Himalayan Mountain Pilgrimage

HIKING + YOGA + MEDITATION

October 4th – 13th, 2020

Pricing

Early Bird Price by April 1st:
Double Occupancy: $3675 | Single Occupancy: $4285

Regular Price after April 1st:
Double Occupancy: $3975 | Single Occupancy: $4585

$1000 deposit to hold a spot, due upon registration
Flights within India – additional cost TBD

Included

  • 10 days 9 nights in India
  • All lodging including hotel taxes
  • All Transportation, including round-trip airport transfers to all hotels
  • 1 Meditation + Yoga class daily – times will vary
  • Daily Breakfast & lunch included; all but 2 dinners included
  • One professional tour guide will accompany our group for the entire trip (Raj Singh of Yoga Adventures India)
  • All entrance fees & ceremony costs paid
  • Taxes & 10% Tip for all drivers, guides, hotel staff are included. You are always welcome to offer additional gratuity for exceptional service at any location

Highlights From Our India Retreat

“Urban Balance provided a wonderful trip to India. They really made me feel welcomed and cared for. It was a great way to be introduced to yoga and meditation. I never felt intimidated to participate.” ~ Susan G. 2019 India Retreat Participant

“I came to India with an open mind. Many people said i was crazy and they would never go. But I wanted to experience it for myself. Knowing Rebecca had been there 15 times before and knowing how much India means to her I knew we were in for a real treat.

Well to say our expectations were exceeded is an understatement. From the hotels, to the excursions, to the fire ceremonies to the ashrams to the yoga and meditation sessions to the food, every detail Rebecca put into this retreat was a “wow” moment. Rebecca provides a balance of experiencing luxury and poverty, religious and devotional practices.

The two weeks flew by and I could of easily stayed another week. If you’ve ever wanted to experience India, I highly recommend Rebecca and the entire Urban Balance team. I promise you won’t be disappointed.” ~ Ryan P. 2019 India Retreat Participant

Not Included

Airfare from USA • Intra-flight (prepaid) • Extra snacks • Laundry • Extra tips • Ayurvedic Massage • Alcohol • Housekeeping Tip • One lunch at the Taj • One Dinner at Pure • Donkey Rides • Helicopter Ride

Things to Bring

In Your Suitcase

General packing instructions: Overall, plan to dress modestly. Note about yoga clothing – please avoid tight pants & tank tops. Do pack layers since practices will take place outdoors in cooler temperatures.

jeans • tunics • skirts below knee • cover shoulders • comfortable walking shoes • flip flops/sandals • yoga clothing • optional: yoga mat, shawl • plugs & adapters (type C, D or M, 230 v) • cold medicines, throat lozenges • sunscreen • insect repellent • hand sanitizer • camera • phone

What to bring to Kedarnath:

small or overnight backpack • water bottle • Snacks/nuts for the hikes • swimsuit • scarf or dust mask to cover mouth/nose on the trail • sunglasses • altitude sickness medications • Ibuprofen • electrolyte supplements (Nuun, other powdered drinks) • tissues • hiking boots/waterproof trail running shoes • hiking socks • base layers • layers for top (t-shirt & long sleeves preferable) • hiking pants • rain jacket • gloves • hats (Baseball cap & wool hat)

The Practice

All classes are all-levels, and no prior experience is needed. Whether a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, there will be a common ground to practice together. Each class will be planned for the participants attending the retreat and Rebecca will provide modifications when needed.

Class sessions consist of a short meditation and a yoga class. Many of the sessions will take place outside (a couple of them during the evening), thus it is important to bring layered clothing that is loose-fitting enough to move in.

Hiking

On the trek itself, retreat-goers will encounter steep, paved trails with many stairs and switchbacks. There are plenty of rest stops along the way to take pictures, have a snack, etc. You’ll have the freedom to move at a comfortable pace and you do have the option of hiking one way and riding back (via horse/donkey or helicopter). Retreat participants should be aware that experiencing altitude sickness is a possibility and can affect any traveler regardless of health status. Symptoms, which tend to occur within hours of arriving at altitude and are typically self-diagnosed include headache, nausea/vomiting, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of appetite, etc. Though the trek will bring us up to about (13,123 ft at the summit), we will be travelling progressively higher each day we are in India, which should help you to acclimate.

Meditation

Early morning practice includes; breathwork, subtle body practices and guided meditation. Participants are instructed on ancient techniques used to promote concentration and allow for a deeper experience. Part of this practice includes chanting mantras and performing kriyas, both of which,  help to calm the mind and prepare you for meditation. Participants are guided through a variety of meditations and given quiet space to apply what is learned. This is appropriate for all levels, from brand-new beginners to the seasoned meditator.

Yoga

The morning sessions are inspired by Hatha, Forrest, and Ashtanga yoga. Each practice is thoughtfully sequenced and tailored to each participant. The class can be athletic at times, to help build internal heat which is incredibly detoxifying. Each practice includes core strengthening exercises. These help with strength, flexibility, and better posture. Overall, the practice increases energy levels and awareness. Targeted breath-work focuses on proper alignment and hands-on adjustments help support the participant. Poses are often held longer, and some parts of the class will be a slower flow-style.

Leave feeling rejuvenated, energized, balanced and ready to take on the day’s adventures. The evening sessions consists of a short meditation and a restorative yoga class. These practices are filled with lovely heart openers, backbends, spinal twists and hip openers to replenish the mind, body and spirit. If you have your own yoga mat, we encourage you to bring it. We plan to bring yoga mats and straps.

