AWAKENING ANANDA Adventure Yoga Retreat Cole Chance & Echo Widmer
Mala Dhara Yoga Retreat Center & Organic Farm Chiang Mai Thailand
Start: 2:00 PM - October 22, 2017
End: 12:00 PM - October 29, 2017
Cole Chance and Echo Widmer
Adventure Yoga Retreat October 22 – 29
Chiang Mai, Thailand
In yoga philosophy it is said that God is “sat chit ananda” (existence consciousness bliss). Paramhansa Yogananda adds that Ananda is different from temporary joy that comes from sense pleasures such as eating, listening to music, and seeing beautiful things. It is also not a monotonous joy that is always the same. Ananda refers to a joy that “changes and dances itself in many ways to enthrall your mind and keep your attention occupied and interested forever”.
This adventure retreat is meant to be a retreat from the daily grind. A retreat away from whatever it is that is keeping you from fully expressing yourself as the light that you are. This is a time for conscious individuals to come together on a journey of truth, of compassion, of play, of self inquiry and of selfless service. A journey towards BLISS.
We will spend much of our time together in commUNITY enjoying sunrise meditations, morning and evening asana practices, Thai Massage training, dharma talks, and various creative workshops.. Aside from our daily yoga schedules we will step outside our comfort zones, and take adventures into the beauty of Northern Thailand during the days.
We want more than anything, for our students to leave this retreat with open eyes, open hearts, and open minds. Life is much to short to spend anytime in the dark. We must awaken to all that is around us. And it is up to us to choose what path we take. We can either fear change, challenge, and risk. Or we can embrace is fully…. and at the same time fundamentally change our perspective of the world around us as well as our participation with and in it.
Eight years ago, I took my very first yoga class at a drug and alcohol treatment center. I was painfully broken. But this crack allowed the sweetness of the yoga practice a sliver of an opening to seep through. Though I wasn’t ready to change my life at that point, a seed had been planted that there may, just possibly, be another way to live. Eventually, through several more years of crazy and chaos, I realized the mat, the practice, was my only way to freedom and I’ve held on ever since. What a ride! Yoga has supported me to reclaim my inner power, peel back the armor and layers I had been suffocating under, and begin the fascinating process of coming back to wholeness.
While our stories may look different on the outside, we are much more similar than we may appear, as everyone is recovering from something. The common human thread is a disconnection from self; an isolation from who we are and the world around us. Yoga means to yoke, to connect, to create union. It supports us to balance and harmonize our lives in an ever changing and challenging world. We can ALL move closer to wholeness. That thing that is holding you down can also be your ticket to breaking through to something amazing.
Whether through a vigorous asana, the stillness of meditation, or diving deep into the beautiful philosophy of yoga, I hope to support you to find your own unique dance towards freedom.
As well as teaching yoga, I’m also an instructor in the beautiful practice of Thai Yoga Massage. I’m so thrilled to also be sharing this bodywork with you in the land where it has flourished!
I urge you to stay curious about you, always ask why, and never stop exploring the world around and the world inside. Which is exactly why I’m so excited to create this journey for you! This retreat allows the important space for play, adventure, as well as quiet and introspection. All the things wrapped up in the stunning setting of Northern Thailand!
Please join the magnificent Echo and I on a sojourn to awaken Ananda! To awaken to BLISS! See you in Thailand loves!
ECHO GIESEL WIDMER
Yoga at first was very difficult for me. I felt very unsettled on my mat in a room full of strangers, and the pace of the practice did not organically flow with me. Although I truly enjoyed powerful asana, it was very difficult for me to find peace with it because I was constantly looking for more challenge in my practice. I became a very power loving yogi, and was constantly looking to strengthen my practice physically. Over the years my yang nature grew exponentially until I decided that I wanted to teach yoga. For many of those previous years, yoga was purely physical to me. I of course began to really connect to my breath practice, because it helped me stay focused and strong in my asana practice….but meditation was always a struggle. The calmer, more yin side of yoga, had not yet reached me. It was not until I was teaching for a couple of years that I found a softer, more intimate side to yoga. I began to truly balance my yin and yang sides. I began to really appreciate stillness in my mind, breath and body. I began to notice the small subtleties in my practice, and I began to truly fall in love with the practice. I have spent the last couple of years sharing my practice around the world with students of all pedigrees and intentions. I think that there is a practice for all types of people, all types of learners, all types of energies. That is how I got to where I am today. My hope with leading YOGA+ADVENTURE Retreats, is to teach what I have learned along the way, and help to create a more open and playful community of conscious individuals and practitioners.
