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Yoga in the Himalayas and in Kerala

 
Yoga in the HimalayasYoga today enjoys great popularity outside India as a way to better balance mental, as physical well-being and achieve inner peace in a time of constant time pressure, and professional and everyday stress.
 
We offer yoga at three locations: in the Chrysalid camps in the unique mountains of the Himalayas; in an ashram in the "Yoga Capital", Rishikesh, on the Ganges, a very spiritual place; and in Cochin, with a private yoga teacher at impressive natural settings of Kerala in South India. There are different schools of yoga; the yoga sessions are hourly, while you live in a normal Guesthouse.
 
At all sites, it is also possible to undergo a Yoga Teacher Training.
 
In Cochin, there is also a spiritual school ("Nirvana Ashram"), which offers meditation and accommodation.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Offers

 
 

Yoga in the Himalayas

 
In Tirthan in the Great Himalayan National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Chrysalid camp is located on the banks of the river Thirtan, a pure and non-polluted river. We offer fixed dates for the "Chrysalid Yoga Certification Program" with known yoga teachers from North India. Also, in the Chrysalid camps in Shimla and Dharamshala, you do yoga in nature. Information on this program shortly will be presented shortly.
 

Yoga in Rishikesh

 
Rishikesh, which is located on the foothills of the Himalaya, is a famous pilgrimage site. The river Ganges flows through Rishikesh, and at this location it can not only impress through its mythological importance, but also through its clear water and scenic beauty. It is here that the river leaves the Shivalik Mountains in the Himalayas and flows out into the plains of northern India to the gulf of Bengal.
 
In Rishikesh there are numerous temples and ashrams, some historical and some newer ones. The city attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists from India and western countries every year. There are many Yoga schools, most of which have a very long tradition. Rishikesh has the reputation to be the "Yoga Capital" of the world. Hindus believe that through meditation in Rishikesh and bathing in the sacred river Ganges, they can find the way to salvation (Moksha). During the 1960s, the Beatles and other western musicians visited Rishikesh to meditate.

Accommodation and Yoga program for our participants in Rishikesh is at Parmarth Nikean Ashram, one of Rishikesh's finest Ashrams, which offers views over the holy river Ganges. The rooms retain the simplicity of ashram life, while being equipped with the necessary modern amenities such as fans, private bathrooms with hot and cold running water and western or Indian toilets. Vegetarian Meals are provided at the Ashram.
 
The daily activities include morning universal prayers, satsang and lecture programs (listening to or reading scriptures, reflecting on, discussing and assimilating their meaning), kirtan (call and response chant), and world renowned Ganga Aarti at sunset. General yoga asana and meditation classes are offered throughout the day.

Monday to Friday, natural cure and Ayurvedic treatment are also available on the premises. In addition, there are frequent special cultural and spiritual programs given by visiting revered saints, acclaimed musicians, spiritual and social leaders and others. All staying guest are welcome to participate in the daily activities.

Sample Daily Schedule:

6:00 – 7:30 am General yogasana – Yoga Hall Top Floor
7:30 – 8:00 am Meditation – Yoga Hall Top Floor
8:30 – 9:00 am Breakfast
1:00 – 2:00 pm Lunch
4:00 – 5:00 pm General yogasana & Meditation – Yoga Hall Top Floor
5:00 – 5:30 pm Meditation – Yoga Hall Top Floor
6:00 – 7:30 pm Ganga Havan and Aarti – Shankar Bhagwan Ghat on the holy banks of River Ganges
7:30 – 8:30 pm Dinner
 
Beginner level lessons start very two weeks - we can inform you of the schedule. Those with previous yoga experience can start at any date.
 

Yoga in Cochin/Kerala

 
In the historic coastal trading city of Fort Cochin in Kerala, South India, which is a popular and attractive holiday destination for many Indian travelers, you live in a guest house and go by the hour during the day to a yoga school, which is frequented by both locals and tourists.
 
The yoga school is run by Mrs. Sulochana Anirudhan, a 70-year-old yoga teacher. You take part in traditional Ashtanga yoga classes four times per week (Monday to Thursday), in the mornings from 6.00 a.m. - 7.30 a.m. or 7.00 a.m. - 8.30 a.m. and 4.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m., a total of about 16 hours per week. Ashtanga (Vinyasa) Yoga is of the Hatha Yoga system, which for Western students includes mainly asana (postures) and pranayama (breath control). It is considered one of the main and most elaborate, but also most difficult systems of Hatha Yoga. The breathing is synchronized with 6 clearly defined series of dynamic Yoga poses.
 
