Cliktrips likes the beach, palm trees, mountain hikes, desertscapes, forest walks, the jungle, tropical islands, swimming pools, lake swims, rocky seaside cliffs, sunsets, soundbaths, hot tubs, the occasional cold plunge, bicycle rides, road trips, spritzes of all kinds, lots of snacks and the colors pink and green. Cliktrips also enjoys late night techno parties, balearic rooftop hangs, weird weekenders, tropical sounds, trippy disco, and dancing ‘til dawn.

 

DJ Jaclyn's Yoga Retreat to India

DJ Jaclyn's Yoga Retreat to India

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Originally Published January 2013

Durga Goddess festival in  Hampi, India.

Words and Photos by Jaclyn Marinese aka DJ Jaclyn

Within 30 minutes of landing in Bangalore, India we witnessed a full-speed two motorcycle highway accident. It happened right in front of our car, on our way to the hotel. One biker hit the guy next to him and both skid out across the badly paved, lane-less, racetrack-like highway. We came super close to hitting them both. Wow, was that intense. I have no idea what the outcome was because our driver just slowed slightly, curved around the wreck, said nothing and kept on driving. No big deal.

I understand now why the organizers of this 14-day retreat to southern India decided to focus on the yogic practice of surrender; ishvara pranidhana. In the days to follow I would find myself in many moments where that practice would come in majorly handy. I can’t say I always mastered it, or even came close, but it was a definite test and lesson to try to suspend all expectations, fears and even questions and just do like my driver did - shrug a shoulder and keep it moving.

I’d been attending Julianna Takacs yoga class at Greenhouse Holistic in Brooklyn for years so when she mentioned the trip I thought, “Hey why not?” A month later I was deep in the southern province of Karnataka guided by Julianna and fellow teacher Josh Schrei on a journey in an area rich with spiritual tradition, poetic history, sacred holy sites, pristine nature reserves and breathtaking ruined temple cities, oh and my personal favorite, spiders bigger than your face. No joke the things are freaking huge and crawling on a wall near you. Surrender, surrender, surrender.

It was great to get to travel with Julianna and Josh, two people who already had experience travelling in india. Both of them have studied at the Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore and knew the area well. One side note about Josh on the music front is that, among other things, he was an instrumental organizer of the Beastie Boys’ famed Tibetan Freedom Festival and possesses a wealth of knowledge about the subject of eastern religion, philosophy and tradition. All around rad dude.

A street view of the marketplace in Mysore, India.

MYSORE

Mysore is one of the most beautiful capitals in southern India and is the place where modern yoga originated. Mysore was the home of the father of modern yoga, Krishnamacharya; he taught at Mysore Palace until his shala was closed in 1950 after India gained independence. We travelled to this town straight from Bangalore and spent a few days visiting temples, markets, palaces and of course doing yoga. We stayed at the Green Hotel, a beautiful little eco retreat brimming with gardens, delicious foods and kind people.

A view from the rainforest in Coorg, India.

COORG

In Coorg we stayed on an organic farm and coffee plantation called the Rainforest Retreat at Mojo plantation. Home to an amazing family of scientists and all around nature lovers, we spent our days taking extended hikes with them to learn about the details of organic farming, and view the rare wildlife and green life on the plantation. Other highlights included visits to a local ayurvedic spa and an elephant sanctuary. On the plantation, we stayed in these comfy stone huts and met travellers from all over the world at meal times, as everyone shares the delicious homegrown eats together each day. They also make the best coffee I’ve ever had in my life. I missed this place the minute we left it.

Durga Goddess festival in  Hampi, India.

Durga Goddess festival in  Hampi, India.

HAMPI

The last five days of our trip were spent exploring Hampi’s sprawling ruins and temples. Described as one of the most spectacular ruined cities on the planet, Hampi is a UNESCO world heritage site boasting 26 square miles of ruins amidst a landscape of endless stones and boulders. We were lucky to walk into town during an important holy time and were able to experience a number of mysterious and ancient spiritual festivals and traditions - but it was the word of mouth tip off that got us the info and locales for them, so remember to ask around about happenings in this special and enchanted area. Enjoy a mango lassi and a delicious dosa as you soak in the breathtaking views at the Mango Tree, one of the town’s best restaurants. We also stumbled upon an amazingly talented jeweler named Vishal Schumi at the Rainbow Cloth Shop right across the street from the entrance to the Mowgli Guest House. Stop in and check out some very special one of a kind gems.

The old market place in Hampi, India that UNESCO is transitioning into a tourism site.

THE RETREAT

Before I went on this trip, I wasn’t totally sold on the whole idea of “group trips,“ but what I learned is that it can be really good for you to just drop off the map now and again and put yourself in a situation with a group of people you don’t know. What I also learned was that travelling with some experienced travelers in India can really help out and save you a ton of stress - the trip was small (6 people) and super informative and educational on many levels. Big thanks to Julianna and Josh for opening my eyes to this amazing place, and to some new ways of thinking. I hear there are other trips planned for the upcoming year, so check their websites or Facebook profiles for updates.

Julianna Takacs on Facebook

Josh Schrei on Facebook

Mysore: Green Hotel

Coorg: Rainforest Retreat at Mojo plantation

Hampi: Mowgli Guest House

The Fan Villa in Port Antonio, Jamaica

The Fan Villa in Port Antonio, Jamaica

The 10 Best House Documentaries of All Time

The 10 Best House Documentaries of All Time