Yoga retreats are a popular and effective approach to unwind and get away from daily responsibilities these days. The ideal alternative is to travel outside of urban areas and stay in a community with rivers, agricultural land, historical sites, and other attractions.
Major advantages of attending a yoga retreat:
1. It makes you feel better, which helps to improve our mental health and aids in our physical and emotional healing.
2. Going for a walk or hiking in the woods helps us absorb more oxygen, which aids our focus and memory.
3. During yoga retreat activities, exposure to the early morning sunrise offers Vitamin D.
Vitamin D may aid in the prevention of serious illnesses such as cancer, osteoporosis, and heart attacks.
4. People who spend a lot of time in nature have shown signs of slowing down the ageing process, with fewer complaints of joint pain, poor sleep, and loss of appetite.
It was time for Kushiyogalaya to start the detox retreat with some yogic practices. We were a group of ten people who were excited to participate in this retreat. We chose a location that is only 60 kilometres from our headquarters and takes 90 minutes to reach by NH 48.
The journey towards the Yoga retreat spot.
The Tumkur road flyover entrance was our common meeting spot, and it took us less than 1.5 hours to reach the retreat location from that point. The stay was arranged in the Shivgange foothills, which is a beautiful place with picturesque sights such as a lake, farmland, birds, and lovely hills, one of which is the Shivgange hills.
Interesting yogic practice and engaging games to make your stay more enjoyable
We checked in and freshened up after arriving at the place. We all gathered under a canopy, and the participants were eager to learn more about the activities as well as get to know each other better and make friends with those they didn't know in the group.
One of our senior students, Indrazith Shanthraj, hosted the activity by introducing us to a fun game called fishpond. The next few hours flew by quickly, and by the end of the game, everyone had a better understanding of each other.
We enjoyed a little snack with coffee in the evening as dusk approached and we could hear peacocks. For a short hike, we went to a lake a short distance from our retreat stay spot. We were able to breathe cleaner air and observe the birds soaring, the sunset, and the villagers working on the farm.
We returned to the retreat stay after capturing some great moments and photographs. Komal introduced the practice of trataka, which is a yoga method known as shat kriya's to cleanse the eyes, and everyone was in a great mood. Regular shatkriya practice can help people recover from problems like eye irritation, seasonal allergies, and memory loss. This practice also aids in the development of concentration, as well as the reduction of mental tension.
The dinner was done, and the retreat spot had the best cook who had prepared exquisite sattvic food. After dinner, we returned to the canopy next to our rooms for a little conversation and enjoyable games before retiring for the night.
The next day, we awoke at 5.30 a.m. to divine music, which we mistook for the music being played by the neighboring temple. However, we soon understood that the indrazith always wakes up too early, and this was his trick to get all of us out of bed.
Everyone arrived at 6 a.m., and we began our first activity by explaining the necessity of doing the shatkriyas, as well as how the jalaneti and sutraneti might aid in healing. Everyone was excited to learn this easy ancient yogic technique that could help avoid the start of many ailments.
The breakfast was served, and the sattvic cuisine fueled us for the next unexpected and daring activity: trekking the Shivgange hills. At 8.30 a.m., we arrived at the Shivgange Hills. The weather was sunny, which may make our climb difficult.
Your real experience starts with a challenging trek to the Shivgange Hills.
Shivagange is a mountain peak with a height of 804 meters (2,638 feet) and a Hindu pilgrimage place located near Dobbaspet, in the Bengaluru Rural district of India, according to Wikipedia. Tumakuru is 25 kilometers (16 miles) away, and Bengaluru is 54 kilometers (34 miles).
The sacred peak is formed like a shiva linga, and a spring called "Ganga" flows nearby, giving the area its name. It is also known as Dakshina Kashi (Southern Kashi) and contains several temples, including Gangadhareshwara temple, Sri Honnammadevi Temple, Olakal Teertha, Nandi Statue, Patalagang Sharadambe temple, and several theerthas, including Agasthya theertha, Kanva theertha, Kapila theertha, and Pathala Gange theertha.
Everyone doubts their ability to make it all the way to the top after the first few steps. The climb was made possible by a tiny canopy-covered shop where you could sit and buy buttermilk, lime juice, water, and other refreshments before relaxing for a while till you reached the summit.
Everyone is thrilled when they reach the top, and their efforts are finally rewarded. It was 11.30 a.m., and the breeze from the hilltop cooled and soothed us. We stayed for a few hours, visiting the temple at the top and taking in the views of the countryside, highways, little vehicles, and people from the viewpoint of the hill.
It was amazing that shopkeepers would travel to the top of the hill every day and offer their services for a modest fee. The trekkers must be very thankful to the vendors for their effort.
Climbing was enjoyable because of the fantastic experiences such as seeing a sacred site, connecting with fellow hikers, questioning about the trek with individuals returning from the peak, and, of course, the monkeys that frequently snatched your food. Evidence of this can be seen below.
The final climb to the summit is extremely steep, and one must be extremely conscientious while also confirming that his physical state is truly supporting in order to reach the summit. To get to the top, it took us 2 hours plus.
We climbed down the hill and traveled to our stay place after a magnificent trip, and the sattvic lunch was waiting to satiate our hunger. After lunch, we went to our rooms to check out and met under the canopy to rest, where Indrazith had skillfully designed a relaxation technique that was the need of the hour, and some of us had an opportunity could take a power nap.
We returned home with a wonderful collection of memories and adventures.