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Chiang Mai Retreat February 2-9, 2017

Wednesday, June 10th, 2009


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Welcome to the Brazil Retreat page! I hope you will join me on my 2-nd retreat to this magical place. Please read below a detailed description of the trip itinerary and look for video links of the places we will stay and visit:

Known as the “Wonderful City”, Rio de Janeiro offers attractions that have rendered the city international fame. I am sure you know about Sugar Loaf Mountain and the statue of Christ Redeemer. Who hasnt heard about the beautiful beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana? Places that have inspired musicians from all over the world? And Paraty, our main venue, – a lovely colonial town, 125 miles from Rio de Janeiro on Ilha Grande Bay, Brazil’s southeastern coast.

The town lies on the border between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo states. Nowadays, the Atlantic Forest is one of the most endangered ecosystems in the planet, and the Paraty area was deemed extremely important for the preservation of flora, mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians, as well as climatic, hydrological and geomorphological factors that support these forms of life. The diversity of living species here is even numerous  than in the amazon forest per square mile. These attributes were a justification for the area involving the whole municipal pality of Paraty to be deemed by Unesco’s MAB program as an integral part of the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve in 1992.

The Historical Center of Paraty, considered by UNESCO as “the most harmonious colonial architecture” is listed by National Heritage IPHAN. A gorgeous little town, the center of which has remained virtually unchanged since its heyday as a port for the gold passing through from the mines of Minas Gerais, Paraty today is a UNESCO recognized national monument. Click on this link for Paraty:   http://youtu.be/lYln6b-CaJ0

The Dharma Shala Inn is right in the center of Ecovilla Goura Vrindávana, which in turn sits within the idyllic National Park of Serra da Bocaina, part of the mountains of the Costa Verde, and one of the best preserved colonial era and historic city of Paraty, in the southern part of Rio de Janeiro state.

An Ecovillage near which we’ll stay, founded in 1984, was  built on the principles of sustainable living through handicraft production and agro ecology. Simple lifestyle, goals of human betterment and an uplifting environment, has attracted over the years people from around the world. This inspired the creation of a place for those friends and supporters who could be accommodated in the heart of the Atlantic forest reserve, combining comfort, structure and wellness, with simplicity, family like atmosphere living in a rustic forest. In this setting was born the Guest House Dharma Shala, to provide your stay with “a spiritual and ecological sanctuary in the heart of the Mata Atlantica.” Below is a link to a video of the Dharmashala Inn where we will spend 7 days. Please click here to see film of the Dharmashala Inn: http://youtu.be/xUiG_WbWr5k

Now, about the logistics… I and a few other attendees chose to visit the fabulous and grandest waterfalls in the souther hemisphere- The Iguassu Falls just before the retreat and if you choose to, you can join us too (note- this is not included and is optional)

I will personally arrive in Rio de Janeiro on the morning of May 10th to pick you up at Galeão International Airport ( GIG). There are many  flights for this retreat from LAX  with Delta, United, Tam Air and Copa Air just to name a few and from LAX you will need to leave on the 9th of May and arrive at Rio Airport (GIG) sometime in the morning between 6:30 am to 9:00 am. of May 10.

From the airport we will take a private luxury shuttle to Rio de Janeiro and check in into the Orla Hotel, a 4 star hotel located right on the front line of the glorious Copacabana beach where we will stay for the night. After checking in, we will continue our day with walk  around  nearby area, including the world famous Ipanema beach where all the beautiful Brazilians gather to see and be seen. The picture – postcard scenery is breathtaking there with lush verdant mountains in the background and an  unmistakable Rio cityscape all around it. After lunch we will tour the Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer), and Sugar Loaf Mountain (Pao de Acucar) finishing the day with a sunset swim at the beach and free time on the famous Copacabana promenade, followed by dinner.

