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Reviewed 20 November 2015

I have just returned to London having spent 15 wonderful days at SWAN Yoga Retreat. It’s hard to sum up what an amazing experience it was, how much I learned or how much I miss the beautiful peaceful environment.

This was my first trip to India and the first time I have ever been to an ashram or on a retreat. I am a 61 year-old man with no experience of yoga but I have been a meditator for many years and always been interested in Eastern philosophy. My greatest anxiety before setting off was my lack of flexibility and being able to sit cross-legged, something I haven’t done since I was 10 years old! I was also travelling alone and I wasn’t sure how I would fit in with the other guests who may be a lot younger and may have many years of yoga experience.

Within minutes of arriving at SWAN all my anxieties disappeared and I entered a tranquil and supportive place where I was warmly welcomed and shown to my own cottage and offered food. I soon got to meet the other guests who offered me help and advice and shared their own experiences.

The day usually began with the beautiful and very spiritual Havan fire ceremony followed by meditation and a light breakfast. The rest of the day provided opportunities for Yoga Asanas, philosophy classes, Yoga Nidra, Pranayama, Karma yoga and on one occasion Trataka (candle gazing). I loved the variety of classes on offer, no day was exactly the same and at no time did I ever feel under pressure to participate. Some Yoga Asanas were more challenging for me but I always felt supported by the teachers who offered me alternative postures where appropriate. I also appreciated some of the built in rest periods where I was able to select a book from the SWAN library and read or simply relax and reflect.

I really enjoyed the vegetarian food, beautifully prepared by the SWAN chefs, constantly inventive, plentiful, and nutritious and never the same.

The other guests were such great company, intelligent and widely travelled from different parts of the world. During my stay I met guests from France, Switzerland, The Netherlands, South Africa, Canada, Austria, Sweden, USA and the UK. We had many hours of conversation and laughter.

I was very fortunate to visit during the festival of Diwali and share this lovely occasion with teachers, staff and guests. One of the many highlights for me was the opportunity for morning meditation on the beach followed by a swim in the warm Arabian Sea.

It would be impossible to write this review without mentioning Gyanmitra, Shivendra and Om. SWAN is their home, where they welcome guests from all over the world and where they teach and share their knowledge, experience and wisdom so generously.

SWAN Yoga Retreat is a very special place and I hope to return again next year. I just must keep practicing crossing my legs!

Date of stay: November 2015
5  Thank stevemoran3
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
TeamSWANYoga, Guest Relations Manager at SWAN Yoga Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2020

Hari Om Blessed Soul,

Thank you for rating and reviewing SWAN Yoga Retreat. We are glad to know that by staying at our ashram, SWAN helped your life become more spiritual and peaceful.

Warm Regards

Om Shanti

Team SWAN

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2015 via mobile

Amazing place, amazing people, amazing food, totally exceeded my expectations, go with an open mind and heart,and listen, because these guys know what they're talking about, thanks again for sharing yer wonderful home, i loved every second!

Date of stay: October 2015
Trip type: Travelled solo
1  Thank Mairead W
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
TeamSWANYoga, Guest Relations Manager at SWAN Yoga Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2020

Hari Om Blessed Soul,

Thank you for rating and reviewing SWAN Yoga Retreat. We are glad to know that by staying at our ashram, SWAN helped your life become more spiritual and peaceful.

Warm Regards

Om Shanti

Team SWAN

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2015

I entered SWAN with no expectations and left with plenty of good memories and a happy mind & body! Nature is plendid, the food is gorgeous and the teachers very knowledgeable. All the SWAN employees are Indians, which I find important.
The rooms are tastefully decorated and very clean.
The ambiance is friendly and genuine.
The program is varied and well organised.
Unfortunately the ayurvedic centre was not open yet.

Date of stay: October 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank vini-vizit
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
SWAN108, Manager at SWAN Yoga Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 22 October 2015

Dear Blessed Self,

Thanks for your kind words.
We try to work with honesty and integrity to provide the best experience to all our guests.
Your inputs help us in making SWAN Yoga Retreat a place where people can experience yoga in it's totality. About our Ayurveda section being not operational, we are sorry. But you know it was just the beginning of the season and work was in progress to start it. We hope to see you soon in future, and we are sure you would love our Ayurveda treatments as much as you have loved the other things about the place. Sending warm regards to you from Team SWAN. We wish to see you soon again.

