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Pop Retreats is a retreat program developed to create a most comprehensive, systematic, and enjoyable approach to the understanding and embodiment of yoga and lasting wellness. Our experienced and well-versed international teachers will help you to discover and then build upon a solid foundation of understanding so that these practices become an integral part of your life. In addition to our yoga and wellness programs, we make sure to explore local culture and take fun excursions. It is our goal to create a transformative and memorable experience!
ABOUT SRI LANKA
Sri Lanka is a very easy and safe place to visit. Sri Lankans are a tremendously friendly and generous people who will meet you with a warm smile every time. The island has a great deal of natural and cultural diversity that makes it a very rewarding place to visit. Stunning coastline, sweeping hill country, and a culture steeped in thousands of years of Buddhist and Hindu culture; there is no other place like Sri Lanka!
Visitors to Sri Lanka visiting for tourism purposes must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) prior to arrival or on arrival to Sri Lanka. Tourist visas are normally issued for a maximum period of 30 days. Although it’s still possible to get a tourist visa on arrival, it’s better to get one online before you travel. It is possible to extend your visa anytime during you initial 30 day period by visiting the immigration office in Colombo. Please apply for your visa at least 48 hours prior to your journey to Sri Lanka, you can do it online.
Sri Lanka has an equatorial position. This means that temperatures are fairly constant throughout the year with an average of 26-30°C (78 -86°F). It is generally warm and humid by the coast, getting cooler as the altitude increases. Sri Lanka has a tropical climate, with distinct wet and dry seasons, but it has two different monsoon seasons, as well as an ‘inter-monsoon’ season, affecting different parts of the island at different times. This means it’s dry somewhere on the island at any time of year, so regardless of when you choose to travel, you’re likely to enjoy some good weather depending on where you go.
Generally speaking, October to April are ‘dry season’ on the western and southern coast where we are located. The ‘wet season’ begins around the beginning of May and goes until September. Having said that, it is important to note that the rains in Sri Lanka are very tropical in that they last only an hour or two before the sunshine comes back again. The ‘rainy season’ is often overlooked but it is a beautiful and less busy time to visit this tropical paradise.
You can use your electric appliances in Sri Lanka, if the standard voltage in your country is in between 220 – 240 V (as is in the UK, Europe, Australia and most of Asia and Africa). Manufacturers take these small deviations into account. If the standard voltage in your country is in the range of 100 V – 127 V (as is in the US, Canada and most South American countries), you need a voltage converter in Sri Lanka.
If the frequency in Sri Lanka (50 Hz) differs from the one in your country, it is not advised to use your appliances. But if there is no voltage difference, you could (at your own risk) try to use the appliance for a short time. Be especially careful with moving, rotating and time related appliances like clocks, shavers and electric fan heaters.
To be sure, check the label on the appliance. Some appliances never need a converter. If the label states ‘INPUT: 100-240V, 50/60 Hz’ the appliance can be used in all countries in the world. This is common for chargers of tablets/laptops, photo cameras, cell phones, toothbrushes, etc.
The local authorities enforce robust public health regulations to keep any epidemics from arising. Sri Lanka is also a fairly clean country with a long tradition of health and public safety infrastructure. For example, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently certified Sri Lanka as malaria free! So you need not be concerned about that. If you have specific concerns about traveling to Sri Lanka, please consult your doctor and take the appropriate measures before you begin your travels.
In case of emergency, there are numerous clinics and hospitals near by. For major concerns, there is a very good international hospital located in the city of Matara, which is only 20km away from our retreat center.
As there are inherent risks involved in traveling and taking on any physical activities, we highly recommend that you obtain a good travel insurance before you begin your journey.
We will provide you everything that you will need for your retreat. Our facilities are fully equipped with yoga mats, cushions, blocks, straps, and other props.
Please bring clothes appropriate for a warm climate. Loose fitting, breathable, and natural fiber clothes are best suited for Sri Lanka’s warm and humid climate. The evenings can sometimes get a little cool so one or two pieces of clothing that cover the entire arm and leg is also a good idea.
