2017 Yoga Pilgrimage to India

Register NowMake a Payment

Wonder Wander Wellness

A Yoga Pilgrimage to India

February 6 – 19, 2017

Want to completely revolutionize your yoga practice and jumpstart your spiritual life? Join us for an unforgettable journey to yoga’s birthplace and the spiritual center of the universe.

 

Touring India with people who know and love the country and culture is the experience you want for your first, or any, trip to this magical destination.

Molly, Sasha, and sadhus

Your guides for this journey are Molly Lannon Kenny, Spiritual Director of The Samarya Center for Humankind (ness), Sasha Lannon Kenny, and Ela Ramaswamy.

Molly is an experienced traveler to India. She is not only an incredibly knowledgeable spiritual guide in matters of raja and bhakti yoga, she is deeply steeped in comparative mysticism and an extensive world traveler who has led hundreds of students on unforgettable spiritual journeys both near and far.

Molly will make sure that you are cared for and lovingly contained. Her morning yoga classes, kirtans, spontaneous discussions and ability to connect instantly and meaningfully with all kinds of people will keep you steady, uplifted, inspired and joyous in what can be a challenging journey.

Sasha as been an avid traveler for decades. Living in the Netherlands, Mexico, Costa Rica and Goa for extended periods of time, as well as roaming all the spaces in between, has stoked the fires of wonder and awe at all the amazing and sublime people, places and cultures in this world. Always one to really delve into a place and its inhabitants, in all the wonder or weirdness it and they may hold, Sasha gets to the heart of “being here now.” He loves sharing adventures with other willing souls, and is here to help make your journey smooth, comfortable and as full as possible.

Ela was born and raised in India. His deep understanding of local culture and philosophy can open doors to you that would otherwise be inaccessible.

 

Monday, February 6 – Sunday, February 19, 2017

Our shared pilgrimage begins on Monday, Feb. 6 at noon. However, we highly recommend that — if possible — participants give themselves time to adjust by arriving in India up to three days prior.

The closest International Airport is Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Included lodging begins at check into our resort in Mamalapuram on Monday morning, February 6th.  For people arriving in Chennai, in the early morning hours of Monday the 6th, we suggest you confirm a hotel reservation near the airport in Chennai.  Transportation will be provided from Chennai to the resort on Monday, February 6 at 10 am in the form of a single group trip. Participants wishing to take advantage of this offer will have to meet at a single central location to be decided by the organizers, based on students needing transportation from Chennai.

Day 1: Monday – Feb 6

Our tour, officially,  starts at noon on Monday when we will meet to discuss our travels and plans for the next day. We will share a centering meditation to ground and relax following travel. The rest of Monday will be a day of rest and relaxation. We will try to be out on the beaches in the sun to get our biological clocks to adjust to the new cycle.

Meals: Lunch

Overnight in Mahabalipuram, Tamil Nadu,India

Day 2: Tuesday – Feb 7

Mahabalipuram After breakfast, we will leave the hotel to explore the UNESCO World Heritage site monuments in Mahabalipuram that were built in the 7th Century AD. At Arjuna’s Penance nothing can prepare you for the wonderful bas-reliefs covering two huge boulders. The exquisite detail, dating from the 7th century, depicts the flow of the Ganges down from the Himalayan mountains as well as scenes from Indian daily life. The Five Rathas shrines are carved whole from an outcrop of rock. Each of the five temples is dedicated to heroes from the great epic of the Mahabharata. We will spend time admiring the detail of the carvings which include gods, humans and elephants and wonder why the temples are incomplete and were never consecrated. We will also visit the Shore Temple which and its delightful seaside location, overlooking the Bay of Bengal, with landscaped gardens, a popular place for the locals to visit. Dedicated to both Vishnu and Shiva, the decorative beauty of the temple, built in Dravidian style, has suffered erosion by its proximity to the sea. Late afternoon, we will visit children at a local orphanage, bringing simple toys, food and school supplies. Evening is free for you to relax at the beaches or explore on your own.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Overnight in Mahabalipuram    

Day 3: Wednesday – Feb 8

Mahabalipuram temples and relaxation

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch

Overnight in Mahabalipuram

Day 4: Thursday – Feb 9

Leave for Pondicherry After breakfast at 8 we will go out to explore Pondicherry. Pondicherry was designed based on the French grid pattern and features neat sectors and perpendicular streets. The town is divided into two sections: the French Quarter and the Indian quarter. Many streets still retain their French names, and French style villas are a common sight. In the French quarter, the buildings are typically colonial style with long compounds and stately walls. Afternoon/evening in Pondicherry

