BHUTAN YOGA TOUR • AUGUST 2017
CULTURE, NATURE & SPIRIT!
THE HAPPINESS NATION
“When I think of Bhutan I remember bursts of color against the soothing serenity of Buddhist chants; I remember the stories that make their culture so everlasting; I remember the graciousness, kindness and beauty of the Bhutanese; and I remember the quiet joy I felt just being there. I know I’ll be back.”
A LIVELY & AUTHENTIC CULTURAL IMMERSION
Prepare yourself for something entirely different from what you may have seen in Asia, or elsewhere. Located high in the Himalayan mountains between India and Tibet, Bhutan is the only country in the world that measures it’s progress by Gross National Happiness! On this 11-day journey through mystical mountains, sacred temples and this richly preserved culture, we will explore Bhutan alongside the local people, discovering their unique perspectives and enjoying the light of their inspiring spirits!
BHUTAN YOGA TOUR ITINERARY
We meet at the Bangkok airport in the morning for our 2-hour morning flight to Bhutan. Upon arrival in the beautiful mountain town of Paro, we’ll settle into our guides’ favorite family hotel that overlooks the town of Paro . . . a historic and characteristic old palace constructed over 100 years ago by the Bhutanese royal family. We will have a gentle unwinding yoga practice and opening circle outside under prayer flags with a view to the valley below. Dinner is at the lovely Gangtey Palace restaurant… you are in for a treat of Bhutanese food in it’s finest traditional expression!
After our invigorating morning yoga practice and a delicious breakfast, we will delve into the history and culture of Bhutan with a visit to the National Museum and the historic monastery of Paro Dzong. You will have the opportunity to wander the small town of Paro, getting a feel for the local culture, looking in shops, etc. Or return to the hotel for a good siesta and a traditional Bhutanese hot stone bath or massage. Late afternoon there will be a restorative yoga and pranayama practice followed by a lovely and healthy dinner at our hotel.
After morning yoga and breakfast, we depart Paro and drive 90-minutes along a sweeping valley to Bhutan’s capital, Thimphu. Our base for these next two nights at a beautiful 5-star spa resort located a few miles outside Bhutans’ largest city (with a population of less than 100,000!) Here you will have a glimpse into how present day Bhutanese people have adapted to the 21st-century. Our guide will take you to some of his favorite local sights and experiences. In the evening, enjoy great Bhutanese cuisine and an optional night out at one of Thumphu’s dance clubs renown for great electronic beats! Note that all activities are optional and you can choose to do your own thing, or just lounge and relax.
Following yoga and breakfast, we embark on an exciting and challenging 2-hour trek into pine and rhododendron forests above the Thimphu valley to a monastery with sweeping views of cascading mountain ranges. Observe how resident monks live, and join in meditation and prayer.
Following yoga and breakfast we will visit the world’s largest Bhudda, which overlooks the town of Thimphu. Great yoga photo opportunity under this magnificent golden Bhudda! We’ll then travel 4-hours along the scenic 10,300 ft pass to a small village called Punakha, arriving to our next lovely family resort, a peaceful haven amidst gardens and rice paddies.
After yoga and breakfast, we’ll trek through the rice fields to arrive at Chimi Lhakhang, also known as The Temple of the Divine Madman. Built in 1499 and named after Lama Drukpa Kunley, this fertility temple is one of Bhutan’s most sacred… and funny temples, as you will see! We’ll lunch in a wonderful local restaurant, then return to our hotel for a siesta and afternoon restorative yoga and pranayama practice – enjoying full use of the lovely yoga space overlooking rice paddies and green hills!
After yoga and breakfast, we’ll drive about 30 minutes to explore the most important and beautiful buildings in Bhutan: The Punakha Dzong. It was first constructed as a war fortress in the 1600’s, evolving over the years as Bhutan’s central administrative hub… but this does not begin to express the awesomeness of this architectural wonder. Next we’ll visit a small hilltop temple situated among farming fields and meditate with the resident monks. Weather-depending, we’ll have a lovely hike down a hill through forests.
