India

Mind & Body

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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 and the Art of Living on the sacred banks of the Ganga river in Rishikesh.
  • Challenge yourself and hike into 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
May 20 – June 3
June 10 – June 24

Fees + Community Contribution

$1,505 + $129
$1,750 + $150
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 India in its second largest metropolis. We’ll get to taste the first bites of properly spiced Indian curries, spend time in (and out of!) tuktuks 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.

The Art of Living

We’ll spend the next few days at the Art of Living Ashram, participating in their well-established Happiness Course. Ashrams have always been a vital component in the development and preservation of the traditions of yoga and meditation. Our time here will not only allow us to spend three days in focused exploration of these traditions, but we will also be immersing in an approach that has been used for millennia.

Cities & Sanctuaries

Returning to town of Rishikesh proper, we’ll spend a few days interacting with the legacy of yoga and meditation and wrapping our heads around the mind-boggling array of practices that persist to this day. We’ll also take time to connect with the philosophical and religious traditions which share a common lineage. This will involve attending public classes, visiting sacred temples as well as taking courses run by Raju, Sonu’s husband, who will help us make sense of this cacophony of different styles and traditions. Finally, we’ll engage with some of the people who’ve been inspired by their spiritual journeys to a lifetime of service.

Trekking in Uttarakhand

The final challenge for our minds and bodies will come in the form of a trek into the Himalayas. We’ll push up into the mountains and use our own two feet to conquer incredible heights. Get ready to feel the natural power of one of the world’s most iconic mountain ranges. Only then can we hope to understand why the Himalayas have inspired countless teachers and practitioners of yoga and meditation over thousands of years.

Disorientation and Departures

After our trek, we’ll sleep deeply on the train back to Delhi before starting disorientation. A staple of every OG program, this is an opportunity to re-live moments from the program, reminisce about our wild and wonderful experiences, discuss how to stay connected, and collaborate on projects in the future.

Finally, to bring our adventure full circle, we’ll reconnect with Sonu from Thrive Seed, and visit one of the schools she runs where we’ll share stories and the lessons we’ve learned. We’ll then 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 immerse in the local culture but life on the trail means living without some of the comforts to which we’re accustomed. Comfy beds can’t always be guaranteed, creepy crawlies sometimes visit us, we embrace cozy conditions, take cold-water bucket showers, and use the occasional squat toilet!

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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