India

Mind & Body

Applications Closed

Applications Closed!

India

Mind & Body

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  • Uncover yoga’s ancient Indian roots and how its age-old practices compare to the new global phenomenon.
  • Reimagine volunteering by learning service through our partners Thrive Seed and Ramana’s Garden.
  • Challenge yourself with a hike in the Himalayas, the majestic mountain range that has inspired many of India’s spiritual traditions.
  • Meet Thrive Seed and learn how yoga and innovative approaches to education are being used to combat poverty in the capital of Delhi.

Program Dates

2017
September 16 – 30
Applications Closed!

Fees + Community Contribution

$1,690 + $145
$1,855 + $160
Currency:

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Sample Itinerary

*This itinerary is based on our previous experience with the region. Programs change every year based on the needs of our partners. This should give you a sense of what our program may look like.

Orientation – Delhi

Landing in India’s bustling capital, we will spend a few days acclimatizing to our new surroundings. We’ll get to taste the first bites of properly spiced Indian curries, and spend time in (and out of!) tuk tuks while marvelling at the variety in this city of presidential palaces, ancient forts, bazaars, shopping malls, high rises, and slums. We’ll also spend time with Sonu, the director of Thrive Seed, a not-for-profit organization that provides girls’ education and female empowerment workshops at the Nehru Nagar Slum School. Thrive Seed will show us how yoga is being used as part of their larger educational initiative to confront poverty in India.

Gateway to the Garhwal Himalayas – Rishikesh

Heading north into the foothills of the Himalayas, we’ll reach Rishikesh in starlight and get some well-earned rest. In the morning, we’ll be treated to this holy city, where the mighty river Ganga emerges from the mountains. We’ll cap off our orientation by joining the crowds for Arti – a ceremony that has been performed at sunrise and sunset every day for the last several thousand years – to wake, and later put to rest, the goddess of the river Ganga.

Over the next few days in Rishikesh, we’ll delve even deeper into our exploration of yoga’s ancient roots and how it connects to practice in modern day India. We’ll work with Raju, Sonu’s husband from Thrive Seed, and his team who will introduce us to meditation, yoga, and their philosophical backgrounds. We’ll also spend time in an ashram to experience the traditional way these practices have been preserved and developed throughout India. Finally, we’ll visit our partners at Ramana’s Garden to hear about the true story of how yoga and meditation practice inspired a community organization that has now been running for 24 years.

Into the Himalaya, Into the Wild

Over the next four days we’ll be challenging ourselves with an adventure in the deeper Himalaya. Please note that any trekking we do will be dependent on how the monsoon affects trek infrastructure in the months before our program. Our plan is to undertake a 3-day trek to Chopta, but our choice will reflect the safest option available at the time. Regardless of our route, this time will be our chance to experience the incredible natural world of the Himalaya that has inspired so much philosophy of the region.

Disorientation and Departures

We’ll make our way backwards as we head back to Rishikesh for a well-earned rest day. Then an evening or late night train will bring us back to Delhi early in the morning for the coolest part of the last few hot days in Delhi. A staple of every OG program, ‘disorientation’ is an opportunity to re-live moments from the program, reminisce about our wild and wonderful experiences, discuss how to stay connected, and plan to collaborate on projects in the future.

Finally, to bring our adventure full circle, we’ll reconnect with Sonu from Thrive Seed. Our team will have the chance to visit one of the schools she runs where we’ll share stories and the lessons we’ve learned with students. In the evening, we’ll share one last delicious meal to celebrate an unbelievable two weeks!

Then off to the airport for the requisite teary-eyed goodbyes!

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What’s Included?

A comprehensive program itinerary and educational curriculum focused on the issues facing your specific region

Experienced and caring program leaders with you 24 hours a day

All lodging and accommodations throughout the program

Three local meals a day

All group tours, entrance fees, and excursions

All group transportation on the ground

Regular discussions and workshops to help you internalize and reflect on your experience

Support from OGHQ whenever you need it

Accommodations

With OG, you live like the locals. We will be sleeping and eating as a team in locally-run hostels, family homestays, and community guesthouses that reflect a backpacker’s ethos. Grassroots travel and homestays will allow us to fully immerse in the local culture, but life on the trail means living without some of the comforts to which we may be accustomed. Creepy crawlies are common, while comfy beds can’t always be guaranteed – so come prepared. Be ready to share the wonderful simplicity of life in India!

Meet Your Regional Director

Turning 18 was like the firing of a starting gun for James. He started moving across borders and continents and hasn’t found the finish line yet. Typically found bothering mountains with his skis, or holy men with questions, his initial wanderings and wonderings spanned a diverse set of scenery, continents, and jobs to keep the show on the road. Four years with OG has only served to strengthen his early convictions around the transformative potential of travel experience to peel back our preconceptions about our world, and to better facilitate shared understandings which can benefit all of us.

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