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.
opposite the shala is a temple in a cow field. Just outside of it are taxis all of whom come from the local community.
some names of independent drivers in alphabetical order
Abhay +91 8975257234
Ashok +91 98506 66197
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.
There are a number of guesthouses available scattered all over Morjim/Ashvem/Mandrem and Siolim all of which are available online. Because many of them change year to year and others are seasonal it is difficult to maintain a reliable updated a list. Airbnb also has a wide variety of places worthwhile booking for a few nights. Our best recommendation is to book a place for a few days and then spend time exploring the neighborhoods and seeing which area and home best fulfills your needs to be comfortable.
Houses and apartments we stayed in along with the contact of the people to inquire to:
The Green house several lovely studio apartments on the shala road firstname.lastname@example.org
Vailakanni Guest House cozy and quiet rooms with many amenities Blake: 099236 39598
2 bedroom house: +91 9923966228
Pinto House rooms available walking distance from shala +91 7065067425
Casa Flora two bedroom villa set in a garden https://casafloragoa.com
Kavita 3 self contained apartments near the shala 9689722002.
Martha +91 9049814807 2 bedroom house in the village of Morjim
La Casita in Ashwem, Goa accommodates two to four people +91 9067398812 / +91 7038333542
Maria +91 9764416048/ 7388415412 / Maria rents a house in Morjim close to the shala email@example.com
Aparthotel OrangeVilla few steps from the shala +1 (239) 249-9509
2 bedroom villa, 10 min walk to shala; Pooja +91 9623269171
2 bedroom apt near the beach Arnelo - 735-022-2551
yellow house near the beach rents its second floor and has AC Felcy - 988-103-2552
purple/pink house near the beach 3 separate apartments Seby & Timothy - 832-224-4832
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
Several one bedroom and two bedroom flats near the shala 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. In Siolim the vegetable stand after the first roundabout has broccoli, salad greens and in general well stocked quality fruits and veggies. AJ's Supermarket 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).
Oxford Arcade in Anjuna has the widest range of options of gluten free, vegan and organic foods as well as the most friendly items as well as necessities for families.
Listed below are a variety of local restaurants;
Navatara, Siolim (traditional South Indian vegetarian meals such as dosa, idly, vegetarian thali) - OUR FAVORITE
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.