New Years India Pilgrimage

December 28, 2024 – January 5, 2025
+ optional 5 days Ayurveda & Healing Retreat in Kerala

A fairytale journey to the heart

With shouts and happy dances we are releasing our first pilgrimage! This Yatra is a special curation by Josephin from Yoga Folks and Alexia from ALKEMY Soul based in Austria, who met in India in 2016 during their 300h Advanced Bhakti Yoga Teacher Training.
We wanted to bring our folks together for a journey to the home of yoga. This is a celebration, a reunion and a rejoining of forces and communities. We can’t wait to create memories that last a lifetime!

A trip to India can be life-changing. It’s wild, exhilarating, opening and most and foremost, transforming. You have the chance to re-align, re-centre and retreat in a space that will show you wonder, appreciation and a true sense of belonging.

There is no better journey into the New Year than this one: A devotional and cultural deep dive into the arms of Mother India while being surrounded by amazing like-minded people, practicing Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama, Kriya and Kirtans together daily.

We will be traveling and exploring the most Southern state in India called Tamil Nadu. Rich in cultural heritage and home of some of the most powerful Vedic and Tantric temples in the world, this area will steal your heart with its fascinating art, sights and people. Expect visiting some of the most stunning temples, learning about rituals, tradition and local art, eating outstanding food and staying at heritage hotels that carry stories and secrets. This journey will reveal not only mysteries about India, but give you a clearer direction on your path going forward. It’s a celebration into the New Year like no other.

About the places

Tamil Nadu
Tamil Nadu is the southernmost state of India. The tenth largest Indian state by area and the sixth largest by population.
This is home to some of the oldest and most revered temples in India, many of which are over a thousand years old. These temples are not only places of worship but also architectural marvels that reflect the glory of ancient Tamil civilization. The state’s festivals, classical music, dance forms (like Bharatanatyam), and traditional crafts add a vibrant layer to the pilgrimage experience, offering a deeper understanding of Tamil culture.
The landscape is dotted with sacred sites, rivers, and hills that have been mentioned in ancient texts and have been places of pilgrimage for centuries, and many temples in Tamil Nadu are associated with important events in Hindu mythology and history, making them significant for spiritual and historical exploration.

Some of the places we’ll visit:
– Pondicherry: A former French colony with a unique blend of Indian and French cultures, it is also home to the famous Aurobindo Ashram.
– Chidambaram: Known for the Nataraja Temple, a major pilgrimage site dedicated to Lord Shiva in his cosmic dance form.
– Sri Ramana Maharshi Ashram: also known as Sri Ramanasramam, is located at the foothills of the sacred Arunachala Hill in Tiruvannamalai. This ashram is dedicated to the teachings and legacy of the renowned Indian sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi, who is considered one of the greatest spiritual teachers of modern times.
– Arunchala Hills, Tiruvannamalai: According to Hindu mythology, Arunachala is the place where Lord Shiva appeared as a column of fire to resolve a dispute between Brahma and Vishnu over supremacy. Numerous caves on the hill were used by saints and sages for meditation, including the Virupaksha Cave, where Sri Ramana Maharshi meditated for many years.
– Meenakshi Amman Temple, Madurai: A stunning example of Dravidian architecture, this temple is dedicated to Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar.

Kerala (the optional Ayurveda-extension)
Kerala is a pristine and serene state in South India that is known for its beaches, hill stations, backwaters, bird and wild life as well as the home of Ayurveda, India’s most ancient natural healing modality. We will be staying at a beachfront Retreat centre enjoying daily meditations and nourishing Yoga classes and will go on magical backwater boat trips to end our Yatra on a high note.

*you will have the option to extend the Yatra with a 5 Day Ayurveda & Healing package at a world renowned beachfront Ayurveda Retreat Centre.

Itinerary

Day 1: Chennai (Opening circle 18:00)

Day 2: Chennai – Tiruvannamalai

Day 3: Tiruvannamalai

Day 4: Tiruvannamalai to Pondicherry (visit of Mantrimandir in Auroville and Pondicherry)

Day 5: Pondicherry – Tanjore – Swamimalai

Day 6: Tanjore

Day 7: Tanjore – Madurai

Day 8: Madurai (Meenakshi Temple + Rituals)

Day 9: Madurai Departure

or optional Day 9 -13/ Kerala: 5 Ayurveda & Healing Days including daily doctors consultations, daily 2 hour treatments, Yoga & Meditation classes, Ayurvedic full board/ 3 meals a day in a luxury Ayurveda Retreat Centre by the ocean

Flights

ARRIVAL AIRPORT: Chennai International Airport (both domestic and international flights)

DEPARTURE AIRPORT DAY 9: Madurai Domestic Airport (we suggest to book a domestic flight to Chennai or Delhi and fly out from there)

DEPARTURE AIRPORT DAY 13, post Ayurveda Extension: Trivandrum (TRV) International Airport

We’re happy to help you with the travel planning, in case you need support! Booking flights can be a jungle, depending on the dates you are open to travel you can find a cheaper option by trying different departure and return dates.

