Sustainable Mindful

Conscious


Experiences


Hand-crafted with love, for you.

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@ Discounted Early bird pricing!

EXPERIENCES

mindful | sustainable | conscious

Explore the roots of Yoga. Immerse in Nature. Breathe in Tranquility. Delight in Indian Spices.
Drown in your senses. Travel the sustainable way. Connect with yourself.
Come join us for a journey within and without.

We custom design, plan and facilitate educational experiences, workshops and trips with a focus on Mindfulness, Sustainability and Wellness using Immersive Travel, Yoga, Nature, Outdoors, Culture and Challenges as mediums.

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Yoga/Ayurveda

“Yoga is more than Asanas/poses; Yoga is a way of life.”
Learn from experienced teachers who live Yoga as a daily lifestyle: a young Guiness World Record holder from Mysuru who spends his time in the mountains, a 60+ year old healer, therapist and Yoga teacher who is as fit and flexible as it gets, and a teacher who adapts each class to match a student’s constitution, needs, and harmonizes the postures and breaths according to the season and time of day.

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Nature

Walk through lush evergreen rainforests and straight into the clouds in a 150 million year old mountain range; discover vibrantly colored beings of all forms/sizes in one of the world’s 8 biodiversity hotspots; splash around in private streams and waterfalls… and find your inner child somewhere on the way.

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Outdoor Happiness

The world is your Oyster - Hike, climb or run to your hearts desire with over 20 remote hiking trails starting from our homestay, participate safely in silent mindful walks through the forest deep in the night - without a flashlight, learn to kiss the earth and hike barefoot in the mountains, learn how to ID frogs, birds, butterflies… and the occasional humans!

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Culture

“Go explore a new culture, see a new way of laughing, cry for somebody else’s troubles… and you may just learn to live happily with your own.”
36 provinces each with their own culture and traditions; more than 19500 languages and dialects spoken as mother tongues; A Saharan desert to evergreen rainforests to 8000+ Metre Himalayan peaks to 4671 Miles of coastal line - needless to say there is a lot to learn

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Food

An entire country that runs primarily on vegetarian food - how in the world can they make that appetising?! Come home to the subtle taste of 100s of different spices perfectly blended in each dish, recipes designed over 1000s of years to lure saints by their sensual fragrances, to cultures built around local & sustainable eating habits and discover why a country was colonised because of its spices.

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Challenges

We believe in learning through continuously and compassionately challenging oneself. Hence, everything in our programs is designed with a basic level of challenge for oneself, right from travelling to a developing country to exploring and adjusting to a diffrent culture, a different food, to challening your persectives in Yoga sessions with unorthodox teachers and pushing yourself with outdoor challenges. It is beautiful, fun, enriching and yes, challenging.

UPCOMING TRIPS

The good things coming your way …

SOUTH INDIA | Winter Break 2019-2020

The Modern Yogi's Path

Immerse in the vibrant history, evergreen rainforests and deep Yogic traditions of Karnataka, India. Learn a life-transforming breathing technique at the Art of Living International Centre in Bangalore; Explore Mysore and it’s history, culture and roots in Ashtanga Yoga and lose yourself in healing tranquility and thriving biodiversity deep in an evergreen rainforest at Honey Valley, Coorg … All while travelling in an environmentally sustainable manner, reducing your carbon footprint as a traveller and learning how to live more consciously with your environment.

DURATIONDATESLOCATION
10 DaysDec 26 2019 - Jan 06 2020Bangalore, Mysore & Coorg | India
PARTICIPANTSLAND COSTAVAILABILITY
upto 15 (ages 18+)$1990-2750 USD (see details)OPEN

Bangalore (traditionally Bengaluru): 4 days

  • one day in Bangalore city for city exploration of crafts and goods.
  • The Art of Living International Center - Happiness + Silent Retreat (will need to confirm dates in August as they are only posted about 3 months before).

Mysore (traditionally Mysuru): 2-3 days

  • Yoga - practice and exploration of Ashtanga yoga roots.
  • Cultural, Historical and Culinary exploration in and around the city.

Coorg (traditionally Kodagu): 3 days

  • Homestay immersion on the top of a remote hill in an evergreen rainforest at http://honeyvalleyindia.in/ with ample opportunities for hiking, nature immersion, trail-runs, birdwatching and biodiversity walks, meditation, star-gazing, sustainability discussions, interactions with tribals, reading, spending time with oneself and much more.

  • Happiness Program with AOL:
    • Experience a beginner entry-level program with the Art of Living, where you will learn a powerful and life-transforming breathing technique.
    • Learn practical techniques and tools for living to your fullest potential and finding sustainable peace and balance.
  • Explore the roots of Yoga in Mysore while benefiting from deepening your Yoga & Pranayama practice.
  • Experience the culinary delights of Southern India.
  • Immerse in the history and culture of Southern India.
  • Breathe in the tranquility, biodiversity, and the beauty of nature in the South of India while learning about sustainable harvesting of coffee, honey and pepper/spices in India.
  • Experience and learn how to travel sustainably, striving for zero waste and minimal carbon footprint with conscious eco-tourism and sustainable practices built right into the program design.