7 DAYS OUTSIDE OF CHIANG MAI, THAILAND
OCTOBER 22nd, 2017 (Sunday)- OCTOBER 29th, 2017 (Sunday)
Meditation + YOGA+ Hiking +THAI MASSAGE
Mopeding + surprises…..shhhhh….
THAI YOGA MASSAGE
This type of massage has its roots in the ancient Indian systems of Yoga, Buddhism, and Ayurveda. Called the “lazy man’s yoga” in Thailand, this meditative flow weaves together energy, loving-kindness intention, and mindful techniques to dissolve blockages and alleviate stress. It combines assisted stretching, acupressure, and compression to improve flexibility and balance the body’s energy. It is fully clothed, uses no oil, and performed on a mat on the floor so you can take this sister art to yoga anywhere you choose to roam; and it makes you even more popular with your friends as an added bonus.
It is important to note that Thailand is most easily accessible by moped, so it is in our plans to have students rent mopeds some of the days for some adventures into the beautiful Thai mountains. Please contact me if you are uncomfortable driving a moped, do not have an international driver’s license, or want to learn to ride a moped but are nervous.
If you are interested in mopeding in Bali make sure to go by your local AAA and pick up an International Driver’s License for $25. It is simple and all you need is a current driver’s license. Also if you want to ride on a moped but do not want to drive, there will be many of us that can be the drivers, while those not so comfortable driving can be passengers on the back. Make sure to contact me if you have any issues with this.
What the retreat includes:
Welcome drink & snacks
Transportation to/from Chiang Mai (airport pick up is going to be a hassle, it’s cheap and easy to get to Chiang Mai and we are more than happy to help arrange …
3 vegetarian meals/day (Breakfast/Dinner), prepared by a local chef and all food sourced locally, and most on premises
Daily yoga, Meditation, workshops, and Thai Massage classes
Adventures guided by your hosts, and local guides
A couple SURPRISES, not yet announced.
Complimentary wireless internet access at public areas
Enjoyment of community areas meant for exploring and reflection
YOGA MATS, STRAPS, BLOCKS
What the retreat DOES NOT include:
Flight and transport to/from Chiang Mai, Thailand
Off-site food, souvenirs, bohemian clothes, foot massages, and water. You’ll have to purchase your own water bottles, or even better, bring your own!
Any activities you choose to do on your own outside of the retreat schedule
All the green juices you’re going to want to drink and coconuts too!!
Moped rentals!!! You will want these!!!
Massages that are available on site for 400 baht an hour
We recommend travel insurance in case the unexpected happens. It’s a good idea to protect yourself by choosing a travel insurance when you register for a yoga retreat.
Depending on the policy and conditions, travel cancellation insurance will cover some or all cancellation fees. It can also cover lost baggage and/or medical expenses if you get sick as well as insuring your air tickets.
With the majority of insurance companies, insurance must be purchased within 14 days of making your reservation.
Here are some companies to consider:
Most rooms are shared occupancy. If you are traveling with a friend please let us know and we’ll get you connected in the same accommodation or else we’ll match you up with a new friend. A few single occupancy rooms are available at additional prices, just ask! All packages are inclusive with food, activities, and all the other goodies listed above.
The Mala Dorm Rooms
$1000 USD/ $1,100 after May 1st
The Mala Villas
$1250 USD/ $1,350 after May 1st
Luxury Mala Villas
$1,350 USD / $1,450 after May 1st
Spacious, luxurious and creatively designed villas. Most popular villas on site.
6:30am: Sunrise Meditation, and Yin/Yang Yoga Practice
7:30 am: Breakfast, tea, and community
9am: Thai Massage Partner Workshop
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm: Activities off site…..adventure time
6:30 pm: We encourage everyone to take a 30 minute break before dinner to write and journal over the daily theme, or anything personal that they may want to reflect on.
7pm: Dinner at Mala Dhara
8:30: Restorative Yoga or Thai Massage/ sometimes both & Satsang
ABOUT MALA DHARA AND SURROUNDING AREAS
A perfect getaway about 40 minutes outside Chiang Mai city center. Gorgeous buildings, landscape, view, yoga shala and pool. Kind, friendly and comfortable atmosphere to help you rejuvenate and unwind. The saltwater pool is a great place to just chill out and relax. And the restaurant serves delicious food. If you are interested in seeing Chaing Mai look into booking more time before or after the retreat to explore on your own or with a friend. Perfect opportunity to extend your trip and have the freedom for more adventure.
