Return To The Goddess
3rd – 8th March 2019
Shakti Pilgrimage to India
The sages of Tantra have known for centuries that when you follow the path of shakti, the ‘sacred feminine principle’ as personified by the goddess, the attributes of the deities can manifest spontaneously. By visiting the temples charged with these energies we tap into our own inner divine feminine to heal, replenish and reinvigorate.
VISITING INDIA – THE MOTHERLAND
Jo is an experienced solo traveller in India with a great love and passion for Hindustan and will share this with you. This trip is offered with enough comforts that it will suit a first time visitor but it is still an adventure, offered in the spirit of authenticity and non- commercialism. I promise you will see the ‘real India’ including all it’s exotic and wondrous sights, sounds and tastes. Come with an open mind and heart and ideally a willingness to eat some Indian food! India can be challenging for the first time (or any!) visitor but we welcome you to join whatever your experience and will ‘look after you’.
Jaipur – Assam – Delhi
We will travel from Dubai directly to the (easy access) airport of Jaipur, the pink city. Jaipur is the quintessential Rajasthan – colour, palaces and culture. Our first stop will include a moment of queen-like luxury to take in the beauty of Jaipur in the ‘51 shades of pink’ restaurant of the Sujan Rajmahal, one the most beautiful hotels in the world. Refueled, we head to the Shila Mata Mandir (an important goddess temple in Jaipur) where we will experience a special puja for our group.
From Jaipur, we will fly directly to Guwahati Assam where we will stay in the Baruah Bhavan Heritage Hotel which will be our base for exploring one of the most important Goddess Temples in the whole subcontinent, the Kamakhya temple. We will explore the main temple of the site as well as the other Maha Vidya (great wisdom) temples surrounding it. Our yoga sessions will focus on invoking the goddess energy and connecting to the goddess within exploring the 10 Maha Vidyas.
Finally, we will fly to Delhi and base ourselves in the Dharmapura Haveli – a stunning and unique boutique restored heritage property right in the heart of Old Delhi (think chaos and dirt outside and five star luxury inside). We will explore the ancient labyrinth of spiritual culture in Delhi, including a beautiful carved Maha Vidya inner sanctum in the lesser known Yogamaya temple in Mehrauli opposite the ancient World Heritage Qutab Minar. We will explore the vibrant Hauz Khas Village one of Delhi’s treasures and complete our trip with a closing ceremony, flower mandala and puja.
ITINERARY DETAILED BREAKDOWN
Sunday 3rd March – BE THE GODDESS DAY!
Arrive to Jaipur from Dubai 8.10am (aim to arrive by Sunday morning if taking another route)
Morning: breakfast and check-in to our Jaipur accommodation – the General’s Retreat
12pm Lunch: Thali at the Rajmahal (beautiful 5 star hotel)
Afternoon: visit to the Amber Fort & Shila Mata Mandir (4pm)
6pm-8pm – Puja and Yoga session at the General’s Retreat
8.30pm light dinner at our hotel
Monday 4th March
Early breakfast and taxi pick up at 6.15am
SPICEJET SG341 JAIPUR 7.55am to GAU (ASSAM) 10.25am (260aed)
Settle into Baruah Bhavan guesthouse + morning tea
Afternoon: 1 hour trek up to Kamakhya temple
Lunch: we will have lunch in the communal dining hall at the
Visit to Kamakhya temple
Evening Yoga at Baruah Bhavan guesthouse
Tuesday 5th March
Morning yoga asana and pranayama practice and breakfast at Baruah Bhavan guesthouse
Continue visiting the Maha Vidya temples of Kamakya
Lunch in Kamakhya
Continue visiting the Maha Vidya temples of Kamakya
Evening meal at Baruah Bhavan
Wednesday 6th March
Flight from Assam to Delhi
INDIGO 6E-885 8.10-10.45 (142aed)
Metro from airport to Old Delhi
Settle into Haveli Dharampura
Lunch: Olive bar and kitchen
Thursday 7th March
Morning: Yoga session and breakfast
Tour of Old Delhi with expert guide to the area
Lunch: Hauz Khas Village
Afternoon: Visit to Hauz Khas Village
Dinner in Haveli
Closing ceremony and puja
Friday 8th March – 7am depart hotel for 09:50 flight to Dubai
(or stay an extra day and visit the Taj Mahal on a daytrip and complete the ‘golden triangle!’)