 
With Master Santhosh, another teacher, classes are held every day from 6-7:30 am. This means there is enough time to do other activities on the day, such as exploring the area, to relax on the beach or to do excursions on Kerala's backwaters or the mountains of the state's interior.
 
Master Abhi has since 1984, integrated Hatha/Raja Yoga in his yoga school. Raja Yoga is one of the four classic paths of Yoga. Raja Yoga encompasses the complete path of 8 steps to develop and master the mind, included the three higher aspects of Dharana, Dhyana und Samadhi. Abhi offers his lessons on 6 days per week from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm, starting with one hour of meditation, then breakfast, then 4 hours of Yoga, then lunch, then 4 hours of afternoon Yoga, then one hour of spiritual studies (singing and reading from holy writings). Abhi has been running his Yoga school since 1984, specializing in a combination of Hatha and Raja Yoga, as well as Asanas and Pranayama meditation and bhajans.
 
Abhi also offers a one-month yoga teacher seminar. This is intended for students who have a long experience with yoga. Here, you take part Monday-Saturday 6-8 in the morning and 3-6 in the evening with the group and get additional individual lessons with Abhi from 10-12.

Meditation - Spiritual School in Cochin/Kerala

 
The spiritual school "Nirvana Ashram" in Cochin offers traditional Bharathiya Upasana meditation. This is based on mantric, yantric and tantric meditation, Siva Sakthi meditation or causing Kundalini by Naga energy, Age Reversal meditation, activation of the 3rd eye (Extra Sensory Perception), Healing Chakras (7 energy centers), psychonutritionalen, yoga and treatments. The school is run by Swami Sarva Hara.
 
Activities are 4 hours per day and you live in the ashram (photos are available in the photo gallery above).
 
 
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Yoga:

Minimum Duration: 1 week
Language Requirements: English
Location: Various locations - See Text
Accommodation: Various accommodations- See Text

Price: In Tab "Rate"

About Yoga

 

Yoga is an ancient Indian philosophy and describes the spiritual path unifying the individual with the universal by means of asceticism and meditation. The term Yoga comes from the ancient language Sankrit and means “unification”. The highest aim of Yoga is the soul’s independence and liberation from the physical body, desires, passions and affects: in Sankrit, that is “Atman”. As a result, inner peace, balance and integration of all levels of the human personality are accomplished.

Patanjali was the Indian scholar who wrote the "Yoga Sutras“ 2000 years ago, describing the actual aim of Yoga as an inner state in which the mental and spiritual processes come to rest. This has to be reached proceeding an eight-step path:
 
The path begins with "Yama“ and "Niyama“ which are rules of conduct that have the aim of abstention and absolute self-control to be able to reach the next levels. “Asana” and “Pranayama” describe conscious physical exercises and sitting postures as well as breathing exercises that are the basis for any control of mind over body. The fifth level is “Pratyahara”: the control of all senses such as vision, hearing, smelling and feeling by the internalisation of the own consciousness. The senses shall not be confined but they shall be perceived more consciously and thereby become better controllable for the benefit of the perceptivity. This is needed to reach the next level, “Dharana”, which means the deliberate concentration on one specific point of the body, to an object, emptiness, something transcendental, etc., and thereby to be able to eliminate any kind of distraction or reflection. To enter the seventh level of meditation, “Dhyana”, the focus of the whole spiritual energy without any distraction needs to be fully accomplished. “Dhyana” means a spiritual state, at which one’s self, any thoughts and everything physical does not matter at all – a total freedom, timelessness and a bond with the macrocosm shall be experienced. The actual aim of yoga is accomplished at this 8th stage: “Samadhi”, the “being-one”, the unification, the accomplishment of individual liberation from everything physical and secular, the perfection.
 
Nowadays, Yoga is increasingly popular outside of India as a way to find tranquility, mental and physical comfort and inner balance in times of permanent time pressure, job-related and everyday stress. To perform Yoga at locations of natural beauty and symbolic meaning is a very unique experience.
 

Rate

 
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Yoga in the Himalayas (Chrysalid Camp)

 
Price information coming soon
 

Yoga in Rishikesh

 
Price information coming soon
 

Yoga in Cochin

 
Yoga School of Sulochana Anirudhan:
 
1 week:
1 Person 315 EUR; 2 Persons 270 EUR per person (Single Occupancy + 20 EUR per person)
 
Each extra week:
1 Person: 175 EUR; 2 Persons: 130 EUR per person (Double Room; Single Occupancy: + 20 EUR)
 
Price includes: 16 hours Yoga/week, Accommodation as booked, Airport transfers for arrival and departure to/from COK Airport.
 
