Meditation is among the simplest paths to personal growth, a fact that has inspired many individuals to explore the roots of this practice. While meditation is a ubiquitous undertaking, it is closely tied to the history and cultures of India. As such, many individuals claim to actually feel a calming aura in this subcontinent that allows for deeper concentration and a greater sense of self. Travelers can explore this sensation for themselves with a trip to Gulaghar, India.
Gulagar is a small but beautiful city in the Ratnagiri Distric of the Konkan Region in the Maharashtra State. Though there are many modern amenities, the city is not as developed as other urban centers like Delhi and Mumbai. This means that the natural world is omnipresent in the city, a feature that only adds to the peaceful serenity of the area.
The city is also a great launching point for many wondrous sites that are perfect for meditation. A short drive away is the beach town of Hedvi, which offers both a stunning temple of Dashabhuja Ganapti and the amazing gorge known as Brahman Ghal. Also just outside the city is Velanshwar, a seaside temple to Shiva that should not be missed.
Though the recent earthquake and its resulting complications have scared away some travelers, there is no denying that the island nation has a serene and wonderful aura that lends itself to calm meditation. Though urban centers like Tokyo and Kyoto may be more popular destinations, travelers seeking an ideal place to meditate for personal growth should cast their sights north to the port city of Wakkanai.
The northernmost city in the country, Wakkanai is a small but special town in the Soya district of the island of Hokkaido. The town has remained popular as a stop along the route to Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobestsu National Park, yet many of its own attractions are also lovely for travelers seeking peace and calm.
Wakkanai Park, for example, is a hilly plot of land that offers excellent views, a wealth of great hiking trails and several statues and monuments that will surely catch the eye and send the mind soaring. During the blooming season, the park is especially beautiful, as rows upon rows of cherry trees light up the sky with their bright pink petals.
Visitors can also reflect on the accomplishments of man by visiting the northernmost point monument on the nearby island of Soya. In addition to a series of plaques detailing many great strides in Japanese culture, there is large statue of Mayima Rinzo, the explorer who first discovered the island.
While there are many ways for one to achieve a life balance, meditation in a serene and beautiful location seems to be one of the more effective routes. Individuals have sought peace in any number of locations across the globe, yet travelers who seek inspiration from the raw power of nature may want to head to the Northern Cape Province of South Africa to witness the awe-inspiring power of Aughrabies Falls National Park.
Spanning an area of approximately 820 square-kilometers, Aughrabies National Park is an arid expanse of land that encompasses many of the region's desert ecosystems. Despite this sparse and rocky landscape, the park is home to the Aughrabies Falls, a stunning cascade that channels the raging waters of the Orange River over a narrow ledge.
The sheer force of the falls produces a powerful, yet soothing sound that originally earned it the name of Ankoerebis (loosely translated as 'place of big noises') among the native Khoikhoi people.
In the presence of this massive natural force, visitors will truly be able to feel the strength of the natural world – a big benefit for meditation and relaxation.
As the birthplace of yoga, India is a popular destination for those who practice the postural exercise in Dahn Yoga classes. With so many beautiful attractions in the country, however, it can be difficult to fit enough sight-seeing into one’s trip. Vacationers heading to Bharat may want to consider an escorted tour, such as Palace on Wheels, which is a train ride through the Indian countryside.
Beginning in New Delhi, tourists can board a luxuriously designed train complete with opulent decor and convenient amenities. They will travel to Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jaipur, Jaisalmer, Ranthambore and Agra, where they will learn more about each of the Indian states’ culture and history, see royal palaces and more. Visitors will also get from one place to another either by boat, safari, camel or even an elephant.
The Palace on Wheels trains are equipped with a fitness area, salon, bar and restaurants that offer Rajasthani, Chinese and Continental cuisine, so vacationers are sure to be traveling in the lap of luxury. Seeing important attractions and enjoying delicious regional cuisine may be the perfect recipe for a relaxing getaway.
Island destinations often provide the best atmosphere for those embarking on a yoga retreat, as the peaceful environment and natural scenery provide the ultimate environment for a relaxing getaway. Those who want to work on their yoga meditation in Europe should consider heading to Santorini, Greece, which is a popular hot spot for these types of vacations.
Santorini is a small archipelago located southeast of the mainland and part of the Aegean Cyclades. It is regarded as one of the world’s most intriguing natural wonders for the way it was created – the islands are what remains of an ancient volcanic explosion that occurred in approximately 1630 B.C.
Beyond its fascinating origin, many people visit the island to see its world-famous sunsets, where the sky is painted with neon hues as the sun seemingly descends into the water. There are numerous beaches where tourists can enjoy the colorful sight, including Red Beach, Vlichada, Amoudi and Perivolos.
Those who spend the day practicing their yoga postures in the sand may want to end the night at a local winery, where they can savor a glass or two before heading home.
Those who are seeking a peaceful place for yoga meditation should consider taking a trip to Central America to find respite in Nicaragua. On the Caribbean coast, tourists will find Big Corn Island, a gorgeous destination that features green-blue waters and white-sand beaches.
Despite its name, the island is small enough to have a single road system that frames the land, running along the perimeter and leading the way to only a few small paved side paths. This offers a better environment for those looking to relax, as there is no noise pollution to distract one from the scenic beauty of the area.
Travelers who want some physical activity while in Big Corn Island can enjoy the many hiking trails that begin along the shore and venture inward. These paths allow visitors to explore the tropical landscape, discover remote beaches and enjoy the serene scenery.
Those interested in the island’s cultural offerings can trek to the top of Quinn Hill, where there sits a small pyramid in a park resembling those found in many other islands around the world.
While many people find enlightenment through prayer and yoga meditation, others take a more adventurous approach toward achieving their spiritual goals. For a thrilling experience while in Toronto, vacationers should consider a trip to the CN Tower, which is the tallest free-standing structure in the world.
It is certainly a thrilling time ascending the 1,168-foot tower in a mere 58 seconds via elevator, but the excitement does not stop there. Tourists are now offered the chance to scale the outer limits of the building at its highest point by being strapped to a rail via a harness, which allows adrenaline junkies to walk along a five-foot ledge with no railing.
“With our 35th [anniversary] coming up this summer, we thought what a great opportunity to introduce visitors to something new and exciting – and on top of that, extreme,” chief operating officer Jack Robinson said to the Globe and Mail.
Those who are a bit skittish about hanging off the top of the CN Tower can still enjoy the sights from above by visiting its observatory, which features a 2.5-inch-thick glass floor that lets travelers see more than 1,000 feet below them.