Himachal Pradesh, India | 2015 Dates TBA
‘MAGIC in the MOTHERLAND’ – A Journey Home to the Heart, with Lucy
2015 dates & prices TBA
7 nights / 8 days
Basunti Retreat – Kangra Valley, Himalayan foothills, North India
“Basunti is a jewel, the kind of magical place that you might spend months looking for if you were traveling independently through India, and still never find” – Sunday Telegraph
A week of Yoga, meditation, rest, reflection, nurturing bodywork, heart-centred teachings, sympathetic company, and delicious home-made food, amidst the awesome nature and super-chilled vibes of Basunti Retreat, in the foothills of the Himalayas, in the incredible country that is India – the birthplace of Yoga.
Basunti has to be seen to be believed… it’s such a very rare treat to enjoy such privacy, safety, and pristine nature in India these days. Surrounded by water on all sides, with both sunrise and sunset views, it is a beautiful sanctuary completely contained within a lakeside wildlife reserve. At 500m above sea level it enjoys a unique micro-climate, with September being warm and temperate, and perfect for outdoor Yoga practice, nature walks, birdwatching, canoeing, and swimming – either in the crystal clear lake or Basunti’s pool.
Further afield, the culture of this region is rich and diverse. Within a day trip’s distance from the retreat, are the ancient rock temples at Masroor, the sunken temples at Bathu (water levels permitting), Kangra Fort, Dharamsala and Mcleod Ganj – the home of the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan community in exile.
The retreat will include an optional half-day trip to the small town of Nasroor (about 1hr drive), to buy shawls, visit a temple and stroll through the streets. And on another morning we’ll be rowed around on the lake to a small local village for chai. But for the rest of the time the invitation is to be still, to drop in, and let both the Yoga practices and the beauty and power of the surrounding nature take their effect. Once you get to Basunti there seems little reason to leave.
About the Yoga
Twice daily, in an open-air thatched roof shala, or on the marbled roof of the main house, with 360 degrees views over the lake, the wooded ridge, and on a clear day, the Himalayas beyond. Every morning a fluid vinyasa sequence of yoga asana, pranayama, simple chanting and quiet sitting. Afternoons will vary from day to day – heart-centred Yoga philosophy discussions, self and group inquiry/sharing, restorative asana & yoga nidra, gentle pranayama, seated and moving meditations, mantra (chanting), and full moon puja.
The intention for this retreat is to quieten down, to soften… to discover and then rest in that ‘indestructible’ refuge that is your very own heart. When we get quiet, we can listen better, and it’s the heart’s authentic voice that we’ll be listening for this week.
Suitable for all levels of experience. Lucy will be assisted in the morning asana classes by Samantha (see below).
Samantha De Zoysa will be joining us for the week to nurture and nourish with her sensitive bodywork treatments, as well as adjusting in the asana classes. A practicing massage therapist for over a decade, and Yoga teacher since 2002, Samantha will offer: Deep Tissue Massage, Relaxation Massage, Indian Head Massage and Lymphatic Drainage Therapy, as well as Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy.
‘Samantha combines strength, skill, intuition and calm into a wonderful holistic set of treatments. I have had massages and cranial sessions with her over a number of years and consider her a critical part of my self-care regime. I recommend her unreservedly!’ ~ Nasreen Tadayon, Transpersonal Psychologist
You can book as many sessions as you like (depending upon availability of course) at the beginning of the week.
7 nights accommodation
All meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Endless cups of tea!
Twice-daily sessions with Lucy & assistant
Rowing trip on the lake
Optional 1/2 Day Trip to nearby town and shawl shop – lunch at Hanuman Temple
Airfares, visas and transfer by car into and out of Basunti (we will organise this for you, but you can pay your driver individually or as a group if you share a car); bodywork/massage treatments.