You may also want to bring a mosquito repellant, a good sun screen, sunglasses, and a hat to keep you cool under the tropical sun.
We love children! However, because our retreat center is a refuge for those who wish to take time away from the business of the world, we can not accommodate children under the age of 12. As such, we make all efforts to keep a calm and peaceful environment for all our patrons. For those with children of age 12 and above, we kindly ask you to contribute to this sense of calm at our retreat center by paying close attention to your children during your time with us.
We are located on the southern coast of Sri Lanka near the beautiful beach town of Dickwella. We are about 165km from the capital Colombo and 20km from the nearest major city of Matara.
The address is Lunukalapuwa, Kottegoda, Dickwella, Matara
GPS: 5.955991, 80.650358
Getting to our retreat center is fairly easy and you have several options.
This is the easiest option. If you are coming from the main international airport (CMB) in Colombo (actually located in the nearby town of Negombo) and wish for us to pick you up, we are more than happy to arrange for a car to pick you up from the airport and take you directly to our retreat center. The cost is 100 Euro each way. You may also choose to hire a car at the airport. However, prices vary among the various agencies.
Sri Lanka is very well connected by bus routes that serve every corner of the country. If you are not carrying much luggage and are an adept traveler, this is a viable option.
If you are coming from the airport, exit though the main door and cross the driveway. There, you will find a bus stand. Ask for the bus that goes to Colombo ‘Pettah.’ Pettah is the area in Colombo where you will find long distance buses. Once in Pettah, ask for the ‘Highway Express Bus’ to Matara. This a is a 3 hour journey via the newly built Southern Expressway. After arriving at the Matara bus station, you will need to hire a taxi or a three wheeled tuk-tuk to bring you to our retreat center near Dickwella. We are about 20km from Matara.
If you are coming from other parts of Sri Lanka such as the central ‘hill country’ or eastern coast, there are also buses available. Please consult your hotel on the best way to get to us from other parts of Sri Lanka via bus.
Please note: Bus service in Sri Lanka is very sparse after the sun has gone down. Please plan on taking the bus only if you arrive during daytime hours.
Sri Lanka’s trains are legendary! Dating back to the colonial days, these extensive train routes connect most of the major cities in on the island. The trains take beautiful coastal routes and cut though the lush mountainous regions. This is a great way to get around. The only thing you have to be aware of is that they can be quite slow, particularly at times when the locals are traveling to/from work. But if you have the time, it is well worth considering this option.
Sri Lanka’s railway authority has an excellent website where you can find routes and schedule information.
Yoga is an ancient method of achiving optimal physical and mental health. There are many different approaches and schools of yoga. The physical aspect is known as Hatha Yoga. In the wholistic practice of yoga, a variety of methods are used to bring about the fitness of body any mind. These methods include physical postures (Asanas), breath control (Pranayama), meditation (Dhyana), concentraton (Dharana), withdrawl of the senses (Pratyahara), as well as a set of ethical and personal observances (Yamas & Niyamas). The sincere practice and observance of these methods is said to bring about a permanent liberation from suffering (Nirvana). Collectively, these are called the eight limbs of yoga and they constitute the methods by which optimal mental and physical health is attained.
We teach a the following four types of yoga: Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin/Restorative, and AcroYoga. We also have occasional workshops on other styles.
Traditionally speaking, Hatha yoga is the term that refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. As a style, Hatha yoga means that you will get a gentle introduction to the most basic yoga postures. In the Hatha style of yoga, postures are done slowly with an emphasis on breathing and have the effect of grounding one’s senses and mind. It is the oldest form of yoga passed down from ancient times but is adoptable to the times and to each individual.