Click here for a video clip of Rio De Janeiro:   http://youtu.be/eWkOb7sHMcc

The next morning after sunrise yoga class at Copacabana Beach and a hearty breakfast,  we will drive along the scenic coast about 3 and 1/2 hours to the picturesque colonial town of Paraty, where we will stay at the eclectic Dharma-Shala of Ecovilla Goura Vrindávana, for 6 nights. While here, we will enjoy daily hikes through the  rainforest to hidden waterfalls and special geographical formations, outings to the gorgeous pristine beaches etc. I will charter a boat with a crew and go sailing island -hopping and stopping at the private beaches wherever we desire! Another day we will go on a Jeep Safari, exploring the waterfalls, natural slides and an easy hike  towards the 300 yr.  old historic “Camino de ouro” -gold trail the portuguese used for centuries to transport the gold from the interior of the country.

Breathe, heal, unplug, release, play, transform and practice yoga in one of the world’s most exotic locations. With the perfect ending of the week we will accompany you back to the airport in Rio for your trip home on the evening of Sunday, May 17 th.  Again, If  you would like to arrive a few days early to see more of Brazil, then one suggestion would be to fly south to see one of the largest and most spectacular waterfall in the world by volume and sheer number of the falls – the Iguassu falls, or if you would rather take it easy in the vicinity, there is Buzios- a charming little resort town discovered by Brigitte Bardot, who lived there in the 1960-es. It is only 2 hours away from Rio by car. It is considered to be the “St. Tropez” of Brazil. I have visited it and highly recommend it. We will nurture our bodies with some delightful and nutritious vegetarian cuisine*. The Dharma Shala Chef, Krisna Priya, lovingly prepares each 1-3 course meal using ayurvedic techniques and locally sourced mostly organic produce. You will also enjoy a magnificent array of tropical fruits from the orchard. The pineapple and Papaya are growing outside the guesthouse and in May when arrive it is the Acai berry season! I have personally experienced Priya’s cooking on three separate occasions and was delighted every time! *Note: Food allergies will be taken into account, but will need to be communicated by sending us an e-mail.  

   Daily Schedule:

7am/ Good morning rainforest! Coffee/tea/juice

7:15-9:00 am / Morning yoga practice

9 :00 am / sumptuous  buffet Breakfast 10 am -12:30 am depending on a day, either  a planned trip to nearby attreactions or free time.

1:00 pm / Lunch, Gourmet Meal

2:00-5:30 pm /  Relaxation/Journaling/Creative time/hiking/waterfalls/ swimming/explore organic garden

5:30-7:00 pm/  Evening Yoga Practice and Deep Relaxation and Meditation

7: 15 pm  / Dinner, Light Evening Organic Meal 8:00 pm /  Gathering, discussions, free time. All yoga classes and excursions are optional. You are welcome to sleep in a bit later or stay at the guest house while the group goes for an excursion. This is your retreat!!!

What’s included?  

In Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro 

  • One-way  private deluxe shuttle transportation between GIG Airport (Rio de Janeiro) Copacabana upon arrival
  • 1 night at the **** Hotel Orla in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro plus:
  • Tour tickets and transportation to Sugar Loaf Mountain and the statue of Christ Redeemer
  • Sunset Beach Meditation and Sunrise Beach Yoga Class
  • Guided beach walk at Copacabana, Arpoador and Ipanema
  • Free time for souvenir shopping and relaxing
  • Drinking bottled water will be provided while in Rio.

Dharma Shala Ecovilla, Paraty

  • 6 nights, 7days  accommodation at the beautiful Dharma Shala Ecovilla Inn
  • 3  gourmet meals a day
  • 2 yoga classes a day (morning and evening)
  • Daily group activities
  • Meditations and pranayama
  • One forest/jungle Jeep walk tour  (5 hours)
  • One Yacht excursion/ Day trip Cruise to explore Paraty bay beaches (5 hours)
  • Guided Ecological walks and hikes to the waterfalls, natural pools and forest nearby
  • Organic vegetable garden experience
  • Bhakti Yoga Temple with daily ceremonies open to visitors
  • Free time to explore the beautiful surroundings, diverse optional activities to relax and unwind.
  • One-way  private deluxe shuttle transportation between Copacabana Hotel and Dharma Shala Ecovilla
  • One-way  private deluxe shuttle transportation between Dharma Shala Ecovilla and GIG Airport (Rio de janeiro) for your departure

  What’s not included?