No yoga this morning, as we have a surprise for you… weather depending! After an adventurous morning, we’ll relax into the long ride back to Paro town, where we’ll spend our final three nights at a stunning 5-star hotel that is a model of Bhutanese art and architecture. Just to wander the hotel and grounds is an experience of pure luxury and beauty,
DAY 9 & 10
Luxuriate at the hotel spa, an iconic blend of Bhutanese craftsmanship and modern amenities set on 11-acres of meadows and mountains! We choose this lovely haven for the last three nights of our retreat because it offers an exquisite atmosphere to relax, restore and delve more deeply into yoga. There is a lovely full-service spa, yoga studio with props, a temple to meditate, and beautiful spots, indoors and out, to relax and enjoy your retreat time exactly as you wish! You will also have a chance to shop in Paro for souvenirs and gifts.
During the last few days, after we have acclimated to the altitude of Bhutan, we will attempt (weather-depending) to hike to the famous Taksang Monastery. Nicknamed the Tiger’s Nest Monastery for its geography and history, the Taksang Monastery is renown for its cliff-side location perched 2,700 feet above the valley floor where it is said that the Rimpoche first arrived on the back of a flying tiger and meditated in a mountain cave for three months. You too can gain merit by making the 3-hour ascent and visiting the monastery seemingly glued to the barest concavity of the cliff face.
Our closing circle and yoga practice will carry us into our final dinner together, celebrating our new friends and new perspectives from this sacred time together in Bhutan!
Breakfast and a leisurely transport to the airport for your flight home. With joy and gratitude, we bid farewell to Bhutan!
OUR EXOTIC YOGA RETREAT TEACHER
INCLUDED ON YOUR BHUTAN YOGA RETREAT
- 11-days yoga tour including accommodation at 4 boutique hotels
- All meals (vegetarian, vegan, seafood and meat options)
- 1-2 yoga classes daily, depending on excursions
- All transport and entrance fees
- Al excursions and cultural events
- Highly experienced and lovely private guide
- Private driver
NOT INCLUDED ON YOUR BHUTAN YOGA RETREAT
- Airfare to Bangkok
- Airfare from Bangkok to Bhutan ($700 available to purchase on our web site)
- Bhutan visa
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spa services
OUR TRAVEL AGENT WILL BOOK YOUR TRAVEL
For help booking travel, contact our exclusive travel agent, Justin Harrison of Sojourn, NYC. He knows our trips – and will meet or beat any airfare you see online, book hotels with upgrades, arrange transport, offer trip insurance… and can even suggest day tours for your stay prior to or following the retreat.
PRICE PER PERSON
US dollar: $6,595 Single en-suite room
First, review our Payment & Cancellation Policy, then click the ‘Book Now’ button above. If you have questions before you book, feel free to contact us by phone (+1) 415-361-3396 (PST).
Yoga holidays inspiring you to see the world differently!
WHY THIS RETREAT?
I wanted to let you know how extraordinary this experience was. I had so many fears about the trip and my physical capacity - our guide and teachers, Dorji and Josie, balanced it so well and made it possible for me to fulfill the experience. For me it is not an exaggeration to say that this was life changing and personally very important and I feel grateful. The special nature of Bhutan shone through and made this truly amazing!—Julie Shemitz, USA
August 1—11, 2017
Traveling tour, staying at carefully chosen characteristic inns or 5-star hotels with charm.
