Find out more about our retreat stays
Experience the simplicity, mindfulness and joy of the yogic lifestyle
Thank you for enquiring about a retreat stay! On this page we have collected some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our guests that should help you make an informed decision whether the Krishna Village is right for you. If you have more, please feel free to contact us and ask away….
What kind of people come to the Krishna Village?
The Krishna Village is an eco yoga community and retreat centre with a vibrant and diverse community of travellers, locals and residents of all ages, who come looking for an inspiring yogic experience on a working organic farm within an established spiritual community. At any given time, we host about 50-75 visitors from all over the world: Retreat guests who take a week out of their busy lives to relax, do some yoga and gain a fresh perspective on life; Yoga Teacher Trainees on their path to become fully fledged teachers; and a big bunch of Karma Yogis and full time volunteers – mostly backpackers who help us run the Krishna Village and our big organic gardens so we can share this wonderful space with you at really affordable rates.
So if you seek the absolute quiet and seclusion of a strict ashram environment, you might find the Village to be too busy and lively for your taste. Same if you are expecting the same level of perfection that an expensive resort will be able deliver. Our luxury is of a more transcendental nature, and what some people find 'too busy' is the very reason why others are coming and loving it: a genuine, open-minded community experience and the inspiring immersion in the Culture of Bhakti Yoga.
This will be your place if you are coming to experience yoga as a sustainable lifestyle and meet a variety of fascinating people along the way. If you are willing to share your journey and get curious. If you want to fall in love with the beautiful landscape and cuddle a cow. If you enjoy vegetarian food. If you are keen to join a variety of yoga classes, taught by experienced teacher trainers, travelling yogis and yoga teacher trainees under supervision. If you aren't scared to have chat with the devotees at the Hare Krishna temple up the hill, the single mum in the room next door or the Brazilian backpacker who is building a new pizza oven in the community kitchen. If hearing WWOOFers from 12 different countries and 4 continents teach each other funny songs while harvesting tomatoes and weeding the gardens brings a smile to your face. If you love seeing things growing, evolving and changing, vibrantly alive and perfectly imperfect. That's our kind of abundance, the inspiring journey we'd like to share with you ...
What kind of classes do you offer?
There are two yoga classes offered daily, a sunrise yoga class, and a sunset yoga class, with the exception of Sundays, when only a morning class is available due to our big Sunday Feast in the late afternoon. The classes are mostly Vinyasa style, either facilitated by our head teachers, or by our yoga teacher trainees under the supervision of their trainers. Either way, they are viable for beginners, with options given for more experienced participants.
We also run Yogic Living classes on Sun-Fri at lunch time, with various topics that can range from philosophy, life coaching and guided meditation to Ayurveda, nutrition, and more. These classes always start at 1:30pm with a 30 minute Kirtan (singing meditation with a variety of mantras), followed by a 1hr class by one of our Krishna Village teachers.
In addition, if you are interested in learning more about the Hare Krishna philosophy and spiritual path of Bhakti Yoga, you are welcome to attend the daily program at the Radha Govardhanadhari temple, 500m uphill from the Krishna Village.
For details, have a look at our activities overview.
Who are the teachers on the retreat?
The Krishna Village has a core group of resident teachers and a whole bunch of friends who come along as guest teachers. They share their knowledge on special events, or fill in when the regular crew is on their well deserved holidays or adding to their skill set. During our Yoga Teacher Trainings, our trainees also teach a variety of classes under the supervision of their trainers. Below are those faces you are most likely to see on a regular basis:
Lila Kirtana is an internationally experienced Hatha and Vinyasa yoga teacher with over a decade of teaching experience. She is a committed bhakti yogi with a love of sharing the joy of yoga with the world. Lila is our head teacher and leads the yoga teacher training supported by a team of yoga teachers. Lila is also a talented Kirtan singer and performs regularly with her band ‘Enchanted’.
