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11 Days Asana and Buddha Mind Yoga Retreat in Nepal

  • Yoga Nepal, Boudhanath, Kathmandu, Central Region, 44600, Nepal

Overview

Nepal Yoga Retreat

Join this yoga retreat in Nepal for a journey of the heart and mind as you explore the living Buddhist pilgrimage sites of Kathmandu and beyond. Explore your own true nature in the spiritual heart of exotic Nepal. If you're a yogi and an adventure seeker, this is the yoga retreat you've been waiting for. Experience the teachings of expert guides and educators while you cover many of the valley's major pilgrimage and cultural heritage sites in depth.

Highlights

  • Daily yoga practices
  • Daily meditation sessions
  • Excursions to exotic pilgrimage sites
  • Land transportation around Nepal
  • Delicious locally sourced meals
  • 10 nights accommodation
  • 10 days with instruction
  • English
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The Vajra Hotel

The Vajra Hotel is an authentic Newari-style hotel with some Tibetan touches. During your stay at the Hotel Vajra, you will have everything you need for a comfortable stay. The rooms have parquet floors and all the attached bathrooms have shower and running hot water. The rooms are also equipped with chairs and a writing desk. Some rooms have a coffee table and private balcony, and internet services are located on the ground floor. Hotel Vajra welcomes you to use and enjoy its unique facilities.

The style and structure of Hotel Vajra embody beauty and warmth. Hotel Vajra is built in the typical Nepali pagoda style with the use of locally available materials, which help to create this attractive warmness. Hotel Vajra is jeweled inside and out with wood, terracotta carvings, stone and marble tile, hanging brick gardens, and traditional Tibetan ceiling paintings.

The Siddhi Manakamana Hotel

The Siddhi Manakamana Hotel offers simple and comfortable rooms, each with its own bathroom and hot water, flat screen television, a balcony opening out to a pleasant garden, internet access, air conditioning, luxurious cotton sheets, and laundry facilities. The Hotel Siddhi Manakamana is inspired by traditional Newari architecture with exquisite Newari craftsmanship to every room. Handcrafted wood by Nepali artisans and hand-laid bricks from local clay create a majestic and restorative ambience. The hotel also features an eco-Buddhist design. A small stupa filled with relics, mantras, and miniature stupas is in the center of the courtyard.

The Namo Buddha Resort

The Namo Buddha Resort offers a taste of the simple life in the Nepali countryside. Comprised of several small, beautifully built cottages, this one-of-a-kind resort is rich in traditional Nepali style. All cottages feature, adobe walls, decorative niches, stone roofs, colorful textiles, and lots of gorgeous woodwork. The small and cozy houses are beautifully built in traditional Nepali style by carpenters and masons from Kirtipur, including traditional small doors and windows. All of the houses have a private toilet, a stone roof, and lots of woodwork. The Namo Buddha Resort also features wireless internet and a wood sauna.

During this retreat you will spend four nights at the Hotel Vajra, three nights at the Siddhi Manakamana Hotel, and three nights at the Namo Buddha Resort. During your stay at the Hotel Vajra, you will enjoy morning and evening yoga classes in the pagoda room with gorgeous ceiling frescos, overlooking the great stupa at Swayambhu. You will spend three days taking in the best that Kathmandu has to offer with its extraordinary temples and shrines dedicated to Hindu, Buddhist, and local deities. During your stay at the Siddhi Manakamana Hotel, you will practice yoga and receive dharma teachings as monastic life carries on around you.

Boudhanath has dozens of monasteries situated around an enormous, breathtaking stupa where hundreds of Tibetan devotees circumambulate the stupa while reciting mantra and spinning prayer wheels every morning and evening. During your stay at the Namo Buddha Resort, you will head to the valley's edge, to the hills of Kavre. The peacefulness of this stretch of the valley is hard to imagine until you're there. At the Namo Buddha Resort, you will enjoy three days of Himalayan views and lush, green terraced fields. It is the ideal place for yoga practice and the surrounding hills and villages provide beautiful scenery for day hikes.

Day one

On arrival day, you will be transported to the hotel, where you can unwind from your journey, rest, enjoy the garden, a meal, and soak up the atmosphere. Once everyone has arrived, you will have a gentle yoga practice before dinner and a brief orientation before turning in for the night.

Day two

During the second day, after an early breakfast, you will be guided on foot to Swayambhu and climb the 365 steps required to reach the great stupa. The epic climb is an auspicious way to begin your journey. Also known as the Monkey Temple due to the abundance of rhesus macaques that live here, Swayambhu offers a fantastic view of the Kathmandu Valley. Here, you will learn how stupa architecture reflects Buddhist thought, meet the five Dhyani Buddhas, and join local pilgrims as they circumambulate the holy site. Later, you will enjoy a rejuvenating yoga practice and a delicious lunch back at the hotel. After lunch, you will be able to attend to a fantastic lecture entitled "Understanding Nepal" with the expert guide and mentor, Anil. Then you will head out for a night on the town and enjoy some sumptuous local cuisine.

