When someone mentions ‘yoga’, the first thing that most of us think of is meditation and performing asanas on a mat.
However, yoga is so much more than that. It’s a celebration of life, and that’s exactly what Yomaste trips (yoga+travel) are all about. Yomaste journeys are designed in partnership with Total Yoga, a school founded by Manish Pole and Neetu Singh, yogis who have been teaching for over a decade in India and abroad, and aspire to take yoga beyond the mat and into the world!
Yomaste is a blend of experiences that will enliven your spirit and cleanse your body & mind. Whether it’s hiking up a volcano in Bali or meditation on the shores of Pangong lake, indulge in thrilling mini-adventures even while you explore new places, whilst going deeper into your yoga practice: it’s an unbeatable combination.
But don’t just take our word for it. Here, yomads (yogis who love travelling) share their favourite memories from Yomaste trips:
1) Unique Yoga experiences
Yomaste aims to make yoga more than just practice in four-walled rooms. So, instead, yogis travel to scenic places all around the world, such as Ladakh, Sikkim and Bali. They learn and practice in the fresh air and below the sky.
“Practising yoga at Pangong Tso lake was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. To be with more than 40 yogis at one of the most scenic spots in India, especially in the Himalayas, was mythical.” says Manish Pole, co-founder of Total Yoga.
He adds, “In Ladakh, during Buddha Purnima, we timed our meditation in such a way that when we opened our eyes, we were bathed in moonlight, with the beautiful full moon to look at.”
2) PLENTY OF Adventure
Yomaste trips always pack in plenty of adrenaline thrills, such as mountain treks, water rafting and so much more. For instance, during the trip to Ladakh, Yomads scaled the world’s highest motorable pass and had a lot of fun throwing snowballs around.
“Khardung La was at a high altitude, and breathing here was difficult. But we didn’t care. We were excited, as we ran and threw snowballs at each other. “ says Rashmi (Yomaste Ladakh, 2016).
Vipin, who was also a part of the trip to Ladakh, says, “My favourite memory was the trail to Nubra Valley, which was mesmerizing. In just a short span of time, the landscape changed drastically from snow to rocky terrains of white, dark grey and red. It was beautiful.”
3) Local experiences
One of the highlights of Yomaste trips is getting to meet and interact with locals and experience their way of life. For example, last year, yomads got to meet charming little monks-in-training, and they also really enjoyed the local cuisine in Sikkim.
“In a monastery in Gangtok, I saw a little monk studying by the window. I knocked to say hello. He was so shocked, amused and shy.“ says Shruti (Yomaste Sikkim & Darjeeling 2016) recounting the experience.
She continues, “I also remember meeting an old lady in Sikkim. She was very proud that her house was the only one in the village that had a TV.“
Everyone makes new friends throughout Yomaste journeys and become part of a community of yogis. From dancing around a campfire to toy train rides that will take you back to your childhood, there are lots of ways to celebrate and share wonderful memories with your old and new companions.
“Drinking Tongba made us more casual and we got very close to one another. And the funny part was we had performed asanas the previous day for colon detox! “ says Harshini, who was part of the Sikkim & Darjeeling Yomaste crew.
She adds, “The toy train ride in Darjeeling brought back memories from my childhood. As a kid, I had read about it in books and it was just as I pictured it to be – like a dream.”
5) A travel experience for all
If you’re worried about how you can travel with a group of yogis without ever having practiced yoga before, here’s good news! There are no restrictions – anyone can join!.
“Yomaste trips are not just for experienced yogis. The yoga sessions are designed in such a way that anyone- from beginners to yoga trainers- can take part and learn.” says Bharath, who has been a part of many Yomaste trips.
So what are you waiting for? Are you now wondering what it feels like to practice yoga on top of a mountain? Or want to travel with a fun group of yogis?