11 Days Tour and Spiritual Yoga Retreat Nepal

  • Kathmandu - Pashupati - Boudhanath - Patan - Bhaktapur - Pharping - Sanku Vajrayogini - Namo Buddha

11 Days Tour and Spiritual Yoga Retreat Nepal

  • Kathmandu - Pashupati - Boudhanath - Patan - Bhaktapur - Pharping - Sanku Vajrayogini - Namo Buddha

Cultural Nepal Yoga Retreat

This innovative, non-dogmatic yoga retreat, with over 75 hours of teaching, will deepen your understanding of yoga and spiritual practice. You will receive yoga teachings and practices continuously as you travel to sacred sites in Nepal. You will learn yoga directly from experienced yogis, spiritual masters, and artists, many who’ve lived in Nepal for over 25 years. They will guide you through the fascinating mix of Buddhist and Hindu iconography to discover the roots of Tantra in Nepal all within the context of yogic philosophy and practice.

Highlights

  • Daily yoga lessons
  • Buddhist and Hindu teachings
  • Participate in darshan, ritual and puja
  • Meditation, pranayama, and asana sessions
  • Excursion to sacred sites & study mudras or gestures
  • Daily breakfast and dinner
  • 10 nights' lodging
  • Transportation
  • 10 days with instruction
  • English
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You will be staying in simple, but comfortable accommodations provided by Heather Elton Yoga. The accommodation is a mix of five-star hotels and Nepalese guesthouses, from rustic chic traditional Newari homes to basic pilgrim lodges.

This yoga adventure is for anyone with an interest in yoga and Nepal. It’s great if you’re interested in a spiritual practice, have read a few basic yoga philosophy texts, and have a regular asana practice, but it’s open to all levels of yoga practitioners. Dharma practitioners, artists, sculptors, and photographers are welcome. A curious mind and a desire to experience the wider realms of yoga are essential.

This adventure is ideal for young yoga teachers needing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses with Yoga Alliance Professionals UK and those who want to integrate yoga philosophy and texture into the teachings, or Religious Studies academics who want to embody the theory into a living practice.

You will immerse yourself in Nepalese culture which can sometimes mean pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. You will engage in a yoga journey that is also a spiritual sadhana. A Tantric practice is about transformation. It will be fun but engaging at the same time. However, this is not ‘spiritual tourism’ or a ‘yoga asana holiday.’ It is not for people with a need for high standards of comfort, or who don’t wish to engage in spiritual practice.

Embodying the sacred

Nepal is the land of ‘living Tantra’, and a place where you can find expressions in architecture, painting, sculpture, dance and performance, as well as rituals and ceremonies. Therefore, the program is designed to be both a transformational journey taking you deep into your own practice and provides the context to find meaning in the experience and embody the sacred. You will have a glimpse through the Newari latticed window into different Tantric practices: Tibetan Vajrayana, Hindu Shiva margi and Durga Shakti workship, Tantric priests, Bhakti, all within the context of yoga.

Heather Elton teaches the basic techniques of spiritual practice: How to use a mala, recite a mantra, spin prayer wheels, walk the Kora. Learn yogic Tantric visualizations of prana / nadis / bindu and chakra meditations to deepen your understanding of the subtle energy body. Learn how to enter a temple in a respectful way and what to do inside. Make an offering to the deity. Receive darshan, puja, and blessings. Respectful conduct in the presence of realized beings. Observe a tantric priest performing an elaborate Shiva puja.

You will immerse yourself in Nepalese culture which can sometimes mean pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. You will engage in a yoga journey that is also a spiritual sadhana. A Tantric practice is about transformation. Be united with the circumstance, you will dress and behave respectfully in accordance with local custom. The program consists of a full schedule, but there will be time for shopping and exploring particular places.Through this retreat, you will be able to:

  • Visit ancient shrines, temples, and museums
  • Learn about devotional iconography in architecture, sculpture, and art
  • Walk the Kora around the enormous stupa at Boudhanath topped by a gilded spire painted with the eyes of the Buddha
  • Receive Buddhist and Hindu teachings from spiritual masters;
  • Participate in darshan, ritual, and puja
  • Meditate in the cremation ghats of Pashupatinath
  • Spin prayer wheels, raise prayer flags, recite mantras, and meditate with monks
  • Watch the sacred Lama (Cham) dance at Shechen Monastery
  • Practice meditation / pranayama/ asana, all within the context of Patanjali’s 8-limbed path and yogic philosophy
  • Study a Sanskrit text and paint a mandala
  • Study mudras / gestures / postures to decipher the meaning behind devotional Hindu iconography

