WINTER SUN YOGA RETREAT HOLIDAYS IN INDIA
With over 15 years of experience running yoga retreats & holidays, Yoga United Ltd hosts very special, safe, fun and authentic experiences of south India. Apart from the yoga part, you can explore, relax, and make your holiday your own. With their passion and personal touch, these exciting and popular retreat holidays attract people from all over the world with returning guests year after year...are you ready to come and make new friends, enjoy the beauty of South India and make time for a new perspective.
With wide horizons and clear water, these stunning natural surroundings are the perfect place to relax, reflect, adventure, explore, do nothing - whether you wish to retreat, or get a taste of Keralan life. Watch sunrises over the backwaters and sunsets over the sea, enjoy ayurvedic massage, and meeting local people.
At Yoga United, we know and love south India, it's our winter home. Over the years, we have built great relationships with local tour operators, resort managers, and local people so you can leave your guidebooks behind. We support important local projects in the spirit of yoga - an Ayurvedic ashram, Keralan martial arts school, and local businesses.
DATES FOR 2023
Move into The Light Retreat
|Mon 9 Jan - Tue 17 Jan 2023||Get Ready, Get Set & Breathe||Judy Sampath & Agnete|
|Kerala, India||WAITING LIST ONLY|
|Tues 17 - Fri 20 Jan||3 night Tamil Nadu Taster||Yoga United Team, India||Tamil Nadu, India||BOOK WITH YOUR RETREAT|
|Fri 20 Jan - Sat 28 Jan 2023||Moving Into the Light||Julie Robinson||Kerala, India||WAITING LIST ONLY|
|Fri 20 Jan - Sat 28 Jan 2023||Blissful Soul Yoga Retreat with Amanda||Amanda Mackenzie||Kerala, India||BOOK NOW|
Want to see more of India? If 8 nights is not enough time in India, we have organised some great add ons for you. For 2021, we are adding some new and exciting add-ons so if you've always wanted to do the Golden Triangle, see the Taj Mahal, see some of the earliest and most beautiful temples, or pamper yourself with Ayurvedic massage, let us know...we can help put together a package that work with your own dates.
|Dates||Add on to Holidays|
|Jan 2023||Tamil Nadu Taster Tour South India tours||CONTACT US|
|Jan/Feb 2023||Extra nights so you can linger longer - connect with our trusted Travel Agent partners. North India - The Golden Triangle, Taj Mahal, Varanassi||CONTACT US|
|Bespoke||South India tours - Tamil Nadu to Kerala tea planatations, backwaters Yoga homestays, Ayurvedic Massage,||CONTACT US|
TAMIL NADU TASTER TOUR
A great new add on to compliment your yoga holiday - stay in a beautiful resort in Mamallapuram, famous for its unrivalled UNESCO protected stone carved temple sites. You will be taken on a guided tour of the village itself, and some of the UNESCO protected monuments which are dotted around the village. You will return back to the resort to relax by the stunning swimming pool.. The second day will be a visit to Pondicherry further down the coast. With a French flavour, promenade, shutters and street signs, its an interesting combination with the south Indian city, Aurobindo ashram, vibrant flower market and Hindu temples. This may include a visit to Auroville subject to availability. There will be time for relaxing, walking, shopping, and suggested extra local trips.
£495 for 3 nights, £200 single supp. (inc. breakfast, airport transfers on recommended flights, private driver and guide for arranged trips in Mamallapuram & Pondicherry, momument entrance fees). This trip does not include internal flight to/from Cochin (around £35 for 1hour flight). There may also be an extra night at Cherai Beach at the end of your retreat before you cross India to Chennai - please check individual holidays above
YOGA HOME STAY
For more yoga a short distance away from your yoga holiday, head for Solamans’ house, a yoga homestay and authentic experience of staying with a middle-class Indian family, with twice daily yoga, delicious food with home-produced vegetables and spices made at home by Priya (take your notebook), and more local trips to identify spices, swim in the river, and other local attractions accompanied by Solaman and his two young sons. There will be a visit to the elephant sanctuary (subject to availability)
£55pp per night based on 2 sharing, 65 inc single supp. Includes non a/c ensuite room, all meals and snacks, twice daily yoga on the roof. Does not include transfers or day trips. Arrange taxis and airport transfers directly with Solaman
BEST OF KERALA BACKWATERS
If you are after a truly pampering experience, travel down to Alleppey by private car to the well-known banks of the Alleppey backwaters. Famous for its cruises, stay on land in a beautiful resort with swimming pool, delightful restaurant and fabulous spa with exceptional treatments. Optional daily yoga is with a local teacher, walks around backwater villages, temples, boating or staying on a traditional Keralan boat are all possibilities, even playing a few games of pool, snooker or table tennis.
