© 2017. Ontwerp & tekst: Marijke van der Linde & Wix.com/foto's: Linda Blij en Jasmijn Hubers

met dank aan www.schrijvenonline.org

Prana Morgana Travel 

yoga & writing in the Sahara

Roll out your yoga mat. Breath in, breath out. Stretch. Slow down. Feel. This moment is all yours.

This week is all yours. Enjoy the rising sun, which transforms the sand into gold. Listen to the palm trees that sigh in the wind. Enjoy the vastness. The silence.

Meanwhile, the hospitable nomads prepare a traditional breakfast and the dromedaries trudge toward the camp. Soon they offer their hump for a ride through the desert and tell the nomads about their unique way of life that is threatened with extinction. They inspire you to slow down your pace and live in the here and now, in harmony with nature.

 

Activate your senses; let your creativity flow and write! About mirages, camel tracks to Timbuktu, ancient desert cities and yourself ...

What's happening right now? What makes your life shine? What does the simplicity of life and the vast nature awaken in you?

In the evening we eat from the tagine and read stories to each other by the campfire under the starry sky. You also experience this colourful country through the eyes of your fellow travellers. You’re journey gets an extra dimension...

 

We - yoga teacher Inge van Schipstal and writing coach Marijke van der Linde - gladly bring you in touch with yourself, with what requires attention.

The funds are yoga, writing, the warmth of the desert, the rich Moroccan culture and hospitality of the nomads. it's a small-scale journey and you receive a lot of personal attention.

 

Believe us, you'll talk about all the beauty for a long while. Sigh when reading your stories and smile at the sight of the bottle of Sahara sand on the mantelpiece.

 

We had not yet returned from our first successful edition or we dreamed about the next. The Sahara gets a place inside your heart.

 

A certain space and silence you can always find in yourself.

No thoughts. Except the thought that I have no thoughts. This precious silence reminds me that also I am the desert.

Yoga 

Every morning we welcome the rising sun with a sun salutation. Then the gentle hatha yoga orientated or more dynamic flows take you on an inner journey. Open yourself. Warm yourself. Give yourself loving attention. Yoga invites you to be in the moment. Connect with your body and mind.

Connect body and mind. Find peace and trust. Enhance your experiences, the beauty of the surroundings, the silence of the desert. Find calm in yourself. Move, open, play! Be curious about your body.

Meditation, Thai massage and partner yoga are also part of the program. Fun, playful workshops that are beneficial for body and mind. Inge tunes into the needs of the group.

Writing

Get rid of thinking. From the default language. Write with your own voice. Writing is looking inside. Writing is also: outward meditation. Look around you, with attention and curiosity. Consider the beauty of the earth. That pulls you into it now.

Unravel the secrets of a well-written story against a backdrop of sand dunes and camels. Get inspired while touring the world famous Atlas Mountains, the villages pulled out of clay and the endless desert. In the mystical Sahara stories are everywhere to be found.

In the quiet of this serene place and combined with daily writing assignments and cultural excursions you easily tune into the creative writing flow. Learn vivid writing, applying tension in a story, use your imagination and bring characters to life.

The sun shone a thousand suns and hundreds of hot rays.

She reflected on the black granite. She slipped over the dusty roads, kissed the mountain peaks and heated all that lived under her.

Linda Blij

 

Travel Program

Day 1 - Sunday

Arrival in Marrakech

You start the journey in the vibrant city of Marrakech. Wonder about the many clay palaces. Find shadow under the palm trees. Don't get lost, or do, in the maze of soeks.

 

In these typical Moroccan markets, where Berbers have sold slaves back in ancient times, you are opposed to everything. Dates, nuts, colorful spices, silver teapots, carpets and maybe a wonder lamp. You will also find modern boutiques and galleries. Book a ticket yourself and decide how many days to stay in Marrakech.

We spend the night in an authentic riad, a Moroccan palace with a courtyard garden in the middle of the old part of the city. Here you can get to know the other participants and coaches. In the evening, your adventure really starts with a welcome word, gift, first writing assingment and evening meditation.

Good writing starts with good perception. The colorful day program of the following day makes that easy. Prepare for a party for the senses. You can work on the the assignment throughout the day.

