The Surya Namaskar’s second nature to you. You can twist your body into a pretzel in ways toddlers would be envious of. Ergo, you’ve earned yourself a yoga retreat at one of Bhutan’s most exclusive getaways. Amankora, part of the Aman Resorts chain, is hosting a seven-night programme with Iyengar Yoga teacher and practising Buddhist Cora Wen. Over four nights in the Paro Lodge and three nights at Amankora Thimphu, Wen will put you through 3 hours of meditation and personalized yoga sessions each day. That will still leave you enough time to explore the surrounding forests and nearby temples, museums and monasteries, with a day-long excursion to Punakha, Bhutan’s old winter capital. The seven-night retreat (21-28 October) costs $9,100 (around Rs4.24 lakh) for single occupancy and $9,800 for doubles, which covers all meals and house beverages, laundry and airport transfers, visa processing, Druk Air flight reservations and ticketing assistance. To book, email or call 09752331333.

Air supply: At the Paro Lodge, the mountain air and asanas will rejuvenate tired and jaded city folk.

Varanasi through a lens

After successful ventures across southern India, travel firm GetOff ur ass’ photo workshop arm Photography on the Move is going north—specifically, to the mystical city of Varanasi. If you have an SLR camera and can’t tell shutter speed apart from aperture—or if you can, and would like to hone your skills further with fabulous photo-ops—this is the must-do trip for you. The instructors welcome even the stupidest questions and will follow up theory classes with practical exercises that arm you with confidence for the moment when you hit the picturesque ghats of Varanasi. From the Ramlila narration to musical concerts, and from the basics of night photography to the enchanting life of the famed galis, this is one way of getting up close and personal with one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world. The four-day workshop (30 September-3 October), inclusive of stay at a heritage hotel, intra-city travel and food, costs Rs18,000 per person. Group discounts are available, as are cameras for hire. Join the Beginners’ SLR photography course in Varanasi by calling Supriya on 09980655944 or mailing her at

Photo-op: The ghats of Varanasi.

Brahmaputra beckons

It’s that time of the year when the adventurous start testing their river-legs. Outdoors outfitters Aquaterra Adventures just announced its Great Brahmaputra Descent (20 November-2 December) that’s sure to leave the adrenalin thumping in your veins long after your wetsuits are dry. “An option only for the true adventurer," says Aquaterra’s Vaibhav Kala, who is welcoming first-timers, even non-swimmers—so confident is he of the safety trappings. The highlight of the trip is a seven-day run from Tuting to Pasighat, a distance of 180km, when one is completely cut off from the rest of the world.

The rapids here are no laughing matter: The class IV-plus Ningguing rapid on Day 6 is followed by the Pulsating Palsi, a class IV rapid. There’s also Moing Madness, Ponging and other big and small rapids that will test your skills to the utmost. The expedition costs Rs1.3 lakh for rafters and Rs1.2 lakh for kayakers (big water experience essential), inclusive of Delhi-Dibrugarh-Delhi flights, all accommodation and meals (except in Delhi), restricted area permits and fees, professional guide fees and transfers. Interested? Email All formalities need to be completed by 1 October.

Upsurge: For the true adventurer.

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