2020 Bhutan • Exotic Yoga Retreat
About This Event
The Happiness Nation
This 11-day journey takes you through “Happiness Nation” of mystical mountains, sacred temples and a richly preserved old world Buddhist kingdom… all while practicing yoga and meditation as a foundation for connecting with yourself and with this unique culture. Stay in wonderful hand-chosen characteristic 4 and 5-star boutique hotels in different regions to experience both city and country life in Bhutan. With our beloved Bhutanese guide Dorji, our Bhudda-like private driver Tenzin, and our Exotic Yoga Retreat teacher, you are invited into an cultural retreat of wonder and exploration—inside and out!
Tours, Temples & Treks
PARO • HOT STONE BATH & PARO VILLAGE
Site of the Bhutan’s only international airport, Paro has a population of just 11,500! We stay at a charming former Bhutanese royal retreat, where we begin with a gentle unwinding yoga practice outside under prayer flags, with a view to the Paro Valley below. Meet your fellow yogis at our welcome dinner of Bhutanese food in its finest traditional expression! In the following days, we dig into history and culture at the National Museum and a massive dzong (monastery-fortress), but there’s also plenty of time to wander Paro, take a siesta or enjoy a hot stone bath. We end our days with a rejuvenating restorative yoga and pranayama practice followed by a healthy dinner, served family-style.
THIMPHU • CITY & TRADITIONAL LIFE
From our base at Terma Linca Spa Resort, a few miles outside of Bhutan’s capital, we have an opportunity to learn about how Bhutanese people have adapted their culture to the 21st century. Make an exciting two-hour trek into pine and rhododendron forests to reach a hilltop monastery, where we join the monks in their chants and meditation. In the evening, enjoy great Bhutanese cuisine and an optional night out at one of Thimphu’s dance clubs, renowned for great electronic beats! Before leaving Thimphu, we pay homage to the world’s largest golden Buddha, Dordenma: 169 feet tall and filled with 125,000 small Buddha statues.
PUNAKHA • WILD TEMPLE OF THE DIVINE MADMAN
We cross a 10,300-foot pass to the lush Punakha Valley, famous for rice cultivation. Our base is a family resort set among the green rice paddies, with beautiful views from our yoga shala. We trek to the so-called Temple of the Divine Madman, built in 1499. It is one of Bhutan’s most sacred temples — and, as you will see, also a bit funny! On day 7, we explore the dazzling Punakha Dzong, a massive complex that is one of Bhutan’s architectural treasures.
5-STAR ZHIWA LING • TREK TO TIGER’S NEST
If skies are clear, we trade our usual morning yoga for a river adventure! Then we travel back to Paro town, where we spend our final three nights at the stunning five-star Zhiwa Ling Heritage resort, set on 11 acres of meadows and mountains. Luxuriate at the hotel spa, practice yoga in the fully equipped studio, meditate in the temple or pick any beautiful spot, indoors or out, to relax and enjoy your retreat time as you wish! Weather permitting, we also trek up to Paro Taktsang, the famous Tiger’s Nest Monastery, clinging to a mountainside 2,700 feet above the valley. On our last evening, we have our closing yoga practice and farewell group dinner, celebrating our new friends and new perspectives from this sacred time together.
AUGUST 1 – 11, 2020
Paro • Thimphu • Punakha
BHUTAN RETREAT FEATURES:
10-night / 11-day fully escorted tour
Learn: from our beloved local guide, Dorji, and private driver, Tenzin
Connect: meditate with Buddhist monks
Rest in beauty: four unique hotels blend Bhutanese craftsmanship and modern amenities
Deepen your practice: one or two daily yoga classes, with beautiful views
Ascend: hike up to historic temples
Explore: go dancing in Thimpu and rafting on Bhutan’s “mother river”
Experience: a culture of joy, kindness and beauty!
“We visited amazingly beautiful Buddhist temples reached by climbing up the mountainside – and even got to meditate with the monks! Bhutan is an unspoiled country with friendly people, stunning architecture, and I loved the food!” — TRUDI, SWITZERLAND
Venue HighlightsStay in Boutique hotels: a former palace, a family-owned guesthouse and a luxury spa resort.
- Free Wifi
- Yoga Studio
- House Keeping
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