Day 2

Marrakech - Ait Ben Haddou

Awake your senses! After the first morning yoga, we leave for UNESCO-protected Ait Ben Haddou and cross the world-famous Atlas Mountains, where the altitude peaks (4000 meters) wear hats of everlasting snow. Ait Ben Haddou is an ancient city consisting of six forts with dozens of clay palaces.

 

This fairytale stay lies on the former caravan route between Marrakech and Timbuktu. A beautiful example of Southern Moroccan architecture from the 17th century.

The Kasbah Telouet is undoubtedly one of the most special sights in the area. This ruin - once inhabited by the rulers of the Atlas - is located in a valley with olive trees and shows glimpses of the old political power center. After half a century this greenhouse of Kasbah has turned into a crumbling piece of history, with unprecedented nostalgic beauty.

 

We continue through the Ounila Valley full of sandstone cliffs and spend the night at Ait Ben Haddou in a beautiful riad opposite the world famous kasbah, the decor for, among other things, Game of Thrones and The Gladiator.

 

After dinner we read our first stories together and follow a writing workshop again. Composition, the first sentence, visual writing and fantasy are discussed. How do you put tension and vitality into a story? After the evening meditation you fall asleep like an Arabian rose.

Day 3

Ait Ben Haddou - Bivourac Le Petit Prince

We start the day with yoga, then the journey continues to M'hamid. After a trip through the rough Atlas Mountains we descend into Draa Valley, through the small villages Ksours and Kasbah. Through this fertile valley runs the Draa river, which originates from melting water high in the Atlas. You'll find palms and daisies, pale green fields and castles of loam. An ultimate inspiring environment to write imaginatively!

 

We stop for lunch in Zagora. If our belly is full and our legs stretched, the journey continues. In M'Hamid city, we follow the last part to the oasis on the 'ship of the desert': the dromedary. Enjoy your first sunset in the Sahara: an orange sun that descends behind golden sand dunes.

Where the last Draa palm trees touch the desert, we find the oasis where we will be guests for the next three days: Bivourac le Petit Prince. Also known as 'gateway to the Sahara'.

A comfortably furnished Bedouin tent and traditional Moroccan meal are waiting for you. A Camel, Walking and Local Guide, Driver and Chefs: With a team of Moroccan nomads you can fully relax. We gather around the campfire and read the stories of the day together.

Day 4 to 6

Bivourac Le Petit Prince

The daily program:

Yoga, meditation & writing assignments

Additional: Yoga, Thai massage classes, partner yoga and a writing workshop: emotion, character and poetry

Healthy traditional breakfast

Time to write and relax

Lunch

Excursion or workshop in the afternoon

- dromedaristour through the desert

- A tour through the ancient village at the foot of the desert

- A visit to local women who weave unique carpets

Writing / relaxing

Evening around the campfire, reading stories, searching for constellations, music performances of the nomads

Day 7

Le Petit Prince- Marrakech

After the last evening under the endless starry sky and the last traditional breakfast, we depart from Le Petit Prince to Marrakech. There is a lunch stop in the Atlas Mountains. We arrive at the riad in Marrakech at the end of the afternoon.

Day 8 Sunday

Marrakech-Individual departure

Goodbye. You will notice that you became a close group in a week's time. Certainly because writing is so personal. But you always have a nice memory to carry with you: your own desert stories.

Note: the writing workshops as described here can be modified.

Sometimes I wish

I was a mountain

A mountain from the Atlas

to be precise

 

A mountain doesn't worry about erosion

She doesn't think about other mountains

Like, he, he has a rounder form

then me

or greener grass

A mountain does not

reflect on beauty

She is beauty

Team

 

Marijke van der Linde

I am a journalist/(copy) writer and lecturer in journalism and creative writing at Parnassos Cultural Centre in Utrecht.

 

My stories about spirituality, art and culture are published in news paper Trouw, travel magazine Sawadee and on the website of international art exhibition Sonsbeek.

 

I also help businesses with communication and write my own poetry and fairy tales.

 

Writing is a way to connect to myself and express my emotions, thoughts, creativity. It can be healing. I can become one with a good story and challenge myself to become a better writer every day. To help others with the same thing and share my love for writing is very rewarding. 

 

www.tikmachine.nl

Annelies van Dam

I am a physiotherapist, psychologist, regression therapist and have been a hatha and ashtanga yoga teacher in Utrecht for more than ten years.