Master Santosh:
 
1 week:
1 Person 305 EUR; 2 Persons 260 EUR per person (Single Occupancy + 20 EUR per person)
 
Each extra week:
1 Person: 165 EUR; 2 Persons: 120 EUR per person (Double Room; Single Occupancy: + 20 EUR)
 
Price includes: 9 hours Yoga/week, Accommodation as booked, Airport transfers for arrival and departure to/from COK Airport.
 
Master Abhi:
 
Participation in group Yoga:
 
1 week:
1 Person 325 EUR; 2 Persons 275 EUR per person (Single Occupancy + 20 EUR per person)
 
Each extra week:
1 Person: 190 EUR; 2 Persons: 130 EUR p.p. (Double Room; Single Occupancy: + 20 EUR)
 
Price includes: Yoga as described, Accommodation as booked, Airport transfers for arrival and departure to/from COK Airport.
 
1 month Yoga-Teacher-Training:
 
1490 EUR per person
 
Price includes: Yoga as described, one month accommodation in Single Room, Airport transfers for arrival and departure to/from COK Airport.
 
All prices for Yoga in Cochin are valid for the months of April to October; for all other months:
plus 20 €/person/week

surcharge for rooms with air conditioning - 60 €/week/room
 
Nirvana Ashram:
 
1 week: 370 EUR per person
Each extra week: 290 EUR per person
 
The price includes: 28 hours Meditation, Accommodation with breakfast.
 

Accommodation

 
Note: In Cochin, in the case of "Nirvana Ashram", you live at the Ashram and not in the accommodations provided otherwise. In the Himalayas, there is only the option of accommodation at Chrysalid Outdoor Learning Centres, where Yoga is practiced in nature. In Rishikesh, you live at Parmarth Niketan Ashram.
 
 

Accommodation in Cochin

 

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Guest House in Cochin:

 
You will be accommodated at one of two Guest Houses of middle standard, which belong to the same family and which are located next to each other in a quiet residential area of Fort Cochin, two minutes to walk from the "Maritime Museum". Most rooms have a private bathroom. There is a cleaner once a week and WiFi internet. The rates vary slightly during the year, depending on the season. You can book breakfast for an additional around 80 Rs./day. At one of the Guest Houses there is also a small kitchenette that can be used from participants living in both Guest Houses.
 
Bed sheets are provided but you should bring your own towels.
 

Accommodation at the Himalayas

 

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Guest House in Palampur

 
The guest house is located in a good residential area on a hill at the fringe of the city and offers holiday apartments, which all feature a large bedroom with a queen size bed, cable TV, an en-suit bathroom with hot shower and Western water toilet, a small dining room and a small kitchen. In front of the rooms there is a terrace from where you can enjoy wonderful views into a valley with a little steram, and into the high mountains on the other side of the valley. 
 
The landlord is staying at a separate building on the same plot. His house has a restaurant area for guests where traditional Indian home cooking is offered that you can order at extra cost.
 
By public bus you can reach the city centre from the Guest House in around 10 minutes.
 

Kayakalp Spa and Therapy Centre in Palampur

 
Kayakalp is a Spa and Therapy Centre a little outside of Palampur. It is peacefully located within a wide park area. Kayakalp offers the accommodation option "Niket" to our participants, which includes modern double rooms, all with en-suit bathroom, cable TV, hot and cold water. The rate are on FULL BOARD (ayurvedic, natural vegetarian food) and also include participation at Yoga (every day at 6am and 5pm).
 
Tea, coffee and soft drinks are not offered at Kayakalp and it is not allowed to bring outside food into the premises. Furthermore, the consumption of tobacco and alcohol is prohibited.

Interns of Physiotherapy and Ayurveda at Kayakalp can stay at Kayakal's Basera dorm rooms for 650 Rs/night incl. full board and Yoga.
 

Chrysalid Outdoor Learning Centre

 
The accommodation is at the Chrysalid Outdoor Learning Centre. This is a camp in the mountains, which is now available in five locations: Near the village Maheshu in Junga Tehsil, Shima District (altitude 1550 m); in Dharamshala close to the famous Temple Indru Nag (altitude 1520 m), in Sitlahket (altitude 2130 m) in the Himalayan region Nanda Devi, on the banks of the river Tirthan, a tributary stream of the River Beas at Sai Ropa on the border of the Himalayas National Parks (altitude 1220 m), as well as in Tamil Nadu, South India in Yercaud, amidst coffee and orange plantation (altitude 1550 m). In the Camps, "team building" activities, as well as outdoor sports activities are organized for groups. You live in a comfortable tent, in which you can stand, with electricity, bed and desk. At some sites there are firmly walled bathrooms with western toilet and hot water attached to a private tent; in other places there is a central room with toilets and showers. The accommodation includes service and catering, including the typical Indian bed coffee (about 2 hours before breakfast), breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea/coffee with snack, soup, dinner and a one-liter bottle of mineral water per day.
 