Tour schedule

  • Day 1: Arrival Day in Kathmandu
  • Day 2: Kathmandu
  • Day 3: Pharping
  • Day 4: Pharping
  • Day 5: Patan
  • Day 6: Boudhanath - Pashupati
  • Day 7: Boudhanath - Sanku Vajrayogini
  • Day 8: Bhaktapur
  • Day 9: Namo Buddha
  • Day 10: Namo Buddha
  • Day 11: Departure day
  • Heather Elton

    Heather is the founder and director of Elton Yoga and the course coordinator. She teaches Asana, Vinyasa, Astanga, meditation, self-inquiry techniques, and teaching methodology. Astanga is taught in the Mysore tradition of Sri K Patabbhi Jois, and Vinyasa Krama (or Hatha flow), is an intelligent linking of poses - with breath and dristi - rooted in classical yogic traditions that explores the physical, mental and subtle aspects of the practice.

This retreat will take place in several sacred places in Nepal. You will visit several Hindu and Buddhist holy sites in the Kathmandu Valley that are charged with divine presence and are the abodes of the Gods. For Newari Buddhists, the shrine on top of Svayambhu is the most sacred site, while for Tibetan Buddhists Boudhanath is the most supreme. For the Hindus, Pashupati is the residence of the great god Shiva, while for Buddhists Pashupati is Avolokiteshwara. Narayana’s power place sits atop Changu Narayana. Pharping is where Guru Padmasambhava attained enlightenment. Naga serpents are in the water and the Mother Goddesses are throughout the land. Temples, pagodas, hand-hewn caves, stone, wood and bronze sculptures and ancient rocks, all evoke mystery, divine myths, and human history. These mysterious power places give access to the palaces of the gods and open us a space within where we may connect to your own divine essence.

Bhaktapur

Bhaktapur was once the capital of Nepal during the great Malla Kingdom until the second half of the fifteenth C.E. and has been an important center on the trade route between Tibet and India since time immemorial. Bhaktapur is a well-preserved ancient city and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its rich culture, temples, and wood, metal, and stone artwork.

Pashupatinath

Pashupatinath is a temple complex (400 A.D.) sprawling on the banks of the Bagmati River. Pashupatinath Temple is the most sacred of Lord Shiva (Pashupati) temples in the world and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple is famous for its awe-inspiring and astounding pagoda architecture and houses the sacred linga or phallic symbol of Lord Shiva. For Newari Buddhists, Pashupati is the bodhisattva Avolokiteswara. The Tibetan mahasiddhas, Naropa and Tilopa, meditated in caves here in the 10 C.E. The Pashupati Temple Complex is filled with exquisite temples, shrines, statues and prominent tantric holy sites. It is filled with colorful Sadhus (holy Hindu ascetics), who emulate Shiva and rub ash on their bodies.

Sankhu

Sankhu is an unspoiled Newari village and home to the Vajra Yogini Temple. A long flagstone staircase meanders through a pine forest, past traditional hiti (water spouts) and temples to Bhairava and Daksin Kali, up to the top of the hill where lies the impressive Vajra Yogini Temple.

Boudhanath

Boudhanath is one of the holiest Buddhist sites and is famous for its massive stupa bearing the omnipresent Buddha eyes on all four sides. Boudhanath Stupa looks like a giant mandala or diagram of the Buddhist cosmos. Four of the Dhyani Buddhas mark the cardinal points, with the fifth, Vairocana, enshrined in the center. The five Buddhas also personify the five elements (earth, water, fire, air, and ether), which are represented in the stupa’s architecture.

The nine levels of Boudhanath Stupa represent the mythical Mount Meru, the center of the cosmos, and the 13 rings from the base to the pinnacle symbolize the path to enlightenment, or “Bodhi”, hence the stupa’s name. The stupa is closely associated with the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of Compassion) whose 108 forms are depicted in sculptures around the base.

The mantra of Avalokiteshvara - Om Mani Padme Hum - is carved on the prayer wheels beside the images of Avalokiteshvara around the base of the stupa. Boudhanath is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Patan

Patan (third C.E.), known as the “town with a thousand golden roofs,” was the capital of one of the three ancient Malla kingdoms. The center of the city is like an open museum – highlights include the Royal Palace, with intricately carved doors and windows and beautiful courtyards adorned with exquisite icons enhance the beauty of the city. Patan is a center for artisans dedicated to the preservation of ancient crafts. Sculptures of deities are found in stone, metal, terracotta and ivory.

