SOUTH INDIA YOGA RETREAT ~ AYURVEDA, CULTURE & YOGA TOUR
KERALA, SOUTH INDIA
CULTURE & YOGA TOUR
On the sunny Malabar “spice coast” in Southern India, celebrate your strength in tree pose beneath papaya trees, turn your perspective upside-down in headstand next to an elephant, and, while in backbend, open your heart to the joys of Southern India. This 9-day immersion into Keralan culture, nature, Ayurvedic healing and yoga will leave you refreshed in body and spirit — infused with new experiences and perspectives inspiring you to see the world differently!
SOUTHERN INDIA YOGA RETREAT INCLUDES:
- Eight nights at 4-star or boutique eco-hotels and spas, including one night on a traditional houseboat
- Pick up at Cochin airport and all transport within India included
- A complimentary Ayurvedic massage upon landing and one more before you leave!
- 1–2 yoga classes daily with Gayle Olson, blending Hatha, Iyengar & Vinyasa traditions
- Traditional Keralan cuisine all breakfasts and dinners included in the price; lunches on your own
- Excursions and entry fees to all that is included in the itinerary
- Cruise the banks of the famous spice coast, down rivers and canals with breathtaking landscapes; hike and visit monuments and temples; wander through antique and spice markets and historic and cultural sites; see traditional village life in rural areas; experience the hustle and bustle and cultural heritage of the famous city of Cochin: have a relaxing and culturally enriching experience of Southern India!
ITINERARY FOR THE INDIA CULTURE & YOGA RETREAT
Day 1, Jan 29:
A friendly driver will greet our group of 8 to 12 travelers at Cochin International Airport and take us 90 minutes south to the waterfront town of Alleppey, known as “The Venice of the East.” We’ll settle into our 4-star boutique eco-hotel with views of the Arabian Sea to the west and the serene waterways to the east. Unwind from your travels with a complementary Ayurvedic massage, a swim in the pool and a sunset restorative yoga practice. In the evening we will enjoy our first Keralan dinner together!
Day 2, Jan 30:
Wake up in the soft ocean air to a breakfast of fresh local fruits and a grounding yoga practice. Then explore picturesque Ashtamudi Lake and the busy local markets, getting a glimpse of village life in the backwater region. You may enjoy an afternoon nap or indulge in a traditional Ayurvedic massage at the hotel spa.
Day 3, Jan 31:
Directly from the hotel we will board a traditional Kettuvallam, or houseboat, for an overnight adventure and unique perspective of life on the banks of Alleppey. Commune with nature as we float through mangrove forests, rice paddies and coconut groves; steep yourself in history with stops at ancient churches, temples and monuments; and mingle with the locals at the teeming markets. Come back aboard our houseboat to enjoy local cuisine served on banana leaves and, if you wish, let the mirror-like amber water inspire your flow in a sunset yoga practice.
Day 4, Feb 1:
Wake up floating, to the fragrance of the local spice markets and the sounds of local people starting their day along the banks of the river. Enjoy a morning stretch on the boat followed by a traditional South Indian breakfast.
Travel one hour inland to the town of Kanam and explore whatever strikes your fancy… hike in the Blue Mountains, get close to native flora and fauna in the wildlife preserve, and practice yoga on the shores of the warm, blue Arabian Sea. Return for the evening to our beautiful hotel designed as a traditional Keralan home.
Day 5, Feb 2:
The delicious aroma of breakfast greets you on a beautiful morning in tropical Kanam. Dine on fresh papaya before enjoying a complimentary Ayurvedic massage. Afterward, your senses will be primed to take in the sensual beauty of the Blue Mountains, the enchanting Nigiri Hills, the expansive and dense rubber plantations and the aromatic spice plantations. Celebrate your strength in tree pose beneath papaya trees, turn your perspective upside-down in headstand next to an elephant, and, while in backbend, open your heart to the joys of Southern India.
Day 6, Feb 3:
We will travel three hours north to Cochin, staying at a 4-star hotel surrounded by lush gardens and a swimming pool. We’ll explore the history of this centuries-old port city, which has lured Dutch, English, Portugese, Middle Eastern and Chinese traders. Cochin’s diverse cultural heritage makes it rich in art, culture, spirituality and cuisine. Marvel at Dutch murals, tour the Paradesi Synagogue and view the Chinese fishing nets in the Arabian Sea.
Day 7, Feb 4:
Commemorate your last full day on this South India Yoga Tour by reveling in your yoga practice and meditating on the beauty and culture you have discovered in Southern India. Wander through the lively antique markets and for a treasure to remind you of your trip. Savor dinner on the town and watch a traditional Khatakali dance performance.
Day 8, Feb 5:
Enjoy one last exotic South Indian breakfast and prepare to depart for the Cochin International Airport. Say goodbye to new friends and bring home a treasure of lasting memories and new perspectives that inspire you to see the world differently!
YOGA CLASSES WITH GAYLE OLSON
Gayle Olson is founder of Exotic Yoga Retreats and author of The Yoga & Fitness Guide for Women, has taught and practiced Vinyasa, Iyengar and Hatha yoga around the world for over 20 years. Gayle has developed a unique method of giving students intensive hands-on Vinyasa ~ Adjustment ~ Massage — like receiving a full-body massage during a vinyasa practice! Whether a practice is fiery and energetic, or soft and receptive, Gayle guides students to maintain a strong meditative focus on breath — and on the joy of yoga!