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14 Days Iyengar Yoga Retreat with Certified Teachers in a Top Resort, Gokarna, India

Namaste Yoga Farm, Kudle Beach Road, Gokarna, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka, India

Beach Yoga Retreat in India

Namaste Yoga Farm invites you to join their Iyengar yoga beach holiday in the beautiful surroundings of Kudle Beach, Gokarna, India. This retreat offers you the chance to positively influence your physical, mental, and emotional well-being and cultivate awareness so you can have a much richer and rewarding experience of yourself, others, and the world around you. What distinguishes Iyengar yoga is the very high degree of attention paid to alignment. Props are used to increase awareness and to make the poses accessible. Iyengar yoga focuses on precision and endurance within a multitude of progressive sequences, a strong practice that incorporates dynamic, static, and restorative postures to firm the body and steady the mind. The in-house yoga teachers and/or guest teachers and yoga schedule are subject to change without prior notice.

Meet the instructors

Stefano
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Highlights

  • 2 daily yoga sessions
  • Restorative yoga practice
  • Services of certified Iyengar yoga instructor
  • Complimentary bikes to explore the surroundings
  • Daily healthy breakfast with various options
  • Lots of free time for 4 different beaches
  • 13 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

12 days with instruction in English
The organizer also speaks: German, Italian, Spanish
The maximum participants in the group is 25
Airport transfer included: Goa International Airport
Airport transfer available:
Mangalore Airport (US$121 per person)
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Accommodation

Check-in Time:
15:00
Check-out Time:
12:00

Facilities

  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Luggage room / storage
  • Meditation garden
  • Multilingual staff
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
  • Yoga deck
  • Yoga shala
  • Yoga studio
  • Bicycle rental
  • Cell phone rental
  • Currency exchange
  • Free bicycle
  • Free parking
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Internet access
  • Ironing / ironing board
  • Laptop rental
  • Laundry
  • Library
  • Medical assistance
  • Newspapers
  • Tour assistance
  • Wireless internet
  • Outdoor shower

Namaste Yoga Farm is famous for its well-known exclusive stay which provides its guests with an optimum comfort and peace. The feel, however, is like a homely and cozy type, with six exclusive rooms that present the perfect environment to do yoga, relax, and enjoy, plus seven eco cottages. The interior of the place is naturally combined with attractive, elegant decor and quality, positioned near the Arabic Ocean on Kudle Beach.

Each room here is designed to hold the coastal view and are featured with a private terrace or balcony. The rooms are located far from the noise so you can enjoy a quiet and peaceful environment. You can sleep in ocean view rooms, eco-cottages with their own veranda, or yoga deck or amidst lush greenery in one of the enchanting tree houses build under a canopy of stars. Organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs grow amongst tropical flowers, healing plants, and abundant bird life.

Standard room

Namaste Yoga Farm's seascape flows into these rooms designed to embrace the coastal view. Simple design and comfortable furnishings allow for nature's tranquility to permeate your personal resort accommodation. Most rooms feature either a private terrace or balcony.

Deluxe room (ocean view)

Are you are looking for a retreat from your busy lifestyle at a quiet, private hideaway close to the beach? Namaste Yoga Farm‘s six secluded rooms offer accommodation as an alternative to the motel / hotel experience. With views of the Arabic ocean, this deluxe guesthouse provides guests with outstanding service in a peaceful setting.

Classic cottage

This Namaste Yoga Farm cottage makes an ideal holiday retreat and the perfect base for exploring all the delights of the south coast. Relax and unwind after the beach in this cozy cottage or enjoy the fresh air and dine in a beach restaurant. Discover the sub-tropical gardens and spend a day at one of the many beaches surrounding this lovely Bramin town. It is very peaceful.

Classic cottages have a garden view without glass in the wooden frames. Not good to book if you are scared of small animals like geckos, frogs, and ants because they are visiting frequently. This is an outdoor cottage with small critters.

