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The Yoga of Nature — Embracing the Boundless Universe (23 Oct - 3 Nov 2019)


What: Yoga and meditation retreat (residential)

Topic: The Yoga of Nature — Embracing the Boundless Universe: A journey into the senses and the elements through movement, meditation and natural living

Where: Dharmalaya Institute in Bir, HP, India

When: 23rd October - 3rd November 2019 (see below for details)

Language: English

Facilitators: Daphne Charles (experienced yoga instructor and cofounder of Routes of Yoga) and Mark Moore (cofounder of Dharmalaya Institute)

Description: We are pleased to invite you on a very special 12-day retreat venturing deep into the heart of yoga and the essence of nature. In this unique residential retreat, we explore the sublime landscapes of nature both around and within us, supported by a stellar rhythm of daily yoga and meditation, integrating our inner practices with the outer world.

Directing our senses toward the five elements — earth, water, fire, air and space — we attune ourselves to the archetypal building blocks of the universe, nature, and the human body. This deepens our sense of connectedness throughout all of life’s experiences. As we settle into this meditative awareness of the elements, we develop our sensitivity to energy flows, and use them to restore balance and vitality through yogic practice and healthy natural living.

In the beautiful natural setting of Dharmalaya, we will enjoy 12 days of listening deeply to ourselves, to nature, and to the voices of our companions on the journey. As we sync with one another and ease into a sense of community, our experiences become fertile ground for insight through contemplation and group dialogue.

We practice not only on the mat and the cushion but also in the forest, by the stream, in the gardens, and beyond, enjoying the abundant beauty of nature and connecting intimately with it. All of this is orchestrated in a natural rhythm, following the cyclical flow of the day, supporting a nourishing balance of engagement, reflection, and rest. The mornings ground us in our daily yoga, chi kung and meditation practice. The afternoons take us on a journey of exploratory workshops, mindful activities and rich landscapes. After a fire offering at sunset, the evenings invite us to wind down and retreat inward through gentle yoga and silent meditation.

This retreat offers a precious opportunity to dedicate 12 days to harmonizing your body, mind and spirit. Nourish and revitalize yourself and feel the direct beneficial effects on your state of mind, emotions, and vitality. Optimize your well-being with us, then enjoy taking these practices home to use in every moment of your daily life, where it matters most.

This retreat is suitable for people of all backgrounds, including experienced yogis and meditators as well as those who are new to yoga and meditation.

Note: For those considering attending the ‘Calming the Mind: Joy of Living 1’ retreat from 7-12 October, attending both retreats is recommendable as the Calming the Mind retreat will serve as an excellent preparation for this retreat, which in turn will expand upon the practice developed in the first retreat and provide opportunities for deepening and integration.

What to expect:

  • Supportive routine: A daily rhythm of yoga asana practice, outdoor activities, discussions, and silent meditation time.
  • Natural simplicity: Rustic accommodations in natural earthen buildings or comfortable tents in a beautiful forest setting. 
  • Yogic lifestyle: Clean and simple ashram-style lifestyle in which everyone contributes to the running of the place, including cleaning, washing dishes, etc.
  • Healthy food: Natural and mostly organic, purely vegetarian meals (100% plant-based, vegan).
  • Digital detox: There will be no use of mobile phones or internet during the retreat.

IMPORTANT NOTES: As this is a yoga and meditation retreat, accordingly we will be turning our attention inward for the duration of the retreat. Aside from the discussion sessions, much of the retreat will be held in silence. To maintain an environment supportive of the retreat experience, everyone will remain at the retreat center for the duration of the programme, and we will be unplugging from the world of mobiles and Internet, so please let your loved ones and colleagues know that you will be completely unplugged and won’t be in touch for these twelve days.


The retreat will begin at 11:00am on 23rd October. We request all participants to arrive at 10:30am on the 23rd itself (we will provide detailed timing, instructions, and travel tips after confirming your registration).

As this is a traditional ‘closed’ retreat, all participants will stay on the Dharmalaya campus for the entire duration of the retreat.

The retreat will conclude at 2:30pm on 3rd November. Participants who are leaving after the programme should plan to depart at 2:30pm on the 3rd.

Those who register for the training that follows this retreat (beginning 10th November) will have the option either to stay at Dharmalaya for the week in between (to volunteer to help with the work at Dharmalaya) or to leave for a week and then return on the morning of 10th November.


The total fee for the retreat is Rs 15,000, inclusive of healthy meals and comfortable accommodation in shared dormitories (or in comfortable tents if you prefer being closer to nature). A very limited number of private rooms and private tents are available at extra cost.

Transportation costs to and from Dharmalaya are not included. For participants with financial hardship, a limited number of subsidized positions are available (please contact us for details).

About the facilitators

The retreat will be cofacilitated by Daphne Charles and Mark Moore.

Daphne Charles is an experienced yoga teacher (E-RYT) and cofounder of Routes of Yoga.





Mark Moore is an educator and cofounder of Dharmalaya Institute. He has been leading retreats for a decade.




Important Information

Before you pack for your trip to Dharmalaya Institute, please read the very important information on our Visitor Info page and our FAQ. If you have a specific question that is not answered there, contact us here and we’ll be happy to answer.

Application, Registration & Deposit

Enrolment in this retreat is by application only and space is limited, so advance registration and 50% nonrefundable deposit (Rs. 7500) are required. Registrations are confirmed only after receiving the deposit, on a first-come-first-served basis. To apply, use this form. If your application is accepted, we will reply with further instructions and information. The remaining balance of Rs 7500 will be payable upon arrival at Dharmalaya Institute (so be sure to bring enough cash with you).

For Participants with Indian Rupee Bank Accounts

You can make your nonrefundable 50% deposit either by in-person deposit at any HDFC branch, or electronically by bank transfer (intra-bank transfer for HDFC accounts, or NEFT for non-HDFC accounts). We will send bank details after your application is approved.

For Participants without Indian Rupee Bank Accounts

After we have approved your application and requested you to make the deposit, you can make your non-refundable 50% deposit securely by credit card, debit card, or Payal. Just click the button below:

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