skandavan » retreats » dance as yoga


Immersions in Indian classical dance as an integrated physical, mental and spiritual practice.

Dates: September 2017     Wednesday 20th – Thursday 28th
  October 2017         Wednesday 18th – Thursday 26th
 March 2018           Wednesday 07th – Thursday 15th
Mentor:Rekha Tandon
Location:Skandavan, near Auroville, Tamil Nadu, India

Skandavan’s ‘Dance as Yoga’ retreats is a new initiative, coinciding with the publication of Rekha’s book ‘Dance as Yoga - The Spirit and Technique of Odissi’* by Niyogi Books, New Delhi. Suitable for both yoga practitioners and dancers, they provide a new, psychosomatic approach to movements based on the Indian classical dance form, odissi.

Tools for linking body movements with yogic and tantric precepts are introduced, enhancing spatial awareness, motor-skill development, meditative release of physical and mental tension, as well as creative expression.

Each retreat is restricted to four people to ensure personalised mentoring.

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The retreat includes:

6 days instruction
Reading room and Reference materials
8 nights accommodation
Breakfast and two meals daily
Skandavan’s garden for meditation, contemplation and private study.

Please Note: The retreat does not include 24-hour access to the Internet. It is there for emergencies only. You are encouraged to use this time and space for sadhana in the tradition of ashram life.

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Daily Schedule:

The weeklong retreat comprises 6 teaching days separated in two halves, with Sunday set aside for assimilation and rest. Each day introduces postures, gestures and movements from odissi’s vocabulary, along with a practice of mudras and mantras, to connect energetically to the ‘Guru’ within.

From sunrise: Private time
10.00-12.00:Studio work – consecration of the body with breath and sound, establishing virtual yantras, practice of postures, gestures, steps with reference to chakras, and working with rhythms as ‘effort mantras’.
Each day will build on these themes.

01.30-04.00 :Private time / Recommended reading material available / Auroville visit optional
04:00-05.30 :Perspectives on odissi - Art History / Folk Resources / Shakti, Tantra and Advaita, providing a context for the next day’s studio work
05.30-06.00:Tea and sharing

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Food at Skandavan
Simple fresh, vegetarian food (some of it homegrown) will be provided at meal times for self-service in the Dancer’s Cottage. Please bring any supplementary snacks you require. Kitchen and storage facilities/fridge are available for your use with 24-hour access.

Accommodation during the workshop comprises two single rooms in the Annexe of the Dancers Cottage, and a shared double room in the Lotus Studio. Please mention your room preference. These will be allocated on a first come-first serve basis.

The Lotus Studio

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2 people sharing
A beautiful independent space with a private bathroom attached.

Annexe Rooms x 2

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Single occupancy (though room arrangement does contain two beds)
The Annexe is a separate structure beside the Dancers Cottage in the garden. It has an open-to-sky shower area and two toilets.

Bookings      Enquiries

Please write to us at if you would like to plan a retreat. The application form will be sent to you by email.
Costs will be worked out on the basis on the accommodation and catering option you choose, and the teaching schedule we decide together.

A deposit of 50% of the total cost is required for registration, and balance is due upon arrival at Skandavan in cash. For any further information, contact us via the enquiries button above.

How To Get Here:

You can reach us by flying in to Chennai Airport from any destination, or arrive by train or bus to Pondicherry. We can arrange a taxi that will receive you and bring you directly to Skandavan. Cost of taxi from Chennai airport is usually 3000 Rs. Pick up fees are not included in the workshop booking.

Getting about:
Two bicycles are available on the premises. We can assist you with hiring gearless scooters from local rental companies on Auroville Main Rd or in Pondicherry if you require. Cost varies according to the vehicle from 100-300 Rs / day.

Cancellation Policy
A fee of 6 % is charged for cancellation, and your registration deposit refunded up to 60 days before arrival. Cancellations after this period are non-refundable and non-transferrable. We advise applicants to get travel insurance that safe guards against late cancellations due to medical emergencies, natural and man-made calamities, and all other unforeseen circumstances.

Rekha Tandon (mentor):

Rekha has a PhD in Dance Studies from the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London and is a certified yoga teacher from the Bihar School of Yoga. She received seventeen years of odissi training in the traditional guru-shishya parampara, after which she pursued her own path as a performer, choreographer and researcher in odissi, Her work has focused on the common ground between classical dance, yoga, temple architecture, and tantric rituals.

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