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“More than just Yoga”
Review of SWAN Yoga Retreat

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SWAN Yoga Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Offenburg, Germany
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“More than just Yoga”
Reviewed June 5, 2014

We, my wife and me, had just finished university and were travelling on very low budget through Asia. Out of 6 months of travelling this was definetly the highlight which had the greatest and most lasting impression on us. We have been at Swan in March 2014 and it had gotten really hot, which made us a bit lazy. So we left the retreat only one time in 7 days.
I personaly did not have high expectations about this place, as I did not know much about yoga. All I knew was that it was some kind of indian stretching. But as it is from india it alwalys has some spiritual aspects, which I do not care about much, but might be great for others. To get as much impression and information about yoga we joined every course. From meditaion before sunrise and assanas before noon to the fire ceremonies at dusk. As we got more and more intressted we spent our free time by reading books from their library or having just conversations with the people. We also like how different but complementary our both teachers were. Daya was more responsible for the physical aspects of our training. She is such a professional at work and at the same time very warmhearted. Gianmitra, the guru, is more of a fun guy who will challenge you philosophically but on the other hand he will make you laugh a lot as well.
It feels really authentic what they teach. It is not a place were they try to scam you. They live what they belief and that makes the place so special. We are already saving money to come back here, but this time we will not make the mistake to stay just for one week.
Last time it felt like leaving home, leaving family.
I wanted to keep this post short, which I know see is not possible and I could right much much more, but I will keep it with that and hope you will experience SWAN YOGA yourself, no matter if you are a backpack traveller who just passes by on his journey or you come on your annual holiday. It will be always a good time. Oh one last thing: They serve the best food we could find in India!!!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank stickychewbacca
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
1 review
Reviewed April 17, 2014

Check out my blog website- www.abuyogini.com, post entitled, "INDIA: FINALE" where I describe the effects of SWAN. If you get the chance to get "SWAN-ed" I would highly, highly, highly recommend this place. I genuinely recommend this yoga retreat to any one looking to be off grid. It's a place that fully supports your need to unplug, recharge, and bring yourself back to center. You'll surely enjoy being greeted each morning by 2 golden Labradors that give the best hugs and kisses. If you're looking to deepen your meditation and yoga practice, absorb the simplicity of nature, be around warm hearted people, eat outstanding vegetarian food and be in a timeless state of awareness, SWAN is the perfect place for you. SWAN! XO

  • Stayed December 2013
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Helpful?
Thank Rachel L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colombo, Sri Lanka
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 14, 2014

The madness of the world faded when I first entered SWAN. I was fed divine food and slept like a baby...I had no idea how much I needed the rest until I arrived. It is a beautiful, sacred space that has been created here, the love that has gone into its creation is palpable as soon as one walks through the gate. Yoga is in its roots, in the food and in the buildings...of course in the classes and the havans. At SWAN you will experience a way to live yoga, to live-in-awareness. Sn Gyanmitra is doing us all a service by creating and holding this space for sharing a deep, authentic lineage of yoga. It goes far beyond any asana class or retreat center I have ever seen. I am very grateful for my experiences, and I will return.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Atindriya
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gothenburg, Sweden
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 13, 2014 via mobile

I arrived at Swan Yoga Retreat in the beginning of April and is now leaving it as a different person.

When I came to Swan I was a restless soul. I was stressed out from school and work and I knew cutting most of it off was going to help me tremendously. I had no idea, though, I was going to change as a person.

The place is located in beautiful Assagao just a few minutes by car from the coast of Goa. It is very quiet and really feels like you've walked into the heaven on earth. Every morning, except Sundays, there is a morning meditation, followed by a pranayama and asana class. Saturdays and Sundays has Kriya (cleansing) in the mornings and in the evenings there is a lovely fire ceremony. To have experienced all these things have been a bliss for my soul and has done so much great things for my body, spiritually and physically.

I really wished I would have stayed longer, because it has absolutely blown my mind. 10 days has just not been enough. I know for a fact, though, that this isn't the last time I'll be stepping my feet on the grounds of Swan.

Thank you so much Gyanmitra, Daya, Shivendra and all the other people at Swan who have made my stay absolutely divine.

PS. Mokesh really makes the best food.

  • Stayed April 2014
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Helpful?
1 Thank MadeleineRex
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed March 20, 2014

