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India Ashram Retreat

In the Footsteps of Rama:
Embracing the Path of Wisdom, Virtue and Inner Harmony
Authentic Indian Ashram Experience

    March 15-28, 2024


    Nashik, Maharashta, India. Stay in an ashram near an ancient holy city featured in the Ramayana as the location for Lord Rama’s exile.

    • 14 nights shared ashram accommodations
    • Transit to and from Mumbai to ashram
    • Arrival support from Mumbai Airport to hotel or ashram transport
    • Three organic, fresh, locally made ashram meals daily
    • Daytrip to Ramkund bathing Ghat on Sacred Godvari River 
    • Daytrip to Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple
    • Daytrip to Pandev Leni Buddhist Rock Caves
    • Daytrip Trek to Hanuman’s Birthplace Hilltop
    • Daily morning and evening asana, pranayama, meditation classes
    • Daily Yoga Nidra
    • Daily Lectures/theory/philosophy
    • Experienced Instructors in an Ashram setting
    • Opportunity to study the Ramayana and contemplate its teachings on dharma while visiting sites where the great epic took place.
    • Up to 100 Yoga Alliance CEUs* and opportunity to bank these hours toward a Shakti 300 hour Teacher Training.

    *Particiption in all yoga activites, daytrips, and lectures are optional 
    *Study hours may go toward Module one of  three-part 300hr Shakti Traditional Yoga Studies YTT. Contact Bobby for details.

    • Airfare, insurance, visa, personal excursions, tourist site entry fees. Expenses associated with early arrival to Mumbai accommodations, etc, if applicable. However support will be provided to get from airport to connect with your Mumbai hotel, or to ashram transport from Mumbai.

    $1600CAD +hst 
    $1200 USD


    Clothing appropriate for hot, dry temperatures. Include yoga clothing for asana classes. head scarf, hat, sunglasses, at least one outfit of loose, modest, temple-appropriate attire. Comfortable shoes appropriate for easy hiking, and sandals that are easy to slip in and out of. 

    Yoga mat, easy to carry luggage for getting in and out of cars, etc.


    Register by filling in the registration form at the link below. This form and a $500CAD deposit will be required to hold your space. Send emt to Contact if you have any questions about this process or the retreat in general. *Non-Canadians please contact Bobby for deposit payment method options.

  • Experience Details

    The ashram is located in a breathtaking rural area just a short drive from the city. There is a beautiful view from every direction, with a small village nearby. 100% organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, beans and grains are grown onsite and prepared for the ashram by women at the nearby village. Evening walks to the ashram hill to view sunsets are a highlight. Guruji was a student of Swami Satyananda Saraswati and continues to follow and teach the Bihar school of yoga traditions.

    Accommodations are ashram style. Rooms are shared with 3-4 people per cabin. Bathroom is shared. Each person has a single bed with mosquito nets, a storage locker for personal items, and a privacy curtain. There is no air conditioning in the rooms. It will be hot so come prepared with cool sleeping attire.

    While all yoga classes, lectures, and excursions are optional, even when relaxing at the ashram it is important to respect all ashram rules. There is absolutely no alcohol or drugs allowed on premises, meal times are for silent contemplation, no noisy behavior at night, etc. In general simply following common sense behavior codes for a spiritual community.

    There will be a full day of yoga study options and/or excursions available that begin at sunrise and conclude with satsangs, mantra or other activities appropriate for end of day. All of these activities are optional. You are free to relax in your room, or elsewhere on the ashram if desired.

    Assistance will be provided for anyone planning to add a few days of personal travel to the end of their ashram stay. A common addition is to travel north to see the Taj Mahal in Agra, Jaipur and New Delhi.

    Participants will meet in Mumbai and be given support in connecting with transport from Mumbai to the ashram. 


    • ANYONE interested in an authentic India experience.
    • ANYONE interested in an authentic ashram experience.
    • Beginner Yoga Practioners wanting an introduction to yoga and yoga tradition in a supportive environment.
    • Experienced Yoga Practioners who would like to delve deeper into yoga traditions and practices.
    • Yoga Teachers interested in gaining Yoga Alliance CEUs (100 hours-could be used toward a Shakti Yoga 300 Hour Program).
    • The “non-tourist” traveller or those interested in transcending the usual tourist experience and would like to meet and interact with locals in both rural and city settings.
    • Spiritual seekers looking to experience the sacred resonance of ancient spiritually significant sites, while also living a traditional yogic lifestyle. 

Daytrips & Sacred Sites 

Nashik Area

While little known to the Western Tourist, the city of Nashik and its environs is one of the most sacred places in India. It plays a pivotal role in the Ramayana epic, and every 12 years is host to the largest pilgramage on earth, the Kumbh Mela. Devotees come to bathe in the sacred Godavari River that flows through the heart of Nashik, to free themselves from sins and to become liberated from the cycle of birth and death. This area is also home to the birthplace of the monkey god Hanuman, has one of the 12 most sacred jyortirlinga Shiva temples, and is an important site for the development of early Buddhist practices. *Specific site visitation may be dependant on weather conditions, site maintence or other unforseen circumstances. *Shopping opportunities will be made available at convenient points throughout.

  • Ancient Buddhist Rock Hewn Caves

    The Pandav Leni Caves consist of twenty four 2000 year old rock cut temples holding various statues of Buddha, each a unique example of buddhist architecture and art at various stages Buddhism’s early development.

  • Trimbakeshwar Shiva Temple

    An ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva that holds 1 of 12 sacred Jyotirlingas that are part of a pilgramage all on their own. This Jyotirlinga is extraordinary as the only one featuring three faces, representing Lord Shiva, Vishnu & Brahma. Adding to its importance is its location, at the origin of the sacred Godavari River.

  • Birth Place of Hanuman

    A short hike up to Anjaneri Hill boasts incredible views. Among the sites along the way is the understated temple dedicated the Goddess Anjana, and the cave where she is thought to have given birth to Lord Hanuman.    

  • The Old City & Bathing Ghats

    The Godavari is one of the three holy rivers of India. It is here that Lakshmana cut off the nose of a demoness, giving Nashik its name, which comes from the Sanskrit word nasika, or nose. Situated in the Old city Ramkund is a sacred bathing ghat on the Godavari where Lord Rama and his wife Sita are thought to have bathed during his exhile. Today  pilgrims come here to bathe, pray, and immerse the ashes of their dead in this temple dense area of the city.



Bobby Bessey, B.Sc., E-RYT 500, RPYT, Neurogenic Yoga, and Yoga Teacher Trainer is the founder of Shakti Yoga Method and offers a number of Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher Trainings. She is the creator and director of the Shakti Yoga 200hr, Prenatal, Nidra, Yin and Ayurvedic yoga teacher trainings that she instructs internationally.

Bobby has made many trips to India over the past two decades to study both yoga and Ayurveda at various ashrams and ayurvedic clinics. She has a great passion for the history and traditions of India, and is excited to share one of her favourite places on earth with participants of this Shakti ashram retreat. She chose Nashik because of its ancient historical significance to yoga tradition, its relatively unknown status with western tourists, and because of a magical little teaching ashram that she discovered nestled in the rural outskirts of Nashik almost two decades ago. Bobby was so enamoured of this supportive, yet authentic ashram that she once even brought her mother there to introduce her to yoga and India. Some of her favourite memories of India include meditating with her Momma on the hill above this ashram. She truly believes that watching the sun set against the backdrop of ancient villages, and mountain tops (including that of Hanuman’s birthplace) will awaken you to a whole new depth of appreciation for the beauty and sanctity of your wild and wonderful life.