Meditation, yoga safari and underwater yoga are new terms being used in Egyptian coastal tourist resorts.
Stresses of life have changed travel trends. Two decades ago, travellers looked for culture holidays where they could visit ancient sites and museums. When city life stress increased, the trend changed to resorts where travellers could spend most of their time relaxing on a beach, swimming, snorkelling and diving.
Travellers of today are more demanding. On top of the sand, sun and sea, they want something that really releases the tension, something that solves the difficult equation: how to spend free time on a vacation doing something positive with your body, mind and soul.
From here came the introduction of meditation and yoga in several Egyptian resorts. Many in South Sinai, particularly in Dahab, are offering yoga vacations for beginners and experts. These include practising yoga in simple but clean hotels, usually run by the Bedouins of Sinai. Sometimes, the itinerary transcends the boundaries of the hotel and into the desert for meditation in a peaceful and serene atmosphere or deep into the sea for a unique experience.
YOGA ON A SHOESTRING: A possible yoga vacation is offered by Yoga on Shoestring Holidays. They have packages in Dahab from 2 to 9 February, from 16 to 23 March and from 11 to 18 May. Accommodation will be in Coral Coast Hotel which offers two types of accommodation: standard and superior rooms.
Mornings begin with meditation and pranayama (breathing techniques) for early risers, followed by another class from 8.30am to 10.30am. There is an evening yoga class at 5.30pm.
Each holiday has an overnight trip into the desert. Delicious food cooked on open fires prepared by the Bedouins, camel riding and sleeping under the stars all combine to make this an amazing and unique experience.
Your mere presence in Dahab, this small village in South Sinai, is an exclusive adventure. Dahab offers an array of exciting things to do from snorkelling, scuba diving and windsurfing to horseback riding, camel riding and jeep driving in the desert.
Dahab in fact has many diving centres offering introductory dives, PADI certification and dives for the more experienced. The tranquil Bedouin village of Abu Gallum is a glorious walk from the famous dive site at the Blue Hole. Mount Sinai and St Catherine Monastery are a short drive away from Dahab. The package offers a night-time walk up Mount Sinai to view a spectacular sunrise.
For more information, visit http://www.yogaonashoestring.com/Dahab2012to2013.htm
DIVING AND YOGA HOLIDAY: This holiday package, offered by Adventure Yogi, is a combination of yoga, meditation, massage, sunbathing, camel rides, desert safari, snorkeling and diving.
Taking place at Marsa Shagara on the Red Sea, Adventure Yogi offers two programmes, one in the winter, from January 9 to 16 and in the summer from June 5 to 12. For accommodation, you can choose from Safari beach tents on the beach, traditional domed lodges and en-suite guest houses. Led by experts in their field, the week will give you an introduction to yoga and diving. It is suitable for everybody – divers and non-divers, experienced Yoga practitioners and beginners in both fields.
The yoga diving course combines techniques of hatha yoga, asanas, pranayama and meditation with scuba and apnea (breath-hold) diving in a beautiful, natural environment. This approach brings yogis to incredible close encounters with nature and help them feel stillness, relaxation and altered states of consciousness. For all, yoga and diving removes stress and encourages a freedom from thought. As well as diving travellers can snorkel, camel ride, horse ride, indulge in massages, and sunbathe.
For more information, visit http://www.adventureyogi.com/adventures/diveyogi/
YOGA RETREAT: This eight-day package in Sinai Desert is a yoga retreat rather than a yoga holiday. It is designed for people who would like a more in-depth and holistic study of yoga, rather than just doing the asanas (postures). The main activity on this holiday is yoga, ie yoga asanas, pranayama, (breathing techniques), meditation and yoga philosophy. There will be two classes per day with meditation and chanting morning and evening. Camel, horse riding, windsurfing, diving and desert safaris are also available. The camp has its own house reef with beautiful corals and rich marine life, perfect for swimming snorkelling.
On the first day, yogis will arrive and settle in the camp. Second and third days are dedicated to yoga, sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, and camel riding. On the fourth day, besides yoga, travellers will do a desert excursion to the Coloured Canyon; climb Mount Sinai for sunset and visit Saint Catherine Monastery. Fifth day is a day off whereas on the sixth day, there will be evening yoga at Castle Zaman. On the seventh day, travellers will enjoy a traditional desert Bedouin dinner and will have an after evening yoga session. The eighth day, yogis will gather for a closing ceremony.
For more information on this package, visit http://www.responsibletravel.com/holiday/3321/yoga-retreat-in-egypt