Extras

 

Other Projects That Might Interest You:

 
 
These projects are suggestions for alternatives that may interest you or those that could be chosen as COMBINATIONS. The combination of projects in different organizations is often possible and usually cheaper than two individual bookings. Please contact us to know more! Check out our other listings in the areas of "World Learner" and "Active Travel" at your travel destination to make your stay even more interesting.
 

Malayalam-Learning:

 
Malayalam is the language of Kerala. Although there are many people with good knowledge of English (much more than Hindi), it is always helpful to have a basic knowledge of Malayalam. You can take lessons (5 times a week for 2 hours each) with a single teacher. Classes are held in Fort Cochin, on the terrace of your property. Just mark in the registration form, "Language Training Required", and let us know your desired number of hours.
 
The price for 10 hours of lessons: 50 EUR.
 

Travel Health Insurance

 
We recommend the following travel insurance that is meant specifically for participants of internships, volunteering, language study, working holiday, and courses abroad. It is available for travelers of all nationalities and usable for all countries, except your home country. You can also add a journey liability insurance.
 
Just click on the link, fill in the form and you will get a confirmation email.
 
 
 

Cochin

 

Check out our video on Cochin!

 
In this video, you see our volunteers, Sophie and Claudia in Cochin and our coordinator, Antonio. Also featured are some activities that you can do in and around Cochin.
 
 

 

Kerala - the Land of the Coconut Palms:

 
In Malayalam, Kerala means "Land of the coconut palms". This tropical state in the south west of India is strong in traditions and culture. Ayurveda, the Kathakali, and Kalarippayat (probably the oldest martial art of the world), all come from Kerala. The society of Kerala however, has also been shaped by the trade and cultural exchange facilitated by sailing vessels on the Indian Ocean. As early as in the 4th century, traders brought Christianity and Islam to Kerala and therefore, these two religions have far more followers in Kerala than in other parts of India: around 55% of Kerala's population are Hindu, 25% Muslims and 20% Christians.
 
Kerala is very attractive and interesting for travelling, offering tropical beaches and islands, house boat tours on the "backwaters", impressive mountains (such as the tea plantation area of Munnar) and National Parks, as well as a rich cultural heritage.
 

Cochin - Historic Port Town

 
The coastal city of Cochin, with around 600,000 inhabitants, spreads over several islands and peninsulas which are all connected via bridges. Ferries can easily bring you to the other parts of the city. An important island is Fort Kochi, the historic old town, where you will be accommodated. In the past, Fort Kochi was an important Indian Ocean port. The Chinese in the 13th century, the Portuguese in the 15th century and the Dutch in the 17th century left their remains. The town of Fort Kochi with its old courtyards, walls, churches and palaces, has a compelling flair which attracts cultural and wellness tourists; therefore there are many restaurants, hotels and guest houses, handcrafts and esoteric shops, as well as events. At night, it is particularly safe in Fort Kochi, as the Indian police operates its own "tourism police station" with a quirky police uniform museum. The modern and big city part of Cochin is Ernakulam, which is situated on the mainland and has a railroad station, many offices and large shops. Vypin Island is popular for beaches.
 

Our Coordinator in Cochin

 
Our coordinator in Cochin is Antonio.
 

Recreational Activities in Cochin

 
As a tourist destination, Cochin offers many ways to spend your spare time. These include the famous boat trips with houseboats on the "backwaters", which is available as day trips or as a multi-day offers, in which case you sleep on the boat. A beautiful multi-day trip and a welcome climate change, is also a visit to the tea plantations in the mountains of Munnar. There are several beaches in the area of Cochin, where you can swim.
 
In Cochin itself, there are many places for Ayurvedic massages, demonstrations of the traditional theater "Kathakali", the martial arts "Kalaripayattu" and folk dances and music performances (as "World Learner", you can even learn these), as well as take yoga or cooking lessons. In Ernakulam, there are large shopping malls and many shops with great deals; Fort Cochin has many tourist shops and a large number of restaurants and cafes. In the late afternoons, locals, Indian tourists and foreign tourists gather on the beach promenade of Fort Cochin to see the sunset.

