Jessica Connick Australia
Upon arrival in McLeod Ganj I could never have imagined such a beautiful mountainous town. As we walked through, beyond where cars can drive, through the market shops out to the waterfall we look up and across to an enormous oak tree growing tall and proud, all on its own on the other side of the river. Never would I have believed that I would be spending almost two magical weeks under the shade of that there 'Chinar' tree. As we crossed the enchanting waterfall, climbed up the embankment toward our guesthouse a plaque with the words read: 'Relax a little, Give life a chance to flow its own way, Unassisted by your mind and effort. Stop directing the rivers flow.' At that very moment, with those few words i did exactly that and I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. The days that followed provided us with a full sensory experience which I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. Peaceful relaxation, nourishing delicious meals, the natural beauty of the landscape, the sounds and smells of this gorgeous oasis and of course the compelling company of the providers of this retreat as well as the others who'd found themselves there too. The healing that comes from this kind of an experience cannot be measured. To grow, release, appreciate, be present, love, connect and feel life, right here right now is what Chinar gave to me.
Our hosts Ved and Ilona were warm and inviting, incredibly interesting, patient and kind individuals. The yoga Ved taught was authentic, spiritual and purposeful practice. What we learnt about the ancient teachings of yoga goes far beyond anything I'd experienced in any other class. His nature walks were fascinating, learning about the landscape and flora and fauna of the area, imparting spiritual and cultural learnings, his experiences and life lessons onto us.
Ilona's effortless generosity to tailor her meditation to meet the specific needs of each participant was very warming (though we were an exceptionally small group) I learned so much about focusing the inner child through the variety of meditations and yoga nidra. I felt very much so that she was there to help and her kindness made the journey easy, she also has a wicked sense of humor.
I am eternally grateful for having met these very special people and for having been blessed with such an amazing experience. I'm very much so looking forward to re-booking on another retreat, trekking those Himalayan foothills again, loving beautiful India again and continuing on my journey with this magical place, again.
Thank you for everything!
Steven Ferraro Australia
Temple of the Nature Facebook page
Temple of the Nature - Chinar Paradise is one of the most wonderful places I have ever spent quality time away from home. In fact, it kind of felt like home to me. The setting of the place is perfect - up in the mountains near a waterfall, giving people a chance to stop, unwind, listen, and relax. The yoga, meditation, nature walks, and painting were just some of the daily activities that brought me much joy personally. The meals are amazing and nutritious and the nights around the campfire are awesome fun. Coming to this place was an important part of my journey in life and the highlight of coming to India. I learned to go with the flow and listen to my heart more. Thank you Ilona and Ved for hosting such an amazing retreat. I certainly recommend it to others and am confident that I'll be back in the not too distant future.
Debbie South Africa
Temple of the Nature Facebook page
We experienced the most beautiful ten day retreat under the sacred Chinar tree. The beauty and the peace brought out my inner goddess. Thank you to Ved and Ilona for hosting. Look forward to returning.
Maria Emilia Peterle Argentina
Chinar is the place where we found peace, a real experience of connection between body, mind, and nature. Happy to participate in such a wonderful experience, we want to thank Ilona and Vet, for working from their hearts making sure everything was magical. We found a place for art and entertainment, as well as yoga and meditation. This retreat nurtured our soul!
Claire Hanniffy Ireland
I found Ilona brilliant! She has gorgeous energy, so tranquil and calm. I had just broken my wrist when I met her so her yoga Nidra classes were heavenly and just what I needed. It was fate that we met, and I always remember her with a smile!
Raisa Miikkulainen Europe
Temple of the Nature - Chinar Paradise website
I went to the eight day yoga retreat in Chinar Paradise on May 2 to 9 and can highly recommend that. The days started with a walk around the surrounding beautiful nature, then morning yoga asanas and yoga Nidra, the deep relaxation. After lunch, we had some free time and in the evening some more yoga asanas and mystical Tibetan singing bowls and more. I found Ilona's style of teaching very inspiring and soothing, concentrating more on the meditative and awareness-bringing aspects of yoga. The place, Chinar Paradise, has a very special energy. The house is tucked under Chinar, a giant maple tree. There are lovely tables made of the Himalayan stones and hammocks where you can relax forgetting the time. There are spectacular mountain views everywhere you look. Ved, the owner, is very kind and friendly and will take you on an unforgettable mountain trek. The place is just so special that I am still staying here and enjoying. So if you just have the chance please come to these retreats. I found the place just walking and seeing an ad in Bhagsu Nag but apparently you can also book through BookYogaRetreats.com.
Ekaterina Korovina Russia
Temple of the Nature - Chinar Paradise website
I stayed just a few days in Chinar Paradise but it was enough to feel how peaceful and beautiful this place is. It was at the end of my trip to India, a perfect place to slow down, integrate, and still stay open to what the world around and inside has to offer. I felt there was a lot of space around, space to be yourself. The gentle yoga classes allowed me to explore something deep within me, to learn, to release, to keep moving mindfully. I am grateful to the nature and all the people I met there for beauty, guidance, support, and care.
Janko Jankovic United Arab Emirates
I have the pleasure of being friends with Ilona since the last 15 years, and I have been watching the progress and development of her spiritual path since the early beginnings. She is a very dedicated yogini and one can tell she's taking the matter seriously, while in the same time she retains a healthy balance by having an easy going attitude, and a sense of humour that will make you realise that laughter is part of enlightment.The sessions of yoga Nidra I have taken with Ilona were like a real trip into- and out-of the body, and I have to admit she's a very good guide. It is important to mention, that Ilona is a spiritual artist as well, and her paintings have radiance that is out from this world. My impression is, that the main reason why Ilona decided to become a yoga teacher is far from materialistic, it's rather the awareness, that every time you teach, you also learn yourself.
Aine Kenny Ireland
I had the pleasure and benefit of being a student of Ilona Saumyatirtha over seven months during 2015. During that time we had one to one sessions and I also attended a group Yoga Nidra class which Ilona ran. During this time I was suffering from chronic back pain which is now subsiding due to meditation, gentle yoga and emotional awareness taught to me by Ilona.I can honestly say that Ilona is a very inspiring, spiritual teacher who is very kind and patient but also has a wonderful sense of humour and I believe all of these attributes make her the perfect yoga teacher. Anyone attending her classes will benefit greatly from her dedication and passion in teaching yoga and I highly recommend her.
Made Mata Spain
My days in Chinar were quite, relaxing and peaceful. It's in the middle of a hill, isolated from the rest of the village and with easy access to the village along a beautiful mountain path that crosses the river. Simple acommodation, beautiful landscape and nice and helpful landlord. Staying in Chinar is more like staying with friends than being in a guest house. Really wonderful spot to practice yoga, meditation, connect with mother earth and explore the surroundings.
Souravi P. India
This place is located 30 mins walking distance from Bhaksu Main Market towards the Shiva Cafe on the adjoining hill (on the other side of the stream). Chinar Soul House/Chinar Paradise is a complete mesmerizing stay in the lap of the mountain!! The day here is full of abundant sun and at night you can enjoy the bonfire. At summers, this place is a meditating zone in between the sacred nature. The rooms are perfectly fine, spacious enough. There is a big lawn and there is plenty of stone sitting arrangements, perfect to sip your tea/coffee. Please help yourself at your stay and don't expect any room service. Cook your own food in the kitchen and wash the utensils. And the room rates are cheap beyond your all expectations! Safe place for solo girl travelers! The owner Mr. Ved is a very helpful and resourceful person. A definite place to stay if you are looking for an offbeat location and a peaceful stay, away from the busy, noisy and cluttered cities.
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