HIMALAYAS - INDIA
(15 - 21 Feburary, 2016)
Yoga & Hiking Retreat
Our Yoga, Meditation and Hiking retreat was held at Anand Ganga, located in the heart of the Himalayas. The Uttarkashi region has long been known for its spiritual significance. Hindu sages and saints have visited this place since ancient times to meditate in search of higher knowledge as the exquisite setting of the fast-flowing Ganges, surrounded by forested hills, is conducive to meditation and mind expansion. Anand Ganga is surrounded by ashtonishing views of the Himalayan mountains, snow peaks in winter and the Ganges River, just a couple of meters away, flowing with beauty and grace. Our program offered a full 7 day itinerary packed with theoretical classes, yoga sessions in the morning and afternoon, Himalayan trekking, bathing in the Ganges River and visiting local scenic villages nearby.
Namaste - My soul honors your soul
Retreat Inauguration - Welcoming the Guests
Prayers to River Ganges
Asana class in Progress
Snow Clad Mountains
Welcoming the Guests
Simple Village Life
Spiritual Lecture by Swami's
Scenic Village View
Barsu Mountain Hike
National Institute of Mountaineering
Ganga Aarthi, Haridwar
Socializing with the Locals
Breathtaking View from Mountain Top
Yoga class with the Sunrise
Nachiket Lake Hike
Simple Village Life
River Water Rafting, Rishikesh
Boat cruise in Rishikesh
Graceful Village Woman
Happy Always :-)
Thank you so much for the great tour arrangement. Honestly, I really had a memorable time with the group. I have to say the trip overall itself was just marvelous especially with all the awesome people joined along this retreat. First of all, the hospitality from Krishna and Anand Ganga was a very wonderful experience. Our needs and requests were fulfilled and answered right away in all aspects including food, basic necessities and activity-wise. The room, yoga hall and entire facility were very clean, spacious and all well-maintained. The food and Masala Chai were very tasty and healthy as well. Overall, I had a very very very very decent stay in Anand Ganga. It made me feel home. And secondly I have to say the retreat inspired me a lot in both physical and mental way. I feel like I had a total detoxication after the trip and my mind and body were filled with all the positive energy after a week session . It was unlike we took luxurious trip over Maldives or some fancy resort, did nothing constructive to life other than spending money and getting sunburn. I think in this retreat, my money and time were very well spent because I gained so much more than I could ever expected. I had corrected my attitudes toward life and started to appreciate things more in life. I feel like I'm having a happier soul now. I am also very thankful the cleansing techniques and water theory being introduced to my life. I've been practicing them after the retreat and I do feel much energised after adapting these techniques smoothly into my daily routine. I think it would also be nice if there is a handout along with the lecture since there are many yoga terminologies we may not be familiar with at fist place. Having those written down on the handout would definitely help people to learn things faster. In summary, I had a very pleasant journey with the group. I've been sharing all the stories and happy experience with my friend, coworkers and family. And I look forward to having them join your retreat one day. Best Regards. :-)
It was definitely an extraordinary experience! The place where we were staying was truly sacred, tranquil and beautiful, right next to the Ganges (it was a little cold at night though). The vegetarian meal served during the retreat was very tasty, healthy and organic at the same time. What impressed me the most was not the physical part, surprisingly it was the yoga philosophy and lectures, which was an unexpected gift and it fascinated me so much. Thanks to Raj for introducing the philosophy to us in an easy and simple to understand manner. We also visited the monks in other ashrams for spiritual lectures and I was deeply inspired and touched. Highly recommend!
Raj 's Yoga retreat was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. I learnt, what it is like to be healthy, to exude vitality from body, heart, mind, and spirit. I came away glowing from the one week retreat due to complete detoxification of the body. When I got back home to Sri Lanka, my relatives said that I looked "radiant." Personally I like the inaugural session of the retreat because spirituality always tie up with our life. I think that god blessed us to successfully undergo the whole programe without any shortcomings. Full vegetarian experience gave a novel concept to our life and in addition, the retreat shifted my outlook about community and what it means to truly share yourself with others. The times I laughed that week compared with my daily "quota" just amazed me! I really appreciate the attitude of celebration that Raj has created during the retreat. The environment and space contributed to a real buoyant feeling in me, which I felt in others as well. We all seemed to take such delight in both our bodies and our minds, and to draw strength and joy from each other. I had never experienced that before, and it made me very glad to contribute. Thank you so much, Raj, for making this your life's work and for sharing this approach with so many aspiring people like me! I know that I am not the only person who is grateful for the opportunity to learn from you and who has been changed forever by the experience.
