Dec 8, 2023, Bengaluru: 14 trekkers completed their Dayara Bugyal Adventure Therapy Trek, marking the end of the 5th Adventure Therapy group from Indiahikes. The influence of the trek became evident as it concluded. As it fostered effortless conversations, there was a rise in self-awareness among trekkers regarding their strengths and weaknesses.
“From initially dismissing Himalayan trekking as not being my cup of tea, to successfully summiting one, this one with Indiahikes has been truly transformational. While the very ordeal of climbing was a therapeutic symphony by itself; the timely directive interventions of a mental health professional on board, seamlessly woven into the trek led to immense reflection, introspection and contemplation,” said Tushar, one of the trekkers in the group.
The trek was facilitated by Vivek Saxena, an executive coach and counsellor, with over 15 years of experience in the field. Kavinaya Mohandas, one of our senior trek leaders supported him in this program.
“Being together and walking together in the high mountains creates the conditions of trust and possibility that may otherwise take months in usual urban or corporate conditions,” said Vivek Saxena.
"We've noticed that even on our regular treks, trekkers go through a near-therapeutic experience. It is where nature creates its own impact on mental health, without human intervention. But not everyone realizes this impact, especially if they're in a troubled state of mind,” explains Izzat Yaganagi, Head of Experiential Learning Team at Indiahikes. “Many times, it needs facilitation by someone who can nudge them to enhance what the trek is already doing," she adds.
The Transformational Experience
This is a transformation that we have observed since our first adventure therapy group in April 2022. Trekkers start looking at issues with a renewed sense of energy and purpose. They also have a better sense of somatic awareness (mind, body and spirit interconnection).
“I feel very fortunate to have been a part of this adventure therapy as it gave me a chance to explore a different side of me. It delivered more than what I had expected. This therapy let each one of us share the side which we'd seldom shown to the world and that's the reason that a deep sense of comfort was built among us. Each and every day was a learning experience for me. This trek gave me a lot of answers to the questions that were pestering my mind. I've returned from the trek much more confident, having more clarity and peace of mind,” said Sahana, a trekker from the 2022 Adventure Therapy group.
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“We have realized, after 5 groups, that this really works. Trekkers have very strong takeaways, answers to many of their questions and they also find healing. The facilitation itself, the process and the design of the program plays a big role in this program being a success. Along with this, trekkers coming in with the right intentions makes a huge difference,” said Izzat.
At Indiahikes, we have always believed that trekking has an impact on our mind, body and spirit. Since 2022, we have had five groups of trekkers from diverse cross-sections coming together for this Adventure Therapy Program with us. Trekkers have realised that nature has healing powers and they can step into it whenever they want peace of mind and clarity in thoughts. The Indiahikes Adventure Therapy Program also helps trekkers seeing the value of support, by encouraging them to either seek or offer it.