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“Swan Yoga - Amazing Retreat!”
Review of SWAN Yoga Retreat

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SWAN Yoga Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 December 2015 via mobile

My boyfriend and I just finished 10 days at Swan Yoga and had such a good experience! If you are looking to do a yoga retreat in India you should choose Swan, for so many reasons. The guys who run the retreat are really passionate about yoga and truly live it. It's not just a business for them. They want every person who comes there to understand what yoga is truly about. They teach yoga comprehensively, explaining all the different practices and teaching you how to develop a routine and strategy for yourself. I cannot say enough good things about them. I'm so thankful for my experience there and left feeling like it might be one of the best and most important experiences I've had in all my travels. Also the rooms are really comfortable and the food is delicious and healthy. I would recommend going into the retreat completely open minded and ready to learn. I would also suggest to get there on a Friday as Gan gives a class on yoga philosophy on the weekends, which helped me understand all subsequent discussions and practices throughout the remainder of the week. Hope this helps!

Stayed: December 2015, travelled as a couple
1  Thank xtinasm1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (110)
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38 - 42 of 110 reviews

Reviewed 6 December 2015

I can higly recommend this place! But do not expect coming to a "normal" western style-yoga place when staying at Swan. Staying at Swan is not about taking one or two Yoga classes per day and have the rest of the day off for hanging around (Actually, you can do this whenever you want, but i wouldnt' recommend it, you'll miss a lot). They (i.d. the yoga teachers Gan Mitra, Shivendra, Om, Daya and the kitchen and cleaning staff etc.) do not only teach the physical yoga asanas that western people usually think this is yoga all about. For the Swan-Community Yoga is an attitude of life, a philosophy. They live it in their everyday life, from meditation and chanting early in the morning to the fire ceremonies in the evening; also the food (excellent and very varying, btw) is part of this system. I loved the seriousness of their attitude, the quietness and loveliness of the place, the conversations with the teachers, and i felt soon and quick integrated in the community. My absolute favourite was the mantra-chanting early in the morning, sitting all together around a fire in the temple. These chantings did have an amazing calming effect to my mind.
I just thought to myself sometimes that they could all take a little little more easier...and they should absoutely fix their Internet ;-)

  • Stayed: October 2015, travelled solo
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Stefan Andreas K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 December 2015

I spent a week at Swan in April of 2014 - it was an amazing week that I wish I could have extended.
Preparations went very smoothly. I was traveling from Mumbai by bus, and had to catch a cab from Mapusa. Shivendra had given me his number which I called upon getting in the cab - language barrier and I had no idea where Swan was located. Super helpful.
Upon arriving I was shown to my room - I was given a two bed room to myself, even though I had paid the reduced fee for sharing with someone. I believe this was due to it being the slow season.
That being said, I was there before the monsoons hit - 100+ degrees each day, 100% humidity and no air conditioning. The night was difficult - I did have a fan in my cottage, but the breeze did no permeate my mosquito netting. I woke up each morning with bites on my hands, wrists and ankles because I unknowingly draped my hands and feet out the net to get some relief from the heat.
The food was delicious and varied. Indian, Italian, American... they had it all. And all fresh, local and hand prepared by loving staff. The meal hall also had wifi, which was very helpful in determining directions to new locations and planning out my further travels. Swan's location close to Mapusa is also great, but it is hidden away enough that there are no noises, traffic or people to bother you while you relax.
The Havan fire ceremonies were wonderful - a perfect way to end my first two days at the retreat, and get me in the mentality of healing and mindfulness.
They were able to procure me a scooter, which I used to explore the different beaches each afternoon. I believe it was the equivalent of $5USD per day.
Gyanmitra was wonderful in his teachings. I grew and learned more about yoga and meditation that I had ever expected I would.
If I return to Goa (I hope I will at some point) I will definitely return to Swan.

  • Stayed: December 2015, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank Leah P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 November 2015

One of the reasons I chose to travel through India was to develop my spiritual knowledge. After extensively researching where might be best for me to fulfill this desire to learn, I found SWAN Retreat and decided to stay for 8 nights.

