‘Prepare for a journey within stillness and energy,
you will never forget’.
Jordan, Magical Desert Yin journey, 10 days
1 - 10 November 2022
1 - 10 November 2022
Day to Day program :
* Meet the rest of the group in a hotel located in the center of Aqaba.
You either have arrived at Aqaba airport where you can take a taxi to the hotel (cost around 15 JD = 20 €) or you already have been in Jordan for a few days or longer, for example arrived in Amman and visited the Dead Sea and arrive by rental car or taxi (national flights one way are available from around 100€and for the same price you could also take a taxi from Amman airport to the hotel in Aqaba which is around 4 hours drive through a beautiful landscape).
* After settling and resting a bit, maybe go out and explore the city of Aqaba, visit the Soukh, inhale the mid-Eastern fragrances and even go to the beach and have a dip in the Red Sea.
* Dinner together as a group somewhere in one of the local restaurants close to the hotel.
* After an early breakfast we’ll be picked up from the hotel and driven to Wadi Musa, a village 2 hours drive North of Aqaba.
* Settle into the beautiful Bed & Breakfast, Petra Fig Tree, where we will stay for 2 nights. Optional : Jolanda (the owner of the B&B) is a certified Touch Pro Chair masseuse and at a cost of 9 JD you are welcome to experience the relaxation provided by her skilled hands.
* Visit the historical and archaeological ‘Rose’ city of Petra, founded around 7000 years BC. It’s one of the most spectacular sites in the world and her overwhelming beauty will certainly amaze you. The entrance here is included in the Jordan Pass (see included / excluded). Today we enter the city from the main gate through the Siq (shaft) to be overwhelmed by the sudden appearance of the beautiful main tomb ‘the treasury’, creating an impression you will never forget. Stay with the group, go your own way or maybe hire a local guide to provide some extra information, climb the stairs to the tombs, have lunch. All is possible as long as we meet at the entrance/exit gate at closing time.
* Dinner in the B&B and to close the day, a relaxing Yin yoga session.
Petra, a little bit of history :
The ancient ‘hidden’ or ‘lost’ city is also called ‘Rose’ city because of the colour of the stone from which it was carved. Truth is though that within the stones you see all sorts of different colours and patterns. Petra was the capital of the Nabatean kingdom at least since the second century before Christ, although the area around Petra has been inhabited from as early as 7000 BC. The Nabateans were nomadic Arabs that made Petra the center of their trading business. They were accustomed to living in deserts, unlike their enemies and were able to repel attacks by taking advantage of the area’s mountainous terrain. The Nabataens were particularly skillful in harvesting rainwater, agriculture and stone carving and so they managed to create a safe and prosperous city. An attack by the Greeks in 312 BC led to the first recording of the existence of Petra in history. Petra flourished in the 1st century AD where its population was around 20,000 inhabitants. The stalls with handmade objects have risen again since tourism started but because the site has been left very close to the original, it certainly feels as if you are way back in the past. Around 100 years AD Petra fell into the hands of the Romans and therefor lost its independence. The importance of the city declined as a result of the upcoming sea trading business and an earthquake in 363 AD destroyed part of it, Petra was abandoned and again occupied in the Byzantine era when several Christian churches were built, then again abandoned by the early Islamic era (8th century AD). ‘The lost city’ was ‘discovered’ in 1812 by Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Petra has been an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985 and it certainly is one of the most impressive ones. The use of the city as a film location for ‘Indiana Jones and the last Crusade’ in 1989 certainly increased the popularity among tourists from all over the world. The title of ‘one of the wonders of world’ is certainly deserved. Visiting Petra will be an experience you will never forget.
* An early start (8 a.m.) for our guided hike from ‘Little Petra’ to Petra.
Siq-al Barid (a.k.a. Little Petra) literally means ‘The cold canyon’ is located a few kilometres North of Petra and the hike will take 3 to 4 hours through the rocky landscape with spectacular views. Our guide leads us through this ‘back road’ via the Monastery, one of the most important and impressive buildings, back to the center of Petra and tell us something about the history of the hidden city of Petra that still is not fully discovered.
* After a long day that will surely make a memorable impression, a lovely dinner in the B&B and another relaxing Yin Yoga session to prepare ourselves for the coming adventure.
* Our desert adventure starts today. Leaving the civilized world behind in order to withdraw ourselves into the silence of the red Wadi Rum desert. After breakfast we will be driven to Jordans largest ‘Wadi’ (valley) which protected area was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2011.
* Enjoying a beautiful 2 hours journey through a landscape of mountains and desert.
* Lunch awaits us in the Desert Camp where we will stay one night.
* Absorb the miraculous place you find yourself in and it will be completely clear to you why Wadi Rum is called ‘The Moon Valley’; the breathtaking landscape of red sand, sandstone and granite rock formations that surround you might make you fantasize you are on the planet Mars.
* On a beautiful spot, watching the sun setting in this miraculous place, indulge yourself in the first desert Yin Yoga session.
* A traditional Bedouin meal, ‘Zarb’, prepared in underground pits, for those who eat meat, or a buffet of delicious vegetarian side dishes is served in the evening.
