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  • BEYOND THE CLOUDS A Spiritual Journey in Yoga and Bhutan Seven-night Yoga Retreat & Exploration of Bhutan in October 2012 Travelers in the magical Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan find themselves in a land of pure, exotic mysticism and spirituality that stirs the imagination like few places in the world. Our very own Shangri La is textured with crimson-robed monks, votive juniper smoke, imposing fortresses, mysterious tales of flying tigers and fleeting yeti. For our seven-night Himalayan Yoga Retreat, we have partnered with old friends and yoga teachers Christina & Andrea Curry to offer an incredible glimpse through the looking glass into Bhutan's inimitable Buddhist soul. The Curry sisters will guide participants of all levels and practices through a transformative week of meditation, pranayama and asana, bound together by unique sequencing and intention. Meanwhile, our experienced, English-speaking Buddhist guides are on hand to lead short walks and pujas between key, sacred temples, ancient monasteries and villages dotting the pristine landscape. Join us for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to fully immerse yourself in this land beyond the clouds.

    21st October DAY 1 Arrival, check-in, easy walk, briefing & Welcome Dinner Your guides and drivers will welcome you and your teachers at Paro International airport for the 10-minute transfer to the hotel for the first night. After a short briefing and perhaps lunch, we invite you for a guided walk in Paro Town for orientation and acclimatisation purposes or you may wish to rest after the flight. You are invited to join Christina and Andrea for a welcome dinner at Umas Bukhari restaurant.

    YOGA SCHEDULE Morning Yoga 08:00-10:30 + Brunch 10:45-12:00 + Outing 12:30 - 17:00 + Afternoon Yoga 17:30-19:00pm + Spa/Dinner 19:15 On Day 7 no morning yoga as we start early for the puja to Taktsang, returning for an extended restorative class in the afternoon

    22nd October DAY 2 Zurig Dzong Walk & Ta Dzong museum Wind through pine forests high above Uma Paro and Rinpung Dzong to the pretty grounds of the fortress-like monastery of Zuri Dzong. Traverse across to visit Ta Dzong, housing Bhutans National Museum with magnificent views over Paro, and on to our waiting vehicle to be whisked back for afternoon yoga. 23rd October DAY 3 Paro town & Rinpung Dzong Through Paro Town, past Ugyen Pelri Palace and the main archery ground we start our walk across the traditional covered bridge Nyami Zam over the Pa Chhu (river) and join devotees on their way up to Rinpung Dzong (Fortress on a Heap of Jewels). 24th October DAY 4 Traditional Farmhouse & Kyichu Lhakhang We pop in to meet our friend Farmer Tshering and his family and take tea with them in his traditional farmhouse. Then we take some offerings for a puja (pilgrimage) at Kyichu Lhakhang one of the oldest temples in Bhutan with its magic orange tree that bears fruit all year round. 25th October DAY 5 Dzong Drakar, Chele La Pass, hike to Kila Nunnery Seemingly suspended in rock crags almost on the brink of the highest road pass in Bhutan (Chele La 3,988m), Kila Goemba has been a retreat for meditation since the 9th century. These days it is an Anim Dratshang or nunnery; lofty retreat, place of worship and home to about 30 hardy nuns. Towards the summit of Chele La we pop out of the blue pine and rhododendron forest into windswept highlands much favoured by yaks and dotted with azaleas and edelweiss. With tantalizing glimpses of Mt Jhomalhari (7,314m) at every other hairpin bend we finally reach the summit and western Bhutan is laid before us with the unspoilt Haa valley and the mountains of Sikkim to the west, Tibet to the north and the patchwork fields of the Paro valley to the east. Leaving the prayer flag swathed pass behind we strike off on foot, plunging into primeval forest, reaching the nunnery after around two hours. Having paid our respects at the temple and maybe even received a blessing it is time to say farewell to the nuns and drop further into the valley to our waiting vehicle. 26th October DAY 6 Free for shopping, guided nature walks Your friendly Bhutanese guides are on hand to assist with a shopping excursion in Paro for souvenirs perhaps including prayer flags, fierce demon masks, woven fabrics etc or you may wish to head for the hills on a guided nature walk with your guide. 27th October DAY 7 Taktsang Hike, Drugkyel Dzong & Farewell Dinner The hike to the iconic Taktsang Goemba or Tigers Nest Monastery provides a fitting climax to our adventure. Otherworldly forces seem to be at work to keep the monastery clinging to its perch in the rockface so it comes as no surprise to discover that this cliffside was where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava) landed on the back of a flying tigress, bringing Buddhism to Bhutan from Tibet. To avoid the hot sun an early start is advisable for the two-hour climb to the viewpoint. Descend steeply, then climb up to the monastery, passing a waterfall and entering through the main gates. On the way back to Paro for last minute shopping we may take a stroll in the grounds of His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck, the fourth