Tree house

Tree houses are very basic and build on plywood boards. You have a light, electric plug-ins, Wi-Fi (WLAN) connection, mattress (no bed frame), and a mosquito net. There is a wooden ladder going up and monkeys jump in the tree (the monkeys are super friendly). The ladder can be a challenge, though triple super stable. The roof and low side walls are made from coconut leaves and bamboo. Toilets and showers are within a few seconds walk and the chill-out space which you can use anytime is just below.

The sitting area is perfect for bird watchers and animal lovers alike, but what strikes you most is the stunning vista, looking out towards the Arabic Ocean and Kudle Beach. Shape and size of the tree house vary because they get rebuild every year because of the monsoon. For safety reasons, only you and your partner are allowed up in the tree house. The big tree house is very basic on five plywood boards (160 square feet).

Program

Introduction to Iyengar yoga with a special focus on standing poses

This will explain the base on which to build an effective yoga practice. Yoga is termed a self-study (Svadhyaya) and is the journey of learning to practice so that you might study and come to understand yourselves. Iyengar yoga applies the specific methodology to two of the eight limbs of yoga: asana and pranayama. Through disciplined practice, these two limbs become instruments of critterscontemplative science. For this reason, the focus is ‘practice-based learning’.

The key methods of practice within Iyengar yoga, including technique, timings, sequence, and repetition are introduced. Through the practice of asana (physical postures), you begin to explore the body, mind, and breath as relational forces and instruments of meditation. When one is new to yoga, one begins first with the standing poses. The standing asanas are called 'Uttistha Sthiti'. They introduce you to yourselves. You begin to discover the interconnectedness of the body. Often times, a beginner knows where his big toe is on his body but does not know his big toe on an intimate level. That is to sayplug-ins is no connection between the big toe and the mind. You may 'will' the toe to move, but it is asleep.

You begin to learn how an adjustment of the shoulder blades corresponds to the front body and lifting of the chest. You begin to blossom and open up literally, as hands and feet spread wide apart. You will learn that your limbs can actually move: contract, extend, expand, abduct, adduct, rotate, and circumduct. The standing poses include all the movements of the spine, such as horizontal, vertical, and lateral elongation as well as the extension along with sideways, forward, backward extensions, and twisting. Thus, the standing asanas become the foundation for the rest of the asanas.

Sirsasana and Sarvangasana as “Father and Mother”

Headstand and shoulderstand are considered by Mr. Iyengar as the centerpiece of yoga practice. They are somewhat quaintly referred to as “father and mother” of the asanas and the ones that should be always practiced. Turning the body upside down in this way boosts the major systems of the body (circulatory, respiratory, nervous, and glandular) and gives rest to the heart. Headstand is the more stimulating and invigorating pose; it helps to develop a vigorous body with a strong spine and a disciplined mind. Shoulderstand is the nurturing pose. It is cooling and quietening and a great aid to glandular and hormonal health. It gives more a feeling of peace.

The two poses together bring a balance to the body and mind. Sirsasana and Sarvangasana are generally practiced together as part of the same sequence. It is possible to only do shoulderstand but it is not recommended that one practice headstand on its own. It needs the balancing effect of shoulderstand to keep harmony in the body. At the core of yoga practice and philosophy, one always comes to this question of balance. If you do something stimulating to the system, you need to counter with something cooling, as spicy food is accompanied by yogurt to cool its fire.

Surya Namaskara (also known in English as Sun Salutation)

Sun Salutations, or Surya Namaskar, are traditionally performed in the morning to greet the new day. The sequence of eight postures can be a complete practice in itself or can prepare you for a longer asana routine. They includes Tadasana (the most difficult posture in yoga), Urdhva Hastasana (reach the ceiling by rooting in the floor), Ardha Uttanasana (lean forward by bending backward), Uttanasana (the head down the energy rises), Chaturanga Dandasana (the challenge more difficult), Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (focus on the lower back), Adho Mukha Svanasana (the complete position), and Namaskarasana (surrender).

