Aficionados of yoga and other wellness disciplines consider yoga and meditation as essential opportunities for attainment of deeper spiritual awareness and meaningful integration of our mind-body connection.
Students of the Earth’s energetic portals believe that every 2000 years the power of this energy changes from the East to the West. The Incas chose to name their capital Cusco, or Qosqo, which literally means ‘navel’ or ‘center’ in Quechua, which implies that they had tapped into this phenomenon from the inception of their culture, hence their devotion to Pachamama (Mother Earth) and Inti, the Inca god of the sun.
It’s no wonder, then, that the official flag of Cusco is polychromatic, i.e. that it has all seven colors of the rainbow, layered horizontally. The Incas understood and embraced what devotees to the study of energy often talk about today: Color is light, and each color has a different wavelength and vibrational frequency that affects us, and specifically our (also!) seven chakras, the centers of spiritual power in the human body, differently. Our chakras take in the health of our environment and in turn, radiate their own energy and vibration.
Taking all of this into account (and without having to be experts in ancestral Andean philosophy), meditation and yoga are excellent ways for us to tap into these vibrations. Meditation clears out the distracting ‘noise’ that creeps into our minds, and yoga flow practice, including sun salutations to receive the light (get it?), opens our physical beings.
Mountain Lodges of Peru’s (MLP’s) 8-Days new Yoga and Wellness Experience to Machu Picchu program offers guests the opportunity to explore this first-hand. Their MLP Yoga and Wellness leader, Sara Gallegos, will guide you through the mind/body exercises, complemented by workshops on topics from Andean Superfoods and herbal remedies to Ayurvedic health.
Simultaneously, you will embark on a guided lodge-to-lodge journey of exhilarating hikes and meaningful cultural immersion through the Sacred Valley and Lares region to Machu Picchu, including traditional ceremonies in honor of Pachamama led by Andean shamans. This is truly a transformational experience!
Travelers who participate in the yoga experience will truly get to feel the energy of Cusco in more than just a skin-deep context. They’ll have the opportunity to spend time in the magical places and archaeological sites that they will visit on this program…and have moments of stillness to truly take in the high-vibrational quality of these lands…through meditation, special ceremonies and rituals, and even the yoga movements themselves.
This is no ordinary journey to Machu Picchu, but an inspirational journey to transform your inner core.
Preparing for the trip: Few recommendations:
A portion of The Wellness and Yoga Experience to Machu Picchu features a flexible itinerary chosen from a daily list of both active adventure and cultural immersion options.
While general good health and an active lifestyle are important, I do recommend some additional preparation due to the high altitude of the Cusco region.
⁄ Begin a cardio-intensive fitness regimen that includes vigorous walking and/or hiking three months before your trip.
⁄ Wear broken-in hiking shoes or boots during the hiking portions of the journey. I also recommend having adequate ankle support as the terrain is varied.
⁄ Use hiking poles or walking sticks during the hikes for greater agility and ankle support.
ADJUSTING TO HIGH ALTITUDE
Altitude sickness is most common at elevations above 6,500’/1,900m and results from the body adjusting to a decreased amount of oxygen. Symptoms can include lightheadedness, nausea, headaches, and dehydration.
⁄ Arrive in Cusco at least two days before your MLP departure.
⁄ Drink a minimum of 64oz./2L of water each day.
⁄ Avoid eating heavy meals, especially during the first couple of days.
⁄ Avoid vigorous exercise during the first couple of days.
The weather in Cusco is defined by two seasons: green (rainy) and dry. Green season typically runs from November through March, with the heaviest rains occurring in January and February (average daytime temperature 56F/13.3C).
Dry season daytime average temperature is 62-68F/17-20C. Expect lower temperatures in the early morning and evening—always be prepared by dressing in layers.
Note: Cusco is located in a high mountain environment where variable weather is expected. Rain can occur in the middle of July just as sun may appear in January, so it is better to be prepared for mixed conditions.
You can download Full trip itinerary (day and timewise program by clicking on link below): Dates in 2021 will be announced soon.
Profile of your Yoga and Wellness Leader for the Trip:
Sandra Gallegos, is MLP’s new Yoga and Wellness Leader. During the past 14 years, she has been both a devoted yoga practitioner and teacher, and three years ago opened her own studio dedicated to Ashtanga Yoga as well as ‘Integral Health’ coaching. Sandra also brings an in-depth knowledge of Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Nutrition, having studied with notable experts in India and beyond. Her experience, dedication, and holistic approach to mind/body wellness will ensure the trip of a lifetime for our guests.
Name: Sandra Gallegos
From: Lima, Peru
Mom to: Kailani, age 7
- Business Administration degree completed in Amsterdam, Holland
- 2004: Began practicing yoga
- 2005: Earned post-graduate degree in International Tourism, Australia
- 2013: Earned Ashtanga Yoga certification through AYP
- 2014: Studied Ashtanga Yoga and Ayurveda & Ayurvedic Nutrition at K. Pattabhi Ashtanga Yoga Institute (KPJAYI), Mysore, India
- 2014: Studied Ayurveda and Ayurvedic Nutrition with Dr. Chitrah Lekha at Mysore Ayurveda Retreat, Mysore, India
- 2015: Opened Yoga studio DAYS Yoga and Health Coaching, Lima, Peru
- 2016: Completed the ‘Integrative Health Coaching’ course at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN), New York, NY
- Languages: Spanish, English, Portuguese, and basic Indonesian
The mountain lodges and their affiliate hotels are all top-notch; they aim to bring you the comforts of home, along with superior amenities and exceptional service.
El Retablo is a two-story, Art Boutique B&B that celebrates vibrant Peruvian traditions and the rich cultural heritage of Cusco. Mountain Lodges of Peru restored and converted a historic building into a stylish destination three blocks from Plaza de Armas, the heart of the bustling capital.
Lamay Lodge is an idyllic hideaway in the Sacred Valley town of the same name. Resplendent sun and green, flowerdotted gardens with picturesque pastoral views create a calming sensation that envelops you from the moment you arrive. The outdoor hot tub and firepit in the center garden are welcoming spaces to gather, as are the cozy indoor nooks. Altitude: 9,721’/2,963m.
Huacahuasi Lodge, an imposing structure built on the mountainside adjacent to its namesake village, was built and is managed in partnership with the local community.
Designed to showcase dramatic views of the valley and beyond, Huacahuasi features soaring ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows. Each luxury guest room is equipped with a private outdoor hot tub for you to relax while you take in dramatic sunsets and star-filled evening skies. Altitude:12,599’/3,840m.
WILLKA TIKA in the Sacred Valley
A welcoming, eco-friendly lodge full of peaceful energy and mystical surroundings—located in one of the most energetically charged places on the planet.
MACHU PICCHU PUEBLO HOTEL
Inkaterra Machu Picchu Pueblo Hotel (an MLP affiliate property), is an intimate Andean village with terraced hills, waterfalls, stone pathways and 83 whitewashed adobe casitas tucked away in the cloud forest. Altitude: 6,627’/2,020m.
How to book:
You can inquire and book for dates in 2021 (once announced) using Mountain Lodges of Peru’s partner agent in India, Experiential Travel Journeys Pvt. Ltd., based out of New Delhi. They are a Boutique Travel Design Company specialising in South America, and off-beat trips with unique, exclusive and transformational experiences worldwide.