India

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.

Now Accepting Applications!

Currency:

2018 Fees + Community Contribution

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

September 16 – 30, 2018
July 8 – 22, 2018Applications Closed!
July 29 – August 12, 2018Applications Closed!
August 19 – September 2, 2018Applications Closed!
  • 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.

Disorientation

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

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. Expect tents on the treks and cold days in the mountains! Wherever we are, we’ll make it home in no time!

Meet Your Regional Director

In a span of 5 years, Adhila has endured the harsh weathers of the mighty Alps, the skin melting summers of Thar, military training in Austria, and a whole lot more. A lover of forests and joyful, silly things, Adhila considers India to be her complicated, chaotic, romantic partner – one who is difficult to understand even throughout an entire lifetime. She is passionate about the potential of travel for education and for building a peaceful world. She’s keen to explore this further through OG’s vision of creating a movement of committed backpacktivists!

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