a very special yoga retreat for 2018

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After years of taking people to South India for yoga, I’ve decided to head north.  Way north.  Almost to the top of the world.

If you have always wanted to visit India but did not want to go alone or in an impersonal group, then this is the perfect way to do it — space is limited to 16 and the trip is a go with 4 minimum.

In one of the most beautiful places on Earth deepen your Yoga sadhana with the joy of movement and breathing, stillness and silence, live in the moment simply and joyfully, and engage in meaningful cultural exchange between the East and West.

My friend Piyush Kumar owns DUNAGIRI RETREAT, an eco- retreat center about 7 hours north of Delhi, where “HEAVEN MEETS EARTH.” Piyush has been trying to get me up there for years and we have finally planned October 1-12, 2018 for you. Read more about Dunagiri at the link above.

The Himalayas are revered as a place where spiritual practices are heightened by the energy of the land. India’s ancient yogis knew there was transformational power in these mountains where divine energy is palpable. We will dive into a daily breath-centered authentic Yoga practice in the Krishnamacharya tradition. We will also practice some Yin Yoga and Yoga Nidra and all classes will include guided Pranayama and Meditation. Reflexology and Integrated Energy Therapy will be available and for those who wish to be attuned to Reiki Practitioner Level 1, I will offer attunements at the additional cost of $100 — think how potent that transmission will be in the Himalayas!

You will fly into Delhi and we will be taken to the wilderness of the Kumaon. We will be welcomed by Piyush and delicious vegetarian food will be prepared for us daily. The Himalayan wildlife and flora surrounds us as we take trips to spiritual sites (such as the birthplace of Kriya Yoga) with breathtaking views of the mountains. There will be many opportunities for you to relax and renew and to soak up the peace and stillness of the Himalayas.

Dunagiri is a very special place in India because according to this article it is where “Mahaavatar Babaji had initiated Lahiri Mahasaya to Kriya Yoga almost 150 years back. And a lot of Babaji followers came to Dunagiri to visit the caves.”  If you have ever read “Autobiography of a Yogi” then you know what this is all about.

The price includes airport to airport service – meaning that you are picked up at Delhi airport, taken to the Delhi hotel for overnight stay, transferred to Dunagiri the next day, spend 10 nights at Dunagiri (double occupancy only — a roommate will be assigned if you choose not to pay the single supplement), be taken back to Delhi for an overnight hotel stay and then taken to the airport. All lodging and transfers are included in the price. The hotels chosen are in a Delhi neighborhood that offers great shopping. Piyush tells me that an extra night in Delhi can be included complimentary depending on your arrival/departure time.  And it could not be any easier to get your E Visa for India right here!  (affiliate link)

All meals and all activities like treks, guided walks, and drives/day trips around Dunagiri for the duration of the retreat are included. The weather is perfect in October with daytime highs in the upper 70s. Rooms can be heated at night if need be — see Dunagiri’s website link above for a look at the rooms.

$3, 360.00 USD
Double Occupancy
$3,560.00 USD
Single Occupancy-
LIMITED AVAILABILITY

NON-YOGA PARTICIPANT (Double Occupancy) — $2,860.00 USD
NON-YOGA PARTICIPANT (Single Occupancy) — $3,060.00 USD
A ROOMMATE WILL BE ASSIGNED IF YOU TRAVEL SOLO
OR YOU MUST PAY SINGLE OCCUPANCY RATE IF NONE IS AVAILABLE
(bring a friend or family member!)

**$500 NONREFUNDABLE DEPOSIT DUE BY DECEMBER 31, 2017**
(SEE NOTE BELOW)

 

JULY 1 — Balance due.
AUGUST 1 — 50% refund of any amounts paid minus $500 deposit – request must be received in writing by this date.
SEPTEMBER 1– Due to payment requirements of Dunagiri, NO REFUNDS of any amount paid will be made after this date. If cancellation occurs while retreat is in progress there is no refund for any unused portion. Deposit and trip price not transferable.

THIS TRIP IS AN INVESTMENT BUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THE TOP OF THE WORLD WILL BE PRICELESS

If you wish to pay in installments AFTER the $500 deposit, please do so by the 15th OF THE MONTH JANUARY-JUNE 2018. If you are paying for DOUBLE occupancy, the monthly installments are $475 with final installment of $485 due June 15. If you are paying for SINGLE occupancy, the monthly installments are $510 with final installment due June 15. Please contact me for other installment arrangements.

As Dunagiri Retreat is a very popular destination, the dates in October will fill up fast unless I have committed attendees. I have found over the years that the best way to plan a trip to India is to gather people who are seriously interested and committed to TRAVEL THAT TRANSFORMS.

This will be a trip like no other, very different from my previous ones.  As Piyush says:

“…we feel it is our responsibility to offer a unique and fulfilling visitor experience, and to do so in an environmentally and culturally aware and respectful manner. The facilities we offer at Dunagiri Retreat are modern, comfortable, minimalistic yet authentically ‘deshi’ — right down to the cow’s milk sweetened from its diet of fresh mountain herbs. Through sustainable tourism, we also fulfill our mission of maintaining the ‘thin distance’ between heaven and earth at this very special place. For doing so, we offer dignified livelihood to residents of the area; supplement local educational resources and provide primary and preventive healthcare.”