Joining HAMSALIFE Retreats was a wonderful and unique experience that not only broadened my understanding of Yoga, but also of the Indian culture and simple way of life. Our 7 day yoga retreat deep in the heart of the Himalayas was a food for the soul, we were picked up at the city of Dehradun by the retreat staff and took a 6 hour journey deep into the Himalayas. The entire personnel was very professional and kind and though we arrived late at our retreat location we were received by a delicious and warm dinner. Our schedule had been arranged for the following 7 days including early morning yoga sessions, himalaya trekking in the afternoon, and satsangs in the evening time. We were able to explore much more than I could have imagined, especially the nearby local villages and their unique simple way of life. The retreat location, although a bit far and cold at night, brought a magical feeling of calm and tranquility, the ganges river (also known to Indians as Mother ganges) was just a couple of meters away from our room. The view was priceless, the food (3 meals a day) was amazingly good, and the yoga instructors were on point professional and played a key part on the development of this retreat. I would strongly recommend anyone who is interested in exploring yoga and India to follow HAMSALIFE and join them for sure.
Nice yoga classes with excellent teachers. Even though I'm not into lecture class as it's not of my interest, but Raj's lecture classes were not boring at all. I did kept open my ears and I was really surprised that I have learnt much more than I excpected. The whole retreat was nicely arranged, not only doing yoga, but also trekking and sightseeing. Please do remind us to bring more suitable stuff to the retreat such as trekking stick, shoes, hair drier, pills, etc as it might help future particpants to be well prepared. I was able to do Headstand only for a few seconds and Raj promised me to make me do headstand for 3 minutes within one week of the retreat. I couldn't believe it but I started doing Headstand for 3 minutes before the end of the retreat. The food was excellent and the staff were very friendly and kind. Eating vegetarian food for all 3 meals was an unique experience for sure as the body was feeling much lighter and healthier. I am very happy that I attended the retreat and would definitely recommend friends to come next time.
My 7 day stay in Hamsalife retreats has been a very pleasant one. The accommodation was sufficiently clean and has met all my expectations. I have had the best vegetarian food in India and the food was healthy, fresh, tasty and plentiful. Everything at the retreat was taken care of with great consideration for the guest experience. Thanks to Raj for making this whole retreat very memorable for each one of us. The whole team and the Anand Ganga staff were friendly, responsive, caring, committed and helpful. The place is awesome for those who are looking for peace, meditation, chanting, yoga & nature lovers. My personal favourite was the bhajans and folks songs played during the satsang. You can meet sunrise on the roof with the Sun Salutations. The rooms are all open to the outdoors, they are basic, comfortable and I never felt anything was lacking. If you're looking to really get away, to enjoy some great yoga and really relax, Hamsalife retreats are highly recommended.
I was very glad that I decided to join the Hamsalife team. I experienced the real india and it's culture from its core when I visited the Himalayas. The whole place was so energetic and vibrant, an ideal place to connect to your body, mind an soul. The vibrations of the foot hills of Himalayas are very strong and one feels calm and peaceful just by residing there and spending few days doing nothing but doing the daily chores. The resort was well maintained and the landlord Krishna was very kind to fulfill our requirements. The food was great, the rooms were hygienic, the river ganges opposite to the resort was a sight to behold. Sivananda lineage was given adequate significance during the retreat and the Sivananda Ashram is only a minute walk away from the retreat site. Thanks so much for taking care of me all the way. I wish that you will do much better, more often and in more countries in the future. Good Luck!
I had great experience teaching for the Hamsalife in February 2016 in India. the Teaching focus was on Sivananda Yoga practice which is a deep spiritual practice with a lot of knowledge and bliss. The place were we stayed Anand Ganga resort in the Himalayas, was great, its a special holistic place with the beautiful view of Ganges river while while doing the yoga practice. The staff was attentive, receptive. kind. humble. fun and trustworthy; you felt home immediately. My co-teachers Raj and Jyoti, they both have a beautiful heart. I liked the experience of working with them and it was mutual learning. The yoga practice of Raj has a great energy to it, it is really spiritual and it helps you to find and reconnect with your heart center. Also in the logistic side, the coordination of the sightseeings were great, schedules was well organized, everything went smoothly and nice. The Yin yoga practice with Jyoti was fun, new and calming. She shared with us the combination of yoga and essential oil treatments that we can use for different purposes as it helps to reduce stress and do postures in a more meditative state. The combination of us made it unique, fun and different. I liked that we shared our knowledge and passion for yoga and how it has transformed our lifes. The retreat had a peaceful and positive energy. Our group was lovely, all of the team enjoyed their time and found there own space to reconnect. This experience surely gave me a different perspective on life personally. This retreat helps one disconnect from the noisyness around and to refocus on one's ownself. A memorable journey.
Namaste - My soul honors your soul
Mother River Ganges
Socializing with Locals
Enjoying Our Ride
Yoga Asana Class
Enjoying Snow Hike
Scenic Village View
Masala Chai Break
Pujya Swamiji, Parmarth Niketan
Har Ki Pauri Aarti, Haridwar
Gratitude towards Life
Flower Offerings to Ganges
Ganapathy Homam - Fire Ceremony
Learning the Local Way