dinner.
Drive Nubra Valley to Leh. Meditation and yoga in nature followed by a delicious local breakfast. Later in the afternoon, we drive back to Leh. Overnight stay at the hotel in Leh Hotel, yoga, meditation and group dinner.
Leisure day in Leh. Today we join for our last morning meditation and yoga practice. Explore the town, shop for gifts or have a pot of tea. Group final dinner and overnight stay in our hotel in Leh.
It's time to say goodbye. Enjoy our last breakfast as a group, and according to your flight schedules, we chauffeur you back to the airport. Fly to your future destination with the sweet memories of Ladakh.
We are at high altitude the entire time so we spend the first 2 days acclimatising slowly. The area is used to travelers and there is simple medicine to take if you feel not quite right before we head off trekking. When trekking all our gear is transported in cars so we can enjoy the views and mountain air in comfort!!!
Each day will be spectacular and like nothing you have ever experienced. Each day we will practice Vedic meditation twice a day as per the tradition, and if you are new to VM you will learn the practice and receive your mantra and the puja on our first night. 12 days of steady practice in such an ideal location will definitely set up and enhance your meditation practice. VM is unique in its ability to remove stress from the body on all its levels, it is easy, effortless, and peaceful. The regular fee for a VM beginners course, puja, and mantra is $700, however this is included in your retreat package.
We will also practice yoga everyday and enjoy yoga philosophy talks, and Q & A time, on many of our nights under the stars.
Ladakh is very different to other parts of India. High in the Himalaya it resonates with Tibet, Tibetan Buddhism being the predominant religion. The are is peaceful and the people calm and friendly. The food is lighter and dryer than the rich Indian curries we are used to, and mostly, locally organically grown and vegetarian.
We will have a local guide and 2 Indian guides with us to make sure our adventure is everything it can be. These same guides were with me on retreat this October in South India, and they are truly lovely people, and I cant wait to hang out with them again!
BOYS, this is not a girly retreat!!! Its a fun, adventurous journey into the largely unexplored and wild territory of both the Himalaya and the SELF, so get onboard and do something that will change your life for ever :)
The weather will be in the mid to high 20's during the day (not much shade) but pretty cold at night so warm weather, sun protection and snuggly gear are required. All our camping needs (tents, mattresses, sleeping bags, pillows) are provided.
You can choose to stay in a twin share (tents, glamping, and Hotels) or in a single room for a little extra.
At this stage all that's required is a deposit of $500 to secure your spot - I would say book as early as you can as this one will be popular, and you are then able to grab your flights early. Qantas flies direct to Bangalore then its a few hour flight to Ladakh, or via Melbourne to Delhi, and then the hour to Ladakh. the flight into Ladakh is SPECTACULAR!!!