Vinyasa (pronounced “vin-yah-sah”) is a Sanskrit word for a phrase that roughly translates as “to place in a special way,” referring—in hatha yoga—to a sequence of poses. Vinyasa classes are known for their fluid, movement-intensive practices. Our teachers choreograph their classes to smoothly transition from one pose to another. The intensity of a vinyasa class will vary based on the group’s ability and energy level. If you hate routine and love a good challenge, you will love our vinyasa classes.
Our Yin and Restorative yoga classes are a delicious way to relax and soothe frayed nerves. These classes use bolsters, blankets, and blocks to prop students in passive poses so the body can experience the benefits of a pose without having to exert any effort. This passive approach also allows for a deeper level of opening at the level of the connective tissues in the body. These classes are a welcome antidote to our busy lives and have the effect of re-energizing our bodies and minds.
Acroyoga is a beautiful practice that combines the dynamic wisdom of acrobatics, mindfulness, breath, and the balance of yoga. Working with one or more partners, yoga and acrobatics are fused into a spectacular sequences of inversions, flows, and balances. In addition to the physical benefits, Acroyoga is a great way to build trust, friendships, and community. Once you try it, you will be hooked!
- Increased flexibility.
- Increased muscle strength and tone.
- Improved respiration, energy, and vitality.
- Maintaining a balanced metabolism.
- Weight reduction.
- Cardio and circulatory health.
- Improved athletic performance.
- Protection from injury.
- Improved mental well being.
Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than just physical postures. The physical practice is just one aspect of yoga. Even within the physical practice, yoga is unique because we connect the movement of the body and the fluctuations of the mind to the rhythm of our breath. Connecting the mind, body, and breath helps us to direct our attention inward. Through this process of inward attention, we learn to recognize our habitual thought patterns without labeling them, judging them, or trying to change them. We become more aware of our experiences from moment to moment. The awareness that we cultivate is what makes yoga a practice, rather than a task or a goal to be completed. Your body will most likely become much more flexible by doing yoga, and so will your mind.
Absolutely you can! It’s the same as starting a strength training program without yet being strong. Just like lifting weights will increase your strength, yoga will increase your flexibility and range of motion. Yoga can be practiced at all levels and abilities, meaning it is okay to start with less than ideal flexibility. It is important in yoga (as with strength training) to learn the basics and practice the fundamentals of proper form and posture. This will not only help increase flexibility and range of motion but also help prevent injuries. The beautiful thing about yoga is that it teaches you to relax into your stretches by focusing on breathing and bodily awareness. All in all, yoga is one of the best ways to increase and maintain flexibility!
First, please consult your doctor. Yoga has a therapeutic effect but is not for everyone all the time. It is best to seek the advice of your health care provider that knows your condition before starting a yoga practice. If you have a medical condition that keeps you from being physically active, consider doing our Wellness or Ayurvedic retreats. These retreats include some gentle yoga classes that are appropriate for a body that is in need of recovery from fatigue and in need of recovery.
Generally speaking, pregnant women can do yoga during pregnancy. However, these classes should be ones that are designed for pregnant women. A general yoga class is not recommended for those bearing a child. Deep twists, inversions, and any posture that puts pressure on the belly should be strictly avoided. If you are in the early stages of pregnancy, you may join a yoga class with less difficulty. If you’d like to join our retreats, we suggest you go for one our Wellness Retreats or Ayurvedic Retreats. These retreats incorporate gentle yoga classes that are appropriate for pregnant women. Our Ayurvedic treatments are also very useful in ensuring the proper development of the fetus and health of the mother.
Every woman is different with regards to menstruation. Some may not have any side effects, low energy or feel at all different than they do during the rest of the month, while others have such extreme pain, mood swings, fatigue, bloating, irritability and so on that they have to stay in bed for the first few days. Because no woman is the same there are no set rules regarding what to practice during menstruation but there are some general guidelines that can help. What is important is that we listen to our bodies during this time. The traditional recommendation for yoga during menstruation is to avoid inversions and other postures that pull the flow of energy upwards. It is also advised that very deep postures should be avoided.
