frequently asked questions
Practitioners from November 2017 kindly contributed to the below to help Sharmila in answering common questions about making plans to study at the Shala from a students perspective. All recommendations have come from firsthand experiences. Contacts listed below are not in any way affiliated or partnered with Ashtanga Yoga Morjim. This is a guide only and a feel for the local resources in the area as we appreciate everyone’s personal preferences will differ when it comes to planning their path ahead.
Where is Ashtanga Yoga Morjim and How do I get there?
AYM is located in North Goa, India.
Arrival By Plane
Transport from Goa’s main and only airport, Dabolim, to Morjim is easy. You can arrange a ride before hand by calling one of the numbers listed below or by visiting the Taxi booking office that is located at the airport arrivals area, here they will arrange your ride at a fixed price ranging between 1700-2000 INR. A taxi to Morjim will take you through the beautiful scenery of bustling villages as well as seascape into North Goa and should last approximately 90 mins.
Arrival By Train or BUS
There are 3 train stations serving Goa and several bus stations for those traveling within India.
in alphabetical order
Abhay +91 8975257234
Nilesh +91 9822169954
Vicky +91 9921525901
What are my Accommodation options?
Practitioners enjoy living in Morjim itself or in the neighboring villages of Ashvem, Mandrem, Arambol and even Siolim - all of which are a short scooter ride away. Websites such as AirBnb, OYO, Booking.com, Hometogo, HomeAway, TripAdvisor offer a variety for accommodation from apartments to homes to guest houses. For best prices we suggest you communicate directly with the places you are interested in to agree on a rate for a long term stay. Many of us booked a place for a few days and looked for somewhere to rent locally and in an area of liking. Everywhere around the village are little pathways off the main road with signs of rooms/houses to rent in Morjim, Ashvem and Mandrem. During the height of the season staying in the village is recommended over being closer to the beach especially if you decide to stay in Ashvem. The roads around Morjai temple are quiet and remain a local community throughout the year. Mandrem stays quiet also and Siolim has more amenities and also remains very local. Any accommodation by the river in Siolim can also be peaceful.
Here are some of the guesthouses we have stayed in and feel positive to recommend to others:
The Green House
Run by a British couple, consisting of 4 self-contained apartments and less than 2 minutes walk from the shala.
For further details contact Diane or Steve at email@example.com
S2 Beach Shack and Silver Sand Beach Shack
These two beach hotels are on a beautiful quiet stretch of Morjim beach. They are a 5 minute scooter ride from the Shala and near some great restaurants. Walk-ins are welcome or call to book.
Tasteful beach cottages and a 5 min scooter ride to the shala. Great restaurant and breakfast and direct access to the beach.
Beautiful two bedroom villa set in a garden a few steps from Morjim beach. https://casafloragoa.com
Shanti Stretch of Morjim Village
If you make a right just before Morjim temple/at Rice Mill there is a quiet shanti residential road with many signs of rooms/apartments/houses to rent. Off the road are also paths to silent areas in the countryside. Suresh at the chai stall also has some numbers of places in that area.
Vaayu Waterman's Village
Surf shacks and also home to Prana Cafe and on Ashvem Beach with a super warm and friendly team of people to make you feel at home.
Tents at Otter Creek
On a quiet stretch of water on the bay side of the ocean in Ashvem it is possible to stay in these beautiful tents amidst ancestral land.
Beach view casita situated in Ashwem, Goa. Accommodates two to four people. One queen bed, two single beds. Hot water shower. Sheets and towels provided. Front and back patios. Steps to the beach in North Goa. Please enquire via email or whats app or message directly on Facebook: Alchemy Goa/ firstname.lastname@example.org/ +91 9067398812 / +91 7038333542
Namaste Cottages, Assagao
Located in Assagao, either rooms in the house or beautiful wooden cottages available to rent, Wifi available on the balcony, breakfast included and cooking facilities available. About a 20 min scooter ride to the shala. Monty makes for a warm host and shares a wealth of local knowledge.
