Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a visa for India?
Yes, a visa is required when you're at your airport of departure before you board your plane. You must have a valid visa to enter India. Contact your Indian embassy for the most recent information on Indian visas. To apply for an e-Visa, which will be sufficient for most guests at Purple Valley Yoga Centre, visit this page. To apply for a regular visa, visit this page. Applying in good time is advisable!
How do I get to India?
Check Sky Scanner for best connections and prices from the wide world to India
How do I get to Goa?
Goa is a small state on the southwest coast of India. The local airport is called Goa Dabolim, which serves international charter flights from some European countries. There are also many domestic airlines from gateway cities in Goa, the most frequent being New Delhi, Bangalore and the nearest Mumbai (Bombay) which is a 1-hour flight. To book local flights check ClearTrip or MakeMyTrip.
How do I get to the retreat from the airport?
We're happy to organise transfers between Goa Dabolim airport and the retreat. Please email us for more details. You can change money at the airport on arrival as drivers only accept Indian rupees. You should pay the driver directly. You will need to send us your flight details, including the day, date and time of your arrival, airline and flight number and city of departure, ideally within 4 weeks of your arrival. Cancellations or delays to your arrival times have to be notified to avoid taxi charges. Please note that drivers take a maximum of 2 guests due to size of vehicle and comfort. If your travel dates don't match the course you've chosen, get in touch with us and we'll provide you with a list of alternative accommodation.
Do I need to have vaccinations to travel to Goa?
It's recommended that you visit your GP, personal physician or a travel health clinic 4 to 8 weeks before your departure to India. Recommended vaccinations often include hepatitis A, typhoid, tetanus and polio. Goa is not a high-risk area for malaria and the tablets can be considered controversial. We recommend you do some research and make your own decision on this.
How do I exchange money?
In some countries you can buy rupees, the local currency, in the departures side of the airport, otherwise you can exchange cash at exchange bureaus near the retreat and there are also a couple of ATMs 5 to 10 minutes' drive from the retreat.
What kind of clothes will I need?
If you visit in December and January the early mornings and late evenings can be cool, so a sweater and some warm yoga clothes for the start of your practice will come in handy. As soon as the sun comes up the temperature averages 28 to 30 degrees and you can lie in the sun all day. Goans are used to Western tourists and you don't need to cover your shoulders and arms unless visiting churches or temples. One of the benefits of Purple Valley is our 24-hour, very affordable laundry service which means you don't have to pack too many items.
What should I bring with me?
- Bathing suit (it’s very difficult to buy a bathing suit nearby)
- Sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, beach towel/sarong, beach bag, mosquito repellent
- Flip flops dedicated for inside use (our terrace/dining area is shoe-free)
- Ear plugs, probiotics, small medical kit (for example: tea tree oil, plasters, antihistamine cream if sensitive to mosquito bites, Paracetamol)
- Torch or headlamp (you can expect a power outage or 2)
- International driver’s license if you plan to rent a scooter or motorcycle
- More than one method of getting cash or credit (for example: 2 ATM cards from different banks or 1 debit and 1 credit card)
Can I walk to the beach from the retreat?
Purple Valley is in a secluded area away from the main tourist areas and the beaches are accessible by small taxis that are usually waiting at the retreat. Most guests group together and share a taxi to the beach. And of course we do have a large pool set within a beautiful garden where many guests relax during the day.
I would like to take a course at the retreat but am staying somewhere else, is that possible?
In some workshops we do have a couple of places for non-residential guests. Please contact us to enquire about availability.
I would like to attend the course but my partner does not do yoga, can they stay at the retreat anyway?
Yes, we do have limited availability for a 'room and meals only' rate for non-yogi partners on most courses. Please contact us to discuss the rates.
FAQs About Ashtanga
I'm a beginner, are the courses suitable for me?
Purple Valley is perfect for Ashtanga beginners. Most teachers have beginners on their courses, but a few courses aren't suitable for beginners. For full details, see the course descriptions or contact us for more details.
Do I need to know the full primary sequence and the asana names in Sanskrit?
It's always helpful for your own practice to learn the sequence and names of the asanas. However, your teacher will always be happy to guide you. Many courses at Purple Valley begin with a led primary series class to refresh your memory of the sequence if necessary. In the case of newcomers to the Ashtanga yoga method, beginner lessons are held in the first few days of the course. There are also various books and charts available to help you memorise the sequence.
Do I have to memorise the opening and closing invocations (mantras)?
No, but the invocations are a beautiful way to start and finish your practice. All teachers at Purple Valley recite the opening invocation in Sanskrit; you're welcome to repeat line-by-line with the rest of the students.
What do I need to bring for practice?
Most importantly, you need to be comfortable in appropriate yoga clothes. During winter months (generally mid-December to mid-February), it can get chilly – bring some warmer clothes for before and after practice. Most students prefer to bring their own yoga mats, but we do have some mats to borrow if necessary (they're not high quality). We also have cotton yoga mats (Mysore rugs) featuring the Purple Valley logo for sale. You should bring a yoga towel because you'll sweat during practice! If you forget, we have some for sale in the office. Shoes are left outside the Shala, and apart from personal belongings which should be kept in the small room in the Shala, nothing else is necessary for your morning practice.
What is the schedule for yoga practice and what are the timings?
At Purple Valley we practise in the early morning from Sunday to Friday and take Saturday for rest. The timings are set by your teacher at the beginning of each retreat, and the guest managers will write this and other yoga-related information on a blackboard for your convenience. Most teachers hold afternoon workshops at 4pm every day except Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (subject to change).
How long does practice take?
The full Ashtanga primary series takes approximately 90 minutes. Beginners do a shorter version, and more advanced practitioners take longer. It's important to always practise at a pace that's comfortable for you.
What is “noble silence”?
To get the most benefit out of your practice, we encourage you to maintain silence before entering the Shala. This might include not engaging with social media. Most importantly, there should be no talking in the Shala unless you need to speak with the teachers. Please also be considerate of others who prefer to remain silent for a short time after practice.
Do we have days off?
Yes – at Purple Valley we don’t practise on Saturdays. You might also want to follow the tradition of not practising on moon days, which occur about twice a month. Women are free to take their “lady’s holiday.”
Should I eat or drink before practice?
Traditionally, nothing should be consumed before or during practice. It's hot in India, however, and it’s always advisable to be well-hydrated. Tea and coffee are always available on the terrace if you require, and you may leave your water bottle in the small room in the Shala (not by your mat). If you find you become light-headed during practice, you can also ask the kitchen staff for a few bananas before practice, which may help.
Should I do any other exercise apart from yoga?
It's entirely up to you, but keep in mind that Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is quite demanding and vigorous. If you wish to exercise, we recommend swimming, walking or another mild activity.
Will I ache and what should I do?
If you’re not used to practising 6 days a week then yes, you can expect your muscles to feel sore and perhaps ache. Everyone goes through it at some point. Just go at your own pace, enjoy the benefits of the practice and the soreness will pass!
What should I do if I experience pain during or after practice?
If you experience pain, speak to your teacher who will always be happy to share his or her experience and expertise with you. There are different types of pain, so it’s essential to speak up and find out more.
When is an appropriate time to speak with the teacher?
Preferably before or after practice (mealtimes are good), but if it’s necessary and related to your yoga practice, you can speak to the teacher in the Shala.
Download our guides
To find out all you need to know about staying at our retreat centre and what to do in the local area, download our handy guides