6:00am – Tea and sunrise
7:00 – 9:15am - Morning Yoga Practice
9:15am – Breakfast
Free Time – canoeing, swimming in lake or pool, bodywork/massage, walking, reading, chilling…
1:00pm – Buffet Lunch
4 or 4:30 – 6:30pm – Afternoon session – will vary from day to day. Some days we’ll start earlier with a talk.
7:00pm – Dinner
* We’ll have a silent day in the middle of the retreat, with slightly different schedule
* Above is example schedule only, subject to minor changes
Is in very comfortable twin-share or double rooms, spread over two low rise lodges and the Main House, each with its own en-suite bathroom facilities, veranda or balcony. All have extensive views over the gardens and surrounding area.
The kitchen, under the direction of David Butterworth (a co-founder of Neal’s Yard Bakery, Covent Garden), produces a mouth-watering array of both European and local Indian vegetarian dishes, whole wheat breads and pastries baked fresh daily, and juices from Basunti’s own fruit trees. Meals are freshly prepared using organic home-grown fruits and vegetables whenever possible, supplemented by produce from the local markets.
Where is Basunti?
In Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra Valley close to the border with the Punjab, in North India.
Nearest international airport is Amritsar, which also receives internal flights from Delhi and Mumbai. This route offers an opportunity to spend a night in Amritsar to visit its famous Golden temple. Transfer from Amritsar to Basunti is by road and takes approx 3hrs. A car will be organized to collect you.
Nearest domestic airport is Dharamsala, approximately 2 hours from Basunti by car. There are daily 90-minute flights from Delhi via Kingfisher Airways www.flykingfisher.com
A great site for finding flights anywhere in the world is www.skyscanner.com
And for flights within India or nearby www.yatra.com
Chakki Bank near Pathankot is the nearest rail station serviced by an overnight sleeper train from Delhi, leaving at 9pm the night before and arriving at 7am the next day. Alternatively there are day time trains. The transfer from Chakki Bank to Basunti is 90-minutes. An alternative rail connection is the five-hour express train between Delhi and Amritsar, followed by a three-hour road journey.
NB. Whichever route you choose, a car is necessary to bring you the last leg of the journey to the retreat itself. Once your travel plans are set, we will send details of where and when your driver will meet you.
All foreign nationals need a visa to visit India. Please allow sufficient time to organize this from your home country or country of residence before you leave. Length of visa issued depends upon your nationality, but most are of 3 or 6months validity (from issue date, not arrival date!). Find more info about this on your local Indian Embassy’s website in Visa section. General info http://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/ NB. PLEASE BE SURE YOU HAVE 6 MONTHS VALIDITY REMAINING ON YOUR PASSPORT!
Basunti Retreat requests that all visitors purchase travel and medical insurance for the period of their stay, and they ask that all guests provide receipt of this when booking. This should be reasonably inexpensive and can be purchased online.
Please email your interest to Lucy firstname.lastname@example.org. You will then receive a registration form to complete and details regarding transfer of deposit. A non-refundable deposit of AUD$500 is required to secure your booking, with the balance payable 10 weeks prior to retreat start. Upon registration you will be sent more info about getting to India and Basunti, what to bring etc.
Testimonials from previous Basunti Retreats…
“Thank you ever so much for this heart-full retreat, and for all that which you have to give, and for reminding me of all that I love, including myself .” ~ Helle Lumbye, Denmark
“Thank you so much for my introduction to yoga. You were the perfect teacher and a great inspiration. I can’t remember having enjoyed myself that much for ages. Thanks so much…perfect.” ~ John, London
“Basunti with Lucy was an amazing week. The setting was truly awesome – waking in silence to sunrise over the Himalayas, surrounded by tranquil forest and water, set a lovely tone for each day. My partner and I loved the weekly program that offered inspiration & growth in all aspects of our practices. Chilling out by the pool was a luxury after traveling the dusty roads of India for weeks prior to retreat. Fresh, home-made food and a unique village trip were bonuses to a wonderful week.” ~ Lis White, Australia
~ more testimonials at top ~