I would like to invite you to join myself and Swami Pujan on a spiritual journey and adventure into the heart of India.

It will be a transformational experience that will take your yoga practice, and your life, to another level.

By joining myself, John Ogilvie, Byron Yoga Centre’s founder and Swami Pujan on this Spiritual Journey to India it will be an ideal opportunity to immerse yourself in authentic yoga culture. Let us guide and nurture you throughout your journey, supporting your own personal transformation, as well as guiding you to develop a deeper, holistic understanding of yoga.

I will personally meet you at the Bangalore airport and travel with you to our purpose-built luxury guest house in Tiruvanamalai. I will stay on site with you, keeping you safe and guiding you through the different spiritual journeys and adventures, including our overnight stay in our French Colonial town of Pondicherry. We will then travel all the way back to the Bangalore airport at the end of our time together.

A Spiritual Journey into India

An opportunity to truly unwind and take time to nurture yourself and experience the delights of the rich Indian culture. Experienced yogis can explore and enhance their practice, while new students can deepen their understanding of yoga asana (poses) and philosophy in a supportive and nurturing environment. Immerse yourself in the Indian culture and this ancient Indian practice at the heart of yoga itself! Held in a tranquil and supportive environment.

12 Day India Yoga Retreat Dates

12 Day Yoga Retreat in India

Dates Register
September 18 - 29, 2024

Prices start at $3,500 for a twin share room with ensuite bathroom, or $3,100 for a triple share room with ensuite bathroom. Single rooms available on request. 

India Yoga Retreat Inclusions

  • 11 nights accommodation:
    • 10 nights accommodation at the foothill of the sacred Hill of Arunachala.
    • Guided trip plus 1 night accommodation in Pondicherry.
  • Airport transfers in India.
  • Daily itinerary including yoga, meditation and spiritual enrichment.
  • Traditional and nutritious Indian meals – 2 meals each day onsite included in price. The third meal you will be given the opportunity to eat out and taste the local cuisine.
  • You will have the opportunity to deepen your understanding of yoga asana (poses), philosophy, meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises) and relaxation techniques.
  • Visiting Ashrams and Temples and the famous Matrimandir
  • Our flexible schedule is designed for you to explore your yoga practice but also immerse yourself in the local Indian culture with plenty of free time to explore. Create your own yoga retreat, and participate in as many or few activities as you wish.

The following options are available at an additional cost:

  • On site massage by local masseuse 
  • Local Ayurvedic Doctor with clinic nearby will be offering sessions

1500 year old Arunachalesvara Temple at the base of Arunachala hill. Image credit: Govind Swamy

View from Pondicherry Lighthouse. Image credit: Karthik Easvur

John Betty and Pujan delivered a great program. The amount of yoga vs spiritual activities was well balanced. Pujan and Betty worked tirelessly to deliver whatever we wanted using their contacts and resources. Enjoyed the mandala drawing and Kieran singing and fire ceremony. John used his expertise to ensure the program was full and interesting.
Pam C. Attended India Yoga Retreat 2023.

The guest house was comfortable and the yoga space was perfect. You all did a great job of listening to everyone’s needs, thoughts and suggestions. I felt very held, safe and listened to.

Michelle B. Attended India Yoga Retreat 2023.

The accommodation was so very clean, new and comfortably laid out. It was great to have ceiling fans; and air for night sleeping. What a bonus to have a pool! Rooftop was such a special location for yoga, discussions or just alone quiet time. I loved everything about this place. The meals were delicious. My gratitude for the very generous and relevant gluten free catering. I loved it all and look forward to doing again for continuing exploration and deepening practice, knowledge, experiences and commitment.

Enid G. Attended India Yoga Retreat 2023.

Accommodation was great. The different levels and break out areas was effective. Food excellent. Washing of clothes fantastic. Pool yeh ???? good location to town. Loved how things could change at the groups request. Very appreciative of the time effort and thought that went into the retreat. A great job!

Fiona J. Attended India Yoga Retreat 2023.

The Sacred Location

The Holy Hill of Arunachala, in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu has been a focal point of worship, meditation and retreat for centuries.  The scriptures, sages and saints  tell us that this mysterious Hill is, in fact, the form of Shiva himself.  The great saint Ramana Maharshi was ‘irresistibly’ attracted here after his Awakening, coming to Arunachala in search of his Father and remained here for his life.

There are many ashrams, temples and tombs of great saints in the ambit of Arunachala and seekers, practitioners and devotees from many traditions come to partake in the rarefied vibrational atmosphere that is especially tangible at the Samadhi of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi.  It seems the whole hill emanates a strong sense of deep stillness and silence that cannot be talked about but experienced.  It has been a perfect place for ardent seekers to come and retreat into deep meditation and contemplation. Many great beings have attained liberation here.

Interesting reading: 

The Ramana Maharshi Ashram

A couple of easily accessible books are:

  • ‘Ramana Maharshi and the Path of Self-Knowledge’ by Arthur Osborne
  • ‘Be As You Are: The Teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi’ by David Godman


Sangam House

This unique home was crafted with love and has a western aesthetic quality with larger rooms, windows and attention to detail in the finishings and overall feel. The architect for Sangam was Suhasini Ayer, from Auroville, where she designed the well known Visitors Center.   What makes this place exceptional is its extraordinary view of Holy Arunachala from the roof and its proximity to the Ramana Maharshi Ashram, which is just a 10 minute walk from the front door.

Sangam Retreat House has a variety of exquisite shared spaces for group gatherings and for places to escape to, to be alone in contemplation and meditation.

The veranda, roof and areas in the garden around the swimming pool are lovely areas to be alone.