Ayurveda is one of the oldest scientific medical systems in the world, with a long record of effectively treating a wide range of ailments that western medicine has no solutions for. The word “Ayu” means all aspects of life from birth to death. The word “Veda” means knowledge or learning. Hence Ayurveda indicates the science by which life in its totality is understood.
This healing system has been practicedin India for more than 5000 years. Ayurveda, was first recorded in the Vedas, the world’s oldest collection of knowledge, and is still the most favored healthcare practice of millions of Indians. A system older than Greek and Egyptian medicine.
Modern medicine tries to treat and remove symptoms rather than treating the patient suffering from it. This stems from the view that all people are more or less the same. Ayurveda makes special contributions by addressing the uniqueness of each patient and by helping each body to heal itself. Ayurveda treats humans as a “whole” – which is a combination of body, mind and soul. Therefore it is a truly holistic and integral medical system.
Ayurveda can be helpful with a wide range of ailments. The following are the different branches of Ayurvedic medicine:
- General medicine
- Diseases of Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat
- Rejuvenation / Detoxification (Panchakarma)
- Children’s diseases
- Obstetrics and Gynecology
Here ‘Tri’ means three and Dosha’ represents to bio-entity. Thus the word ‘Tridosha’ denotes the three humors i.e. Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These are said ‘Dosha’ because these have tendency to get vitiated and also to vitiate others. This bilateral tendency of Dosha is cause of health and diseases. State of balance between the Doshas represents health while imbalance to the disease. Every Dosha has a corresponding locus in the organs of our body.
Every person is born with a definite genetic constitution, depending upon a unique combination of Doshas. There are three major types of Prakriti, and they are reflected in the predominance of that particular Dosha. Our body behaves according to the status of the Dosha Prakriti.
Although the human body inherently has some aspect of each type, a person can be dominantly Vata, Pitta, or Kapha. For most people, there is usually a secondary dosha that displays itself. Such as Vata-Pitta. A person with a balanced Dosha is said to be in good health.
Please take our online Ayurvedic Body Type test at the following link to find out. (put link to body type quiz here)
These persons generally have a slim body frame. Mostly towards lower side of weight range, sometimes under weight. Skin tends to be dry with cracks. Nails are hard and brittle, appetite is variable, mostly suffer from constipation. Sleep is light but varies from night to night. They remember easily and forget easily. Find great difficulty in developing a routine, but are very active.
They are of medium body frame. Skin is usually delicate, light in color and more prone to sunburn. Sweating is excessive. Nails are soft, strong and well formed. Endowed with good appetite and rarely constipated. Have capacity to perform vigorous exercise. Go to sleep easily but is light. These persons are more practical in life. Memory is good. More organized in work.
Body frame is mostly medium to broad. Weight gain comes fast. Skin of these people is smooth, thick and slightly oily. Sweating is moderate. Nails are strong, large and symmetrical. Appetite is moderate and bowel habit is regular. They enjoy sleep, which is usually heavy. Appear calm and quiet. They are of stable nature. Most of the time they are relaxed.
There are three main methods mentioned in Ayurveda for diagnosing the imbalance and disease process in a person. They are:
- By observing the patient’s physical signs and symptoms, Example – colour of skin, hair, eyes, behavior, body condition etc.
- By asking detailed questions regarding the symptoms, lifestyle, mental conditions, and social environment of the person.
- By inspecting the body via pulse diagnosis, palpation, percussion and auscultation (listening to the internal sounds of the body, usually using a stethoscope)are included in this method.
Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word that means “five actions” or “five treatments.” This science of purifying the body is an ancient branch of Ayurveda. Panchakarma is the cornerstone to Ayurvedic management of disease. It is a process which gets to the root cause of the problem and re-establishes the essential balance in the body. Panchakarma is not only good for alleviating disease but is also a useful tool in maintaining excellent health. Ayurveda advises undergoing Panchakarma in order to clean the body and improve the digestion and metabolic processes.
