This is a very detailed website, particularly where the retreats are offered. All of these questions are answered within the pages of this website. Yet still, it may be hard to search for this quickly, and so we are asked these questions frequently. Any further questions do not hesitate to ask Amma.
Where exactly is SwAr Ashram located?………………………………………………….. SwAr Ashram Yoga & Library, Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh 451224 INDIA , a direct Narmada Riverfront location. NOTE: this is a teaching facility. While we represent your Guides & Teachers, we do not have housing or restaurant so this is NOT your destination address for visa or landing. This is a simple legal matter so please understand it correctly in the 2nd question. GOOGLE SATELLITE MAP (the photo map is static)
What is the destination address for my visa and landing card? Labboo’z Cafe & Lodge, Ahilyawada Gate, Maheshwar, Madhya Pradesh 451224 INDIA – Manager 91.777.100.4818 This is your lodge as well as your main source of meals. For legal/tax purposes, this is the address which must be put on your gov related data. It is only a 3 minute walk along the same Fort, we are under the same Heritage Ownership, but separate entities. The orange pin in the upper left corner of the map is your lodging. it literally takes 3-5 minutes leisurely stroll between the 2 pins. WE DO NOT OWN ANY ROOMS. THIS IS AMMA’S HOME, & WE HAVE THE RIVER FRONT TEACHING FACILITY & LIBRARY IN PICTURESQUE PRIMITIVE PARTIAL RUINS. YOU WILL STAY AT BEAUTIFULLY RESTORED HERITAGE LODGING VERY NEAR IN OUR SAME FORT. (photos seen on our Yoga Event Pages here and on their Facebook Event Pages).
Where / how do i apply for the visa? Any questions when filling out the forms will be answered in the newsletter which is sent to all Registered Guests. It is a simple process which needs to be done 2-4 weeks in advance of travel and requires a recent 2″ square color photo and valid passport. It is payable on the INDIAN secure site for a TOURIST VISA, this is the only visa type accepted for this type of visit. You print out your own visa and carry it in your purse or hand luggage along with your passport – it gets stamped at the airport. No need to fed-ex your passport to the embassy or spend a day to wait in a que at said embassy.
What is the best route/ airline to fly to you? Your final airport destination is Devi Ahilyabai International Airport , INDORE (Madhya Pradesh). This is a small airport, they fly International only to/from Saudi Arabia. Indore is equally distanced from Mumbai and Delhi (about a 1 hour). You may conveniently choose your Major International Airport according to which has the best rates when you are ready to book your flight. One airline flies non-stop from New York to India. AirIndia. (Generally under $900usd if booked far enough in advance.) There are too numerous, cheaper, 1-stop flights to mention. Since there are so many options, some people opt for a travel agent. A good trustworthy NY based Indian Travel Agent whom i personally know is Suma Travel. We do not have any business affiliation with them but they have been specializing in India trips for 4 generations and can do online or phone bookings. The 1 hour flight to Indore runs practically every hour from sunrise to sunset and are about $40-$90 depending entirely on how far in advance you book on any one of the Indian domestic airlines’ websites. The International booking agents don’t get the super deals on these smaller airlines.
Once you have paid your Registration Deposit to us, we send you a detailed newsletter on how to navigate this. If you need this info before-hand, just ASK.
How do i get there from the Indore Airport? Maheshwar is 2.25 hours drive from the airport. We pick you up in a large luxury vehicle for each small group arriving and departing. Factored into your ‘all-inclusive’ price are group airport transfers. Most International flights arrive in the wee hours of the AM. transferring to a domestic Indore flight at approx sunrise or 7am will get you enough time to disembark, go thru customs, shift to the other end of the large terminal to the domestic side and then you can expect to board your pre-booked domestic flight anytime between 7:00 and 9:00AM with out feeling stressed and arrive in Indore between 8:00 and 10:00AM. this way, none of our guests are waiting too long for the others. There are splendid Indian Coffee & Snack shops in the Indore waiting area and our Driver Pintu will meet you there.
What is included/ not included in the cost of YOGA of VOICE or YOGA & CONSCIOUSNESS – Ancient Yogic Teachings, Technologies, Therapies & Tours / Esoteric Yoga Experience Package?