Sangam House has an elevator, filtered water in the taps throughout the house, yoga mats, hair dryers, electrical sockets that will accept UK, US and IN plugs (Voltage is 220 and 110 devices cannot be used without a converter) and 2 washing machines that can be used by participants (clothes can to be sent out for ironing at a low cost).

Sangam Retreat House is an alcohol, smoking and drug-free zone.


The rooms have been aesthetically finished with comfort and beauty in mind. The hotel boasts comfortably appointed twin share and triple share rooms with en-suite bathrooms.

Your Hosts

Our facilitators have a combined teaching experience of over 100 years offering a wealth of knowledge and expertise to share with participants. John Ogilvie, the founder and director of Byron Yoga Centre, has been teaching yoga for over thirty-five years. He encourages a light heartedness in our approach to yoga and to ourselves.
Swami Pujan will be leading Meditation sessions and joining with John to deliver the yoga philosophy.
Bettina Kah joins John in teaching asana classes, breathing sessions and daily Yoga Nidra relaxation sessions.

John Ogilvie is one of Australia’s most respected and experienced teachers and founder of Byron Yoga Centre. John has been practicing yoga for more than 30 years and teaching for over 28. John developed his signature style of yoga, Purna Yoga after 20 years of disciplined yoga training including practicing both the Iyengar method and Ashtanga. His yoga journey has seen him learn from various yoga masters over the years in Australia and internationally.

The Purna method John teaches focuses on correct alignment. His teaching covers the basics with additional emphasis on refining alignment, corrections and adjustments. John’s teaching style is entertaining and completely accessible. His instructions are clear and simple, always with a focus on keeping his students safe and encouraging them to listen to their own body’s needs and only work at a level appropriate to the individual, at any given time.

John encourages students at all levels to build flexibility, strength and stamina of body, mind and spirit. Many students discover, as a consequence, that yoga becomes a way of life.

Swami Pujan reached self-realization through the studying of the Upanishads and Vedanta with the help of his teacher, James Swartz, after many, many years being involved in Theavana and Mahayana Buddhism. He was a trained psychologist so his teachings bring in the western psychological angle. His wish is to bring the complex teachings of the Upanishads and the Yoga Sutras to a western audience that is relevant to their lives.

“Spirituality is a difficult subject to teach. It is often taught either by Indians that have difficulty connecting to their western audience through their constant use of Sanskrit names and stories that are often pulled out of an Indian contents. And with western teachers the difficulty is often that of too much intellectualising the subject. If it were not for my teacher James Schwartz, I would have maybe never found Advaita.

My wish is to bring the complex teachings of the Upanishads  and the Yoga Sutras to a western audience that is relevant to their lives. Spirituality has to be practical and not only philosophical!

There is a danger of course to oversimply the teaching, but i hope i can avoid this. You don’t need to know Sanskrit, you don’t need to believe in a God , you just have to have an open mind and use your intellect to understand the teachings. I love the logic in Vedanta and I want to bring that across in a non dogmatic fun and engaging way”

Bettina first did yoga more than 30 years ago and became serious during pregnancy 20 years ago. She trained as a fitness instructor 20 years ago and more recently complemented this with Pilates teacher training. Bettina has done 4 different yoga teacher trainings, most recently with John Ogilvie and has recently been studying the use of yoga nidra in rehabilitation, recording a CD in India.

Bettina’s classes emphasise the core, pelvic floor and the bandhas. Bettina has been lucky to meet with and learn from several spiritual masters, including B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattabi Jois, T.K.V. Desikachar and Clive Sheridan.

A Typical Day

07:00    Yoga Class

08:00   Breakfast

09:00    Alternate spiritual talks / meditation session / both by Pujan or John

12:30    Lunch (either on site or out)

14:00    Spend the afternoon exploring the town (supervised or independently) or relaxing by the pool

18:00    Dinner (either on site or out)

19:00    Yoga nidra / meditation / spiritual talk

Frequently Asked Questions

We will be flying on the following flights. It is up to you as to whether you choose to fly with us. Alternatively you can meet us at the airport at 17:00 and we will travel to our accommodation together (approx. 4-5hr drive from airport).

Sydney to Bengaluru Qantas Flight QF67
Depart Sydney 09:05 September 18, 2024
Arrive Bengaluru (Bangalore) 16:40 September 18, 2024

Bengaluru to Sydney Qantas Flight QF68
Depart Bengaluru (Bangalore) 18:45 September 29, 2024
Arrive Sydney 10:40 September 30, 2024

You’ll need very little money once you’re there – except for shopping and eating out one meal per day.

The Indian rupee is the official currency in the Republic of India.

You are welcome to exchange a small amount of money at the Bengaluru Airport, however you will get a better exchange rate in the town of Tiruvannamalai.

Check with your bank about fees and rates.

Vaccinations as recommended by Travel Doctor:

  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella
  • Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis
  • Polio

The ideal time to visit Arunachal Pradesh is during winter between the months of September and February each year.

The temperature stays pleasant and comfortable (minimum 22°C, maximum 31°C) all through the day and slightly cooler at night.

To visit India you will need to apply for a visa.

You can do so via indianvisaonline.gov.in/evisa/tvoa.html 

Bring very little clothing- the shopping in India is amazing.
Other than that bring your usual toiletries and creature comforts.
Comfortable footwear for walking.
Please dress respectably.

We recommend taking out travel insurance before travelling to India.

There is good healthcare (both western and eastern) in the area if needed.

Internet is easily accessible from the accommodation.

We can also assist if you need to get a local sim card. Otherwise you can make calls via WhatsApp (or similar providers) once connected to the internet.

You will need to add the following details of the retreat to apply for your visa.
Sangam House, 110/3 R.S. Nagar
Ramanasram Post
606603, Tamil Nadu, India
Phone number: +91 9865326913