A day at Vinyasa Earth

Vinyasa The Dance Ashram
4 min readApr 12, 2024

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Words from Serena Hodge (an amazing guest to have)

I arrive at Vinyasa Earth tired, hot, and in all honesty… a little grumpy. Our taxi driver is pestering us for an unreasonable tip. I’ve been haggled at markets all morning. And to be quite frank, I’m tired of being asked if I have a boyfriend by every male I interact with on the streets. A likely story for any white girl travelling India.

Accompanied by iced lemon refreshments, we are warmly welcomed to the Vinyasa Earth community. First, we are acquainted with the property. Before being taken on a tour of the on-site plantations. Here, I learn there is opportunity to brew homemade tea from the blossoming blue butterfly pea flower, or try my hand at Henna using freshly ground leaves. Walking barefoot is encouraged. I am told the rooftop is the prime sunrise viewing spot. If you are up for it, there is even the option to sleep under the stars. It has only been 10 minutes, and I am already happy to be here.

My first afternoon at Vinyasa Earth felt like food for my soul. It is spent hand moulding clay to the soundtrack of hand pan relaxation music (if you haven’t heard it before, look it up!). The usual stress of travel feels non-existent here. There is no bargaining for a tuk-tuk. No blaring of car horns. Or crazy truck sounds. Just nature. The chirping of birds. And the company of like-minded travellers. Five hours have passed, and I haven’t even thought to look at my phone. As night falls, so too do our heads on the very comfortable set up in the auditorium. To our delight, we are treated to an outdoor movie night. Just us, the projector and Jim Carey on screen as we kick back to the all-time classic ‘Dumb & Dumber’.

I don’t care much for touristy sightseeing. I tire easily from visiting temples. And value healthy living whilst travelling. At last! I have found a place that aligns with my mindful travel intentions. With rooms available at a very reasonable price, and crafty activities provided at no extra charge. Vinyasa Earth offers the perfect getaway for those seeking to travel minimally and steer clear of anything that even hints tourist trap. If I had to summarise the atmosphere of Vinyasa Earth in only a few words, I’d say it is earthy, wholesome, relaxing and holistic. Allowing guests to explore their creativity, spirituality and truly understand what it means to practice slow living. Vinyasa Earth offers an opportunity to connect with like-minded, soulful individuals. If any of this resonates, you will be sure to fit right in.

During our stay, we had the liberty of staying in the Agni mud hut. Fit with a comfortable double bed, private bathroom and spacious seating area all within a fluid design; it didn’t take long for us to feel at one with mother nature. Vinyasa Earth lives and breathes sustainability. Expect walls made from natural materials, interiors adorned with local art, the soothing sound of trees rustling through the night, and rooftop greenery (accessible by ladder). No surprise, you might meet some creepy crawlies during your stay. A few words of wisdom: BYO towel, don’t go to sleep without the mosquito net tucked in, and leave the white linen pants at home (because, dirt). Note: insects only come out around monsoon season, which runs from June-September.

By day, slow-living is encouraged. Not only because it’s part of Vinyasa Earth’s philosophy, but because the sweltering heat doesn’t allow for much else. For me, this included reading, drawing, journalling, and lounging in the shade watching the world (or Definite, the resident puppy) go by. While my Westerner mind initially wanted me to spend my days productively, Vinyasa Earth taught me the essence of what it truly means to slow down. Rest. Recharge. And find joy in the simple art of non-doing.

By night, guests gather around thrifty tables made from palettes. Under the fairy lights, we sit cross legged. Laughing and exchanging tales about our travels, home countries and spiritual beliefs. Dining with fellow guests at Vinyasa Earth emanates everything mealtimes should. Think: fresh, wholesome food, a sense of community, and a relaxing environment for your body to receive all the nutritious goodness of Lali’s delicious cooking.

On our final morning, Sankalp kindly guided us through a yoga and dance practice before we left to embark on our lengthy journey to Agra. He was skilled, knowledgeable and professional. Providing helpful tips to perfect our child’s pose. While also encouraging us to loosen our bodies, free our minds and experiment with expression through dance. As a first timer, I’ll admit I felt a little rigid. But by the end of the session, the safe and non-judgemental environment Sankalp created allowed me to surrender and experience the fluidity of uninhibited movement. I walked away feeling light, open and (ever so slightly) more free. Hands down, this was a highlight during my stay, and the perfect end to our rejuvenating retreat.

While my itinerary only allowed me a short stay, Vinyasa Earth offers more immersive experiences. This includes on-site volunteering and group wellness retreats. For more information, check out their website or connect at vinyasa.ashram@gmail.com

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