Hari Om Tat Sat

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Reviewed 31 August 2015

At the end of last year I started my search for a place where I could do some yoga and rest for some time, as I wanted a break from my stressed lifestyle. Since I was going to travel on my own for the first time ever to India, I have to say I was a bit nervous... Swan yoga retreat was recommended to me by some friends who had stayed there, and I also did quite a lot of research online before I booked the two week package they offer. I was really happy that I chose to stay for two weeks, because pretty soon I realised one week would have been too short! About my experience at this yoga retreat in Goa, I can only say it has been fulfilling on all levels (and trust me i am not so easy to please!)
Every day started with morning meditations while it was still dark, and by the time you finish the meditation and open the eyes you see the beautiful sunrise from the yoga shala located at the top level of the property. I am definitely not a morning person, but this experience made me get up early everyday!
The asana classes in were mostly led by a lovely Indian woman called Daya, and sometimes a really cool guy called Om (yes, that's his name!). They're both really sweet people; always helpful and with a lot of experience. My previous yoga experience was limited to attending some yoga classes back home, but here I realised what I had been missing out on... The yoga philosophy classes were very helpful&interesting, and the teachers made it all so simple and understandable. And at Swan I felt like teaching is not just happening in the classes but basically anywhere… Like over dinner, at the juice bar or the “fake beach”, there could be a spontaneous discussion about some really deep spiritual topic. So cool.
I really loved how they are all deeply rooted in tradition and yet free spirits embracing all the joys of life guilt free…
And I have to mention one other thing I will never forget: the fire ceremonies they had every saturday and sunday evening were really something magical! This was one of the reasons I chose Swan, because I think they would be the only retreat offering something of this kind in Goa. I later realised that they're free for everyone who wants to join, so people came from other yoga retreats as well (like Purple Valley, which is just down the road). These ceremonies are really worth joining, they were so special my mind was totally calm after the chanting of the mantras, and I experienced a sense of deep relaxation within.
Anyways, I could go on and on abut my experiences here at Swan yoga retreat, but to keep it short, I can only say… I felt really safe as a woman travelling on my own, the yoga was of excellent quality (probably the best I have experienced so far), the food was just amazing (a good balance of tastes and variety), and the juice bar was also great as you could just chill out there and have some fresh juices or coconut water whenever you want. The accomodation is also nice, I was on a decent budget and wanted to pamper myself so I opted for a deluxe hut which was really good value for money, the location was also really amazing as it was on the top level of the property, where I could look down at the whole retreat.
All in all, the atmosphere of the whole place is just great.

Thank you Swan for everything… I will be back!

Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
4  Thank bejamadrid
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
TeamSWANYoga, Guest Relations Manager at SWAN Yoga Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2020

Hari Om Blessed Soul,

Thank you for rating and reviewing SWAN Yoga Retreat. We are glad to know that by staying at our ashram, SWAN helped your life become more spiritual and peaceful.

Warm Regards

Om Shanti

Team SWAN

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 August 2015

I visited this yoga ashram in Goa thinking to change the way I used to have holidays in the past, specially at a beach and party place like Goa. I was touched by their description of Swan and really wanted to have a wholesome experience that cater to my body and spirituality. The moment i entered the gates of Swan, I felt there was something magical about it and I had this immediate positive feeling that i was at the right place for the right reason. To be honest, my initial expectation was just to have a peaceful stay at this place learning and benefiting from their yoga lessons and saatvic Ayurvedic food but what i eventually gained was much more and words are not enough to describe the boons or wisdom received.

The day starts at Swan with morning meditation is so refreshing followed by Asana and some other afternoon yoga philosophy and techniques sessions (they call it Special Yogic techniques and I fully endorse it for it is not easy to have these at many other yoga places or retreat centers in Goa and for the benefits received). In the last afternoon, they offer Ashtanga yoga (please mind it, it could be Vinyasa Flow or even Sivananda style yoga too) and the fire-ceremony (havan) on Saturday and Sunday was really special.

The food at Swan is must to be mentioned and it was pure, hygienic, healthy and most importantly to me was delicious. The Yogashala has the most amazing views and it is really spacious and peaceful. i stayed in a regular cottage and it was spacious and with a big bathroom and personal sitting space outside of it. i had some yummy juices at the “real juice bar”. All the teachers and Swan team were pleasant, mostly smiling, efficient and well lead by Gyanmitra Swamiji.

Their approach towards yoga seems quite holistic and wholesome and even being an Indian and having information and practical living experience at many yoga retreat centers in India, i would highly recommend Swan Yoga Retreat in Goa for beginners as well as to the advance yoga practitioners.
i may say, I’m much more prepared for a healthier and spiritual life-style. Thank you Swan, I'll come back soon with a promise to stay longer than a week.

Date of stay: March 2015
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank sundinesh
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
TeamSWANYoga, Guest Relations Manager at SWAN Yoga Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 2 February 2020

Hari Om Blessed Soul,

Thank you for rating and reviewing SWAN Yoga Retreat. We are glad to know that by staying at our ashram, SWAN helped your life become more spiritual and peaceful.

Warm Regards

Om Shanti

Team SWAN

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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