The Source – A Series of Spiritual Yoga Retreats in India

Our Spiritual Yoga and Meditation Retreats are for those who like to combine Yoga Retreat in India with a deeper spiritual experience. Located deep within the lush green foothills of the magical mountains, our beautiful Yoga Ashram in Rishikesh will be your home for the first week of the retreat. A week of yoga practice allows you to become more centered and prepare yourself for the upcoming deep spiritual experience on the second week of the Yoga Retreat - a special Spiritual Journey through the Himalayas. This is a beautiful opportunity to discover the source of our being and the deeper meaning of life by finding a connection with the strong energies of The Himalayan Mountains.

Where the Spirituality Meets cultural Immersion

The purpose of our Yoga Retreats in India is to take you on magical journeys through the birthplace of yoga, let you enjoy India’s rich culture and beautiful nature while learning about its history and ancient wisdom. You will be given a special opportunity to experience some of India’s most spiritual sites through the eyes of a philosopher and yoga master Yogi Ji. Born

in the North Indian Himalaya, devoted to spiritual life from his early youth, he has a strong connection to Nature. Following in the footsteps of ancient yogis he leads us on a journey through the Himalayas’ sacred landscapes to find the Source of Life, using mythology, philosophy and most importantly spirituality to find the source within. We will walk the paths where for centuries hundreds of thousands of seekers have walked and meditated on the quest to find the meaning of life. We hope to soak in some of their powerful energy to transform our lives and move closer to self-awareness and clarity of mind. Take a much-needed break and allow yourself a beautiful transformation with our Spiritual Yoga Retreat in the North Indian Himalayas!

The Source – A Spiritual Yoga Retreat to The Source of The Ganges

Our special two week Spiritual Yoga Retreat in Himalayas takes you to the Gomukh glacier, the very Source of the holy river Ganges! We’ll start the pilgrimage from Gangotri (Anchor text: http://www.india.com/travel/gangotri/), a little mountain town close to the Indo-Tibetan border, dedicated to the Goddess Ganga. We chose The Source of the Ganges for our first Spiritual Yoga Retreat in India because in Hinduism the auspicious and healing Goddess Ganga is the symbol of Life. Among the many symbols of India endowed with spirituality, water is the most sacred, at once the purifier and the origin of the mystery. It is the real and imagined Source of Life (Anchor text: https://books.google.co.in/books?id=0obUy_W9NREC ). Water in general and Ganga water in particular is used in birth and death rituals.

According to mythology it was Lord Shiva who brought Mother Ganga down from the heaven with his long locks of hair and spread her powers into seven streams that flowed to the far corners of the Earth. Because of this she released the troubled souls of the Kings who were seeking her purity. Our Spiritual Yoga and Meditation Retreat will take us on a journey to the mountains that give birth to the holy river.

We practice walking meditation and perform puja – the ceremony of worship – at the very Source of the Ganges. The magical mountains where the pristine nature meets ancient pilgrims and yogis meditative energies will give us a special opportunity for spiritual growth and self-realization.

Why should I choose The Spiritual Yoga Retreat to The Source of the Ganga?

If you want to combine a Yoga Retreat in India with a spiritual experience, this is absolutely the one to choose. The Ganges is the holiest river in India, Ganga is our Mother. Hindus believe that bathing in the river Ganges will wash away our sins. Hiking to Gomukh (also spelt Gaumukh), the Source of the Ganges, is a truly powerful, transformative journey. Taking a dip here will give you the ultimate fresh start in life! We cordially invite you to join us on our next Spiritual Yoga Retreat to the Source of The Ganges!

The First Week of Retreat – Yoga Retreat in Rishikesh at Mahatma Yoga Ashram

During the first week of Spiritual Yoga Retreat you’ll stay at Mahatma Yoga Ashram in Rishikesh, the home of Yoga! yoga retreat Our Rishikesh Yoga Ashram is located right on the banks of Mother Ganges, your bright room has a direct view to the flowing river Goddess; guaranteed to infuse you with a calming, restorative energy every day. You will have your own private room and bathroom, you will be fed fresh Ayurvedic meals every day and you will gain inner peace.

