Welcome back to Svet Blog! Today I want to share a few travel tips — how to prepare yourself for a journey! This time INDIA is the main pinpoint. Why India? It’s a very special land and many of us dream about going there. I will try to make it for you to sound possible and fascinating so that you can definitely write it in you ‘wish list’ — practice yoga in India, hike in Himalayas, connect with yourself, meet new people.
So far, I have visited 20 countries, spent 3 months in Northern India (2 self-arranged trips, 1 yoga teacher training). I never used travel agencies to plan the travels, I always booked flights & accommodation myself, went as a backpacker with no certain routes to discover beauty of this world.
How to choose a yoga retreat?
First of all, ask yourself why (what is the purpose) you would like to go on a yoga retreat in India. The options may be:
You watch inspiring movies about travellers & their experience of hiking in Himalayas & want to do the same
You want to learn more about yoga & practice it
You feel something is calling you
You feel like a squirrel in a wheel running from home to work, work to home
You ask yourself what is the meaning of your life
You have India in your list for ages, but could not find time and company to go with
Whatever your reason — browse, read, ask questions. Share your idea with the friends, they may give you such a support!
If you want to do a Yoga TTC — invest good amount of time into surfing the Internet for the best option — no creepy stories, decent accommodation, read reviews, speak to ex-students, feel the right one, check bio of the teachers, contact the school and see how quick & efficient they are with responses, if they clearly answer to your questions. It does not have to be the most expensive course — not at all, choose within your budget & discuss the prepayment, some of the schools offer instalments.
If you want to escape from a huge city, busy life, stressful job or just go on a peaceful trip to Himalayas — look for a retreat for beginners/intermediate practitioners. That will allow you to enjoy the yoga classes and not feel as if you are in a acrobatic circus, you’ll get a proper approach & the base, you will connect with your body & breath, learn a lot about how to relax, appreciate what you have, get you body toned & mind calmed.
Understand your budget
What is your budget? Can you pay for the yoga retreat in Instalments?
Speak to the organisers, there are may be options for you!
Most of the time, You will need to pay for your Flight tickets (skyscanner.com is helpful to get a quick idea), Course Fee + Accommodation, Travel Insurance for your own safety and peace of mind. Food is usually included into the course/accommodation. Transfer? Is it arranged for you, from where & how much/included?
Pocket expenses in India is not something to worry about — everything is super affordable.
What I did when booked my first Yoga TTC — I found the course that fitted my budget & time, spoke with the guys, transferred 150 USD deposit. Arranged the visa via agency — easy-peasy (now it’s even less hustle — you can apply online for e-visa). After that I bought a backpack, booked the tickets through Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Put in my rucksack some clothes & lots of medicine for all kind of possible accidents (had to throw it away in India ahhaha — why was I even currying it). I took a soap & gels & was paranoid for the first 2 days. Literally you gotta just take it easy, wash your hands, drink bottled water, wash fruits — like do normal 21-century ceremonies before food intake.
Get it in advance. Browse all trustworthy sites & airlines websites, check different days of the week — price may vary. Usually flying on Friday, Saturday, Sunday is more expensive than during working weekdays. I use Skyscanner, OneTwoTrip, Momondo.co.uk, BA webpage, Aeroflot etc. Try to find a good connection flight, it will be more affordable than direct one. For domestic flights in India — AirIndia and other local companies.
What to pack
If you decide to go as a backpacker — make sure to take minimum of the stuff — Nothing fancy, no heels, stretchy & lose clothes from natural fabrics, hat, scarfs (in mountain region), hiking shoes/trainers etc. Remember that if you need something — you can always buy in India at such a low price that you will be amazed — bright colourful authentic items. Shoes have to be comfy and have the right size — make your hiking life easier! Don’t take the new ones if you never worn them before, wear it before the trip.
Don’t go funny about packing all sort of medicine — get essential ones — painkiller, Enterosgel Intestinal Adsorbent (you’ll need it if happen to eat something wrong), washproof plasters plus what you usually take, something against allergy. Be wise, but don’t panic — there are plenty of shops and pharmacies.
Usually at the retreats they will provide you with a yoga mat, otherwise grab your own or buy it in India.
Have a safe trip!
P.S. In November I am teaching & organising Himalayan Orchard Yoga Retreat. Dates: 13-19th Nov 2017. If you have any questions — comment, PM, email or check more info on Facebook page or in my Blog here.