Nestled amongst forested foothills, Chiang Mai is much older than it first appears. During the city’s medieval heyday, almost everything was made of teak hauled by elephant from the surrounding rainforest, with the notable exception of its towering wát. The monasteries still remain, centred on ancient brick chedi (stupas) in a remarkable range of shapes and styles, but the gaps between them have been filled in with modern Thai houses and traveller hotels. Despite this, the historic centre of Chiang Mai still feels overwhelmingly residential, more like a sleepy country town than a bustling capital.
THOUGHTS ON WHAT TO PACK, AND WHAT NOT TO PACK
Swimtrunks and Swimsuits
Don’t bring more than one bag. Trust me, you won’t want to lug it around with you. Ideally you should bring a backpack, and a small purse or day bag.
DON’T PACK TOO MUCH! I repeat, DON’T DO IT! Pack the basics. If worse comes to worse, you can buy whatever you need at your destination. Just remember that.
Leave room for souvenirs in your bag! And that goes back to not packing too much…
2-3 pairs of leggings/comfortable pants for adventures and yoga of course.
5-7 pairs of underwear – Make sure they’re comfortable and easy to air-dry. It is hot in Thailand, and most clothes are washed and then hung out to dry. So bring ones you do not mind hanging out for the world to see, haha.
Thongs, or flip flops and bring one pair of tennis shoes for hiking
1 fleece/coverup – This is ideal for your flight, chilly evenings or for covering your arms and upper body on long sunny moped rides.
Ladies maybe bring a few sun dresses, or plan on purchasing some at the markets. I promise you will not regret this decision.
1 pair of flip flops – to wear in your shower and room
1 pair of hiking shoes – make sure they cover your toes and have a good grip! Sandals would work too.
1 pair of flats or sandals – for your dressy moments
Please use natural products. We are staying at a eco resort that is very mindful of the effects of chemicals and we know you are too!
2 in 1 Shampoo/Conditioner
Sunscreen (It is more expensive here)
Brush and/or Comb
Ladies- Hair Ties and bobby pins
Pads/Tampons/ or Diva Cup (this last one is a gamechanger ladies) – These aren’t common in some countries in Asia
OTHER IMPORTANT ITEMS
Very important….if you want to drive a moped in Indonesia head to your local AAA (US) AA ( outside the US) branch, and purchase a $25 International Drivers License. It will last you a year, and it is necessary for driving internationally although extremely easy to get.
A money belt or pouch to keep your important items such as passport, money and visa info in
A small shoulder purse, backpack or fanny pack is always nice to have, but can be purchased abroad for cheap!
1-2 empty plastic bags – for your dirty clothes and other unknown opportune times!
Bug spray – Don’t risk getting covered in bug bites.
Camera (and maybe a memory stick)- An iPhone will do too.
A book or eReader – We will be doing a great deal of traveling, so bring something to read!
A journal and a pen – to track your journey!
Headphones and some sort of music to listen to during your travels
A couple of granola bars or snacks for when you’re on the go or traveling
All essential medicines, and prescriptions you may need. But remember that medicine abroad is reliable and CHEAP, so don’t bring your whole medicine cabinet. Just some essentials like allergy medicine, birth control, prescriptions, etc.
GETTING TO AND FROM MALA DHARA
You will fly into
CHIANG MAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
It is easy to get a driver at the airport to bring you into Chiang Mai, about 15 minutes away. Any help with this, please don’t hesitate to ask us!
If you have the time, it may be easier and a shorter flight time to fly into Bangkok for at least one night and take the short flight to CM the following day.
We are both extensive travelers and savvy with arranging flights so we can help!
Arrival date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 22nd……anytime before 2 PM.
Departure date: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 29th anytime before 2PM.
We will post more detailed description later for getting to resort 30 minutes away from the city. We will most likely meet you in the city and pick you up from there together.
Please note: Should you arrive or depart outside of these time slots, we are still happy to help but transport will not be included.
Deposit/ Payment Plan:
$350 USD Deposit which comes off overall package.
Three payments will be due after deposit is made.
Due on 6/30/2017, 7/30/2017, 8/30/2017
Paypal :[email protected]
No one books a retreat with the intention of canceling, but unforeseen things have a way of happening. First an foremost, after booking with us, we HIGHLY recommend purchasing travel insurance with trip cancellation policy. Be sure it covers YOU needing to cancel. It is worth the extra money to be covered in case of life throwing a fit or an emergency.
$350 Deposit is Non-refundable.
90-45 days before – 50% of retreat will be refunded minus the deposit.
45-0 days – payments are non- refundable. This is where your travel insurance with trip cancellation protection will come in super lovely.