Friday, July 21, 2017

What's your yogic escape? 5 wellness centres and retreats near Mumbai

Art and mind
If you drop by this art village in Karjat, you could participate in workshops, festivals, talks and performances related to different art forms. Started by artist Ganga and her partner Kunal Kadakia, this eco-friendly boutique space offers satvic food, art activities, and yoga and wellness events. "Every year, we have a yogi, Ganga Puri Rox, who comes down from Haridwar to teach hatha yoga. We also do a Yantra and Mandala Workshop, which is an abstract play of form, patterns and colour representing and evoking certain energies or deities," says Ganga.

You can take a break by exploring the man-made lake, the bonsai nursery or the art campus within the premises.
At: Khalapur, Raigad.
Call: 9820313000
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Cost: Rs 6000 onwards

Eco-friendly living
The Govardhana Eco Village (GEV) by ISKCON is a sustainable farming community and retreat centre on the foothills of the Sahyadris, which aims to be a fusion between ancient Vedic wisdom and modern science. They even do a digital detox programme.

One of their popular programmes is the 28-day/200-Hour Teacher Yoga Training; the upcoming one is from July 28 to August 25. You can learn from teachers trained in traditional hatha and ashtanga-yoga about healthy eating, taking care of your body, meditation practices from the bhakti tradition and how to make yoga part of your lifestyle. In addition, they teach basic Sanskrit, an introduction to Ayurveda, physiology and the meaning of seva.
At: Galtare, Hamrapur, Palghar.
Call: 9167204666
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Cost: Rs 39,000

Check in to wellness
At the Atmantan Wellness Centre, you can avail of a mix of Eastern medicine and Western therapies, in the lush green Sahyadri Mountains. Their yoga practices include kriyas, yoga styles like hatha, ashtanga, vinyasa, pranayama and meditation. A normal day starts with yogic kriyas, followed by two hours of asana practice; and in the evenings, guided meditation and pranayama. "A yoga break can have different objectives: asana practice, relaxation, detox or spiritual enrichment. It is an ideal place for someone who wants to integrate their body, mind and emotions with yoga," says co-founder Nikhil Kapur.
At: Mulshi.
Call: 66766666
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Cost: Rs 75,000 for a three nights' package

Breathe in the rain
Indulge in a relaxing and fun yoga session by Tanvi Mehra of Yoga Station, set in Tanpura Farms in Badlapur. The founder of Tangerine Arts Studio, she teaches hatha and ashtanga yoga.

The session will start out on an open yoga deck surrounded by the mountains, and will involve pranayamas, stretches, and partnering asanas. Then there will be a break for a light homemade healthy breakfast, followed by another yoga session, and then a hearty lunch.

There's a local, homemade lunch, a mini trek to the waterfall, and bonding sessions.
On: July 30, Sunday, 7 am to 7 pm
At: Tanpura Farm, Badlapur.
Call: 9867369960
Cost: Rs 3,500 (inclusive of transport, meals, yoga session and other activities)

Healing in the hills
A few kilometres away from Pune is the Ananda Yoga Retreat. Here, you can learn ancient yoga and meditation practices applicable to daily life, taken from the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda and his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda. On August 6, they are conducting a How to Meditate workshop with Acharya Dharana. The course will teach you classic techniques to help still the mind, the value and practices of prayer and chanting, and practical details on meditation. Later in the month, they will conduct a workshop called Building Strength and Flexibility.
At: Watunde, Mulshi Taluka.
Call 9011069792
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Cost: Rs 1,200 per person

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