This is a sample itinerary. While keeping true to the overall plan, the final itinerary may vary depending on availability, bookings, schedules of external providers, weather etc.

  • Dec 26th: Fly into Bangalore International Airport (Flights and visas not included in program costs)
  • Dec 27th: Arrive in Bangalore, rest ½ day
  • Dec 28th: 1 day immersion in Bangalore city
  • Dec 28th: Travel to AOL Ashram
  • Dec 29-31st: 3-day immersion at AOL Ashram (Dates may vary depending on availability)
    • optional visit to alternative education school in Bangalore called Center for Learning (one hour from AOL Ashram)
  • Jan 1st: Travel by bus to Mysore
  • Jan 1st-3rd: 2-day Ashtanga Yoga, Ayurveda and Cultural/ Historical/ Culinary immersion in Mysore
  • Jan 3rd: Travel to Coorg (Honey Valley)
  • Jan 3-5: 3-day homestay in Honey Valley, hiking, birding, laughing, reflecting, learning, reading, meditating, barefooting, interacting etc.
  • Jan 6th: Return to Bangalore International Airport for trip home.

(*Note: Price includes all costs for accommodation, food, programs, & transport once inside India. Price does NOT include flights to/from India, visa costs and travel insurance or any health care needed during program)

  • GENERAL:
    • Early Bird Special (if signed up by October 15th)= $2,350
    • Full Price (applicable October 16th 12:01am EST onwards)= $2,750
  • STUDENTS: (pricing available on receipt of valid current college ID/proof of enrollment and reference)
    • Early Bird Special (if signed up by October 15th)= $1,990
    • Full Price (applicable October 16th 12:01am EST onwards)= $2,350

As noted we neither include nor provide International flight bookings, visas or travel insurance within the program cost. But all 3 of the above are mandatory for being able to participate in the program. We are happy to help where we can in guiding you to the best and often most economic ways of obtaining the above. Please find below a few recommendations.

  • Estimated flight costs: $900 to $1500 USD round trip to and fro Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru, India
  • Visa process support for participants:
    • While we do not include visa support or costs as part of our services, we highly recommend visaHQ as visa consultants based on personal experience and great results!
  • Travel Insurance:

We strive to create experiences and learning spaces that foster an inner and outer landscape of mindfulness, balance, sustainability, compassion, and hope.

Through the above stated goals we hope to contribute to the betterment of:

  • Our Earth & Environment
  • Our Communities
  • Our Clients
  • Our Collaborators/Partners
  • Ourselves
  • And the extended world touched by each of the above stakeholders!

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“All that we are and all that we want is naught but what our core beliefs, our values, and our experiences call forth” - Pumpkin

Believing the above to be true, we created this organisation around values that we hold dear, the same values that define our personal mission as changemakers. We hope to remain true to our values and in doing so work towards our goals as educators.

  • Honesty and the pursuit of true knowledge
  • Compassion for all
  • Respect for all
  • Cultural Awareness & Sensitivity
  • Integrity
  • Empathy
  • Fair trade
  • Sustainability and minimalism wherever possible
  • Generosity of spirit and material abundance

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Methods

In order to live up to these lofty ideals, we utilize a special recipe to ensure optimal results, with minimal unnecessary risk, and ample space and time to digest and integrate these new experiences.

Without an element of fun, humor, and play, even the most enticing of new challenges can quickly become mechanical drudgery. We utilize a light-hearted approach, sprinkling in games and activities to support each of us in stepping into the safe edge of our comfort zones and seeing life from a different point of view (sometimes even upside down!). After all, who wants to become enlightened if it means no longer laughing at our own ridiculousness? Not me!

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We are firm believers that growth, wisdom, and new experiences can bloom best within fertile and well prepped soil. Traveling to new countries, trying new activities (like yoga, pranayama, meditation, trekking, ecstatic dancing, coffee bean plucking, etc.), and taking in new sights, smells, and cuisines, can all be exciting novelties that stimulate those happiness hormones to make us feel alive and well. Sometimes, however, these very things can also walk us to the edge of discomfort and challenge our very ideas of self, other, and existence itself, at times in ways that can be disorienting or isolating (many of us have been there!). We design each trip and day within it to help ease the mind and nervous system into such experiences with a sense of safety, preparation, information, and permission to “opt out” at any moment. Providing a detailed itinerary of each day, with our plans and backup plans (which are always needed when traveling!), help support this transparency. Ensuring that each participant has necessary insurance, vaccines, and medicines that may be needed for travel is another way to build in this safety. We are not believers that trauma is the best teacher. On the contrary, we see tempered opportunities, with invitation, safety, and community support, as a way to walk into those more unknown places within ourselves, and sometimes our memories, to safely heal from trauma, create space for realizations, and to nurture our own inner creativity and brilliance.