I’d arrived at SWAN in the morning after a sleepless flight from London but my weariness dissolved as nature, vibrant colours, positive energy and a relaxed ambience gently enveloped my senses. Likewise, meeting the engaging Gyanmitra, the co-owner and Swami made the long journey seem a distant memory. Over a home-grown, refreshing herbal tea, Gyanmitra told me about his background, his inspiration and vision for SWAN. He is a charismatic presence who instantly makes you feel at ease with his wry sense of humour and gentle disposition. It is obvious that he is passionate about his work and aspirations for SWAN and this commitment transpired in his warmth and welcoming attitude to me.
My room with an ensuite bathroom (the budget cottage) was cosy and clean. I was reassured to see a sturdy mosquito net hanging over the bed and there were some with nice touches of embellishment such as beautifully coloured drapery of Indian cloth and incense with holder provided. The room was perfect for me so after having hot shower from the solar powered water system, I felt ready to face the day.
While enjoying a nourishing and plentiful breakfast of fresh, sweet tropical fruits, I learned a little more about the programme of yoga, what classes were available and how it was managed. I met the other guests who were a diverse lot and again felt at ease with the people that I was with. So far so good!
Later that morning, I attended the first of a very well organised week's programme of classes-an hour of yogic techniques. The techniques varied from day to day (energising, visualisation, deep relaxation etc.) I found them really interesting and they were a useful additional resource to the other classes. All of the sessions were conducted professionally with individual needs/questions/concerns taken on board with patience.
6am morning meditation sounded a bit scary to me but as the days went by, I was moved by the beauty of the experience. The gentle, calm voice and presence of Swami tuned in with the sounds of nature, creating a magical vibe in the atmospheric yoga shala-a beautiful space on top of the centre's hill with the SWAN icon as a dramatic centre-piece . The walls of net drapes captured the mellow colours and silhouettes of plants as the sun slowly rose through the treetops. What a perfect way to start the day! Cushions and blankets were provided to practice meditation guided by the expert Gyanmitra. His lessons were more than meditation, postures, breath work and yogic techniques. I looked forward to his interesting anecdotes and wisdom that he would share spontaneously and naturally. As a result, I have been inspired to practice meditation and intend to do so regularly.
Breath work and postures (pranayama and asana)were practised under the guidance of a lovely lady called Daya. She teaches with patience and a sincerity that evidences her commitment to SWAN. The lessons are really practical and can easily be incorporated into daily life.
Taking part in the weekend’s fire ceremony (Havan) is a powerfully evocative experience. The recitation of mantras, the making of offerings, the entire ritual is transformative-don’t miss out on this!
Days and nights at SWAN are relaxed yet stimulating, a contrast that works and operates on other levels such as the eclectic range of music played in the communal area which is uplifting, funky but soothing and atmospheric, the delicious food which has an air of simplicity but is made with skill and has complexity in it’s flavours and textures, the conversations and interactions which were light-hearted and funny and at other times, deep and philosophical. I felt like I could have my own space whenever I wanted to but there was always someone around to share a moment with when needed. Similarly, the décor and furnishings have been thoughtfully selected yet unpretentious. The whole place has been designed to be homely and authentic yet style isn’t compromised. Another thing worth mentioning are the visitors that drop in to attend classes or come to practice yoga-a sure sign of a good reputation.
I would whole-heartedly encourage anyone to have a massage with the amazing Anand. It was a massage like no other! A challenge to the body, mind and spirit, I was left with a glow, a lightness that still resonates (I am writing this almost 2 weeks later). Anand is simply a gentle intuitive person who really cares about his practice and wants to share this gift with others.
Everyone at SWAN is genuine and kind. Nothing is too much bother-arranging scooter hire, ordering taxis, sharing music and even getting clothes made! SWAN-the people and place itself- has integrity. It has qualities that inspire positivity and a sense of well-being. My stay at SWAN was an importantly formative experience. Not only have I gained beautiful memories, had great experiences and learned valuable practical techniques, I met some amazing people whose friendship made the visit what it was for me.
I don’t want to diminish things by saying that a stay at SWAN is incredible value for money but this is a commercial review site so my comment is apt for this purpose. However, no amount of money spent can buy what SWAN yoga retreat has to offer. It’s a sanctuary, a haven of peace and well-being for anyone of any age, creed or culture. Go to SWAN for amazing experiences that will stay with you, for friendship, for the spiritual nourishment that we all need in our lives.

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank VivianiJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Umea, Sweden
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2014

During a 2 week yoga retreat at peaceful and lovely SWAN I had the most blissful time. The place is secluded located in the middle of nature, with many birds and monkeys in the surrounding forest. But still, it is only a 10 minute drive from the beaches. So if you´re looking for combining a retreat feeling with sun-and-beach-vacation feeling, this is the place. The cottages are clean, well maintained and with all the conveniences you need; tiled bathroom with shower and towels, bed with canopy (mosquito net) and bed linen, cabinet/closet, rotating fan in the ceiling and your own little patio. The food served three times a day was wonderful, fresh, nutritious and very tasty. The fact that it is served as a buffet makes every meal a treat. There is also a little menu from which you can order snacks and drinks between the meals if you like to.

What made my stay at SWAN a divine experience is the body/massage therapist Anand which I took the opportunity to book a massage with – that I immediately extended it to a series of sessions. Anand instantly proved to have what I unsuccessfully had been searching for in all other body/massage therapists that I had been to through my life: the ability to get through to, and read and connect with dimensions beyond the merely physical body. Almost without any words exchanged I instantly felt that I could trust him, and it proved to be true. Anand has a unique gift of intuition and it was like he communicated directly, through his touch and his being, with the consciousness in my body. It seemed to guide him the way through the history of my body. The techniques he uses work on all levels of existence simultaneously. He was able to find all the places where my past experiences and traumas energetically had manifested at different levels – as physical, mental and emotional blockages. Because of the genuine care and pure love that is inherent in his healing touch and presence, I was able to relax and breathe through the pain and the passages that challenged me physically, mentally or emotionally. All I had to do was to surrender. It was easy to feel safe in his professional, gentle and open presence. No session was like the other; his approach shines light on the true meaning of individually designed treatment. I must say that the massage sessions with Anand were deeply therapeutic for me. He helped me in my healing process, opened up the flow of energy in vital parts of me and left my body relaxed and supple. I wish for everyone to get the opportunity to get a massage session with Anand. When you have, you are ruined for every other masseur ;) Thank You Anand <3
Om shanti /VedaSiddhi

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank VedaSiddhi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2014

This place it filled with magic.
I Will mention two things that changed everything for Me...
The meditation in the mornings before the Sun came up,and then...
The massages i experienced with Anand.
For Me it became a lidechanging experience in it selfe.
His calm,his respect,his toutch,The Energy that runs though you While you are in The room with him. He healed Me! In so many ways,both mentally and some serious physical inbalances!
Im very greatfull❤️
Namaste

  • Stayed January 2014
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Helpful?
2 Thank Mette J
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

Property: SWAN Yoga Retreat
Address: 101 / 4 Bairo Alto, Assagao, Bardez 403507, India
Phone Number:
Location: 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 Specialty Lodging in Assagao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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 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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