Am I glad to be able to give you a peek into Synthesis 2014, the Yoga & Wellness retreat organized by Komal Yoga & Fitness Studio. Ok, I will reword that as a Yoga,Wellness & Adventure Retreat, because the itinerary included a lot of experiences to help discover the adventurer in you! And, since a picture is worth a thousand words, am sharing the retreat as a visual walk-through, peppered with some commentary :).
Day 1, 30th April 2014
Our group of beginner, intermediate and advanced yogis boarded the Dehradun-Shatabdi early-morn on 30th April, full of excitement and bonhomie!The journey saw animated discussions on Tibet & beyond, watching mountaineering videos, debating the hottest looking asanas and bonding over breath meditations.New friends were made , families introduced and the warmth was palpable.:)
From Haridwar station , we drove 45 minutes to our destination, Rainforest House at Rishikesh, crossing the holy ghats on the Ganges.
Rainforest House, our base for the retreat, exceeded my expectations with its serene location right next to the gurgling Ganges, the feel-good ambience ( the café , with its beautiful sit-out overlooking the river, always had lovely chants and sublime music playing in the background) , well thought of & healthy meals backed with very warm service.
Some pretty pictures from the property! The ‘vessel’ on the right in the pic below is a ‘Sigri’ for keeping the café warm in winters !
Once we checked in and took some rest, we re-grouped at the café for light tea ( there was a wide choice of herbal teas , masala chai and coffee with high-fibre & sugar free multigrain -raisin cookies) where over tea ,we shared our ‘Purpose of participating & Expectations’ from the retreat.
This was followed by a refreshing 90 minute Yoga Asana session in the property’s Meditation Hall ( an airy, open to the river-views hall constructed at the top most level). The session was a blend of smooth flowing Asanas ( easy enough for all levels of yoga practitioners), Pranayama and Mantra Chanting. I was super-excited to experience my first (though assisted) ‘Sheershasana’ (Head Stand) in this session! I realized that letting go of fear is half the battle won,the rest is trying hard to balance yourself upside down ! 🙂
Post session, we retired to our rooms for some rest and to refresh ourselves. Later for dinner , we were served some amazingly light, delicious and healthy food which lived up to its promise of detoxing – Vegetables cooked Al Dente (not overcooked, but left a little firm), Brown Rice, Multigrain Chapatis, Sprouted salads, Beetroot/pumpkin raitas etc. I was very pleasantly surprised by the professionalism in the planning of a healthy meal that met the needs of a fitness oriented retreat!
The dinner lead into a 30 minute presentation -cum-discussion lead by Komal, elaborating on the science of Yoga and the nuances of certain asanas. It was interesting to learn the theories behind some yogic practices and get answers to some common questions. Conducted in a presentation format, the session saw a lot of common queries by participants , as Komal patiently guided every individual to their answers.
Some herbal tea and soul-searching talks later ,the day came to a sublime close & we headed back for a restful night to wake up refreshed for another beautiful day of new experiences.
That was a gentle walk-through of the Day 1 at Synthesis 2014 – an experience that brought together mind, body and soul in a wholesome , nourishing way. Do come back tomorrow for a look at the Day 2 & Day 3 of our journey.
Till then, be well and stay naturally lush. 🙂