Pharping

Pharping (pronounced ‘Farping’) is as holy a pilgrimage site as Bodhgaya for Tibetan Buddhist Vajrayana practitioners. Here is the Yangleshö cave where Guru Rinpoche (Padmasambhava), the second Buddha and the person who introduced Buddhism to Tibet in 6 C.E., attained the level of a Mahamudra Vidyadhara, the state of ‘awakening’. He lived and practiced here with his consort Yeshe Tsoygal.

Since then, Yangleshö has been visited by many great spiritual masters, like Marpa Lotsawa, who practiced, made offerings and aspiration prayers. For Hindus, Pharping is the place of ‘nine hoods,’ or cobra heads, symbolizing Self-Realisation and is blessed by the presence of the Naga king, Shesha – the snake that Vishnu floats on in the cosmic sea - Patanjali’s metaphor for the yoga practice.

During this retreat, you will be served with local vegetarian meals.

  • 10 nights' lodging
  • Buddhist and Hindu teachings
  • Daily vegetarian breakfast and dinner
  • Daily yoga lessons
  • Devotional iconography learning
  • Entrance fees to sacred sites
  • Excursion to sacred sites and study mudras or gestures
  • Meditation, pranayama, and asana sessions
  • Transportation to sacred sites
  • Walking through Kora
  • Watching the sacred Lama Dance
  • A reservation requires a deposit of 100% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled before the arrival date.

Testimonials

  • Review by Zoe Mansfield
    10 out of 10

    "My life has changed drastically since I followed the teacher training. You really inspired me to follow the yogic path and to be honest and true to myself and the world around me. I am changing from a 'copy-paste' teacher into a yoga teacher that dares to teach from the heart, honest, just like you."

    Heather Elton Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Kristine
    10 out of 10

    "I want to thank you for an unbelievable Yoga Teacher Training experience. Before I selected your Teacher Training at Satsanga, Goa India, I did extensive research and spent time researching as I had many items that were important to me. I wanted to have excellent meals, three times a day, as I knew I would need the nourishment to keep up with the physical portion of the training. The food was plentiful and better than I could imagine. I wanted the atmosphere to be comfortable so I again could be at my optimum and get every minute out of the training. The facility was safe, comfortable, peaceful and very beautiful. But more importantly, I wanted to immerse myself in all aspects of yoga and saturate myself with the practice of yoga, the philosophy, anatomy and different yoga practices. It was more than I could have imagined. The practice was primarily Ashtanga with introductions to other yoga forms. The yoga practice was thorough, informative, and extensive. The vinyasa flows were very creative.I was introduced and participated in Restorative and Iyengar Yoga. I learned Yoga philosophy from a scholar who lived in Nepal and studied with the masters. We had many guest teachers that were the best of the best, including our anatomy teacher and our Ayurvedic teacher. Early dawn pranayama and meditation with an orchestra of birds as a background was memorable and uplifting. The class was the right size to get quality one-on-one and yet have interactions with fellow students from all over the world.The fellow yoginis were warm, kind, funny, supportive and very loving. They all had so much to offer as they were from all over the world with differing talents and experiences. I highly recommend Heather Eltons Yoga Teaching Training. She brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the training"

    Elton Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Josta
    10 out of 10

    "The teacher training with Heather Elton and Emil Wendell surpassed my expectations, and I tend to expect a lot. The quality of all the classes and teachers was of a very high standard and I just kept learning during each and every class for four weeks day in and day out. Heather has created a beautiful and well-structured program for a full yoga experience and I feel well equipped for the job of being a teacher now. For me personally, it was an amazing journey. The meditation, pranayama, and philosophy in the mornings with Emil were beautiful and I can still hear his words. The asana practice in the mornings was filled with joy and strength. And then we still had the anatomy classes with Chris Kummer, the adjustments, Satsang with John Weddepohl, kirtan with Rachel and John. The experiences never ended and it was wonderful to share it with the group that we were in. Thank you, Heather, for creating this platform and bringing all these wonderful teachers and yogis together."

    Elton Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Laura
    10 out of 10

    "I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to take my Ashtanga level 1 teacher training with Heather. The course itself was very well structured, providing me with a deeper and more holistic insight into the yogic path, which strengthened my commitment to yoga as a way of life. Heather's love for yoga shone through her teachings and practices, and the genuine approach made her truly inspiring to follow. Through her strength, fairness, honesty, and nurture, Heather enabled me to open my eyes to see the power within myself and use this power to share what I have learned with others. For this, I am truly grateful, and I hope very much that my yogic path crosses with Heather again."

