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Join this retreat to a remote fishing village in Northern Laos to slow down and immerse yourself in a complete yoga practice that weaves together asana, personal alignment, breathing, and meditation through a real-world application of yoga philosophy. These immersions are carefully designed to deepen your knowledge and complete your experience of yoga.
Mandala Ou Resort offers 10 spacious clean and comfortable detached bungalows, mixing traditional Lao styles with all modern conveniences you can expect from a home away from your home. The custom-built yoga shala sits directly on the banks of the Nam Ou River, harnessing the energy of life.
You can choose from fountain bungalows and riverside bungalows. There are only two bungalows with twin beds (one fountain bungalow and one riverside bungalow). All other bungalows have double beds.
If you are traveling as a pair and would like to share a bungalow, but do not want to share a bed, fountain bungalows with double beds can also accommodate an extra twin-sized bed for an extra fee per night. Luang Prabang Yoga will try to accommodate your request for single or double occupancy, but this will depend on the availability of the room as well.
In the construction of the raised yoga shala, Mandala Ou Resort worked closely with the teachers at Luang Prabang Yoga to create a space that will fully support your yoga practice. Mandala Ou Resort is also the only resort in Nong Khiaw to offer pool and sauna facilities, a complement to your yoga practice.
This is a program inspired by Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) led by Mira and Julie.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is a group-based program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the UMASS Medical Center Center for Mindfulness for populations with a wide range of physical and mental health problems. It uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, and yoga to help people become more mindful.
After a retreat led by Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, Kabat-Zinn adapted the teachings on mindfulness into the structured eight-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course, which integrates the healing aspects of Buddhist meditation practices with the concept of psychological awareness and healing. Several core guided meditation practices are taught in the course, emphasizing connection with the present moment through expanded awareness of specific aspects of our moment-to-moment existence.
The body scan, a foundational practice of the MBSR course, is derived from a traditional Burmese meditation practice called sweeping, which S.N. Goenka teaches in his 10-day Vipassana retreats. While inspired by the teachings of Buddhism, there is nothing inherently religious about mindfulness, and MBSR is taught independent of religious or cultural connotation, so while its roots are spiritual, the program itself is secular.
In recent years, meditation and particularly the MBSR program have been the subject of controlled clinical research that suggests beneficial effects including stress reduction, relaxation, and improvements to the quality of life.
The program uses various tools of MBSR such as body scans, three-step breathing space (SBS), emotional identification, and inquiry to give you practical and tangible tools to work towards a mindful lifestyle. Together, practice and theory will be delivered in an easy-to-understand format so that you begin to experience your own meditation and movement practices as pathways towards greater self-discovery.
Morning and evening yoga asana classes will be slower and soulful to support the mindfulness practice. During the afternoon workshops, we will explore various aspects of MBSR in more detail through practice and discussion. Topics to be covered include:
This retreat will take place at a premier bungalow resort that is situated high on the banks of the scenic and tranquil Nam Ou River, offering spectacular sunset views over the virgin rainforest and karst limestone mountains of Nong Khiaw.
Nong Khiaw is a sleepy village, nestled in the highlands of Northern Laos. Located approximately 150 kilometers from Luang Prabang, Nong Khiaw is easily accessible by road and river. Travel by road to Nong Khiaw from Luang Prabang takes approximately 3 hours, although many travelers opt for the longer, 6-hour boat ride as the views along the river are spectacular.
Life in Nong Khiaw takes place primarily along the banks of the Nam Ou River. A main street and bridge run through the center of town, connecting the two sides. From Nong Khiaw, day trips to Hmong villages, rock climbing, and visits to caves and waterfalls can be arranged, but the village is best experienced at leisure.
Ultimately, Nong Khiaw's draw is its impressive landscape. The Nam Ou River is flanked on both sides by rolling hills and stone massifs. The river cuts through the mountains, opening spectacular views into the distance. It is a destination not to be missed.
Buses are available from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang but expect a long and uncomfortable ride as roads are unsealed part of the way. If you are coming from Vientiane, overnight and day buses are also available (approximately 10 hours) and the view is spectacular.
Nong Khiaw is easily accessible by road from Luang Prabang. Nong Khiaw is approximately 150 kilometers from Luang Prabang and minibuses run regularly between the two. Minibus tickets can be purchased from various travel agencies in Luang Prabang. Minibuses depart Luang Prabang at 09:00, 11:00, and 13:00. The journey takes approximately 3 hours.
If you are traveling either from Northern Thailand or Northern Laos, you can travel to Nong Khiaw either by public or VIP buses. Depending on the route, you may have to stop in Pak Mong and hire a tuk-tuk to take you the rest of the way to Nong Khiaw.
If you are traveling by road and river from Vietnam, regular buses run from Hanoi to Dien Bien Phu in Vietnam. From there, you can connect by bus to Mueng Khua in Laos. From Mueng Khua to Nong Khiaw is a lovely 6-hour boat ride.
From the northern border with Thailand, several boat options are available including a slow boat from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang (2 days with overnight in Pak Beng) or the speedboat (7 hours).
For a more comfortable trip, opt for the Luang Say river boat, departing from Huay Xai to Luang Prabang and takes 2 days with an overnight at the Luang Say Lodge in Pak Beng. The price of the Luang Say Riverboat trip includes meals and overnight accommodation in Pak Beng.
From Luang Prabang, you can go to Nong Khiaw by minibus. If you are from Mueng Khua, you can go to Nong Khiauw with a lovely 6-hour boat ride.