Michael 'Laxmivan' began his yoga journey at the age of 20 when he left his profession as a studio musician and joined a bhakti Yoga Monastery. For the next 10 years he travelled Australia, New Zealand and India as a celibate monk, daily studying the traditional yogic canons and engaging in strict daily yogic sadhana. As a yoga teacher trainer, Michael brings with him great integrity and depth, forged by more than 31 years of strict, yet joyful daily practice. His teaching is full of compassion, humour and authenticity, with a deep respect for tradition, but without being over zealous.
Michael Olabode, our philosophy teacher, came across Bhakti-yoga in university and after graduating in Business from Cass Business School in London and landing a job in UBS international bank, he decided to explore the wisdom of yoga further. Having been to India 7 times over the past 5 years to study and explore the secrets of the Indian wisdom texts like Bhagavad-Gita, he was invited to teach philosophy and host interactive life seminars in universities and institutions in the UK, Belgium, Netherlands, Nigeria, India, Australia and New Zealand since 2010. Outside of teaching Michael enjoys travelling, cycling, playing football, volleyball, basketball, rapping, writing, advising, problem-solving and challenges anyone on earth at table tennis.
Do I have to be a vegetarian to participate?
The Krishna Village advocates the notion of ahimsa (non violence) as one of the key aspects of yogic living, seeing animals as beings with souls just like humans. Meat, fish and eggs are therefore not allowed onto the grounds of the Krishna Village or ashram. We will, however, provide you with 3 delicious vegetarian meals per day, including a mostly-raw food lunch to support your healthy yogic lifestyle. It is your choice as to how you choose to eat outside of the retreat centre, however many of our guests adopt vegetarianism as they progress in their commitment to yoga and begin to shift their awareness about their interconnectedness with the world.
What’s the food like at Krishna Village?
We follow a vegetarian diet, of mostly Indian-style food. As our retreat centre is catering for 100+ people most meals, they are unable to assist with any special diets such as vegan, gluten-free or sugar-free. We do our best, however, to always offer a variety of options. People with nut allergies are advised to self-cater.
Breakfasts are an offering of porridge, kitchari [a dahl and rice stew with veggies], bread and butter, and fruit salad. Occasionally they have pancakes, and warm drinks like sweet chai. Most of the breakfast dishes are vegan.
Lunch has a lot more raw food, and is all vegan and mostly gluten-free or will have a gluten-free substitute. We have different types of salads, coleslaw, and some vegie/lentil soup or stir-fries, and always smoothies and teas. In previous courses those people who were not able to eat very much raw food would bring their own container to take some kitchari at breakfast, or would cook their own lunch at the camp kitchen.
Dinner is Indian-style, and almost always consists of rice, dahl, veg curries, fried bread, salad and desserts like halava [semolina], sweet rice, and sometimes cake. Quite often the curries have home-made paneer cheese, and may use sugar [mostly in the desserts].
Every 12 days we abstain from eating grains for an entire day [a special day called 'Ekadasi'], but otherwise we eat a very grain-based diet with lots of lentils, chickpeas, oats and rice.
Self-catering is possible if required - in our camp kitchen is a large fridge where you can store food items, and cupboard space for dry goods. Best, bring a sturdy plastic box to store personal items. We usually offer small veggie boxes at our kitchen at an affordable rate, so you can cook your own meals, depending on what’s in season in our gardens at the time. Definitely bring some snacks, coffee & teas, and perhaps some cereal or breakfast things if you do not want to eat a cooked breakfast every day. We also make fresh juices and smoothies to order, from $12/ltr.
I'm spiritually interested and open-minded but not religious. Is that okay?
Sure! That's how many of our guests feel – and we don't have any expectations in that regard. The purpose of the Krishna Village is to provide a space where you can explore the yogic path and your own spirituality in a friendly, encouraging and open minded environment.
How does the Krishna Village relate to the Hare Krishna philosophy?