Set on an exuberantly lush hillside in the jungles of North Goa, SWAN is a Yogic eco-village where students from around the world come to rejuvenate their bodies and reset their souls.

The retreat is ran by a group of Indians who’re comprehensively schooled in the ancient science and philosophy of Yoga. Founder Gyanmitra and his fellow teachers, Om & Shivendra, radiated a positive and calming energy from day one thus allowing me to completely relax and engage with their teachings.

The daily program started at 6am at the temple where myself and a group of fellow devotees would participate in the sacred Havan ritual. Directly following Havan, we’d enter into a 30 minute meditation under Gyanmitra’s guidance.

After meditation, our group would reflect together in the dining area. Here we’d drink herbal tea and eat organic fruit that was often grown on-site, usually consisting of papaya, pineapple, mango and pomegrante. At 8am we’d practice Yoga Asanas with Om at the Yoga shala. Located at the top of the hill, the Yoga shala is a spacious open air build, bound by mosquito nets and perfectly suited to practice whilst being immersed in the jungle.

As somebody who’s always suffered with stiff joints and muscles, particularly around my hips and lower back, I struggled with many of the Asanas. My body simply wouldn’t allow me to get into some of the postures Om prescribed for us.

However, after practicing Asanas & Pranayama every morning and evening of my stay at SWAN, I detected a tangible improvement in the range of movement throughout my body. As my tension released and stiff joints unlocked, I invariably left Asana sessions with a gratifying sense of openness and serene energy.

At 10am and 5.30pm we’d meet at the dining area to eat. The food at Swan was a delight and far exceeded my expectations – the best cuisine I’ve experienced anywhere in India so far, and that’s no mean feat!

Food is regarded as medicine within the ashram. Using only fresh seasonal herbs and organic vegetables from regional farmers or their own garden, SWAN’s Ayurvedic meals are designed to support the healing of the body and enhance the Yogic purification processes. Personally I found the food to be extremely clean, full of natural flavour and wonderfully nourishing.

In the mid-afternoon we’d normally attend an hourly ‘Yoga philosophy’ class where one of the teachers would give a lecture on any number of wide ranging topics relating to the five thousand year old science that is Yoga. This was always a great opportunity for us to engage in open discussions to further deepen our understanding of the spiritual approach being taught.

The insight I gained at SWAN was profound and my gratitude for the wisdom I’ve been provided runs deep. There is a definite new-found sense of awareness flowing through me and I’ve been inspired to act more often out of love, out of joy and out of service.

For anybody wishing to discover more about the Yogic lifestyle: I can’t recommend SWAN highly enough. The team have created an accepting, trusting and relaxing environment; they all live within the ashram as a family and are waiting to welcome you with open arms, provided you come with an open heart and willingness to learn.

  • Stayed: November 2015, travelled solo
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
4  Thank thescousenomad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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!

Stayed: November 2015
5  Thank stevemoran3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about SWAN Yoga Retreat

Address: 101 / 4 Bairo Alto, Assagao, Bardez 403507, India
Phone Number:
Region: India > Goa > North Goa District > Bardez > Assagao
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Spa Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 Speciality Lodging in Assagao
Price Range: ₹ 1,000 - ₹ 3,500 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Namaste !!! SWAN Yoga Retreat is Founded, Run and Managed by highly experienced Sanyasins trained at World Renowned "Bihar School of Yoga", SVYASA & Sivananda Ashram. The idea behind SWAN is to create awareness about "Yoga beyond Asana" & to share the wisdom of Yoga as it is and in totality. Residential 1/2/3 week Yoga Holiday and Yoga Intensive is offered at SWAN besides many more Yoga and Ayurveda related retreats during October-May, each season. We offer three different type of eco-friendly cottages with private bathroom & sit-out area. Ayurveda at SWAN offers traditional and authentic Ayurvedic treatments, therapies, massages and Panchkarma treatment. We also offer consultation with an Ayurvedic Doctor. Please visit our website for detailed latest offers, retreat and packages. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
SWAN Yoga Retreat Assagao, Goa

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