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A challenge and test of our times seems to be finding the space to pause, reflect, digest, and integrate new experiences and information. Often life can seem like a blur of whirring “to dos” (including checking off the annual vacation or adventure!) and a growing list of knowledge, apps, and facts vying for our attention. While perpetual access to endless knowledge is and should be a gift, without the encouragement of culture and community to take necessary breaks for silence, pause, reflection, etc., we can all fall prey to biting off more than our nervous system should actually be digesting. This can often leave us more unplugged from ourselves while staying plugged into everyone and everything else. Symptoms of this disconnect mimic the grocery list of growing mental health and physical challenges facing the world-over (depression, anxiety, isolation, hopelessness, chronic fatigue, etc.). To help ameliorate these symptoms, these excursions provide ample space for both individual and group periods of reflection, processing, and good old “discussing” to digest what we are taking in (from the sights and smells to the food and somatic experiences- both afronting and pleasing). We will introduce each group to various methods for processing (ranging from art and journaling, to speaking, meditating, and moving as a form of finding voice and integration). In short, we aren’t the type of trip guides who will overpack the experience with either our own egos or endless activities to keep you occupied. There will be a natural ebb and flow to the rhythm of each day and experience, that we aim to support each of you in tailoring to your particular needs and hopes.

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MEET KIWI AND PUMPKIN

A fruit and a vegetable working lovingly towards a sustainable, mindful and compassionate world

Kacey Wilson

KiWi | The Mindful One

A Harvard graduate, Yoga and Ayurveda educator, and Mental Health Counselor, Kacey focuses on supporting individuals in building compassion, understanding, and acceptance for self and others. Hailing from Colorado, Kacey has also lived in Brazil and India, embracing her love for travel, cross-cultural exchanges, wisdom (and cuisine!) emanating from all corners of the globe.


Ed.M., Harvard | current Doctoral student in Clinical and School Psychology | 650HR Ayurvedic Health Counselor | 500HR Ayurvedic Yoga Teacher

Born and raised in Colorado, Kacey began her love for leading trips during college at Harvard as an outdoor educator, backpacking trip lead, Wilderness First Responder, and rock climber. It was at Harvard where Kacey first encountered Art of Living and took several programs including Yes+ and the silent retreats. Sudarshan Kriya and the wisdom of Yoga would continue to shape her upcoming years. After receiving a masters in Education, Kacey followed her calling to teach in Brazil. At the request of her high school students, Kacey was first certified as a 200 hour Yoga Teacher in 2012 in Mexico. Inspired deeply by the Yoga lineage and practice, Kacey spent 3-4 years teaching & studying further Yoga and Ayurveda at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Lenox, MA. In 2016, this quest led to deeper exploration of Ayurveda with Dr. Vasant Lad in Pune, India, where Kacey helped support free Ayurvedic health clinics. Continuing her time in India, Kacey spent the last 2 years working as the Head of Mindfulness, Well-Being and Psychological Counseling, offering individual and group support for 240 students and 30 faculty, representing 80 nationalities, at the United World College of India. Kacey has returned to the U.S. to pursue Doctoral studies in Clinical and School Psychology, maintaining an annual trip to India to support others in their exploration and deepening in these rich lineages of knowledge and self-study.



Vikraant Singh Sanwal

Pumpkin | The Sustainable One

An Experiential and Outdoor Educator by profession, Vikraant works with children and young adults creating challenging, awe-inspiring and unique experiences that strive towards building compassion, empathy, open-mindedness, privilege-awareness and a “no boundaries” mindset through reflection and self-realisation.
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Experiential Educator | Outdoor Professional | Sustainability Nut | current Amani Fellow in Social Innovation Management

An avid reader, curious academic, uncoordinated sportsperson, shy introvert, resilient programmer, open-source enthusiast, and chocolate lover - Vikraant dropped out of college and formal education in pursuit of meaning, passion and the Himalayas. Since switching from Computer Science Engineering to the outdoors, challenges, failures and nature as a source of education, Vikraant has spent his time travelling and serving in various educational capacities across Asia: from teaching Computer Science to students in rural areas, conducting programming workshops for communities on behalf of Google, Microsoft, Mozilla etc., to guiding ecologists through rain-forests, introducing students to the spectacular lives of frogs, insects etc. in biodiversity hotspots, and freelancing as an Experiential Educator and Outdoor Professional for organizations in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China. He has worked in diverse environments with individuals from numerous national, cultural, social and economic backgrounds with the aim of creating unique, meaningful & impactful experiences for them, utilizing fun/challenge/awe as tools and service learning, cultural immersion, self care, expeditions and outdoors as a medium. He has lead and facilitated activities such as backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking, ropes courses, ecology, mindful awareness, barefooting, cultural cafes, service learning, team building initiatives etc. He can achieve communication in 5 Indian Languages, cook/create allergen-free versions of unique cuisines from different cultures across India, walk/run barefoot through mountains, forests, thorns, shallow snow etc. (interestingly, he can’t do the same with shoes!), make grandfather jokes that he thinks are funny and carry you on his back/shoulders when you get tired of walking :)



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