  • Airfare
  • Visa (if you hold second passport from a visa waiver country, for example one of the EU countries, you will be exempt from needing a visa)
  • Travel insurance (we highly recommend getting travel insurance before departure in case of unforseen circumstances).
  • Lunch and Dinner at Copacabana(only breakfast is provided  free)
  • Extra tours around the city or car rentals
  • Optional Activities/Amenities and incidental expenses 
  • Massage, private sessions, etc….

*Note:  Optional activities are not included in the retreat price but are available and affordable for you to enjoy. At Rio de Janeiro International airport (GIG): Please, make arrangements to be at the airport May 10 th   before 9 am, our shuttle will leave to Copacabana at 10:00 am. the latest. The shuttle back to the airport will leave from our guesthouse ,  on May 17 at 3:00pm; we will be at the airport by 7:30 pm.  Arrange your flight back home after 9:30 pm on May 17 th or just past midnight on the 18 th of May.(Most flight back to US are in the late hours of the day) Any questions, contact us before you book your flight. Your investment Per person: Deluxe Suite Double  Early Bird –   $1700   if paid Until  February 1st. $1850 Thereafter.

Deluxe Suite Single Early Bird –   $2300  Until  February 1st. $2450 Thereafter .

All rooms include private veranda, fan & private bathroom *Deluxe Suite has a breathtaking bay view!!! We have booked the entire hotel but in case the Deluxe rooms get all booked, there will be standard rooms available with partial ocean and garden view  and  a bit less spacious interiors. The rooms are available on first come first served basis. Deposit: The $400 non-refundable deposit will be due February 1-st or before.

A non-refundable deposit of $400 is required to hold your space. Final Balance Policy: Final payment must be received by March 1st, 2015 in order to be eligible for the early bird pricing.

Cancelation Policy: Full refund, less $400 deposit, will be given with at least 60 days notice. Within 59 days of the retreat: 50% of the total amount (less deposit) will be refunded. Less than 30 days of the retreat: no refunds given without exceptions.

Payment options: PayPal and  cash or check. Iyengaryogi’s PayPal ID is: vjandov1@yahoo.com Reserve your space with a $400 deposit. After your registration, we will contact you, and assign you with the accommodation that is best suited for you. We will then send you an invoice to complete your payment balance accordingly. Bring a friend with you to the retreat and get $100 off.  Bring comfortable clothing as you would dress in L.A. during summer and  early fall. The weather is glorious at this time of the year which is autumn in the southern Hemisphere. The Atlantic Ocean temperature  is a perfect 75-80 Farenheit. A rain jacket for that day that may rain, or an umbrella… :) Bring good comfortable walking shoes, as we’ll be exploring on foot quite a bit. Sandals for the beach. Also, water sport sandals for walking on slippery smooth boulders in the river. It is important that you bring with you at the very minimum: a yoga mat (light for traveling), a foam or cork type of yoga block and a strap,  if you don’t own a strap, I will provide you one during the retreat. To book, please write to: vjandov1@gmail.com

























Important Addendum for Croatia Retreat in September 2013. Please read the entire post to answer many of the questios you may have: The retreat tuition cost includes:

  • All Yoga classes taught by Vladimir
  • Breakfast which is included with your hotel stay
  • Organic Raw Food 3-course lunch meals prepared by Darko Juric for 7 days.
  • 6 nights  shared accomodation at the fabulous 4 star Eden Hotel in Rovinj, Istria
  • Drinking water during the entire time of the retreat
  • A 2-1/2 hour ride to the Plitvice Lakes National park and entrance fee to the Park.
  • A sailing trip on a private chartered yacht and entrance fee to the nearby Brjiuni Islands National park