£TBC for 3 nights, £TBC single supp (inc. breakfast, sunset cruise)
We can organise bespoke trips with a private driver for 2 or more people if you let us know what you're looking for
Visiting our Cherai Beach 3* venue is like a home-coming. Retaining its Indian charm, it is nestled between the Keralan backwaters and the Arabian sea about an hour from Cochin, it is beautifully landscaped with banana trees, coconut palms, lagoons and thatched villas. The swimming pool is a recent and welcome addition, the spa offers ayurvedic treatments and massage so you can stay at the resort to retreat or venture out into this unspoilt area of Kerala.
Watch sunrises over the serene backwaters and sunsets on the beach. The sea is warm and suitable for swimming. You may be lucky enough to spot kingfishers on the backwaters and dolphins in the sea.
Tamil Nadu - Mamallapuram - This resort is a beautiful beach with a beach bar and hammocks - its a great place to relax. It is a rickshaw away from the village itself for dinner, shops and village life if you want to explore. The UNESCO protected monuments are second to none and take your mind on a journey into art, history and mythical times with guided tours on your doorstep.
South India is slow-paced and friendly. We use stunning venues in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
1. Blessed with a unique blend of warm sea and backwater corridors edged with coconut palms, Kerala is an exotic mixture of nature and culture at its best. Known locally as God's own country, the fertile land and natural beauty is truly magical. As Kerala is the wealthiest state in India with extremely high literacy and education, the welcome is very warm, the whole ambience is soft and slow-paced, a perfect introduction to India.
2. Tamil Nadu is a cultural experience not to be missed - It's vibrant, spicy and exciting. With tourists attracted to the temple sites and fine arts tradition, there's shopping, and loads of cafes and places to eat!
Annual religious festivals are bursting with colour and vibrancy, and as this area is attracting more tourists, you will find a wide variety of Western and Keralan cuisine prepared to very high standards.
Twice daily yoga session (and related practices) with your chosen teachers (one full day off)
Air conditioned accommodation with en-suite bathroom, fridge and private verandah. Please note check in and check out times as there may be extra costs if you arrive very early or leave late. You can add extra nights to arrive early, acclimatise and take advantage of the warm sea, Ayurvedic treatments and local sights
HALF board means TWO delicious buffet-style meals a day. See 'The Food' section below and check your individual holiday for a definitive guide
Airport transfers on recommended flights only (see recommended flight section below)
There are yoga mats at the resort but you may want to bring your own or buy one to bring with you
The restaurant serve breakfast and dinner buffets every day with the option to eat lunch elsewhere if you're out. Breakfast has a choice of fresh juice, cereal, toast, butter and honey as well as local south Indian delights like idli, dosa and puttu. Dinner consists of a huge array of delicious lightly spiced vegetarian curries, traditional authentic cuisine, complemented by less spicy options, and western dishes, soups, salads, puddings and fruit – just divine. Beer and wine is available in the bar and the restaurant.
Speak to the restaurant captain for any special requests, and dietary requirements. As all food is freshley prepared with natural and mostly local ingredients, there's always a great choice, and the resorts we choose know how to cater for western tastes!
All accommodation is based on two people sharing twin or doubles. Please add a single supplement to your order if you prefer your own space or are traveling alone. You can upgrade accommodation for garden views, pool side or sunrise villas
Spacious villas are all air-conditioned, but also have fans so you can adjust the temperature to suit you. All rooms have their own fridge, television, air conditioning, and veranda.
Beaches are long and clean and good for sunbathing, swimming and walking. All venues have swimming pools for those who prefer to stay cool within the privacy of the resort.
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED?
Excursions may vary - check what's available on your individual holiday!
Optional extras not included in the cost of your retreat holiday, and are often determined by availability with contacts so may vary from holiday to holiday but to give you a taste:
local walk to the nearest town to get your bearings
Local ashram (Cherai Beach only) - if the Swami is in residence and available to host us
Watch the amazing Kalari school perform traditional Keralan martial arts sticks, swords, jumps - sparks literally fly!
Day trips for sightseeing and shopping. Lovely Indian crafts, spices and clothes to buy!
Tuk tuk ride around the local area, bicylcle rides, to take in local life - great photo opportunity as well as a taste of the local culture and spice market
Muzuris Heritage sites - the ancient Muzuris port was taken by floods in the 14th century - filled with historical and cultural historic temples, churches, forts and synagogues
Visit to local women's weaving projects
Flights, travel insurance and ayurvedic treatments
CHECK whether your holiday starts in Cochin or Chennai before you book and make sure your ARRIVAL DATE matches Day 1 of your holiday - this means you often leave the day before! Please check the recommended flights with us before you book and also email a copy of your booking confirmation to us so we can confirm arrangements and book your transfer.