We provide a good, healthy and balanced schedule on our yoga retreats. You'll start the day chanting spiritual mantras with us and learning pranayama techniques. You'll have two 1.5-hour Yoga classes a day, taught by our expert teachers, including Yogi Ji. Our classes are small, encouraging and detailed. After

lunch you will have free time to spend as you wish. Many of our guests enjoy exploring Rishikesh, venturing into The Beatles Ashram, visiting other spiritual sites like temples and meditation caves around the town. In the evenings you will relax and quiet the mind with us during a meditation. Twice a week you'll also have Yoga Philosophy lectures held by Yogi Ji, where we offer guidance on how yoga can help you lead a more meaningful and purposeful life.

Your Rishikesh yoga retreat will allow you to unwind, relax, become more centered and live a true healthy yoga lifestyle. It is the best possible way to prepare you for the following spiritual experience in the Himalayas.

What is included in the first week?

Two yoga sessions a day
Chanting, meditation, Yoga philosophy lectures
Three healthy vegetarian meals daily
One Ayurvedic massage
Accommodation in a private bedroom with attached bathroom

The Second Week of Retreat - Start your Journey to the Source of Ganges at Mahatma Yoga Ashram

Past Hardiwar, starting in Rishikesh, you will begin your epic Gomukh trek on the beachfront of our Rishikesh Yoga Ashram. Mother Ganges is rushing past your feet but in 6 days; you will be standing before her true Source.

Day 1: Rishikesh to Gangnani Hot Springs

On our first day, we will depart Mahatma Yoga Ashram and begin venturing up to Gangnani Hot Springs in our own private transport. Make sure you have your warm clothes packed! It's going to be quite a drive. We'll be covering 216 kilometers and working our way up to 2392 meters / 7851 feet. Come prepared with some wide-open eyes to admire our colorful way of life out of your window. We'll pass through many delightful villages and towns, with Mother Ganges below us. We will take regular breaks for some soothing, hot cups of delicious chai and visit the holy sites like little temples along the way to prepare our mind and soul for the Ultimate Spiritual experience ahead.

We will soon reach our magical destination for the day in the afternoon: Gangnani Hot Springs to energize your soul. Dip your toes, or your whole self into these steaming hot purifying waters to relax your feet before your yogic hike later this week! With separate facilities for men and women, let yourself slowly sink in, and relax.

Day 2: Gangnani to Dharali

Today we will be ascending even higher into the Himalayas but with a much shorter drive: just 33 kilometers. At 2680 meters / 8792 feet, you will find yourself in the quaint, relaxing, picturesque tiny hamlet of Dharali. It is believed that sage Bhagirath meditated here to bring Mother Ganges down from heaven.

Dotted with delightful hotels, guesthouses and restaurants, alongside Bhagirathi River, this little market town rapidly comes alive between May and June. The snow has melted away and Dharali's infamous succulent apples are ready to be sold. We’ll make sure to taste and enjoy them!

You will feel like you are moving back in time as we venture into the local neighboring Tibetan village here. Peace and tranquility greet you amongst traditional wooden homes, through gentle swirls of smoke as teapots boil and wood fires glow. The villagers are incredibly kind and welcoming; happy to share their culture with you.

Across the Bhagirathi River, you will meet more of Dharali's local villagers. As you make your way up the mountainside, you will find yourself in scenes as if they have been plucked from a fairytale. Lush green fields, cows gently munching on the shrubs and 7 glistening stunning lakes await you. It is here that we will do our yoga practice, enjoying the beauty around us.

Day 3: Dharali to Gangotri

From the blissful village of Dharali, we will make our way 19km further to Gangotri; the fascinating pilgrimage village which marks the start of our yogic trek to the Gomukh. With Mother Ganges running directly through the center of this Himalayan hub, Gangotri consists of one long street. It's lined with delicious filling treats, and plenty of religious trinkets and keepsakes. You'll find Lord Shiva statues, framed photos of Mother Ganga and bundles of bottles, which you can fill up to keep your own part of Mother Ganga with you.

We will have time to explore this magical town, visit the ashrams, meditate along the river, and attend the evening Ganga Aarti Ceremony at Gangotri temple. Ganga Aarti is your chance to receive purification and a blessing from Mother Ganges. We will sing songs in praise of Mother Ganga, acquiring her power through the fires and lamps we light. It is a beautiful moment full of transformative energy. This special ceremony you will also experience during your stay at Mahatma Yoga Ashram.