 

I approach health in different ways, but see yoga as the core, as a way to gain more (body) awareness and well-being. My mission is to bring people into contact with the Yoga in themselves. The desert is perfect for that.

 

In the Sahara you literally experience what Yoga is about: silence and spaciousness. I want to let you experience that peace and space in yourself so that you can also make contact with it at home. I do that - against an inspiring backdrop of mountains and sand dunes - with hatha oriented yoga flows, meditation, Thai massage and partner yoga. 

 

 

https://www.pit.nu

I forgot how I came to this place. What I'm doing here. What my origin is. I forgot all that I knew and thought I was.

Inge van Schipstal

I currently travel through southern Europe with my boyfriend and toddler. In addition to musing and volunteering on ecofarms to learn everything about self-sufficient life, I devote a large part of my energy to yoga.

For me, yoga is an exercise in flexibility, physically, but above all spiritually. I see the mat as a practice and mirror for situations in daily life. Everything is continuously in motion. Yoga teaches me to deal with this flow of change. I hope to bring people into contact with their natural state of being by practicing yoga together. 

Nadine Eichenberger

For several years I have organized trips to the Sahara in southern Morocco. For individual travelers as well as group trips, these are tailor made travel packages.

Due to my passion for sustainable development and travel, it is important for me to offer authentic, ecologically and culturally conscious tourism. Real and conscious trips where beautiful encounters take place.

 

 

www.bivouaclepetitprince.com

 

LINDA BLIJ

It felt like everything was possible. As if the world was at my feet, literally. I wrote, enjoyed and marvelled. I settled down and met myself. The beautiful, unspoilt landscape enchanted me. The warm people too. It was a trip to remember. The best gift I could give myself.

JASMIJN HUBERS

This is one of the most extraordinary journeys I have ever experienced. I discovered how fun and disarming writing can be. I looked at my surroundings with another glance. I put words into sharing. The combination of yoga and writing is delightful. Annelies and Marijke create a safe and warm atmosphere, naturally.

Stella van den Stigtenhorst 

"The vastness in the desert caused me to experience a lot of space in my head. You lose your sense of time in this place. Also, the atmosphere was very safe, which allowed me to relax and feel carefree.

 

I enjoyed the yoga with which I could go inwards and the writing because I could express myself. The combination was perfect. After four years of feedback from the art academy, it felt wonderful that the focus was not on what could be improved, but on free writing.

 

I have learned to let myself be guided less by stimuli at home, to be closer to myself and my creativity and that it I enjoy doing things more when I take the time for them. The Sahara puts things in perspective."

Ximena Carry 

“The Nomad Camps beauty is that of silence and starry nights at the campfire with local musicians. Everybody treated us wonderfully. Doing yoga at dawn looking at the dunes and then being guided and inspired to write experiences was something I had never experienced before. I recommend it to everyone; I am 70 years old and had a great time.” 

 

The nomad camp 

Nomad camp and tourist organization Le Petit Prince works with local tourist agencies that have the same values. Ecotourism is the main source of income and sustainable development tool here. This makes you carefree about local hospitality, cuisine and surroundings.

The camp consists of ten nomadic tents that form a circle. Feel at home! Relax on the many colorful clothes and pillows or in your goat hair tent. In the restaurant made of clay, wood and textile, the nomads prepare delicious, traditional dishes. There is electricity, so you shower with hot water, heated by solar panels.

Take a stroll through the dunes and oasis. Together we will visit villages or take a ride on the dromedaries. Or just relax in the shade, read, write and enjoy the relaxing environment. Drink a cup of tea with the nomads that they prepare for you a small fire.

With the Bivourac, nomads from the area contribute to the conservation and development of their ancestors' cultural heritage. They like to share the beauty of their culture while protecting the fragile ecosystem in the Sahara. In order to realize social impact in the region, they organize various sustainability projects.

 

€1197,-

INCLUDES:

  • a stay in beautiful riads with excellent service in prime locations 

  • a stay in the nomad camp with all the amenities (like a soft bed and hot water)

  • full board (breakfast, lunch & diner)

  • private transport

  • all yoga and writing workshops

  • all excursions

We want to give you the freedom to choose when you arrive at Marrakech and when you want to leave. That's why your ticket and breakfast, lunch & diner on the fist and the last day are not included.

Is the desert calling you too?

Send us a message and we'll reserve a spot for you.