The VYC is pleased to offer two different itineraries as part of a 14-day Yoga Retreat, for those who are interested in joining us for a Sacred Walk in the Himalayas. We offer these options in alternative years – click here for dates.
Joining us on any of these journeys will bring you in touch with the higher energy of the Himalayas, as these mountains have been charged with spiritual vibrations for thousands of years. The particular range of the northern Himalayas we visit has been favoured by yogis, sages and seekers for many years, and for those willing to make either of these pilgrimages, it will be a life-changing experience where you can trek the areas of the sacred mountains and places where the hallowed teachings of yoga were first imparted to the sages.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE PILGRIMAGES ARE JOURNEYS OF PURIFICATION AND AUSTERITY. PARTICIPANTS MUST HAVE A FLEXIBLE ATTITUDE SO THAT THEY CAN ADJUST TO SITUATIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES THEY ARE NOT USED TO, OR WHICH ARE OUT OF THEIR CONTROL. AS PART OF THE AUSTERITY, YOU MAY BE WITHOUT COMFORT FACILITIES SUCH AS HOT WATER OR ELECTRICITY, ETC. IN A VERY COLD CLIMATE.
To learn about the details of the different options, please follow the links below.
THE SACRED HIMALAYAS
The Sanskrit word ‘Hima’ means ‘snow’ and the word, ‘alaya’ means ‘abode’, but the mighty Himalayas are more than just an abode of snow – they are nature’s biggest miracle, overwhelming us with their sheer size. Home to eight of the ten highest mountains in the world (with Mt Everest being the highest), the Himalayas are revered the world over.
Many people see climbing the mountains as a personal challenge which helps them discover their inner strength. For others, the mountain ranges offer some of the most pristine and stunning landscapes in the world. But for individuals on a spiritual journey, the Himalayas are the ultimate destination for the soul.
The ancient mountains are considered to be the spiritual centre of the world, and the abode of the Gods. There are hundreds of temples and shrines throughout the Himalayan foothills. It’s mist-shrouded, snow-capped peaks have given birth to many myths and legends that form the basis of Indian culture and religions.
The Himalayas are the home of India’s most significant spiritual places such as the Kailash Manasarovar, Amarnath, Vaishno Devi Temple, the Char Dhams (Kedarnath, Badrinath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri), and many beautiful monasteries. The Himalayas are also known as Giriraj or the ‘King of Mountains’, which is a deity itself in the Hindu tradition.
A visit to the Himalayas is a treat for the senses and will show you some of the most breath-taking panoramas on earth, offering varying sensory experiences – feeling the crisp mountain air, hearing the chanting of devotees, along with the sounds of the wind, and smelling the fragrance of the mountain trees and flowers.
Three of the world’s primary river systems – the Indus Basin, the Yangtze Basin and the Ganga-Brahmaputra – have their origins in the Himalayas. Geological tests have proven that the Himalayas, covering an area of 595,0002 kilometres, across six countries – Bhutan, India, Nepal, China, Afghanistan and Pakistan – are geologically alive. The mammoth mountain range is said to be moving approximately 20mm every year!
The Himalayas have forever been the source of immense peace, tranquility and enlightenment for countless sages, yogis and spiritual gurus. Every year, devotees from around the world undertake a holy trek to these sites in spite of all the challenges offered by the extreme geographic and weather conditions.
Communication signals in the upper ranges of the Himalayas are weak, so those wishing to use their personal devices during the trek will need to arrange 4G connections prior to departure.
Use of these devices is discouraged, as this journey is a pilgrimage and we aim to bring the focus of the participants to their personal experience rather than the outside world.
The range of temperatures during these times can move between -6°C at night to +15°C during the day. Extremes in weather conditions may also affect communication channels. Check the weather forecast for daily weather conditions before leaving.
As we will be travelling by bus, it is advisable to make your pack as light as possible. A small backpack with waterproof cover is needed to carry one’s daily requirements and frequently used items inside the bus. The rest of the items can be packed in a waterproof, durable suitcase or backpack which will be stacked on the roof of the bus due to the confines of space within the bus itself.
It is important to carry a personal medical kit with electrolyte packs, pain killers, muscle relaxant cream, Band-Aids, knee guard for support, medicines for fever, colds, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, indigestion, and any other personal necessary medication.
If you are being treated for diabetes, please check with your physician if any change in medication is needed due to the altitude and trekking involved.
We recommend carrying the following items: