ol Donyo Lodge, Kenya
30 November – 04 December & 04 – 08 December 2018
Following the success of Great Plains Conservation’s Wild Studio Photographic safaris, we are delighted to bring you our new Wild Studio Yoga retreats at one of the most spiritual locations on the African continent.
With views of the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro, from the volcanic Chyulu Hills (Ernest Hemingway’s Green Hills of Africa), these two four-night yoga Wild Studios will be conducted at Great Plains Conservation ol Donyo Lodge in southern Kenya.
ol Donyo Lodge is a Relais & Châteaux and National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World member, embodying these membership organisations high standards of sustainability, hospitality, community involvement, service and cuisine. This in addition to Great Plains Conservation own ethos of conserving and expanding natural habitat, where a vast 300,000 acre habitat is conserved in Maasai land to allow big tusker elephants and other wild animals to roam freely between Kilimanjaro, Amboseli and the Chyulu Hills. The seven-suite lodge is built from the rock of surrounding volcanic lava flows, each with private plunge pools and roof-top star beds, overlooking acacia forests, a wildlife attracting waterhole, grassy plains stretching to Mount Kilimanjaro’s snowcapped peak. Few places on earth bring the elemental energies of earth, wood, fire, sky and water together so successfully.
ol Donyo Lodge is the setting for 4 days of yoga with a difference. There will be therapeutic meditation and yoga sessions at sunrise and sunset overlooking Mount Kilimanjaro; daily workshops to further knowledge of yoga; fabulous all inclusive delicious meals and drinks. The difference at ol Donyo Lodge is that in between these sessions there will be adapted activities that the lodge normally offers, from silent, guided walking safaris, horse riding, cycling, exploration of lava tunnels. Day and night game drives are also available. There will be plenty of time to relax, watching majestic elephants drink from the lodge waterhole from the safety of a log-pile hide or to enjoy a massage from your Pool Suite.
Non yoga-participating partners are also welcome and can enjoy any of the lodge activities and can dip into or out of any of the activities the yoga group will be doing.
Practicing yoga in the beautiful wilderness allows one the opportunity to awaken all your senses while at the same time bringing awareness, opening yourself up to a whole new way of experiencing moments and stillness, that not only benefit yourself but also those around you. The combination of the beauty of nature with the mental and physical benefits of yoga, allows for an all-round spiritual experience, offering peace and tranquillity. You establish a deep sense of calm and relaxation by practicing yoga outdoors. It can have a tremendous effect on ones wellbeing and it is an incredible way of connecting mind, body and soul.
The two 4 night Wild Studio Yoga programmes starting on 30 November and 04 December 2018 will be conducted by Great Plains Conservation guest and conservationist, Binita Shah. Two years ago Binita, herself on holiday in camp, offered to teach anyone in at Mara Plains Camp yoga. The guests, camp managers and marketing team present were really impressed. Binita returned, this time to ol Donyo Lodge and so impressed on our camp manager, herself also a yoga practitioner, she was invited to conduct our first Wild Studio Yoga programmes. She and we at Great Plains Conservation look forward to having you join us in this magical landscape.
“Yoga does not transform the way we see things, it transforms the person who sees”
– B.K.S Iyengar
Most people know yoga as a form of physical activity for enhancing strength and flexibility but in truth yoga offers much more. The word Yoga means ‘Union’ in the ancient language of Sanskrit. Union of mind, body and soul.
Many of us lead busy lives, exposed to stress and distractions, and often we ‘don’t have the time’ to stop, listen and simply BE. Dedicating time to yoga allows you to stop and live, breath by breath. It creates space for stillness when you need calm and a place of energy when you need uplifting. Yoga allows one to be present in that moment and encourages mindfulness without judgement. It is reconnecting with oneself by disconnecting from the outside world.
Yoga is a beautiful gift which physically and mentally challenges you, offering balance, healing and clarity. It is a holistic way of life which provides us with the tools to access our inner peace.
Most importantly, Yoga is for everyone, it is not about perfect postures, or standing on your head. Yoga for some can mean an intense strong practice and for others it can be gentle. It can have a completely different meaning depending on the person; after all we are all unique individuals.
As part of the enhanced Eco-Wellness offering of Great Plains Conservation, we invite guests to enjoy the art of Yoga when staying with us at ol Donyo Lodge in Kenya. Enjoying yoga while on safari offers an even more therapeutic and spiritual experience. Imagine being completely immersed in the energy of the natural world, breathing the fresh air while appreciating the humble sounds of the bush. Allowing oneself to relax and rejuvenate, while learning from nature.
One of the philosophies of yoga is ‘Seva’ – the art of selfless service and contribution to the community.
USD 135 per person per night of your stay at ol Donyo Lodge funds conservation and community projects in this vast Maasailand through the Great Plains Foundation and Big Life Foundation.
Binita Shah became a student of yoga over 10 years ago whilst she was working in the corporate world. A move to Dubai enabled her to re-think her career and she decided to dedicate her time studying the philosophy of Yoga and gaining her 500 hours teacher-training qualification.
She currently runs Hatha yoga classes for adults as well as therapy yoga covering back pain, stress and anxiety. Each class is planned carefully so that the student understands the benefits of yoga postures and walks away with new information.
Binita believes that the journey of yoga is never ending, she loves discussing the topic with other teachers, attends workshops that could benefit her and her students and continues to study yoga. She is passionate about keeping yoga authentic in a world that is making it more and more commercial.
Arrival into Nairobi 29 November / 03 December 2018
Recommended overnight in Nairobi (see price grid below for suggested accommodation although alternative hotel choices are available). Timings below are fluid and subject to wildlife distractions affecting the programme:
(30 Nov / 04 Dec)
|07:30 – 40 minute flight from Nairobi Wilson Airport to ol Donyo Lodge. Welcome Session. Lunch. Day at leisure enjoying all the usual activities at the lodge. Dinner and evening meditation.|
Sunrise yoga. Breakfast, activities, Workshop,lunch, activities, Sunset yoga, free time, dinner and meditation.
(02 Dec / 06 Dec)
|Sunrise yoga. Breakfast, activities, Workshop, lunch, activities, Walking meditation, free time, dinner and Yin yoga.|
(03 Dec / 07 Dec)
|Sunrise yoga. Breakfast, activities, Workshop, lunch, activities, Sunset yoga, free time, dinner and Farewell session.|
(04 Dec / 07Dec)
|08:30 – Departure flight from ol Donyo Lodge to Nairobi Wilson airport.
(Optional extensions to the Maasai Mara or Nairobi)
|Wild Studio Yoga package ol Donyo Lodge Pool Suite 4 Nights||4 night Mara Expedition Camp extension||4 night Mara Plains
|1 night Hemmingways Nairobi extension, Deluxe Room BB with transfers|
|Rate Twin or Singleoccupancy pp||USD 2070 pp||USD 1560 pp||USD 2760 pp||USD 375 pp Twin
USD 555 pp Single
|Nett conservation levies||USD 180 pp||USD 380 pp||USD 180 pp||–|
|Nett return flights from Nairobi||USD 357 pp||USD 368 pp||USD 368 pp||–|
|Total 4 night package||USD 2607 pp||USD 3308 pp||USD 3308 pp||USD 375 pp Twin
USD 555 pp Single
|Deluxe Pool Suite or Sambu Suite* supplement||+USD 375 pp|
* Supplement for Sambu Suite based on 3 people sharing (extra supplement for 2 people sharing or reduction for 4 sharing)