Your Teachers & Guides

Josephin Westerlund

Josephin has ever since childhood been infused in the practices of yoga, through her mother being a yoga teacher. In her early teens she found the practice in a more solid way, and has since then educated and immersed herself in anything yoga. In 2020 Josephin opened Yoga Folks together with 2 co-teachers, and the goal of starting the studio was so that she could host trainings, and this year Jos launched her first 300-advanced training in Vinyasa Krama, Pranayama, Meditation and Philosophy.
She’s been around India a few times (even had her appendix removed outside of Goa), but is now excited to explore the more southern parts of Tamil Nadu together with Alexia and the group.

Josephin’s teachings span over sweaty, intelligent vinyasa classes to deeply nourishing yoga nidras, she’s full of yogic philosophy wisdom as well as a facilitator of buddhist meditation, tantric practices and mantra singing.
Josephin speaks English and Swedish.

Alexia Daksha Damini

Alexia has been traveling to India since 2008. She calls India her spiritual home and returns on a yearly base to study with her teachers, to take groups on life-changing pilgrimages and to connect with the sacredness of the land. For Alexia, India opens a door to mysteries: “The Motherland astonishes, surprises, awakens and changes you forever. She gives you a glimpse of what’s possible. And once you have had a little taste, you won’t let go and will seek to keep deepening the connection with what you have discovered.”

Alexia’s pilgrimages are unique and never the same. She makes sure you experience India off-the-beaten track, teaches Tantrik Hatha Vinyasa Classes, daily Kriya, Puja and Rituals and makes you look behind the veil by teaching how to travel as a pilgrim rather than a tourist. Her pilgrimages are an expression of her love for the Motherland, be assured that you too will find love in India.
Alexia speaks English and German.

“The idea of going on a spirtual journey is really part of the DNA of India itself.”

-Diana Eck

Self-Investment

Super Early Bird until July 1, 2024
€ 2.590 in twin share, € 3.390 in single room

Early Bird until September 1,2024
€ 2.690 in twin share, € 3.490 in single room

Regular price
€ 2.890 in twin share

Included

  • Full program according to itinerary
  • Accommodation in 4 or 5 stars Heritage hotels and Retreat Centres
  • Local travel guide, city tours, all entrances
  • All transfers during the pilgrimage
  • All meals except 1-2 lunches while traveling
  • Yoga and Meditation program with Alexia & Josephin
  • Mantra Circles with Lisa Lisolé

An experience you will never forget and that will deeply transform you

Not included

  • International flights (we recommend that you book you flights as soon as possible, since they will increase in price closer to the date)
  • Tip for local guides (about 10-20 SEK each) and main tour guide (about 250-300 SEK)

Prices are listed per person. An 800 EUR non-refundable deposit is required to secure your booking. Payment plans are available. Let’s chat about it.

Payment is made directly to ALKEMY Travel. In case you need an invoice or have any enquiries, please contact us directly at hello@yogafolks.se

**this Pilgrimage is organized by ALKEMY Travel and Yoga Folks in cooperation with Spiritual India Tours

I do not at all understand the mystery of Grace – only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.

-Anne Lamott

What is a yatra?

Yatra is a sanskrit word and means “spiritual journey” or pilgrimage. I have called my India journeys Yatras because they are fundamentally different to Retreats. We are traveling a lot, visiting sacred sites, temples and spiritual homes. We will do daily spiritual practices and hold our energy and intentions high. This is not a trip to relax, but a deep encounter with yourself in a country that has ancient roots of wisdom and will empower you to see beyond the veils.

It requires you to be open, accepting, loving and welcoming. It might take you to your limits, yet only to discover that your mind is your only limit. India helps us expand and grow. Be open and you shall receive.

Warm welcome to join this journey!

Tamil Nadu, South India

December 28th 2024 – January 5th 2025