A comprehensive Panchakarma requires three weeks to complete. Panchakarma is a systematic process whereby the body is prepared for detoxification, main detoxification is done, and restorative treatments are given. As such, the process unfolds over a period of three weeks. For those who which to address chronic issues such as metabolic disorders, inflammation in the body, and other such ailments, the full three week period is highly recommended. For those not suffering from chronic conditions, a two week treatment plan may be sufficent.
SURF & YOGA
You may come and join our retreats on any day of your choosing. Simply choose either a 5
day or 7 day retreat package. Upon your arrival, we will make a detailed assessment of what
your level is and put a plan together especially for you!
Our Surf & Yoga retreats in Sri Lanka are a highly personalized program. Because everyone has a different level of surfing experience, we create a personalized program and match you to an instructor to address your specific goals. From beginners to more advanced surfers, we will tune into your needs and go from there. For intermediate and advanced surfers, we will use video analysis to help you understand where your strengths and weaknesses are. In short, our surf program is a bespoke experience based on your needs.
There is no winter or summer in Sri Lanka, it is either the wet or dry season. The seasons differ depending where you are in the country. At Elsewhere or in the South West of Sri Lanka, peak tourist season is from November – May, which coincides with the driest months (May – October is the SW Monsoon season). This time of year sees smaller swell patterns but very favorable winds.
The waves still don’t usually get below shoulder-high however, meaning excellent conditions for beginner and intermediate surfers. If your goal is to get bigger waves and no crowds and don’t mind a bit of rain come in the low season
Dry Season (November to May)
•Mild crowds (0 – 30 people at the famous spots) *Go Elsewhere for Secret Spots*
•Beginner to intermediate surfers
•Small to medium waves
Wet Season is (June – October)
•No crowds (0-5 people at the famous spots) *Go Elsewhere for Secret Spots*
•Low to strong winds
•All surfing levels
•Medium to large waves
• Surf equipment. Surf shops are limited here and expensive so try and bring anything you may need
( i.e. spare fins, wax, repair kit etc)
• Warm water surf wear, shorts, bikini, etc. For girls it is recommended to surf in yoga pants and a tight long sleeved top. This not only provides sun protection but it also prevents rashes from the board and you won’t have to worry about your bikini falling down all the time.
• Reef Boots if you think you need them
• Beach Towel. (Shower towel provided)
• Waterproof sunblock and Zinc
• Sun Hat
• Yoga clothing
• Light clothing, it’s hot!
• Some long sleeved and leg-covering clothes to protect from the sun.
• A personal first aid kit containing disinfectants, band aids, perhaps some antibiotics.
• A decent deet based mosquito repellent
• Bring plenty of Vitamin C against infections. You might also take some general vitamin supplements plus calcium and magnesium to keep your immune system boosted.
• Comprehensive Travel Insurance including water sports.
It is almost never flat in south-west Sri Lanka. We do surf adventures, so in that respect we move where the best waves and wind conditions are. We are very lucky in the south of Sri Lanka because it is only a short drive around the tip of the island, so if one area we are surfing has bad waves we will move to a different location nearby where the conditions are more favorable. In the event of a flat spell, we still offer you a wide range of other exciting activities.
in Sri Lanka
Discover, Immerse and Master
Our yoga retreats are designed to cover the full spectrum of yogic practices for whatever stage you are at, including basic and advanced postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and introspective techniques. We also include fun cultural excursions, trips and group activities.
in Sri Lanka
Holistic retreats combining natural Ayurvedic treatments, gentle yoga classes, meditation, and cultural activities. Panchakarma is the ultimate mind-body healing experience for detoxifying the body. Perfect for those who want to take a break from a busy life; recharge, renew, and revive.
Surf & Yoga Retreats
in Sri Lanka
Surfing and yoga are a natural pair! Our surf and yoga retreat program is an excellent opportunity to discover the thrilling art of surfing complemented by rejuvenating yoga practices by our international team of teachers. You will learn the foundations of safe and fun surfing.