* That night, after such an intense meeting with the beauty of the Wadi Rum, might just bring amazing dreams of what the next 3 days have in store for us.
Day 5, 6 and 7
Living on the rhythm of the desert
* The magic of Wadi Run can not be captured in words, it can only be experienced by our senses. You need to see, smell, feel and hear it. See the ever changing landscape, feel the energy rising from out of the earth, smell the fragrances of flowers and spices used in cooking, in the Bedouin coffee and tea and hear the silence.
* Dive into the full experience of living as a Bedouin in the desert, following the northern star into the unknown. Our caravan of Yinlove treks from one place to another, accompanied by a genuine Bedouin guide, his camels and a jeep for our necessities (food, water etc) and our luggage.
* For 3 days we will be at the mercy of the elements of the desert. The soft first daylight brings warmth and after that the burning sun, the spectacular sunset brings night, darkness and cold. We need to protect ourselves from the elements, adjust ourselves to it by wearing many layers of clothes that we can either add or take off. Wind might bring sandstorms, so sunglasses and a scarf to put around our head are necessary precautions for traveling in the desert. The elements (5-Elements System from Traditional Chinese Medicine) will also be the theme of our daily Yin Yoga sessions.
* Exploring the desert on foot or at the back of a camel, immersing into the rhythm of the desert, become a Bedouin and forget all earthly worries. No disturbances, only relishing the silence, rest, nature and beauty. Some days traveling longer than others, sometimes we are in need of longer rests and all can be adjusted to the group, there where time does not exist anymore. Live the rhythm of light and dark, breakfast at the first light, trekking to a new place through overwhelming beauty, vegetarian dinner (based on a typical local melange of herbs and many vegetables, beans, lentils, chickpeas, rice, cheese and eggs) sleeping outside, under a starry sky after the sun has set and the fire has gone out. The places where we sleep will always be secured by the Bedouin guides that are able to read the sand like a newspaper. Everyone will be provided with a mattress, pillows and blankets but you are free to use your own sleeping bag or travel sheet. In the desert there are (surprise !) no toilets present but there will be always a place nearby to withdraw yourself. Bedouin clean themselves with water but you could of course use paper, taking it with you afterwards or burning it. A simple shower is present to refresh yourself but essentially you will slowly become one with nature, creating trails towards places where few went before you, deeper and deeper into the desert through the most beautiful spots in Wadi Rum; through canyons, over rocks and soft sand dunes, sometimes overseeing unexpected vistas. The desert and her flora and fauna is amazingly varied.
* Every day at least one themed Yin yoga session, tune into yourself, get to know your own individual body and get familiar with the principle : ‘Your body, your yoga’ . Learn a bit more about the theory around Yin yoga, the Traditional Chinese Medicine 5-elements and meridian system.
* Throughout the journey you can choose to be silent independently or maybe the group practices a form of noble silence for a certain time. There is time for interaction but also time for introspection. Nothing is obliged, everything is possible. In any case; the surrounding silence will enter your being, will become a part of you, in a way you could never imagine. This magical energy of silence that is always there, even when people are speaking. An experience that will probably forever change you and slowly you will understand that it will lead you deeper, to your inner essence. The strength of the silence will make you stronger, you will never forget her and always be able to return to her in times of need after you’ve experienced it.
Optional in Wadi Rum : 4 Energetic session by Brenda :
During the days in the desert it is possible to chose an additional extra to your journey. Divided over the days in Wadi Rum, you - and maybe some of the other participants of the group – will relish 4 energetic sessions :
1. After dinner, when you sit relaxed on your comfortable and warm mattress, nestled in warm blankets, let the healing sounds of the tuning forks connect you to the sun, the moon and the planets of the universe. Immerse yourself into a healing in which you sleep and dream and the vibration of the sound will effectively bring you back into your own natural balance.
2. Meditation with precious stones, leading you to new heights in your life. Connect with all your experiences of the past. Feel the gemstones, hold them as your personal treasure, listen to what the gemstone wants to tell you. It will tell you something about your past, your health, the present but also where your path will continue to from that moment on.
3. A new day, a new hike, a new desert scenery. In silence, everyone in their own energy collects little pieces; stones, wood, plastic, flowers or anything you find and can use for a personal vision board. You will be surprised by what the desert puts in your hands. Connect your bucket list to the objects you find, creating an artistic impression of your wishes, your past, present and future. Dive into your connection with mother earth through the natural vision board. Explore & discover what she wants to tell you. Share your vision board with the other participants, let your explanation uncover what needs to come to the surface. Afterwards, your pieces of the past will be covered with sand, buried. Objects that revealed a special meaning you can take with you.
4. An old Bedouin therapy, ‘Kasaath Hawa’. Slightly comparable with the Chinese cupping massage ; glasses and fire are used to create a vacuum on certain trigger points to get rid of blockages, stagnation of the energy running through the meridians. Result being a feeling of complete relaxation and a healthy flow of energy that will also stimulate the body to expell toxins.