Forward extensions, twisting, and back extensions

Forward extensions are calming and quieting. Many of the asanas involve extending the spine and perhaps forward ‘bends’ teach this the best. Make sure that you keep the front of your spine lengthening and that the movement to go forward comes from the pelvis rotating over your legs. Stay in the forward extensions at least two minutes, longer if you can be quiet there when you practice restorative postures.

Twists, the turning or twisting of the spine along with the abdomen in any asana is called Parivrta Kriya. Twists create mobility in the spine by giving lateral rotational movement. These poses are essential for everyone since they delay aging of the muscles of the spine and back.

Back bends, the posterior part of your spinal column is compressed as you bend backward, which helps push the disks in your vertebrae away from the spinal nerves and decompresses the front of the vertebrae. As a result, the damage from forwarding bending (over time) can be reversed.

Restorative practice with a focus on the breath

Restorative practice is a form of yoga that seeks to achieve physical, mental, and emotional relaxation with the aid of props. The use of props makes it easier for you to maintain balance while you are stimulating and relaxing your body. While some restorative yoga poses are beneficial to the entire body, others target specific parts of the body, such as the heart or the lungs.

The benefit of restorative practice is that it provides healing for the body and the mind. It is especially useful when you need to eliminate fatigue and stress that result from your daily activities. It can also help you recover from illness and injury or overcome emotional depression and anxiety that are caused by traumatic events. It is known that restorative yoga can activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which enables automatic control of the body. As such, the regular nervous system will be at rest and the muscles will become more relaxed. Constant practice of restorative yoga will make your body less vulnerable to stress-related illnesses and help you achieve optimal health.

Daily schedule

Day 1

  • 15:00 Arrival and welcome drink

Day 2 to 13

  • 08:30-10:00 Iyengar yoga
  • 10:30 Breakfast
  • 11:00 Free time
  • 16:00-17:30 Iyengar yoga
  • 17.00 Free time

Day 14

  • 09:00 Breakfast
  • 12:00 Departure

Instructors

Stefano Bendandi

Location

Gokarna is a town on the Arabian Sea, in the southwestern Indian state of Karnataka. A popular pilgrimage destination for Hindus, it’s known for sacred sites like Mahabaleshwar Temple which has a shrine dedicated to the deity Shiva. Nearby, Koti Teertha is a temple tank where devotees wash in the holy waters. The town is also home to beaches such as palm-lined Gokarna in the center, plus Kudle and Om farther south.

Namaste Yoga Farm is an oasis of peace just three-minutes walk from the golden sands of Kudle Beach and the famous Rama temple / Shiva cave of Gokarna. It is located 150 kilometers or three hours 30 minutes away from Dabolim Airport (GOI). You can explore nearby beaches, local villages, ancient temples, and caves. Transform mind, body, and spirit through yoga and meditation, indulge in an Ayurvedic massage, take a kayak tour on the ocean, enjoy art classes and chess club on Thursday's, or perhaps just simply relax, unwind, and grab a book from Namaste Yoga Farm’s huge library and chill aside the fish pond.

If you fancy a day off the mat or have some time after your yoga retreat, there are some wonderful places to visit around Gokarna. Gokarna has more than 1,000 temples to be explored with its pristine beaches and breathtaking landscapes. Gokarna is a Hindu pilgrimage town in Karnataka and a newly found hub for beach lovers and hippies. Gokarna is not very conventionally touristy. The beaches are meant for a slow, relaxed holiday and everything on the beach goes at the same relaxed pace. Full of coconut and palm trees, the ocean and clean sands, Gokarna is a 'one of its kind place' in the country.

Nature lovers will enjoy Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the world's biodiversity hot spots just 90 kilometers north of Gokarna. Whether or not you catch a glimpse of an elusive leopard or a troop of monkeys, the mountainous jungle scenery is spectacular. Shoppers and souvenir seekers will love the markets in Gokarna, where you can find everything from silk scarves and silver jewelry to sandals, sarongs, and spices. Remember to haggle, it’s all part of the experience!