Houses and apartments we stayed in along with the contact of the people to inquire to:
- The Green house email@example.com
- 2 bedroom house: +91 9923966228
- Pinto House rooms available walking distance from shala +91 7065067425
Martha +91 9049814807 2 bedroom house in the village of Morjim
Maria +91 9764416048/ 7388415412 / Maria rents a house in Morjim close to the shala firstname.lastname@example.org
2 bedroom villa, 10 min walk to shala; Pooja +91 9623269171
- House on the beach; +91 98228 29245
- Quiet tasteful rooms in Mandrem; Nitin +91 7798477514
- 1 bedroom + kitchen; Rosy +91 9689157855
- 1bed and a 2 bed flats available across street from shala; Nisa +91 85528 24559
- Guest House with rooms to rent with clean kitchen in Ashvem Assis Britto +91 9168348736/+91 8975319117
- Mango Villa across the street from the shala individual quiet studio apartments with kitchen and bathrooms contact Katya +79164070834/+91 7057063815
- Several one bedroom and two bedroom flats near the shala/behind Mango Villa contact Nisa +91 85528 24559
(This list will be added to as the season progresses)
Located in Goa airport, Morjim and most of the surrounding villages.
There are local markets such as Raj Supermarket to buy amenities including brown rice, dhal, brown sugar, cold pressed coconut oil etc. for cooking at home. Also there are fruit stands around the village as well as a Govt run Vegetable co-op selling fresh veggies and herbs at excellent prices for those who would like to cook at home. AJ's in Siolim carries Ambrosia Organic items such as raw honey, organic peanut butter, ghee, rice cakes et al.
Arambol also has a Wholesale food supplier and Om Ganesh Supermarket (Organic items).
Listed below are a variety of local restaurants;
Navatara, Siolim (traditional South Indian vegetarian meals such as dosa, idly, vegetarian thali)
Babu Huts, Ashvem right on the beach affordable and clean meals including simple dhal and roti and avocado salad.
Prana Cafe, Ashvem [excellent vegan food, smoothie bowls, nori rolls and waffles for the kids]
Tibet Cafe, Ashwem (vegetarian momos and Tibetan food at affordable prices)
Rice Mill, Morjim (favorite local cafe for coffee with vegan options, A/C and wifi)
Anahata, Ashwem (vegetarian food also on the beach)
Although not local many of us loved going to Gunpowder in Assagao and enjoyed the attached conscious shop filled with handmade goods called The People Tree.
Villa Blanche and Rutas both also in Assagao were wonderful places to relax, write and share in good company.
There are a few tea stalls in the village. Our favorites are Anant just past the HDFC ATM that overlooks the rice fields and offers chai/coffee/and curry bhaji of the day. There is also a chai stall just past Rice Mill on a rural quiet road which serves a delicious gingery chai. The gentleman who owns it and makes everything is called Suresh.
Easy to hire locally, prices vary but for a Vespa style scooter you can expect to pay around 300INR daily or from 7000INR for the month. There are signs everywhere to rent scooters but we can recommend Vijay; +91 90496 00670. Also Gabriel in Morjim kindly rents scooters +91 9923881281. There is a sign for hiring bicycles right after Prana Cafe in Ashvem for those who are interested.
For those requiring a local sim card, the best network for coverage in North Goa is Vodafone.
You will need all of the following documents when purchasing a sim card in India;
1 X passport sized photo
1 X scanned copy of your passport ID page
1 X scanned copy of your Indian Visa
Sims for a variety of networks can be purchased at locations throughout Morjim (these are easily found by the large full wall advertising of a specific network provider on the side of shops), we can recommend the shop near the Rice Mill cafe as this is also opposite a photo studio that can provide passport sized pictures. Sim cards take 1-3 days to be connected.
There are a range of books at the Shala which cover a wide selection of topics and are available for all students to borrow. We love the handcrafted guide book LOVE GOA, dedicated to conscious traveling and exploring off the beaten paths, local traditions and one of a kind finds. We have both reference copies at the Shala as well as some available for purchase at cost if you'd like to wait until you are here to have your own.
Traveling alone as a woman
Our past experience is that the village is a safe environment for women traveling alone. Being Goa the culture is used to welcoming those from abroad over many years. We still advise to dress respecting the local Indian traditions and to make intelligent choices in terms of where as well when to be out. We highly recommend reading midwife and yoga teacher Clare Nicholls book Mysore to the Mountains: The Colour and the Chaos sharing her experience as a solo woman traveler experiencing culture, spirituality and everyday life in India today.
Other than spending time exploring your new surroundings and enjoying the local scenery there are many places you can spend the day volunteering to help the local community. We have a great relationship with the animal welfare shelter close by in Siolim called WAG (www.wagoa.com). Volunteers from Ashtanga Yoga Morjim can drop in every Mon-Fri at 10-12 and 2-4, where you can expect to assist in anything from caring for orphan calves, to walking the dogs or feeding milk to goats.
Should you wish to contribute to the Shala, we gratefully accept spiritual books for our student library and plants/herbs/trees for the wonderful and ever-growing surrounding garden. We often seek wooden toys and board games for children and practitioners alike.