The energetic sessions are performed by Brenda who is born with healing powers. She combines Bedouin therapies with western techniques to bring balance in your body, mind and soul, using the energy, silence and peacefulness that will surround us in the desert. The ultimate location for meaning and mindfulness. These energetic sessions provide you an even more intense encounter with your deeper self. At an extra cost of 100 JD (+/- 120€).
* Silent but energetic days have flown by and our caravan will slowly be approaching civilization. Not quite there, but close, spending the evening and night again in the desert camp where our journey started a few days before.
* Say goodbye to the Bedouin guides that watched over us and led us the way, to the camels that carried us and we’ll enjoy one last Yin Yoga session in the desert, one last night watching a million stars in the sky, one last night experiencing that magical silence.
* Maybe you’ll feel happy to go to a ‘normal’ toilet again and sleep in a bed in a tent, or you might already miss the disconnection of ‘normal’ life that you were living the previous days, but you will definitely feel enriched by the experience, you will have made new friends with whom you shared an amazing, magical, unforgettable journey within the desert, into silence, into ourselves. You might already realize you have had an experience that has put a spell on you and is indescribable, inexplicable and can only be cherished deep within you. The memory of the desert, her ever changing beauty and her silence will be yours to carry with you. Within you, Wadi Rum has created a place where you can return to whenever you need it.
* After breakfast we’ll travel back to Aqaba. To make the ‘return to civilization’ a bit more bearable, instead of staying in the busy chaotic center, our night will be spend in a quieter part of the city, at the border of the Red Sea.
* Get settled in your hotel room, relax, have a swim, enjoy Yin Yoga.
* Group dinner as a closure of this retreat. The impact of the journey might be huge because we have so strongly let go of our normal routine of living, emotions might be intense and friendships for life may be born.
* All good things unfortunately have to end. The day to say goodbye to the people that created a wonderful memory with you. Maybe you travel some more in the beautiful country of Jordan, maybe you return home, maybe you have some more beach days. Whatever will be next, I am sure this journey will leave an everlasting memory that you will cherish forever and maybe, like me, will live over and over again.
‘Every experience in life is unique and nurturing. A step closer to our own essence, a move further on our path, our life’s journey. Therefor embrace and cherish it ….'
Basic things to bring with you :
- Yogamat or Yogatowel
- Enough (thin) clothes that you can wear on top of each other and maybe a warm vest for the evening.
- Jacket and/or warm vest.
- Scarf (head + neck covering).
- Refillable drinking bottle.
Price of the retreat :
Normal price based on shared room : € 1895
(depending on the amount of participants, private rooms might be available at an extra charge of €100).
Be sure to read the booking & cancellation rules.
What is included in the price :
- 9 Nights accommodation based on bed and breakfast in Hotel Aqaba Town (day 1), Petra Fig Tree B&B in Wadi Musa (day 2 & 3), Desert Camp (day 4 & 8), Camping in Wadi Rum (day 5, 6 and 7), Hotel Aqaba Red Sea (day 9).
- Lunch (box) and Dinner on days 2 to 8.
- Transport on day 2 to 9 (i.e. all transport except from and to the airport)
- Guide for hike and sightseeing in Petra (day 3).
- Desert journey with guidance from bedouins, jeep and camels during our journey through the desert (day 5, 6 and 7).
- Daily Yin Yoga sessions as taught by Paul Grilley and highly inspired by Jo Phee’s Yinspiration modules. Sessions are based on the Chinese Traditional Medicine 5-Elements and Meridian System. Depending on the needs, the pace, the circumstances Yoga sessions can be adjusted to more relaxing or more energetic forms of practice, all within the Yin Style.
What is excluded from the price :
- Trip to Aqaba (Flight directly to Aqaba or via Amman).
- Taxi from Aqaba airport to hotel (day 1) and from hotel to airport (day 10). I will try to get participants in touch with each other to share a taxi if arriving around the same time. Price taxi around 15 JD (€20).
- Jordan Explorer Pass 75 JD (€ 90) This pass will give you a Visa into the country and two days entrance to Petra. You need to buy online before entering the country. ( If you travel before or afterwards in Jordan it will give you free entrance to a lot of archaeological sites. Make sure to opt for the Explorer that includes two days entrance for Petra : https://www.jordanpass.jo/Contents/Prices.aspx. You can of course also chose to not buy the Jordan Pass, then your entrance fee for 2 days Petra will be around 55 JD (€65) and the Visa on arrival (for EU-citizens) will cost 40 JD (€50). Buying the Jordan Pass makes it much easier and cheaper. If you are a non-EU citizen please familiarize yourself with the Visa requirements.
- Travel insurance with world coverage (check if you are covered by your health insurance as well), insurance for luggage or cancellation insurance.
- Drinks, tips, own expenses.
- Optional energetic session from Brenda, can be chosen individually in Wadi Rum. https://www.jordan-desert-journeys.com/en/travels/retreats-in-the-desert/wellness-retreat-in-the-desert/
- Optional chair massage by Jolanda at Petra Fig Tree B&B. https://www.petrafigtreevilla.com/other-activities-in-and-around-petra/chair-massage-after-petra-visit/