Meals: Breakfast & lunch

Overnight in Pondicherry  

Day 5:  Friday – Feb 10

After Breakfast at 7 we will drive to Chidambaram at 8 in the morning to visit the famous Nataraja (Dancing Shiva) temple. There are references to this temple in literature from over 2000 years back. Around 11 we will head to visit the 1000 year old Airateeswara temple. After lunch we will head for Tanjore to visit the Brahadeeswara temple that was completed in 1035 and is another UNESCO World Heritage site. We will then head to Trichy arriving in the evening.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Overnight in Trichy  

Day 6: Saturday – Feb 11

Visit the Sri Ranganathaswamy temple, the largest functional temple complex in the world. From there we will head to the Brahmaputreswara temple which houses the maha samadhi of Patanjali. In the evening we will visit the Rockfort for a view of the city at night.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Overnight in Trichy  

Day 7:  Sunday – Feb 12

Travel to Isha Ashram

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Isha Ashram

Day 8: Monday – Feb 13

Isha Ashram

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Isha Ashram.  

Day 9: Tuesday – Feb 14

Isha Ashram

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Isha Ashram.  

Day 10: WednesdayFeb 15

Travel over the Western Ghats to Kochi and on to Cherai beach.

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

Overnight in Cherai Beach

Day 11: ThursdayFeb 16

Ernakulum – Ayurvedic Readings

Overnight in Cherai Beach

Day 12: Friday – Feb 17

Fort Kochi

Overnight in Cherai Beach  

Day 13: Saturday – Feb 18

Exploring the backwaters of Kerala – On traditional houseboats

Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Overnight on the water!

Day 14: Sunday – Feb 19

Fly out of Kochi

 

This journey is limited to a maximum of 14 people, so please secure your spot as soon as you can.

As detailed below, you can secure your spot with a non-refundable $250 deposit. However, you will lose your spot if you do not pay in full by December 21, 2016. For early registration discount pricing, you must pay in full by October 8, 2016.

Payment

Included: Full payment includes accommodations, some meals, daily optional yoga/meditation/dharma talk gathering and arranged excursions.

NOT included: Payment does NOT include airfare or transportation to or from India

We have a variety of payment options, find the one that best works for you! Remember, payment does not include international airfare.

  • $2750 double by early registration date of October 8, 2016
  • $3250 single by early registration date of October 8, 2016
  • $3050 double after October 8, 2016
  • $3550 single after October 8, 2016

You can pay online or save $100 by paying with a check. See the “Register Now!” tab for more details.

 

Refund Policy

$250 deposit is non-refundable

Full payment will be refunded if tour is cancelled by the organizers for any reason. Refunds for other cancellations will be as follows

  • 70% of the amount paid if cancelled by Oct 21
  • 50% of the amount paid if cancelled by Nov 21
  • 25% of the amount paid if cancelled by Dec 21
  • No refunds after Dec 21st.
  • Deposits will only be refunded if the tour is cancelled by the organizers.

There will be absolutely no refunds for any changes in itinerary, either on behalf of the organizers or the participants. Should you not use any portion of the trip, choose to change your trip in any way, or otherwise edit the provided itinerary, you will bear full responsibility for any additional costs and will not be refunded for any portion of or item in the trip you do not use.

 

Welcome to our India pilgrimage info page. Hopefully these tips will help you better prepare for your trip. Please feel free to check in with us directly for any further questions not answered here.

  1. Do I need a Visa for my trip to India?

Yes. You can apply for several different kinds of visas, but most of our pilgrims get the 30 day visa on arrival. Here are a couple of useful links for applying for your visa on arrival, and here is a link that walks you through the process of obtaining a visa for a longer time period. Remember, you must have a valid passport for at least six months prior to your arrival in India to be eligible for visa on arrival.

 

2. Should I get vaccinations prior to my visit, and if so, which ones?

This is an entirely personal matter. Sasha and Molly, your American hosts on the trip, have never gotten any immunizations prior to traveling to India and have never been sick. Most of their students have also forgone immunizations. However, many people feel much more comfortable being vaccinated against certain diseases including malaria and other bacterial or viral infections.

Here are a few suggestions for you, including some thoughts from a fellow traveler on a previous trip.

  • Contact your doctor or the Disease Control Center in the local hospital if you would like professional immunization advice.
  • Please follow this link for specific information about malaria
  • This link will give you more detail information from the CDC about travel in India
  • “From personal experience, malaria medication may create discomfort, and may not be worthwhile, and you may not need it. It is always helpful to ensure that your tetanus shot is updated, as you are walking barefooted through old structures. Otherwise, typhoid and cholera may also be of some concern. The first time I went to India, I got shots and medicine for everything. Later I learned that most of them are only good to a certain percentage anyway. Now I don’t bother with it, but only take along herbs and anti-diarrhea medicine, like Imodium A-D. Another very good Ayurvedic medicine that will help, if you can find it once you get to India, is Sudha Sindhu. This is quite good for stomach problems and diarrhea. I use it whenever I start getting an upset stomach to keep it from developing into anything further. However, it is not so easy to find.  A very helpful medication is a low-grade antibiotic called “Doxycycline”, which kills bacteria in the Gastro Intestinal tract. It can be taken on a daily basis to ensure that you don’t have stomach problems during your stay. Ask your doctor for advice regarding this medication.”
  • Finally, here is the most up-to-date information from the CDC for potential health risks and vaccinations. Spend some time reviewing the CDC info and recommendations so you can make the best decision for yourself.