    Elton Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Sophie
    10 out of 10

    "Thank you for organizing this training and bringing together so many inspiring and knowledgeable teachers. Your openness and honesty really contributed to inspire such qualities in all of us in the group and to bring us together. I'm usually a very reserved and shy person and I've never felt as open to a group as in this training. Your emphasis on integrating the philosophy into the teaching, even into an asana class has changed my way of teaching and I try to integrate something from beyond the asana into each class and I often get questions about it! Emil's philosophy classes gave me a better insight into what hatha yoga is and why pranayama is so important. Chris Kummer's anatomy classes were brilliant and fascinating. Satsanga is a beautiful and restful place, ideal for concentrating on studying and practicing while staying rested."

    Elton Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Jennifer
    10 out of 10

    "I am deeply impressed by the care and attention that Heather has put into this YTT. She goes out of her way to ensure that the students benefit from as many experiences as are available in Goa to help round us as teachers and yoga practitioners, inviting in guest speakers who are passing through the area, arranging trips to chanting and ceremonies, or bringing in people with different body types to morning practice to help us learn to adjust them. I'd not really considered the importance of doing a YTT that is 'non-dogmatic' before I applied, but having completed this training I see that having the opportunity to absorb history and information about the many paths of yoga without the inference that there is a wrong or right one to choose, or that one is 'better' than the other, is fundamental to the process of self-exploration that true yoga offers. The setting is beautiful. The teachers are deeply knowledgeable and so wonderfully willing to share their passion for the subject and their decades of experience. My own practice transformed as a result of the experience, as a hard-core ashtangi who often pushed my body beyond its limits, I am now softer and more compassionate towards myself and as a result towards others. Some of the other students who came with soft gentle practices have discovered strength and endurance they didn't know was inside them. I have emerged from this experience with a deeper understanding of yoga, myself, others, and some friends I will treasure for many years to come."

    Elton Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Ana Mackay from London
    10 out of 10

    "It was a bleak winter day in London when I spied Heather's retreat to India in her newsletter. Immediately inspired, I persuaded my non-yoga partner that this was a good way to spend our winter holiday together. Any preliminary concerns about the difference in yoga experience and what to expect were dissipated in the first class. Heather single handedly lead the group of 20 - 60 years old, from first day beginners to qualified yoga teachers, into a varied and dynamic journey. We all gained insight from her yoga philosophy, calmed ourselves through her guided pranayama and I had some of the best yoga sessions of my life. I wasn't bored for a moment. No matter age, ability or experience, Heather will guide you to peace on her yoga retreats."

    Elton Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Jonathan Ekstrom from Europe
    10 out of 10

    "Heather is an extremely knowledgeable and experienced teacher and she guided the mixed ability group through their own experience of being challenged by yoga and the growth in awareness that accompanies the journey. Heather provided a safe and nurturing environment, which facilitated the group dynamics as well as the individuals pace of learning and development. It was a profound experience and left me feeling more confident in my yoga practice and deeply contented."

    Elton Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Ana Mackay from London
    10 out of 10

    "A spiritual polymath, Heather is able to draw on an enormous range of secular and spiritual sources to demonstrate the union of wisdom teachings, from Gandhi to Tagore, from Nagarjuna to something she read in the paper last week."

    Elton Yoga website, edited

  • Review by Connie Muradyan from Europe
    10 out of 10

    "Heather is an outstanding yoga teacher. She is authentic with a strong approach and style of teaching. Our group was a mixed level group and Heather did an outstanding job teaching to all levels. I am a yoga instructor and I am very impressed with how Heather handled the group. By the end of the week, everyone's practice had evolved and deepened. She is open and friendly. Heather provided the perfect balance of asana and philosophy. Every thing she taught was relevant and interesting. Heather is an excellent instructor and she very quickly became familiar with each of us, our abilities, limitations and levels of expertise. She understands alignment principles and her adjustments were spot on. I really enjoyed the way she conducted each class and I particularly enjoyed the sequencing. She is concise, competent, and supportive yet firm. She created an atmosphere of trust and we all bonded as a group from the first day. It was truly a memorable week."

    Elton Yoga website, edited

London, United Kingdom

Heather Elton teaches in international yoga retreats and yoga teacher training in London, Goa, and Nepal.

from --

11 days / 10 nights

Availability

Arrival: Friday April 20, 2018
Departure: Monday April 30, 2018

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