(**If there is not enough interest by December 31, 2017 the trip will be cancelled and your deposits refunded. If there is enough interest, deposits are nonrefundable.  As with all my trips, airfare to India, visa and passport fees are not included.)

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where’s the money?

YogaDork blogged that Lulu-NO THICK GIRLS ALLOWED-lemon had their best ever financial quarter. The company “plans to open 30 new showrooms and up to 15 new stores this year” Lulu-NO FAT BOTTOM GIRLS HERE-lemon said that “net revenues for the quarter ended May 2 were $138.3 million…” and “ended the quarter with $173.6 million in cash and cash equivalents compared with $59.3 million at the end of the first quarter of fiscal 2009.”

That’s a lot of clothes. That’s some serious coin.

Yoga Journal has always told us that there are millions of yoga practitioners in the United States spending millions of dollars on yoga paraphernalia, teacher trainings, you name it. Speaking only about teacher trainings, we all know that they can start around $2,000 (that’s an inexpensive one) and go well beyond $10,000. Sarah Powers started the Insight Yoga Institute and while the training sounds absolutely wonderful, it costs approximately $15,000.00 to complete.

Sarah, along with other teachers, also started the philanthropic Metta Journeys which travels to Rwanda and benefits Women for Women International. The Rwanda trip costs $5,745 with a $1,000 donation to Women for Women International. The cost does not include airfare and depending on where you live in the United States it could cost you $2,000 to fly to Africa.

Of course we have all seen the ads in yoga magazines for all types of yoga retreats taught by people you’ve never heard of and you can google “yoga retreats” and find literally hundreds all over the world. My teacher in Chicago is offering a yoga vacation in Italy costing $1,340-$1,880; a 10 day yoga vacation to Peru costing $3,140-$3,950; and his 19th yoga vacation in Mexico for $1,700-$2,800.00. None of his trips include airfare and as far as I know, he has never had to cancel a trip due to a lack of students.

(And yes I know I have just given everyone free advertising; would that I get the same from someone for my yoga endeavors.)

My question is: where’s the money?

In other words, who is going on all these trips to all these places for yoga?

The reason I ask is that I have an opportunity to teach in Bali for 10 days, two classes a day. If only 6 people came I would get my lodging and airfare paid for. If 7+ people came I would get paid a certain amount per person. It’s a legitimate offer from a reputable person and it sounds totally sweet, doesn’t it?

So why am I not foaming at the mouth with delight?

Because the last time I taught overseas not one person from the United States signed up for what I offered.

You may remember my Africa trip, my yin-yang yoga weekend with a seva component:

“The cost of the retreat was $1,108.00 and I was taking $108 from each westerner for the Seva Foundation. It was hoped that the founders of the clinic, Dr. Paul Courtright and Dr. Susan Lewallen, would be able to give us a tour of the facility. I thought it was a win-win situation for everyone involved…yoga + meditation + buddhadharma + seva under the African sky.

But no one signed up.

At least no one from the West. I sent my announcement to over 100 people around the United States, advertised it on Facebook and Twitter, and put an ad in a Chicagoland yoga magazine that has a circulation of over 20,000. The Seva Foundation put an announcement on their website’s home page. But not one person showed any interest in spite of the charitable component of the retreat.”

That’s why I am not jumping for joy at this latest offer for me to teach overseas. My Africa weekend was not that expensive relatively speaking because it included everything: yoga plus lodging and food and I told people where to get discounted flights to Tanzania.

The Bali retreat organizer has a client database of over 1,000 people but I hesitate to spend any money on advertising (i.e., another $500 ad in the local yoga magazine) because frankly, what happened last time (or should I say did not happen) felt like a kick in the teeth (and this is the first time I’m saying it out loud.) I advertised to literally over 20,000 people via print ad, my business newsletter, and of course social networking, but zilch. I can understand no one wanting to fly to Africa. What I don’t get is not one person expressing one iota of interest.

I believe that even in a bad economy there are people with disposable income. They’re spending it on $100 yoga pants. Obviously. Just ask Lulu.

I understand how someone with children can’t take off for 10 days, but I also know people (including teachers) who can’t commit to a weekend of yoga in their own backyard. For the most part, people who do yoga (and this includes teachers) tell me that any type of yoga trip is too expensive for them even in the United States. “It’s the economy,” stupid.

Maybe the lack of response to my thing was because I live in the Midwest, not the trendiest part of the country even if it is Chicago. Maybe it’s because I don’t do the fancy arm balances or kick someone’s yoga butt and that’s what people want. Maybe I really don’t have anything to offer.

So I ask again: where all the yoga peeps with money that I keep hearing about? Who is going on all these retreats?

Someone is because I see photos of lots of smiling faces at Kripalu or Omega or Esalen or Land of the Medicine Buddha or (fill in the blank.) I don’t see a dearth of people here.

Where’s the yoga money?