- Group (large vehicle) pick-up /drop-off at the Indore Airport at designated times.
- AM & PM daily Hatha Yoga & Meditation Programs in & outside SwAr Ashram on the banks of Narmada.
- Yoga Nidra grounding on your first evening.
- Agni Hotra Sandhya Sadhana which you can do yourself, plus full educational module about this pyro-dynamic biochemistry of healing the atmosphere & its inhabitants (steel boxed copper kunda & kit is optional to purchase to take home)
- EITHER 7 half-days Yoga of Voice workshop by world class Indian classical musician, vocalist & Acharya, Deepak Kumar Pareek. Planned & spontaneous performances thru the 11 days.
- OR 7 half-days of Yoga of Consciousness workshop by Kundalini Yoga Teacher, Medium & Energy Guide Rukmani Kaur of Avigna Health & Wellness.
- Ancient Yogic Tours, Teachings, Technologies & Therapies with Amma Niradhara.
- 2 Boat Yatras on Narmada to Baneshwar, Ancient Stargate Temple with ceremonies
- Shabdha Snan (sound bath).
- Kirtan on the boat, in Ashram & Temples.
- Aarti and Pujas including education & experience.
- Circle Satsang gatherings on the Ghat in front of SwAr Ashram.
- Boat on Narmada to Shalivan Ashram.
- Trek along the banks of Narmada to Saptamatrika (Pleaidean Mothers) Temple
- Car journey to Omkareshwar, east on Narmada, Darshan of the Jyotir Lingams, shopping for spiritual, altar and gift items
- Car journey to Sahastradhara, (rapids) with Special Kundalini Kriya Experience
- Satsangs incl. Mandukyopanishad, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, secrets of Vedic herbs, plants & stones, Paradigm Shift Return to the Goddess, Gauraksha (cow protection)
- Sanskrit Naming Ceremony for those who wish it
- Walking tour of the Ghats, Fort, Temples and charitable works
- 2 traditional Indian cooking (and eating) classes
- Hygienic RO water, refill bottles
- Tasty, Vegan or Vegetarian meals prepared with love, local mostly organic food
- Attend a Shakti Girls Yoga Camp & MC Satsang for Amma’s girl students to educate about their bodies & Amma’s students get a designer stitched pad set with comic book, to encourage them to stay in school during their Moon Cycles.
- Mehndi & Rangoli Party! Amma’s girl students are masterful at henna designs and the amazing rangoli kolams that are drawn on the floor with colored sands pinched between tiny fingers, these artistic young ladies share their art with you.
- wi-fi at the Lodging and Ashram.
- Access Pass to SwAr Ashram Library (use our laptops if needed).
- Drop in, see our Yoga, English & Library students – teach a class (optional).
- Experience Local Veg Market on Tuesday.
- Very Special Metta Meditation.
- Opening and Closing ceremonies.
- Welcome Bag filled with local gifts to make your stay even more wonderous!
- Spiral Bound support materials book by Amma.
- 1 Ayurvedic massage, facial or Reflexology, (more at very low cost is optional).
- YACEP credits with certificate for existing Yoga Teachers.
- 11 nights exclusive accommodation in the beautifully restored Gatehouse to the Maheshwar Palace, wi-fi, RO water refills.
- Surprises, Love, Deep Caring, Sat Cit Anand!
- Basically, everything is incl EXCLUDING AIR FARE AND SHOPPING CASH.
Is this course Yoga Alliance Accredited? Yes. if you are an RYT we can give you (x) number of CEUs depending on the workshop, retreat, private time – for the time spent learning under Amma Niradhara. Generally 40=60 hours per 10 day retreat.
Will i get a Certificate? as a YACEP provider, we will issue you an e-cert as well as a laminated hard copy with a beautiful ceremony at the end of your program if you are a Registered Yoga Teacher – please notify us in advance.
Should i get travel insurance? This is up to you & your comfort level with travelling. Although we do everything in our power to house and feed and transport you in the safest humanly ways possible, (and we have never had an incident) it is always recommended, but of course not necessary.