Your transfer is included on the recommended flights or can be added to your booking if you are including extra nights - your driver will pick you up from just outside the terminal building and transfer you to your chosen resort. Good connections from all UK and US airports with Emirates. When you leave, if you have to...is up to you. If you're on an adventure, Emirates has excellent connections from all major Indian airports and Dubai.
You will need a tourist visa for India - https://services.vfsglobal.com/gbr/en/ind/apply-visa – this will take you through the application procedure. you can apply for a Tourist Visa 3 months in advance and we always recommend you apply early in case of any issue. If you prefer, you can get an agent to apply and do all the paperwork for you – we recommend Visa Genie www.visagenie.co.uk Call: 0208 571 0883. Please note that your deposit is non-refundable and check t&cs.
In the event we need to cancel the holiday due to restrictions in India, you will receive a voucher for your deposit payment to use on another Yoga United holiday.
For Kerala and Tamil Nadu, please check that your typhoid, Hep A, and tetanus are up-to-date. We advise you to check with your health care practitioner for the latest information. At dusk, it is advised to cover yourself in mosquito repellent - you can anoint your mat with yogaunited's Bug-Off essential oil or mix it with your after-sun.
Thank you so much Judy for your inspirational teaching as always. Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! And Saz, you’re a star - a superb organiser!
An enlightening and uplifting retreat. Just what I needed and I return to the UK with renewed energy
Thank you so much for a truly fantastic introduction to India. Your care and loving kindness have made the week an unforgettable experience.
Thank you for helping me restore my ‘hopefulness’. I can now accept where I am.
I want to say thank you to Judy, Saz and Amy for such a fabulous week in Cherai. You 3 were so hands on, and so involved, which it was such a lovely surprise. Very reassuring actually to know that you were there the whole time.
The staff all worked hard to make sure we had a good experience, from the moment we arrived, they were ready and waiting with those lovely garlands, right through to the last day.
The yoga studio was above and beyond. Not only with our mats and bolsters neatly tidied up each morning and evening but those wonderful floral displays. Just jaw dropping really.
I loved the whole thing, the hotel, the people, the colours, the massages, the beach, the sunsets, the sunrises. and the colours, everything was so colourful. I loved the food, my huge bed, oh and the hammocks. I had no idea hammocks were so comfortable!
The trips were fantastic, again a total surprise that you would organise these. The personal touch was very much evident and it made a big impression on me.
To you all, thank you again, Namaste
Charlotte O - April 2018
Thank you for organising such a wonderful trip to Kerala and Tamil Nadu. I would never have ventured to these areas without the opportunity to do so through Yoga United and my Yoga teacher. It was an unforgettable experience!
Claire L - April 2018
I just wanted you to know how much I enjoyed the Indian yoga holiday. It was certainly an adventure not to be missed and I discovered a part of India I hadn’t been to before, which was magical.
Liz C - April 2018
The perfect place for a relaxing and restorative yoga week with Yoga United. If this had been my first trip to India I would certainly choose to do one or more of the add-ons suggested. It’s a good and safe way of getting to know India. The day trip organized by Saz to the temple/palace was lovely. Well organized, everything seemed to run smoothly, including the thali lunch and it was quite exciting being the only ‘tourists’ around.
I came last year and will be coming again next year. A rich and exotic week with Yoga United feeling love, warmth, gentleness, calm, sun, sea sand, sights, insights. Excellent food and great coming together and connecting with a wonderful group of people. And of course…yoga…yoga..yoga
Chris T 2017
It was such a brilliant holiday in all aspects, the yoga, weather, people, food, and the wonderful relaxed feeling – a real holiday. Everyone was very helpful wherever we went. I can’t stop thinking about India, it had a great impact on me.
Christina C 2017
My first holiday with Judy was also my first experience of India. I travelled with my mother, in her late seventies, and we were both made very welcome. I loved it so much, I returned the following year to join the holiday again. Judy's teaching was both inspirational and interesting, with her skills and experience shining through in her classes. The balance of Yoga, sight-seeing and relaxation were perfect. The Ayurvedic massages of Kerala are so restorative that you can see the tension in the group members being massaged away as the days go by. Yoga, God's Own Country and massage all in one perfectly wrapped holiday - what more could you want
Terrific holiday – wonderful yoga, sunrise meditations over the backwaters and sunset meditation on the seashore. Sunshine, delicious food, interesting trips, range of ayurvedic massages to try, great company and the flexibility to spend your time however you chose – what could be better?
Hazel H 2016
The most wonderful way to do yoga & meditation in the home of yoga - It felt timeless and it couldn’t get any better than that! Judy & Saz are the most wonderful hosts – thank you!
Judy M 2016
YOGA TEACHERS AND GROUP FACILITATORS
Why not take your group to India? Let us take care of everything while you concentrate on the teaching - apply early!
We run yearly yoga holidays in India and have lots of experience and contacts to ensure your holiday is special and successful – come with us for a magical experience where everything is taken care of.