Day 4: Trekking from Gangotri to Bhojwassa

This is it! Wake up ready and willing. We are going to start our pilgrimage today, hiking 13 kilometers across 6 hours, towards the Gangotri glacier Gomukh! Starting from 3048 meters / 10000 feet, we will be ascending to a height of 3792 meters /12440 feet.

Leaving Gangotri behind, we will be entering another world. Past grazing donkeys and ashrams in the wilderness, we will reach the checkpoint of Gangotri National Park. From here the views are instantly wondrous. With the sun's rays bursting through the peaks, we will wind along the dusty path, underneath the mighty Himalayan Mountains towering above. It's a panoramic paradise to practice walking meditation!

We will traverse rickety wooden bridges, past inquisitive fluffy 'blue' goats, walking in the imaginable footsteps of ancient times pilgrims. Just when your energy is starting to fade, there will likely be a Sadhu walking along beside you, in his humble sandals and orange robe, encouraging you to carry on!

Once we arrive in Bhojwassa, you really will be in the Himalayas! We're just 4 kilometers away from The Source! But first, we must rest, eat, rejuvenate and get a good night's sleep in this final humble resting spot before we reach our destination.

Day 5: Trekking from Bhojwassa to the The Source Gomukh!

Good morning! You'll be waking up to the finest views of the Bhagirathi peaks, with a cup of hot chai in your hand and some hearty Indian breakfast in your tummy. It is time for us to finally meet the Source of the Ganges. Are you excited? We really are! This is the last stretch of our journey.

With all your might, traverse this rocky terrain and scale the boulders before you. The hike is not easy but the reward awaiting you is everything you hoped for. At a height of 3890 meters / 12,760 feet, we have made it! Congratulations! This is an ultimate spiritual experience to witness the first appearance of the sacred Goddess Ma Ganga in daylight!

6 days of unbelievable, mesmerizing trekking in India and finally...here we are at Gomukh: sitting before the powerful, life-changing Source of Mother Ganga herself. She is the living, breathing Goddess of India; who loves you, cleanses you and reaches deep within your heart and soul to awaken you. Our legs ache. Our lungs have been gasping for air. Yet, we have just experienced one of the most spiritual treks in the Himalayas, through a deeply magnificent and sacred landscape. As we take in a deep breath, and absorb the beauty around us, a butterfly gently glides down and lands upon one of our fingertips. We are truly touched. Hiking to the Source of the Ganges is a life-changing experience.

~ A student’s reflection of the Journey to The Source of The Ganges
After much happiness and reflection we take time to enjoy this special moment by performing a puja – a ceremony to worship Goddess Ganga and meditating right next to her magical Source.

After the meditation we will walk back to Bhojwassa to spend one more night. This is time to reflect on everything you have achieved in the last 5 days and to treasure the memories you have made today with Mother Ganga.

Day 6: Ascending from Bhojwassa to Gangotri and driving to Uttarkashi

We will descend and gently make our way back to Gangotri within 5 hours. Once we arrive at Gangotri, we will take a 2.5 hour private drive to Uttarkashi, and take a well-deserved rest here for the night.

Day 7: Uttarkashi to Rishikesh via Lamgown

On our final day, we will drive back to Rishikesh, enjoying a stop through Lamgown along the way. A small mountain village, this is a lovely spot to experience real Indian village life and visit Sem Mukhem Temple nearby. We will return to Rishikesh in the evening: accomplished, refreshed and renewed!

What is included in second week?

Our own private transport
6 nights of Accommodation:
- We are staying in guesthouses, the accommodation is clean, simple, with basic facilities
- On the hike we’ll spend two nights in the Bhojwassa Ashram. This is a pilgrimage style accommodation. It is also possible to spend two nights in the tent (you need to bring your tent with you)

16 meals
Yoga lesson and meditation in the nature
Spiritual and cultural experience
All permits and government taxes

Mahatma's two-week trip includes one yoga retreat week at Mahatma Yoga Ashram and our trek to the source of the Ganges. The trip costs €1000 / £ 880 / $1190 USD.

When is the next Mahatma Yoga Ashram's Source trip?

We warmly invite you to venture to the Source with us from 3rd September to the 16th September 2018! To begin your journey to The Source of The Ganges with us, send us an email at support@mahatmayoga.org. We look forward to hearing from you!