The Krishna Farm as a whole belongs to ISKCON, the International Society of Krishna Consciousness - a non for profit organisation that has the purpose of living and teaching Bhakti Yoga, a spiritual path of seeking union with the Divine through loving devotional service to the Divine and our fellow living beings. So the original purpose of the farm is to be a temple community. Hence, devotees going about their daily prayers will be a familiar sight when you come to the Prasadam hall (the dining area) near the temple for your breakfasts and dinners. You might hear them sing Grace before eating, but it's completely up to you whether you'd like to join in or not. The only request we have of you is to follow our basic rules (e.g. vegetarian diet and no intoxication) and to dress modestly when coming to the Prasadam hall to eat, as it is part of the temple compound. For details, please have a look at our Code of Conduct.
The Krishna Village started off in 2011 as a volunteer project to help maintain the large organic gardens and grow veggies for the community. It is located about 500m from the temple area, on the same property. In 2013/14 we started to develop it into a retreat centre, which now has a big yoga hall, several massage rooms, a reading room, community area with pizza oven and camp fire, and offers a variety of daily yoga classes and talks. Here, we usually host about 75 retreat guests, yoga teacher trainees and volunteers. Within this beautiful setting, we are aiming to allow our guests to dip their little toe into our culture and experience a blue print of what life could look like if you lived it by spiritual principles. You can participate in a variety of elements (vegetarian diet, yoga, kirtan, japan bead meditation,...) and pick and choose which of those might have some relevance for your own life.
At the Krishna Village, we teach a lifestyle that's in alignment with our philosophy, but purposefully limit the amount of Hare Krishna specific content, so that our guests can choose whether or not to participate. Our practice of kirtan (mantra singing) is a daily habit - for 10 minutes after the morning yoga (Hare Krishna mantra) and for 30 mins before our Yogic Living classes (a variety of beautiful mantras and bhajans in Sanskrit and English). If you are keen to delve deeper into the devotional side of things, you are most welcome to visit the temple. We will be happy to show you around and answer your questions.
On Mondays at 11am we run a Weekly Welcome Tour for all new guests to introduce the farm, the history and our offers in much more detail, and answer any questions you might have.
I know that cigarettes, alcohol etc. are forbidden - can I smoke/drink outside somewhere?
The Krishna Farm simultaneously functions as a pure ashram environment for devotees and a retreat centre for visiting guests and volunteers. Many of our guests come for the purpose of giving up unhealthy habits like cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. Seeing a packet of cigarettes or smelling alcohol breath makes it harder for them to let go and simultaneously undermines the atmosphere of purity, health and spirituality. Therefore you should only come if you are happy to completely abstain from intoxication on and off the property during your stay.
Please note that in this regard we have a zero tolerance policy in order to keep things fair and unmistakable. If people are going out on weekends to drink or get intoxicated that’s completely fine and none of our business, but in that case they cannot continue their stay with us.
Do you accommodate specific dietary requirements?
The lunches we serve at the Krishna Village community kitchen (Sun-Fri, 2pm) are mostly raw and cater for vegan as well as gluten-intolerant guests. There are also nut free options available every day.
The daily breakfasts and dinners, as well as Saturday lunches, are served at the prasadam hall near the temple and usually consist of a variety of traditional Indian style vegetarian dishes. Meals usually include vegan options, but we can’t make any guarantees, as the Indian kitchen can include ghee (cleared butter).
So if you have severe food intolerances or strict dietary needs, please let us know about them upfront and – if required – bring your own food in addition to what’s provided. The Krishna Village community kitchen is equipped with fridges, a stove, a pizza oven and plenty of pots and pans, so you can self-cater if required.
Can you pick me up from the Gold Coast airport?
We are happy to pick up and drop off people in Murwillumbah if required. If you arrive in the morning, we can take you to the farm at 8:30am (Mon-Fri). Otherwise we can arrange for a pickup later in the day (+$15, 9am–12:30pm), or you can get a taxi (about $30-35 from Murwillumbah to the farm). To get to Murwillumbah from the Gold Coast or Byron Bay, please have a look at our “How to get here" page – there are regular bus connections to & from all major towns/cities in the area.
