What we offer
The Center offers 4 main types of activities;
1. Mountain Residencies; Accommodation, Home-stays & Venue
2. Courses, Workshops & Programs
3. Outdoor Adventure Activities
4. Yoga & Mindfulness Teacher Courses
1. Mountain Residencies; Accommodation, Home-stays & Venue.
The Center has its own accommodation, but we also can arrange home-stays with our village families. We are happy to arrange accommodation to fit your needs, whether you are attending a Program at the center, on a Working Holiday or just here to enjoy the serenity for a short or extended length of time. We are happy to offer serviced accommodation for visitors looking for a quiet and scenic place to get in touch with themselves and nature!
We have various types of accommodation; individual and shared rooms, a room with kitchenette, writers/artists’ residency, single and double rooms, Home-stays with Villagers, Village Homes for rent, Self-contained Summer Houses, and a Camping site, for those who have their own tents.
The aim of the Artists Residencies, for example, is to create cultural exchange and explore how the principles for resiliency can be further applied, for the benefit of the local community. We seek applications from artists particularly interested in human ecology, or artists interested in engaging with the local community as part of their work.
2. Courses, Workshops & Programs.
The Vrikshalaya Himalayan Center runs residential courses and programs such as our Mountain Resiliency University Course, Leadership Integrity Program, Working Holiday Programs, and Mindfulness Meditation Certificate Program.
We have ongoing programs with Western State University, NOLS, and Where There Be Dragons (Princeton University Bridge Year).
The Vrikshalaya Center also runs other programs away at existing events, venues, festivals, and organizations, including Workshops & Sessions on the Mindful Contemplation of Nature, keynote speeches on Mountain Resiliency, and Experiential courses that combine the two by presenting The Mindful Contemplation of Nature, Resiliency principles, and other insights on how we can learn for the way of life of holistic rural communities.
3. Outdoor Adventure Activities.
We have partnerships with leading adventure sports specialists here in Uttarakhand and can arrange a wide variety of outdoor activities for all levels; from trekking, and rock climbing, to para gliding, snow skiing and rafting. We are used to hosting groups from high schools, colleges, universities, as well as companies, interest groups, individuals and families.
4. Courses, Workshops & Programs.
We are proud to adapt our existing offering to your needs. We work with all types of clients, from colleges and universities to companies and non-governmental organizations and platforms. Our courses include:
Contemplation Sessions. Contemplation Sessions can be held anywhere, as part of a Program at the centre- or at any existing event. They are often built into an existing conference program, or corporate team building program. These short sessions are a great way to bring teams together and connect meaningfully.
The sessions are orientation sessions into Meditation and Mindfulness techniques for Nature Contemplation. The sessions also introduce the scientifically proven benefits of these practices on health and wellbeing. The sessions are designed for all types of professionals to learn and experience these secular practices and techniques first hand. The sessions can range from short 60 – 90 minute sessions to longer sessions, and are tailor made to the groups. There is no restriction on optimal size of the group given there is adequate space to set up the participants for practice.
Previously, the Foundation has organized Mindful Contemplation of Nature events or side events in major conferences, such as The World Parks Congress and events at Olympic Park Sydney.
They have been held in major organizational settings for senior management, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization HQ in Rome. Our contemplation practice is not connected to any faith and sessions have also been held in Churches and Temple complexes. The session in the church at Santiago the Chile was so well received that the entire concept has been translated in Spanish and published as a 90-page book in 2016, ‘La Contemplacion De La Naturaleza’.
Workshops. Our workshops range from half a day to one or two full days. They are great for team building and a way for a group of students or professionals to be introduced to the basic principles of nature contemplation and practice mindfulness and meditation for nature contemplation under supervision. They are ideal for people who would like to bring the resources of nature connectedness and mindfulness to others as part of their professional work, whether they are health practitioners, yoga teachers, life coaches, project managers, or school teachers for all ages of students.
The workshops give ample time for questions and interaction. The workshops can be organized into a residential format at the centre, with an early morning session on yoga and mindfulness. The workshop size should not exceed 40, and preferably be close to a natural setting such as a garden, park, forest, botanical garden, farm, river or seaside. The workshop can be adapted for conferences and more attendees and held in-doors with some prior arrangement of bringing elements of nature in the hall to arrange to learn the practice.
Courses. Our various courses held at the center range from 1 – 2 weeks at the Vrikshalaya Himalayan Center. These courses explore the link between nature exposure and a variety of social issues. In the past, courses have focused on sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, and community based natural resource management.
We have customized courses for western students which range from 5 – 11 days and are based on the needs of the group and combined with other activities (see Outdoor and Home-stay).
Yoga and Mindfulness retreats. We have qualified yoga practitioners and often organize yoga retreats and combined yoga & home-stay programs. Our Yoga Hall was featured in The Guardian newspaper as a top location for yoga.
Senior citizens gap year. This is an ideal location for retired people interested in outdoor activities and helping the local community to share their knowledge and come and stay for a gap year in their retirement. We are particularly interested in applicants who can hold classes with the locals of all ages. The gap year can be designed according to your needs and interests- we are flexible! Please contact us via e-mail to start a dialogue.
Short-term mindfulness immersion stay. This is a short stay at the center to learn about and start practicing mindful contemplation of nature. You are welcome to come alone as a individual and join existing classes and meditation sessions over a long weekend, or stay for however long your schedule allows. It’s an ideal break from the city, whilst learning how mindfulness can change your the way you manage the stresses and routines of everyday modern life.
Student Group Home-stay Program. The center is mostly used for youth and university student groups. Customized programs can be offered to best serve the objectives of the visit. Institutions and organizations are also welcome to design their own programs and use the facilities with or without the involvement of Vrikshalaya staff and members. We can help to incorporate hiking, yoga and mindfulness meditation into your program, day trips, activities and activities with the villagers.
Venue for third party courses. The Center is available as a venue for organizations and individuals to host preexisting programs such as company team-building exercises and management training, yoga retreats and outdoor adventure trips.
Working holidays for volunteers. We offer volunteer placements for individuals and small groups. The volunteer program can be combined with any of our short course modules; from pathways to sustainability to business and professional ethics, or moderate-size consensus building processes, and of course, our Mindful Contemplation of Nature meditation and yoga practices.
There is a need for inclusive growth in the society. With an outward migration of almost 30% of the population, the socioeconomic transition in the hills is happening at a very rapid pace. There is always a need and opportunity to engage meaningfully with the local community. We provide human resources and physical space for all types of visitors to get involved in the region.