$5,595 per person ~ Shared $6,595 per person ~ Single
I'm leaving the retreat feeling the happiest and freest I've ever felt!— Naseem Nikoo, Iran
Life changing, eye-opening and deeply inspiring! This retreat 'reset' my life. It was beyond what I envisioned was possible in one week! —Saige Rutherford, USA
My mom and I enjoyed the trip very much...every day was perfect!—Jane Srivastava, Russia
This is, without a doubt, one of the best experiences of my life. I have made connections with people and myself that I never would have expected. Those connections will be in my heart and help me be a better version of myself for the rest of my life.—Brent Vanlyke, Canada
This was my first yoga retreat and I didn't know what to expect... and it blew my mind! I would recommend this experience it to anyone!—Ale de Rienzo, Mexico
Absolutely amazing boat and crew, and food and cleanliness were excellent. I had so much fun! I will definitely do another retreat with you and your company. —Lana Ferguson, USA
This retreat was exactly what I needed... a week long oasis focused on self-care. Gayle did an awesome job of breaking down the poses and focusing on alignment. She built intensity and also relaxation in the practice. I loved her teaching tips for the few teachers on the retreat!—Alia Allison, Yoga Teacher
Thank you for bringing together wonderful people from all walks of life and from around the world! The connection and friendship that we shared has inspired and changed my life.—Chinwe Nwazota
Gayle is an extraordinary teacher who makes everyone feel empowered, strong and special!—Christine Costello, USA
Gayle is everything I needed in a yoga instructor. Someone to push me try new things (headstand, arm balances) while making me feel completely safe. I did old poses with completely new eyes due to her instruction. She was warm and inviting and made me able to have the most amazing experience of my life. I loved the program. I’d do it ten times over! I feel the best I have in my life. Refreshed and ready to take on whatever I have to deal with at home.—Kara Ellis, Canada
Thank you and Gayle for such a life changing experience. I feel so open in my body and mind. I became more devoted to my yoga practice experiencing the various styles of yoga you teach so effortlessly. The amount of hands-on guidance and adjustments helped me develop new appreciation for the postures and new appreciation for my body! —Nicole Hernandez, USA
Everything about this retreat was special. I have the most beautiful memories, new friends and experiences that I will cherish! The retreat combined the perfect blend of yoga, meditation and fun excursions. I also enjoyed the flexibility in our daily schedule... I had time for myself, to re-align and reflect on my life; as well as meet great like-minded people. Meeting Gayle has been a true delight. Her loving and positive energy was very present and made this retreat a real joy for me. I recommend this retreat to anyone looking to 'switch-off', re-balance and have a lot of fun!—Hala Darwazeh, Jordan
Healthy hedonism" set the tone for a playful week of yoga and mindfulness, laughter and connection. Each morning, Gayle guided us through blissful meditation, followed by a combination of vinyasa flow and stretch sequences. She really took the time to tailor the class to each of our needs so it felt more like one-on-one tuition a lot of the time. I'll never forget the energy we created as a group or the peace, joy and friendships which blossom there.— Joanne Joseph, Australia
Hands down, the best retreat I've ever been to (and I have been to many)! Perfect combination of leisure, relaxation, cultural immersion, and exceptional food! Gayle's yoga has an incredible depth of knowledge, from her anatomical references, to her deep teachings of asana and pranayama. The best is her acceptance of all levels of practice, respecting each individual's body and level of practice. Can't wait to join another Exotic Yoga Retreat!—Tricia Desvarieux, Haiti
I love the personal attention Gayle gave to her students, providing not only awesome instruction, but reminding us to be ever present and mindful.—Chrissy Coleman, USA
The perfect healing at the right moment! I feel another person since this week... a more comfortable one! I hope to do another retreat soon to feed my curiosity!—Maria Paula, France
Gayle inspired me to try new things and gave me confidence in incorporating touch and adjustments in my classes. It feels great to give and receive authentic touch to connect.—Ina Yeijnen, Yoga Teacher in Holland
Gayle has the unique ability to be kind and caring while pushing your yoga practice to the next level. She creates a flow that is beautiful, feels amazing and challenges you to become stronger. This program will forever be life changing. The experiences I have had this week will be cherished forever.—Julie Cameron, Canada
Gayle very clearly is a remarkable teacher because she transmits the essences of mindfulness and balance in enough dimensions so you actually get it!—Jerry, USA
I love Gayle’s loving style of teaching. I appreciated the emphasis on various breathing techniques and the balance between physical intensity, relaxation and meditation.—Michael Neria, Israel