What is not included: Your International airfare to one of the airports closest to the venue (see below for more info on arrival options) If you require a single occupied room there will be an additional charge depending on the room type at the time of making such request (anywhere from $400 to $550 for the whole stay) Dinners and any other snacks and drinks other than water  are to be covered by the participants Any incidental expenses, such as items from the mini bar, medical expenses etc. The entrance fees to museums etc. except to Plitvice lakes national park and Brijuni islands park. Transportation and transfer from the airport to the venue and back to the airport due to so many options of arrival and logistical difficulty in arranging pick up of participants arriving from all directions. Assistance and guidance will be provided as to how to get to the hotel in the most comfortable and economically efficient manner. Cost of the retreat is Early Bird $1695 when paid in full by July 1-st, $1850 when paid thereafter. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your spot. The retreat is limited to 15 persons only and may be sold out, as we advertise internatonally. For budget conscious traveler, there is a possibility to rent a room in one of the nearby apartments for rent, which could be less than the hotel rate we are staying at. It may also come with a lot less amenities. You may want to check www.booking.com for such option. Note: if you choose to stay independent from the retreat group, the pool use of the hotel may not be allowed. If you decide to choose that option, please contact Vladimir directly at 310-998-7819 to find out the cost for his services without the accomodation. There are many options to arrive to the location of the retreat: The closest International airport to Rovinj is in Trieste, Italy (Ronchi De Legionari) which is 20 miles north of the city. From there one can take a bus to the city center and then either take a bus bound for Rovinj or rent a car at the airport and drive the 60 miles directly to the location.

  •  Second option is to fly into Zagreb Int’l airport (ZAG code) and from there take a bus bound for Rovinj or rent a car at the airport. The ride is about 2 and half hours.I am choosing this option as I will be arriving to Croatia from another European country. This option is good for those who may be arrving earlier and from ther can either take a short, 40 min.flight to Pula (as I will do) or take a bus/car to Rovinj. If you would like me to assist you personally and travel together from Zagreb to Pula, you will need to arrive to Zagreb by 9 am the latest to make the plane connection at 10:30 am on the 17th of September.

Depending on the weather forecast for the region of Central Croatia, on one of the days during the retreat we will take a ride in a comfortable A/C shuttle to the Plitvice Lakes National Park, a Unesco heritage site famous for it’s waterfalls and crystal clear lakes and do our asana and pranayama/ meditation class set amid the most wonderful surroundings. On September 23-rd at 2:00pm after lunch we will conclude our Croatia 2013 Yoga Retreat. At this point,  those of you  ready to return back home, will take their own arrangements for transportation to the airport. A few places I may suggest to you, who wish to spend a few more days in the Old World can choose to visit a multitude of charming and cultural destinations within a short drive/flight: Dubrovnik, Split,Venice, Zagreb, Ljubljana,Vienna, Budapest or whatever your heart desires. Croatia is very well connected with it’s neighboring countries through a network of modern and well maintained highways as well as inexpensive flights. Our typical day will consist of two yoga classes (one 2-hour class in the morning and one and half hour in the afternoon), then after breakfast there will be a different itinerary suggested every day to explore the nearby cultural sites, museums, galleries, hike in national parks, ancient ruins, market place, old town center etc. Of course there will  also be time for some personal time for R&R at the beach or at hotel pool with a book. All the trips during the day are suggestions for spending time within the group and are not required to take and are at an additonal cost unless stated otherwise above. What to bring with you: A valid passport with at least 6 months left upon arrival! (No Visa is required for U.S. and EU citizens). Other nationals please check with Croatian Consulate at your residence. A major credit card for booking transportation etc. Some cash up to $500-600 in order to avoid the costly ATM foreign bank fees. Comfortable clothing as you would dress in L.A. during summer and fall. The weather is glorious at this time of the year. The Adriatic sea water is a perfect 72-75 Farenheit. A rain jacket for that day that may rain, or an umbrella… :) Good comfortable walking shoes, as we’ll be exploring on foot quite a bit. Sandals for the beach. Also, water sport shoes for rocky bottom in some areas of the beach is recommended. It is important that you bring with you at the very minimum: a yoga mat (light for traveling), a foam or cork type of yoga block and a strap. If you don’t own a strap, I will provide you one during the retreat. Medications if you are taking any. Most of all, a positive and fun attitude and smiles :)