Should i get vaccinations, take tablets? This is entirely up to you and your beliefs about vaccines and perhaps western medicines in general. Be guided by your own choice. It is not required by either gov, but some people choose to do so based on their doctor’s recommendation. Some people do not believe in vaccines, myself included, and i have not ever had any incident with insect bites or other diseases in my 12 yrs in India, nor have we had any incidents with our Guests, some of which are vaccinated and some are not. Some take tablets and some do not.
Can you cater to special dietary needs? Yes, please let us know upon Registering so that we may prepare for anything unusual. By default, we serve all Pure Plant Based Vegan meals and offer Pure Vegetarian on request. We commonly cater to gluten intolerances. If you have a peanut allergy, we are good in our hotel cafe to assure safety, however, on the road we may need to pack you a tiffin meal just in case. Our Cafe staff has been trained to make a few non-Indian requests, but basically we are in India and we are here to experience and enjoy the culture along with all its marvelous variety of tasty & healthy food! One or 2 meals will be at SwAr Ashram where you can participate and learn cooking on an outdoor Chulha (a small camp-type fire). Here we will sit on the floor, eat with our (washed!) hands off of fresh hygenic banana leaves as plates. Guests seem to always remark how much they really LOVE this meal.
Be informed that there is no meat nor alcohol served in our entire town or any of the places we visit on excursions. This is an Indian Gov regulation among all the Sacred Sites of Hindus. If you really need a chicken dinner or a beer, a private rickshaw can be hired and you can go on your own, at your own cost of course, a few kms away. There is no cow slaughter allowed in our entire State of MP. The food is so amazing, healthy and well balanced, you will not miss the meat!
Is there wi-fi? I may need to be contacted during my stay by family/work… Yes. Both SwAr Ashram and Labboo’z Lodge & Cafe have wi-fi. You are supplied with passwords. In case of power cuts, the Lodge & Cafe have a generator. SwAr Ashram will issue you a Temporary Guest Library Pass where you may use our laptops & wi-fi as well as borrow from Guruji’s vast collection of both rare & classic Advaitic Yoga Vedanta books (that must be returned before departure). There are no free open wi-fi signals on the road or about town. There are no internet cafes in town. That said, since we are on the opposite side of the Earth to most of your home folks whom you wish to contact, the evenings/ overnights at the Lodge and early AM hours at the Ashram are normally your most frequently needed times of communications. Your work and loved ones ought to be sound asleep while we are traversing about all day. If you need an urgent mid-day use of wi-fi, Amma has a portable wifi device which she will carry on all outings.
Can i volunteer with your charities while there? Yes. An informal interaction with our NGO’s programs or observation of them is encouraged. You are welcome to participate as a cultural immersion experience that is also part of your Yoga Sadhana – to contribute a small bit of your time to care for others – this is called SEVA also known as KARMA YOGA. Please understand that hanging around an Ashram or NGO as a casual observer or lending a spontaneous hand, even for a couple of weeks, is not ‘volunteer work’ by gov standards. THIS ARTICLE addresses some of the facts about the various forms of visas. Formal full-time volunteerism is not able to be supported here. These regulations are quite strict and out of the range that our small operation can bear in expenses to host a full time, year-long volunteer with a work visa (gov minimum requirement is a year). ASK AMMA if you have further questions.
The ASHRAM page on this site has more info about our Community Welfare Initiatives & VOLUNTOURISM – when a tourist drops in and wants to participate in order to learn more about what we do here.
We would enjoy it if you were to observe or participate in a spontaneous way. English lesson along with our Board Teacher Manish-ji. A Girl’s Yoga Camp is scheduled 4 times per year, with Health, Safety & Hygiene Module (MC Desi Shakti Pad Program) and if you are female, you can attend. Each of our Pilgrimage Retreats have one included as a scheduled day of interaction with our Community. The girls will decorate you with Mehndi as a thank you for being with us. You may learn how to prepare some Indian dishes by assisting the cooks with the camp meals. You help our students practice English simply by normal conversations. You may enjoy the Traditional Arts module and learn about the creative and colorful local culture.