Is there anything I need to bring?
Just a couple of things might prove handy:
Sunscreen and a hat
A water bottle to keep yourself hydrated
A torch to walk around safely at night
Snacks / chocolates / tea or whatever else you need. Murwillumbah, the closest town, is about a 10mins drive away, so it’s handy to have the most important things with you. We are selling yummy vegan treats though...
Laundry powder – we also sell individual wash packets for $1
If you are camping, a warm sleeping bag – we are in the subtropics, but nights can still get chilly. And a tarp to cover your tent would be a good idea. When it rains, it can get heavy, and a bit of extra protection can make a big difference!!
Is there free time to relax?
Your Krishna Village retreat is meant to give you just the right balance of classes and down time. Make sure to explore the beautiful surrounds, head to massage rocks or the beach for a swim, hike up Mt Warning to see the sun rise, or read a book in a hammock. All classes are optional, so you can pick and choose whatever suits you and gives you the experience you desire.
What are the accommodation options?
You can choose your own adventure when it comes to accommodation at the Krishna Village, from camping (or glamping) and powered sites for vans, to twin-share / double rooms and single rooms in our awesome converted shipping container residences. Prices and availability vary - first in, best dressed!. Shared toilet and bathroom facilities service all guests, plus laundry facilities and a newly renovated well-stocked community kitchen with campfire and pizza oven. You can eat at the temple and enjoy our raw food offerings, or cook your own food.
Is there any additional cost involved?
Pretty much all cost is covered with your retreat fee: accommodation, food, and access to the classes. But a few extras can arise:
Additional food: We offer freshly made Jeeva Juice, sweet treats from the kitchen etc. and for those, we charge separately
Washing machine & dryer: $5/use (BYO laundry powder)
Internet access: $5/week or $10/month for a 5GB WiFi code
Gift shop: We sell a range of beautiful jewellery, yoga apparel, clothes, essential oils and books
"HEAVEN ON EARTH"
What an amazing place. The thing that captured my attention straight away was the divine scent at the village, flowers everywhere with the sweetest smell, even they are happy! The accommodation was simple but very comfortable, we all had a wonderful sleep. The vibe of the place is like nothing I've ever experienced, the yoga transforming and the food out of this world. We travelled with a four year old and she thoroughly enjoyed it and was made to feel incredibly welcome by the crew. We are eternally grateful to all concerned, including the beautiful souls at the Krishna temple, we are forever in your debt. Namaste. - L. Hunter, tripadvisor
"A PLACE OF PEACE AND TRANQUILITY"
One of the greatest gift that I gave myself was a one week yoga retreat stay at Krishna Village. This magical land allows me to connect with my true self and every beautiful being I have met there. I took two days Baliness massage course by Caren and Dee. They are wonderful teachers with special ability to love and heal. I can feel my heart is smiling when I think of them. Everything about it is amazing, the nature, the food, and the people. I left with my mind open and my spirit hight! - Tola S., tripadvisor
I went on a one week retreat expecting to do some yoga and relax. What i got was a profound spiritual awakening , on a piece of property that could be the garden of eden.
The retreat sits just at the bottom of the majestic mountain which houses the temple. With fruit and nut trees scattered all of the property one can never go hungry. We were fed 3 vegetarian meals a day that were lovingly prepared and delicious even for the most avid meat lover. The rooms were clean and fresh. Simple and rustic making me wonder what more could one need to live in bliss. Whats really special about this place is how you are welcomed and embraced into a family of strangers who work together to create the abosolute haven. The yoga and meditation were on another level that words could not describe. I will be back many times to this garden of eden as amongst strangers i have never felt more at home. - Candice Jaclin, tripadvisor
5:00am - Sunrise Yoga
8:30am - Breakfast
9:00am - Leisure time
12:30pm - Lunch
1:30pm - Kirtan
2:00pm - Yogic Living class
4:00pm - Sunset Yoga
6:00pm - Dinner
7:45pm - Camp fire
9:00pm - Quiet time