THE GODDESS TEMPLES OF KAMAKHYA
The Kamakhya temple is one of the oldest and most revered Shakti Shrines in India. It is one of the most important of the 51 ‘Shaki Peeths’, the sights where the goddess Sati’s body is said to have landed on the earth. Kamakhya is attributed to the womb energy of Sati. There are large numbers of Indian devotees who worship here, although it is still very much off the tourist map. Instead of worshipping a statue or image of Devi in the main temple there is a sculpture of the goddess’ yoni (vulva) fed with water from a natural spring and set deep within the center of the temple.
Once a year the shrine is said to bleed, as the iodized water turns red. It is in this temple that you are invited to worship desire, creation, pleasure herself and the great void. The whole area is charged with power and history and offers a high vibrational experience and great potential to awaken your own inner shakti.
THE YOGA PROGRAMME WITH JO ARGANARAZ
Jo (ERYT500) has been studying yoga for 20 years, teaching for 10 years and teacher training for 5 years. Her interest in the divine feminine both intellectually and experientially was sparked at the birth of her first child in 2013. After an immersion into Prenatal Yoga and the creation of her Prenatal Yoga Alliance School ‘Return to the Self’, her studies have taken her to Uma Dinsmore Tuli’s Womb Yoga where she has studied ancient tantric practices. Her work with Uma has also awakened a passion for the 10 wisdom goddesses or the Maha Vidyas, and Jo co-created the Awakening Shakti ‘female centred’ syllabus of the Module 3 of Yogafirst 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training in 2018 along with Peewee Sanchez.
In March 2018, Jo did the groundwork for this pilgrimage and visited a large number of goddess temples during the Navaratri Spring festival. The experiences were the source of beautiful awakening and healing and the inspiration for this trip.
The shakti yoga progamme
Jo will share her broad range of yogic practices from asana, pranayama, chanting, mudra and mantra. We will also practice yoga experientially in the temples themselves in the form of puja and ‘darshan’ (the auspicious glimpse of a holy site). Our trip will be part ‘bhakti yoga’ the yoga of devotion. As there is a lot of travel and movement on the trip, so in order to avoid exhaustion we will practice, but not be focused on an intense physical practice of asana.
WHAT TO BRING:
Weather: cooler nights and mornings and warm-hot during the day. Should be very good/ideal temperatures at this time of the year.
Yoga mat & Yoga bolster (none available)
Walking shoes such as trainers or good walking sandals
toiletries – bring anything that you can’t live without (include sunblock, insect repellent, hand sanitizer and a pack of wipes)
modest clothing to cover your shoulders and legs. Long skirts, loose pants, light scarves, etc. Ideally buy a few Salwar Kameez outfits in a shop such as FabIndia (available in Dubai)
A colourful outfit (or Sari etc) to dress up for our lunch at the Rajmahal
Light blanket/ shawl and a jacket- good for the plane and
for the morning/evening
Notebook and pens
flashlight/torch may be useful
Digestive health: We will take all precautions necessary to make sure you eat in hygienic environs, but be prepared as even the cleanest Indian food can disrupt the digestive system. Here are some tips of what to bring:
Grapefruit seed extract – this will help keep your stomach in good shape
Room temperature stable probiotics
Any immune boosters that you like
Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto Bismol) tablets. 2 tablets taken before a meal can prevent you from having food related stomach distress.
Assam is not a luxury tourist destination and the hotel has a touch of chintz. I prefer to support local communities rather than the chain hotels (Radisson Blu etc). We will also have the whole place to ourselves.
This trip is not exclusively women only. Men are invited to join if the trip is of interest. Shakti lives within us all!
You must organize your own visa (unless you are Indian!) and we take no responsibility for this. There is an online 30 day visa easily available for many nationalities. Ensure you have at least 6 months of validity in your passport. Carry copies of your documents and save copies in your dropbox/online.
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS (if based in the UAE total 840aed)
PLEASE BUY YOUR FLIGHTS ASAP AS PRICES GO UP!
DUBAI (DXB) to JAIPUR (JAI) SPICEJET SG58
Sunday 3rd March – 3.40am-8.10am (300aed as of 6/9/2018)
JAIPUR (JAI) to GAU (GUWAHATI ASSAM) SPICEJET SG341
Monday 4th March – 8.05am-11am (260aed as of 6/9/2018)
GAU (GUWAHATI ASSAM) to DEL (DELHI) INDIGO 6E-885
Wednesday 6th March 8.10am-10.45am (140aed as of 6/9/2018)
DELHI (DEL) TO DUBAI (DXB) FLYDUBAI FZ 432
Friday 8th March – 09:50-12:15 (540aed as of 6/9/2018)