Himalaya

 

Photo Gallery: Himalayas

 
 

Maheshu (Shimla), Palampur, Dharamshala

 
Landscapes of Himachal Pradesh in the Indian Himalayas are perhaps the most impressive of all over India - framed by majestic snow-capped mountains of the Himalayan mountain range, are fresh valleys such as the Kangra Valley.
 
The region is sparsely populated and characterized by natural forests, meadows, steep inclinations and small-scale agriculture. There is also a limited amount of tourism, particularly by Delhi urbanites, who come here over the weekend to do hiking, meditation or rock climbing; also by foreign tourists who proceed deeper into the Himalayas, visiting Dharamshala, the place where the exiled Tibetans and the Dalai Lama live or visit the Chail Conservation Area, which is only 20 km away. You will find pure and fresh mountain air in breathtaking mountain scenery.
 
It is possible to travel to < strong>Maheshu by train from Delhi, whereby the last part of the way through the mountains will be traversed using a historical narrow gauge train, the Kalka Shimla Hill Railway, which is a UNESCO world heritage.
 
Palampur is a small town in Kangra Valley in the state of Himachal Pradesh, at an altitude of about 1300 m, about 470 km from Delhi. Also known as the "tea capital of north India", Palampur is a popular travel destination for nature and outdoor enthusiasts, with countless streams and rivers coming down from the mountains into the valley and alternate with tea plantations and rice fields in a unique scenic beauty. There are also many ancient temples and buildings from the British colonial period.
 
Dharamshala, which is also situated in the Kangra valley, about 60 km from Palampur, lies at an altitude of 1450 m and is home to many Tibetan exiles, of which the Dalai Lama is the most famous. Again, there are many Buddhist and Hindu temples here.
 
In the area of Palampur and Dharamshala, you can do many outdoor sports like hiking, climbing, paragliding, rafting, mountain biking, etc.
 
The people in the Himalayas are usually modest and reserved. They are financially quite poor; as they often have inherited land and have to rely on agriculture for income, they migrate for a higher standard of living, more than many other Indians, into overpopulated cities.
 
The country's population speaks Hindi. People with better education, usually speak good English.
 

Rishikesh

 
 
Located at the foot of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is a famous pilgrimage town. The Ganges flows by the town, which features not only by mythological significance as a holy river, but also with clear water and scenic beauty. The Ganges leaves the Himalayas from here, and then continues to flow through the plains of northern India to the Gulf of Bengal.
 
In Rishikesh, there are a number of temples and ashrams (religious hostels), both historical and built in recent times. The city attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists, both from India, as well as from western countries. It is home to several yoga centers, in keeping with an age old tradition. Rishikesh therefore, has the reputation of being the "yoga capital" of the world. Hindus believe that meditation in Rishikesh, as well as a dip in the holy river Ganges, leads them closer to salvation (Moksha).

Our Coordinator in the Himalayas

 

Our coordinator in Maheshu, Dharamshala and Rishikesh is Vikas and his team from the Chrysalid Oudoor Camps. In Palampur, we work with Atul, a guide.

Getting There

 

Getting To Cochin

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You book your flight to Cochin/Kochi (COK). There, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation in Cochin.
 
You can also see if there is any cheaper international flight to Mumbai, New Delhi, Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Sharjah and then, book a flight separately with:www.jetairways.com, www.goindigo.in oder www.spicejet.com to Cochin.
 
 

Getting to the sites at the Himalayas

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Shimla (Junga):
 
You book your flight to New Delhi (DEL). For the projects in Chrysalid camp in Shimla, you travel further by train. We send you a transfer from New Delhi Airport to Delhi railway station. From there, you take the train to Kolka (daily at 7:40 and 17:25). In Kolka, you step into the historic UNESCO World Heritage train "Himalayan Queen" ( connection is only possible with the morning train from Delhi). You disembark in Kandaghat. This train ticket is included in the price, but we have to book several weeks before your arrival! In Kandaghat, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation. If you take the evening train, you will be picked up in Kolka and transferred to your accommodation. If you have to stay a night in Delhi, hotel and transfer costs together will be approximately 40 EUR.
 
Palampur, Dharamshala:
 
The easiest way is to travel by flight to Dharamshala (DHM) - the airport is called Gaggal Airport. There, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation in Palampur and Dharamshala.
 
Alternatively, you can fly to New Delhi (DEL) and then travel from there by bus. Transfers to the bus station and the bus tickets are included in the cost. The bus to Palampur takes about 8 hours, and about 11 hours to Dharamshala. At the respective bus stations of Palampur and Dharamshala, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation.
 
 
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