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Yoga and art in a gorgeous natural setting? Yes, please!

Aparajita Ghose visits the Yoga Retreat at SwaSwara, Gokarna, India for a restorative Yoga and Art retreat and comes back rejuvenated in mind, body and spirit.

Lush green hills. Yoga to the sound of monsoon rain and crashing waves. Unexpected fireflies. An awe-inspiring Banyan tree is everything and more you could expect at SwaSwara Resort, Gokarna located on the western coast of India, where I recently took a small group of yoga students from Dubai for a restorative Yoga and Art Retreat.

Sugarcane Elephants, the first and only Wellness Travel and Boutique Resorts Representation Company in the Middle East, recommended SwaSwara for my retreat.

The experience

The first thing that I noticed about SwaSwara is its earthiness. Set on a pristine sandy beach surrounded by acres of gardens and rolling hills, this eco-conscious resort collects and uses rainwater and grows its own vegetables. There’s an emphasis on wellness, with Ayurvedic and naturopathic consultations and therapies and very healthy food (people were amazed to watch the chefs preparing Indian dishes without oil). The services are excellent; everyone from the housekeeping staff to the doctors and masseuses are friendly and helpful.

For five days, when they weren’t doing Yoga or eating delicious, organic meals, the students enjoyed Ayurvedic massages, took cooking, pottery and art classes, and relaxed by the pool. There was also ample time for beach walks, a visit to the town and its temples, explorations of the gardens, and naps! The result? We all really benefited from time offline (Wi-Fi was only available in the library), and from being in nature; I even noticed my skin become softer after a few days!

Why do a retreat?

Retreats offer a respite from the demands of daily life, and a chance to gain greater self-understanding by venturing into the unknown.

The students described the Yoga and Art Retreat at SwaSwara as a real treat! Magical, blissful and regenerative, the experience gave them a chance to disconnect from everyday routines and reconnect with nature and themselves in a breathtakingly beautiful setting. One said she loved being able to practice Yoga twice a day with her favorite teacher, with the added benefit of daily meditation, massages and creative activities. SwaSwara’s villas have outdoor living areas and showers, and the students were serenaded by the sounds of nature.

Each space has its own unique energy that calls to specific people, so keep your eyes open and your ear to the ground in case there’s a retreat out there that’s summoning you.

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Aparajita Ghose – a little bit about me

I moved to Dubai in 1999. While working as a full-time graphic designer, I realized that I needed to use my body as well as my mind in a more creative way and that is when I started pursuing learning Aikido and eventually rediscovered my passion for Yoga. In 2007, I then took time off to train to be a Yoga Teacher.

To me both my Yoga practice and intuitive paintings nourish my body, mind and spirit and SwaSwara Resort gave me the opportunity to invite people to immerse themselves in both experiences.


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