Come on a journey to a land known for its rich source of spirituality. Inspire your practice and get guided through local pilgrimage sites and deepen your knowledge on Buddhism and Hinduism. SOULSCAPE get to know more about the duo of Routes of Yoga – Anton Jager and Daphne Charles. Read on to find out more.
HI ROY! TELL US ABOUT YOUR INDIVIDUAL YOGA JOURNEY
A (Anton Jager): I discovered Yoga while backpacking through India. It caught my attention and I completely re-routed my travels towards exploring various Yoga styles and traditions. Yoga has been an essential part of my life since then. When I was working in the corporate world it helped me to balance out the stress encountered and kept my body healthy. When I progressed into full-time teaching this became a holistic lifestyle.
D (Daphne Charles): I can’t actually remember why I went for my first Yoga class but the reason I kept returning to it was because of its depth – an element I have not experienced before. Even after years of practicing and teaching it still inspires me as a platform to explore both the asana and more subtle areas like the mind and energy.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING THAT YOGA HAS TAUGHT YOU?
A: To be in the here and now.
D: Truth – that my truth is singular and I have to do the work for it.
Yoga is filled with opportunities for us to take a good honest look at our selves. To say, “hey this is me, this is what I am honestly feeling (even when it might be bad)”, or “hey this is who I honestly am (even when you might be sad)”. For that we have to be willing to put ourselves in a vulnerable place which is tough, but the days that you allow it to happen you are rewarded with self-acceptance and compassion and now THAT is huge.
HOW DID ROY FIRST COME ABOUT?
A: We were both keen in exploring different ways to engage students beyond the typical class format. A longer setting, like a retreat, is a great way to work with a small group of students efficiently. You have more time to go in-depth with teachings, to observe and guide students in their personal practice and to nurture this in a supportive environment as well.
D: It was also a series of things coming together at the right time. We both have very similar ideals so it made sense.
A YOGA RETREAT IS IS TRUELY A GIFT TO ONESELF. HOW DO YOU THINK ONE CAN BENEFIT FROM IT?
D: Stepping out of your daily routine gives you the space to focus completely on your practice and this is conducive to self-development. On a more subtle level, it’s a choice you make to get out of your box and to experience a different way of being where nurturing yourself takes priority. Each time we choose a reality outside of our typical routine we get a macro understanding that an alternate way of living is actually possible.
YOGA IN THE HIMALAYAS SOUNDS AMAZING! HOW DO YOU PICK YOUR LOCATIONS?
D: Location is an important factor for us. The setting has to be conducive to the Yoga practice and we make it a point to visit all potential locations personally. We are also interested in places with unique offerings. Our programs are planned around these quirks so that students can dive into both their Yoga studies and the local context in a fulfilling way.
A: And with Daphne’s background in architecture it does make for a lot of scouting around – it is hard for venues to meet the mark!
WHAT ARE SOME IMPORTANT FACTORS FOR RETREAT ORGANISERS TO CONSIDER?
A: If you organize retreats in different countries it is important to be aware of and respectful to the different cultures and customs.
D: Organizers should also be clear on what their intention is. This will make it easier to weigh out the various decisions that will come up along the way.
HOW DOES ONE CHOOSE FROM SO MANY YOGA OFFERINGS AROUND TODAY. ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEVER GONE FOR A RETREAT BEFORE?
A: Take that time-out for themselves. Do your research and don’t be shy to ask questions so that you know what to expect.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE PARTICIPANTS TO ACHIEVE FROM THIS EVENT?
D: There is so much depth and colour to Nepal. Studying in these stunning environments will inspire their practice and help them with the goals that they set for themselves.
A: And we ultimately we want everyone to have a good time and enjoy themselves!