Distances

  • Kudle Beach - 3 minutes

Features

Activities

  • Art classes
  • Boating
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Kayaking
  • Massage
  • Shopping
  • Swimming

General

  • Balcony
  • Beach
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Garden
  • Multilingual staff
  • Special menu request
  • Terrace
  • Yoga deck

Services

  • Baby sitting
  • Bicycle rental
  • Free bottled water
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Library
  • Local market
  • Mosquito net
  • Tour assistance

Food

A healthy breakfast will be served in the morning with the option of sweet or salty such as fruit muesli, homemade yogurt, local fruits, idly and dosas, honey, extra virgin olive oil, tahini, brown German bread, fruit salads, coffee, and tea. Namaste Yoga Farm focuses on health because Namaste Yoga Farm likes homemade foods. They produce tofu and yogurt themselves and also buy from local families other homemade products like a peanut-cashew butter, cheese, and brown bread.

Ingredients are cooked simply to maintain the maximum nutritional value and flavor. Let Namaste Yoga Farm know about any issues with foods you might have and they do their best to adjust accordingly.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Drinks

The following drinks are included:

  • Water
  • Coffee
  • Tea

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Vegetarian
  • Lacto-ovo Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Fruitarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

Things to do (optional)

  • A visit to Yaana falls and caves
  • Ayurvedic treatments with Dr. Ratan Singh (Ayurveda, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, and Schuessler salt and bio mineral salt treatments)
  • Badminton and beach rackets
  • Boat trips and dolphin spotting
  • Cycling
  • Chess and backgammon board games
  • Exploring the coastline by scooter
  • Kayaking to secret coves
  • Morning walks and adventure hikes
  • Shopping in Gokarna markets
  • Sightseeing tours
  • Sunset boating
  • Swimming in the Half-moon Beach
  • Watching movies
  • Wildlife viewing in Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary

What's included

  • 12-day yoga lessons (three hours daily)
  • Services of certified Iyengar yoga instructors
  • Complimentary bikes to explore the surroundings
  • Linen and towels provided
  • Water and other drinks
  • 13 delicious breakfasts
  • 13 nights' accommodation

What's not included

  • Airfare
  • Tourist visa for India
  • Health insurance

How to get there

Recommended Airports

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Dabolim Airport (GOI). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Namaste Yoga Farm will pick you up from the airport.

Free airport pick up from Goa is available for single occupancy and free airport picks up and drop off from and to Goa for double occupancy. It is a three and a half hours taxi drive to Gokarna from Goa.

Alternatively, you can also arrive at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM) in Mumbai or Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL) in Delhi. Transfer from and to the airport is available upon request. Namaste Yoga Farm can pick you up if you send your flight details in advance.

Arrival by train

You can take a train to arrive at Gokarna Road station (GOK) or at Kumta (KT) or Ankola (ANKL) which is 30 kilometers from Gokarna, in case you come by train from Mumbai (BCT) or Delhi (DLI). From the airport, you have to fight your way to Madgaon train station (MAO), which is about 30 minutes far by taxi. At 1 p.m. every day, a train leaves for Gokarna and reaches about three hours later. Tickets can be bought directly in Madgaon at the station for less than a dollar.

Airport: Goa International Airport Airport transfer included: Goa International Airport No additional charges. You can request this in the next step.
Airport: Mangalore Airport Airport transfer available: Mangalore Airport (US$121 per person) Additional charges may apply. You can request this in the next step.

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 55% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 60 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 7 days before arrival.

Value for money
Accommodation & facilities
Food
Location
Quality of activity
14 days / 13 nights
from --
Early bird discount

There is an early bird discount of 40 EUR for a single occupancy and 60 EUR for double occupancy. To benefit, book or reserve two months before the start date.

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