  • Kings former schoolhouse nestled in the forest. On the last evening of the retreat, Christina and Andrea invite you for a firelit farewell dinner in the courtyard at Uma. 28th October DAY 8 Depart Bhutan or continue to Thimpu & Punakha Druk Air normally departs in the morning to avoid adverse weather conditions so after breakfast, your transfer to the airport will be arranged depending on the flight schedule. Alternatively the Curry sisters would like to invite you to venture deeper into the Kingdom for an additional three nights. For those accompanying Christina and Andrea onwards to Punakha we depart for the 50-minute drive to the weekend market in the capital Thimpu (please email us for the add-on itinerary and rates) ABOUT THE TEACHERS Christina Curry Christina has trained with David Goulet and Marina Hallerman, Ana Forrest, Ganga White and Tracey Rich, Noah Maze, as well as taking retreats and workshops with many of the worlds great Yoga Masters. Her passion for Yoga led her to Thailand in 2002; she has since taught in Thailand, Maldives, Bhutan (at Uma Paro, the venue for this retreat), Bali, the US and Europe. Her style is grounded in Vinyasa Yoga, with an enthusiastic exploration of physical alignment, pranayama and meditation, Her experience, ranges from Restorative Yoga to Ashtanga, contributing to her unique approach. Christina encourages the liberation of the body and mind from blockages so that the practitioner feels free to live life to the fullest -

    Andrea Curry Andrea has been practicing yoga for over 19 years, teaching internationally since 2000. She has taken teacher trainings, retreats and workshops with David Goulet, Marina Hallerman, Ana Forrest, Seane Corn, Noah Maze and many other great Yoga Masters. Her devotion to outreach work has led her around the world with all kinds of work in several different cultures. Her passionate and focused style draws inspiration from many traditions including Vinyasa, Anusara, Forrest, and Iyengar yoga. Her classes integrate relaxation, strength and flow with the application of precise alignment, breath and meditation. She invites people to explore their limits, embrace their intuition and relax deeper into their practice. Andrea's mission is to share her passion with others in a joyful and challenging yet nurturing way - RETREAT PACKAGE INCLUSIONS

    Bhutanese Government Visa Fees, Taxes and Royalties Inclusive of 10% sales tax & service charge at Uma Paro Accommodation on a full board basis throughout (excluding beverages) Complimentary mineral water on all days out The exclusive services of two experienced English-speaking, Buddhist, Bhutanese Guides Of Bhutan Entry permits and fees to all temples, museums & monasteries in the itinerary Private transport throughout including airport transfers Daily, privately guided excursions including three walks Five and a half days of Yoga classes lead by Christina and Andrea Curry at Uma Paros yoga studio One COMO Shambhala Massage per person Complimentary use of Uma Paros facilities including indoor swimming pool, gym, archery ground, library & WI-FI

    Beyond the Clouds A Spiritual Journey in Yoga and Bhutan - Sunday 21st October to Sunday 28th October Package Rate Options Roundtrip Druk Air Flight Costs (Bangkok-Paro)

    Room / Occupancy All-Inclusive Package Price

    Ticket Category Rate

    SUPERIOR (Twin Occupancy) US$ 6,200 per person SUPERIOR (Single Occupancy) US$ 7,000 Business Class US$ 1,200 DELUXE (Twin Occupancy) US$ 6,600 per person DELUXE (Single Occupancy) US$ 7,900 Economy Class US$ 990

    All inclusive package prices are per person for 7 nights / 8 days in Bhutan plus Rates for Suites & Villas available on request

  • PRACTICAL INFORMATION TRAVEL TO BHUTAN As a licensed tour operator Guides Of Bhutan handles the whole booking process on behalf of our guests, including flights and visa applications but it is advisable to book well in advance to secure hotel rooms and airline seats. Bhutan's national airline operates between Bhutan and Bangkok. On receipt of payment for the full fare, our guests will be sent a copy of their E-ticket via email. Druk Airs policies are applied to this service and Guides Of Bhutan cannot refund tickets purchased on behalf of our guests. For up-to-date flight information please refer to the Druk Air website To secure your booking we require the following:

    A scanned copy of the photo page of each guests passport (valid for 6 months) A completed copy of the visa form which we will send you on request A deposit of 25% of the package pric