 

3. What should I pack?

Pack light! We cannot stress this enough. We will be moving around and you have to be able to carry all of your own luggage. You will also most likely want to buy some things in India, and it is guaranteed that you will receive many gifts from people you meet along the way. Almost every traveler we have had with us so far has had to end up buying an additional duffle bag, or shipping things home, or schlepping around way more than they had planned. Pack as little as you can – you will definitely be happier! That being said, here is a list of things you might want to consider bringing. Remember, we will be in South India where it will be hot!

  • passport
  • six copies of your passport (to be handed in at various accomodations)
  • we also recommend that you scan a copy of your passport and email it to yourself
  • visa (file today!)
  • medications – your own personal medications, and you might also consider anti-diarreahal, anti-nausea, ibuprofen, melatonin, antihistamine, probiotics, papaya enzymes, nasya oil, smooth move tea, activated charcoal

 

  • Clothing: 
  • Modest light-weight summer attire including –
  • two light pairs of pants, you might also consider shorts, but make sure they are not too short and know that you may feel uncomfortable wearing shorts in some of the locations
  • Three or four simple cotton shirts
  • A hat/head covering for warmth/protection from the sun, which you can also get in India. In the winter the days will be warm (80-90degrees) but the nights can be cool (65-80 degrees).
  • A light jacket, or a shawl type thing – which is actually way more versatile
  • skirts or summer dresses that are cooling but modest
  • bathing suit – please consider the culture and do not bring anything too revealing
  • Clothing for yoga – this would be best to just overlap with your other clothes. We will not be doing any asana that really requires special clothing
  • Some students have said that they wished they had brought a yoga mat, others found it too bulky and not necessary
  • Reasonably conservative yoga attire (Slacks/Tshirt) in other words, modest clothing for temples that covers your shoulders (the shawl mentioned above in lieu of a jacket can be used here too)
  • Many students have felt most comfortable in Indian style long sleeved top (Kurta for men/Salwar for women). Such an outfit can cost anywhere from $10-$30 in India and you can buy it there. This will be necessary for the ashram – they do have detailed clothing specifications. Think modesty.
  • Sandals that can be easily removed (highly recommended), or simple sneakers
  • A light shoulder bag to carry your things while on the bus, and a smaller fanny pack or purse to carry your valuables into the temples or while you shop

 

  • Details
  • zip lock bag with toilet paper
  • hand sanitizer
  • water bottle
  • bug spray
  • sunscreen
  • tiny bits of soap in ziplock bag
  • tech – whatever you use, but we definitely suggest headphones for the long drives
  • camera, chargers, adapters
  • if you menstruate, bring tampons or whatever you use – these items are hard to find in India
  • Travel size finger nail clippers, toothpaste, toothbrush, razor and other small toiletries as needed
  • An electrical socket adapter for any appliances including phone/camera charger – for 110 to 220 but it doesn’t have to be a power converter if it’s just for new electronics because i-phones and i-pads have the converter built in

4. What about currency exchange?

We recommend no more than $200 in currency and to bring your ATM card. Please check it will work internationally. Most do but make sure to call your bank and/or place an international travel alert on your card. Note that not all ATMs in India take international debit cards but we should have one around most places that we would be staying at.

5. Can I eat the food? 

Eating the delicious and plentiful local food is one of the greatest parts of the experience. Just give your belly time to adjust. Some people have benefitted from bringing some snack/protein bars for the first few days as your stomach adjusts to Indian food. Please drink only bottled water which is available most anywhere. Probiotics can be a real help, and carrying some antacids and/or activated charcoal with you can be helpful.

That’s it! Let us know if you have other questions or even suggestions, we want you to make the most of this extraordinary opportunity!

 

 

We’re so happy to have you join us! Please be sure to review all the details in the Costs and Policies tab on this page. Then, complete these three steps to register:

  1. Fill out our Online Registration Form.
  2. Download, print, complete and mail in this Liability Waiver Form (PDF).
  3. Secure your spot with a deposit or payment using one of the payment options below.

 

Option 1: Pay Online

Click this button to pay your deposit or full payment online:
Make a Payment

 

Option 2: Pay By Check

You can subtract $100 from your total when you pay with a check. Make out your check to mlkyoga LLC and mail it to: Molly Lannon Kenny, 1122 East Pike, PMB 871, Seattle, WA 98122. Checks must be received by October 8, 2016 to qualify for the early registration discount.

Important Dates


October 8 – Early registration deadline. Absolutely no exceptions.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This