Mind & Body

Now Accepting Applications!

We’re building a community of “backpacktivists” that are socially, environmentally, and politically aware of their impact in the communities they travel to and live in. We work with our local partners on community-requested projects to uncover the intricacies of each place we go to.

Yoga and meditation have become global phenomena. These millennia-old practices have evolved to fit modern lifestyles, create new patterns of consumption and commercialization, and define new ideas around well-being. This modernization has been so rapid that it’s easy to forget that these are Indian traditions. Our Mind & Body program will explore the true and ancient roots of yoga and meditation while also exposing the effects of globalization on culture and tradition.

Applications Open


15-DAY ↑

Fees + Community Contribution

$2,160 USD + $0 USD
$2,250 CAD + $0 CAD

Program Dates

March 11 – 25, 2018Applications Closed!

May 20 – June 3, 2018

June 10 – 24, 2018

July 8 – 22, 2018

July 29 – August 12, 2018

August 19 – September 2, 2018

September 16 – 30, 2018

  • Uncover yoga’s ancient South Asian roots and how its age-old practices compare to the new global phenomenon.
  • Reimagine how meditation and yoga interact with service through Tibet World’s “Compassion + Wisdom = Happiness” program, a practical exploration of “seva”.
  • Challenge yourself and hike into the Himalayas, the majestic mountain range that has inspired many of India’s spiritual traditions.
  • Through exposure to a variety of lenses – ancient and modern, Hindu, Buddhist, and secular – this program will help you find the tradition that inspires you to develop and build your own practice of meditation, yoga, or both!
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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 at the Ganga

After your arrival at Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, we’ll get out of the hustle and bustle of the big city and head straight to Rishikesh for our orientation. In one of India’s holiest cities, we’ll settle in and acclimatize to our new surroundings on the banks of the Ganga. The eastern edge of Uttarakhand, also known as Bhoomdevi or Land of the Gods, has been a centre of spiritual practice for hundreds of years and will be the perfect place to begin our Mind & Body adventure.

Exploration and Ashrams in Rishikesh

Over the next five days, we’ll explore the diversity of traditions practiced and taught in Rishikesh. We’ll engage in meaningful and thought-provoking discussions with Wahoe Education instructors who are trying to tackle the question of how modern, ancient, secular, and religious traditions fit together and inform each other. We’ll also enjoy a number of daily meditation and yoga classes, of course!

From there, we head over to the Parmath Niketan Ashram for a three-day exploration into how these ancient spiritual centres function today. We’ll also have time to hang out by the Ganga, wander the often-crowded streets of Rishikesh, and soak up this holy city which many Indians may only visit once in a lifetime.

The Dhauladhar Challenge

After an overnight bus ride, we’ll arrive in Dharamsala with a few hours to get ready for our first big physical challenge. Triund is the crown of Dharamsala and a rite of passage for travellers to the region. The ridge gently wraps around the beautiful Dhauladhar range that rises above it, providing incredible views of the mountains above and Kangra Valley below.

We’ll begin our 10 km/6.2 mi climb in Mcleod Ganj at 2,082 m./6,830 ft., passing mixed forests of oak, deodar, and rhododendron before ascending to the camp of Triund. If we’re feeling particularly adventurous, we’ll continue on up to the snowline at about 3,400 m./11,154 ft. It’s going to be an unforgettable adventure that will simply take your breath away. Get ready to stand in complete awe of the Himalaya!

Compassion + Wisdom = Happiness

Our partner at Tibet World has built a special three-day “Compassion + Wisdom = Happiness” workshop to help us explore how Indian traditions have grown and changed in Tibet. We’ll get a first-hand look at how this evolution has influenced the mission and approach of Tibet World, an organization that supports the study and practice of these traditions while also applying them to community service. During our time together, we’ll have the opportunity to work alongside the Tibetan refugee community located around the Dalai Lama’s temple in McLeod Ganj. It’ll be an enriching experience bursting with lessons.


After a jam-packed two weeks, we’ll slow down for two days of “disorientation”. A staple of every OG program, this is an opportunity to relax, unpack, and reflect on our adventure. We’ll kick back together in Dharamsala for one more day, celebrating all our new memories, new friendships, and new perspectives on some of South Asia’s most ancient traditions.

We’ll then travel overnight to Delhi for our final day together. In this busy metropolis, we’ll pay heed to our new practices and enjoy the sunset with a rooftop meal in Paharganj. Then it’s off to the airport for some tearful 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


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. Expect tents on the treks and cold days in the mountains! And of course, 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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