The alchemy of daily breathwork, meditation, yoga, ceremony, and healthy meals combined with spectacular views and serene grounds will support and nourish the soul, far beyond this journey. Come home forever changed, with a glow in your heart, unforgettable memories and a special bond with your fellow travelers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is our destination airport?

Book your destination to arrive at the Delhi International Airport anytime on October 4th, 2020. If you are flying in on October 5th, we recommend you book your flight time to arrive close to 6 a.m. local time so you can meet up with the group and make an early morning connecting flight. Allow for possible travel delays, so please do not cut your travel time or layovers too closely.

What is weather like in October?

Temperatures at the lower elevations (Delhi, Rishikesh) are very warm in October and cooler in the early morning and evening time. The daytime averages around 90F. Nights will be warm but pleasant. You still want to have additional layers to keep you warm just in case. (light jacket, light sweater) A shawl is good to pack and is nice to have on hand for the evening and early morning practice. A scarf is nice for the daytime. As we gain in elevation heading up to Kedarnath, temperatures will drop as low as 40-50F, so you be sure to pack some base layers and a warm, yet breathable (tech-fabric) outerwear to ensure you stay warm and dry during the trek.

Do I need travel insurance?

We highly recommend it.

Do I need a visa?

Yes, you will need a visa for India. India now offers E-Visa online which makes it much easier process. We recommend CIBT visas. Visit https://indianvisaonline.gov.in/visa/ for more information.

Do I have to share a room?

This a small group of only 10 participants. We recommend you book a double room (cost less than a single). We will do our best to pair you up with someone. If you have a travel partner, please let us know so we can pair you both together in the same room.

What if I want a single room?

There will be a couple of rooms available for those who prefer single accommodation. However, there is an increase in price for single occupancy. The number of single rooms available will ultimately be based on the number of people who sign up.

What if my partner/friend doesn’t do yoga or meditation?

All are welcome. If your partner does not want to participate, there are plenty of other activities. They may take time to relax in their room, enjoy the grounds or sit and take in the view of the mountain peaks during the classes. Who knows, they may change their mind later and participate!

What if I am a beginner or haven’t done yoga or meditation?

Each class is customized for the participants at the retreat. Classes are all-level, and the instructor is very qualified in guiding students from first timers to the most advanced. If you haven’t tried any of the yoga systems, the instructor will guide you along the way and encourage you and offer plenty of modifications to fit specific needs.

Do I have to attend all the classes?

No, all classes are on a volunteer basis. If you feel like sleeping in, reading by the pool, or just taking some alone time, we encourage you to go at your own pace.

Do I need immunizations?

Always check for the latest updates on CDC recommendations. The website address is www.cdc.gov.

Is there anything special I need to bring?

If you prefer to bring your own yoga mat or props, we encourage you to do so. Please see full list of suggested items above.

What if I have a food allergy or dietary restriction?

Please e-mail rebecca@urban-balance.com any food allergy or dietary restrictions and we will work with the hotels to make any changes.

What kind of food will I be having?

Most of our meals will be Vegetarian. Non-vegetarian food and alcohol are not allowed in Rishikesh. However, outside of Rishikesh there will be options for non-veg if you desire.

May I spread my payments out for the trip?

Yes, we will need a $1000 deposit at time of sign up to hold your spot. After that you may divide the remaining balance into two or three payments. The entire balance must be paid in full 90 days prior to the retreat, by July 1st, 2020.

How do I sign up?

  1. Click the “registration form” button below and download the PDF to your computer.
  2. Read and complete the electronic PDF and required signatures.
  3. Save the filled-out PDF forms to desktop.
  4. Email your completed registration forms to rebecca@urban-balance.com
  5. Call or email us to make payment arrangements.

A deposit of $1000 will be required at time of sign up to hold your reservation. You are welcome to pay the retreat in full, if you prefer. You can pay either by credit card through the Urban Balance website, or by personal check which is our preference. We will send you an official confirmation and welcome email with a terms and conditions sheet, liability waiver and emergency contact form to fill out, sign, and return to us.

About Urban Balance

Rebecca Perry Schefstrom

Rebecca is a certified yoga and Pilates instructor, and an experienced meditation leader. She has a natural ability to empower, motivate and guide her students to help support their wellness and spiritual goals. Rebecca embraces a practical and playful approach to her teaching. Her professional and confident manner ensures that students feel at ease. She loves working with all ages, from beginners to the most advanced students, all our welcome and can practice together.

In 2014, Rebecca founded Urban Balance, a corporate wellness company that brings Yoga, Pilates. Meditation, Massage and Nutrition to the workplace. The wellness programs that are offered on-site help companies achieve their business goals. They help busy professionals increase health, happiness, and a healthy balance between work and wellness. Urban balance offers local retreats and a yearly international retreat.

Rebecca is certified by Stott Pilates on all apparatuses and all-levels. She has a 200-hour Ashtanga Yoga Certification from the Mount Madonna Center in Watson, CA. Rebecca has completed a 200-hour Forrest Yoga teacher training program in Santa Monica, CA with Ana Forrest, as well as a one-year mentorship program in 2012.

She is continuously evolving her own personal yoga and Pilates practice, creating the space within to nourish her dedication to the world as a teacher. Rebecca strives to embody one of her favorite teacher’s quotes: “Teach to learn, “while learning from her students and her own practice. She has traveled to many places around the world and has been to India more than a dozen times. It has been a dream for many years to combine her love of teaching and traveling. Rebecca is excited to have the chance to bring a yoga group to India.