Immerse yourself in Ayurveda training at a family run grassroots retreat nestled between tranquil jungle, undulating hills and streams. Learn the history of yoga in India from a local guru in Mysore, taking part in asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), and dhyana (meditation) in a local Ashram. Wake up with yoga and dynamic stretching, spend the day learning the secrets of Ayurveda, and end your day by the camp fire, star gazing, singing, and storytelling in Wayanad. Get a hands-on lesson in crafting some southern India’s iconic dishes during an organic vegetarian cooking class in Kochi
Engage your mind, body and spirit on this 9-day tour through southern India. Home of Ayurveda, the ancient system of medicine that takes a holistic approach to physical and mental health, and traditional yoga, the practice of connecting bodily postures, mindful breathing, and meditation to achieve greater health and happiness. India has drawn international visitors in search of meaning for decades. We’ve designed this journey for travellers who wish to explore this side of the nation and themselves in the immersive Intrepid style. That means you’ll mingle with local pilgrims at Sri Chamundeswari Temple and dabble in Ayurveda at a jungle guesthouse in the Western Ghats, not seal yourself off in a pricey retreat. Discover the spiritual roots of the physical practice of yoga and meditation, and find a deeper understanding of your body and mind in the process.
Breakfast Included: 2 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included: 2
Namaste! Welcome to India. Home of Ayurveda, the traditional health system that takes a holistic approach to physical and mental health. Spirituality here is a prominent force in everyday life. Your journey will begin with a 6pm welcome meeting in the hotel. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception as soon as possible. We'll be verifying your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all this ready. Your trip starts in Bangalore (aka Bengaluru), the capital of Karnataka State. Bangalore is the centre of India's high-tech industry but is also known for its abundance of parks and green spaces. After the welcome meeting maybe head out for dinner with your fellow travellers, followed by an orientation walk near the famous Mahatma Gandhi Road.
Rise and shine for breakfast, then make tracks for laid-back Mysore. The most popular interpretation of classical Indian yoga, Ashtanga vinyasa yoga, began here. On arrival, meet with a local guru and learn about traditional yoga, then partake in a session followed by a meditation class. You’ll likely leave feeling a newfound connection to yourself and the city, making it the perfect time to climb the roughly 10 km to the top of Chamundi Hills, where the Sri Chamundeswari Temple sits overlooking the city. Named for Chamundeswari (or Durga), a fierce form of the divine feminine who legend says slayed a demon army atop the hills. Spend some time contemplating the temple and its history, then descend the hill and spend the afternoon and evening as you wish. With its mild climate, wide streets and gorgeous gardens, Mysore is a walker’s paradise. Perhaps take a stroll and breathe in the scent of incense that wafts through the streets, or ask your leader where to grab a thali, a tray of small dishes like dal, curries, pickles, rice, pappads and a dessert.
Forget coffee and toast, this morning you’ll wake up with a session at a local ashram. You’ll meet with your guru at this spiritual site and partake in a combined yoga and meditation session for a few hours. Spend the afternoon in Mysore as you please. Perhaps embrace the relaxed atmosphere of the town, as well as the lasting feeling of calm from your session this morning, and wander through the Brindavan Gardens. These sculpted terrace gardens are a lovely place to while away a little time. There’s also the option to make an hour-long trip to the Keshava Temple, a 13th-century carved stone temple that exemplifies the Hoysala architecture style. In the evening, we will visit Mysore Palace, one of the most ornate in India. Explore the riotous interior, an elegant kaleidoscope of colour, mosaics and mirrors.
Embrace an early start to travel into rolling green of the Western Ghats ranges. A 7-hour drive to Wayanad is the perfect opportunity to read, get to know your fellow travellers better or simply wonder at the increasingly lush scenery. Your accommodation in Wayanad is a charming jungle guesthouse. Nestled among a diverse terrain of jungle, undulating hills and tea estates, this unique guesthouse is an opportunity to immerse yourself in rural Indian tranquility. Settle in, drink a cup of tea and take some time to explore the property and eat lunch before beginning your study with an introduction to Ayurvedic theory. In keeping with the teachings of the study, the class will take place in the great outdoors, followed by a medicinal plant walk. When night falls, enjoy a barbecue dinner followed by story telling and singing with your hosts around the campfire and under a blanket of stars.
Spend another day stretching your body and mind in this lush paradise, beginning with a morning meditation class before breakfast. After you eat, take a dynamic stretching class to warm you up for an active day, then take a guided stroll through the grounds of the property. Enjoy lunch and an afternoon nap, then rise for a self-administered test to determine your Ayurvedic body type. Answering a series of questions about your physical and mental health, aspirations and habits is designed to determine where you fit within the framework. Then, learn how to cook with Ayurvedic principles in mind, blending spices and vegetables that are said to encourage vitality for your determined body type. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to contemplate what you have learned today. Perhaps take another walk or bathe in the stream beside the property before dinner this evening.
Rise with the sun for an early dynamic stretching class, then enjoy breakfast before saying goodbye to your hosts. Make the 5.5-hour drive to Trissur, a lesser-known Kerala town that is a little chaotic but very charming. Trissur is the site of several institutions that are focused on preserving the classical Keralan performing arts. Arrive to your Ayurvedic resort and relax with a complimentary massage treatment. Choose whether you would like to relax at the hotel and perhaps indulge in another treatment or visit the nearby Athirappilly Falls. Here you can watch multiple torrents rushing over sheer, 24-metre-tall rock in the middle of evergreen jungle. Bliss.
Make the three-hour drive to Kochi, a melting pot of culture and spiritualities. Stretch your body with a yoga class on arrival, followed by a guided stroll around Fort Kochi. Despite what the name would suggest, Fort Kochi is not a fort but an area in greater Kochi, a beachside town European-style architecture and a lively Jewish Quarter. Enjoy a change of pace this evening with an exciting Kathakali performance. A classical form of Indian dance that is based on Hindu legend, a Kathakali is a dramatic and highly-skilled art form that incorporates choreography, song, acting and fantastical costumes and makeup.
We have a free day today and early risers can take in the sunrise at the Chinese Fishing nets where later the Keralan fishermen will bring in the catch of the day. Explore the bylanes of Kochi perhaps picking up some quirky souvenirs, or simply enjoy the chilled-out seaside vibes. In the evening we end the tour with an organic vegetarian cooking class culminating into a farewell dinner. Learn to whip up some southern Indian favourites with the highest quality local produce and enjoy a true treat for the senses this evening, a vibrant and life-affirming end to your wellness adventure.
Your wellness journey through southern India ends this morning. There are no activities on your final day and you are free to leave at any time following check-out. If you wish to extend your stay, perhaps consider heading further south to relax on the houseboats of Kerala backwaters or the stunning beaches of Varkala.