Day three

During the third day, after an early breakfast, you will head to Patan. Full of religious art, temples, monasteries, and communal courtyards, Patan's ornate architectural details are an incredible feast for the eyes. Patan offers a great opportunity to meet the people who give this city its unique beauty. You will also see how spirituality is woven into everyday life and observe this community's morning rituals. After lunch, you will return to the hotel and have some time on your own before an afternoon yoga practice session. At night you will watch a classical dance performance in the Pagoda room followed by a typical Tibetan meal overlooking the stupa at Swayambhu.

Day four

During the fourth day, you will put on your walking shoes, and after an early morning practice and breakfast, you will venture to Nagi Gompa, a Tibetan Buddhist nunnery tucked away high on a hilltop in Shivapuri National Park. You will see how the nuns live, experience a genuine place of retreat, and enjoy sweeping views of the valley. From Nagi Gompa, you will head out on foot down the steep hillside past local villages and through pine forests to Pullahari, one of the most stunning Tibetan monasteries in the Kathmandu Valley. You will visit the young monks, observe the monks evening puja, and witness an incredible Kathmandu sunset. During the night you will enjoy a hearty meal back at the hotel.

Day five

During the fifth day, after an early morning yoga practice and breakfast, you will head to Boudhanath with the expert guide, where you will explore the Boudha stupa, a massive, three-dimensional mandala, one of the largest in Asia, and a world heritage site. After lunch you will check in at the Siddhi Manakamana Hotel and have some free time to wander a few of the many Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the area and check out the countless shops selling Buddha statues and other ritual items as well as textiles and other local handicrafts. You will have an introduction to Buddhism talk at a local monastery, and after the talk, you will have a chance to circumambulate the stupa with the local community and find some tasty eats on your own.

Day six

During the sixth day, after an early yoga morning practice and breakfast, you will head to Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in Boudhanath and meet Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, the Abbot and spiritual head of the monastery. After meeting Rinpoche and offering the traditional katag or ceremonial scarf, you will attend his dharma talk in the monasterys main prayer hall. Receiving teachings in this space, with giant golden Buddha statues gazing out at you, is a powerful experience that you will never forget. After the teaching and lunch at a local favorite restaurant, you will have some free time in the afternoon to explore the neighboring monasteries before the second teaching of the day with Venerable Drokpa Tulku, a senior teacher at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery. You will join the group at night for a rooftop feast overlooking the great stupa.

Day seven

During the seventh day, after morning practice and breakfast at the Siddhi Manakamana, you will head to Namo Buddha Resort. Upon arrival during the late afternoon, you will settle into your cottage, and soak up the scenery. After an early evening yoga practice in the main hall, you will have a hearty dinner and free time afterwards to catch up on journaling or just hang out with fellow yogis.

Day eight

During the eight day at the Namo Buddha Resort, you will enjoy a morning and evening yoga and meditation sessions, and visit the nearby Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery, perched on a steep ridge overlooking the valley. The beautiful and sprawling Thrangu Monastery was built on the hillside where, in a previous life, the Buddha is said to have offered his own body to a starving tigress in order that she could feed her cubs. The site celebrates this fearless act of compassion. Thrangu Monastery is one of the principal pilgrimage places for Tibetan Buddhists.

Day nine

During the ninth day, after an early morning yoga practice and breakfast at the resort, you will take a three hour hike through local villages and rice terraces to see and experience life among the Himalayan hill communities. Back at the resort, you will enjoy some free time before an evening meditation and a healthy meal.

Day ten

During the tenth day, after morning yoga practice at the monastery, you will head back to the Vajra Hotel. For the final day at Nepal, after checking back in at the hotel, you will have the chance to visit the Thamel market for some last minute shopping. Here, you can pick up any gifts you want to bring back with you from the hundreds of colorful shops and handicraft sellers that line the streets. After the visit to the Thamel market, everyone will meet for a very special farewell dinner.

Day eleven

During the eleventh day, after the final morning practice in the pagoda room, you will have breakfast and some final goodbyes. Your airport transfer will be waiting just outside of the hotel to take you back to the airport.

Jivamukti yoga classes

The Jivamukti yoga classes are an energetic fluid form of yoga practice in which movement is connected with inhalation and exhalation. The classes are intermediate level with optional pose variations offered for those who are newer to the practice as well as for those who are more advanced. The classes are vigorous, yet grounding. The Jivamukti method was created by Sharon Gannon and David Life and draws upon the teachings of their gurus, Sri Pattabhi Jois, Sri Brahmananda Sarasvati, and Swami Nirmalananda. The five core practices form the foundation of the Jivamukti method are ahimsa, non-harming of all beings, bhakti or devotion, nada or sacred sound, meditation, and yogic scriptural study. To help bring them into your everyday experience, the classes are infused with chanting, motivating sound, pranayama, meditation, and breath-focused asana.

Excursion to Boudhanath

Excursion to Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery

Excursion to Nagi Gompa

Excursion to Patan

Excursion to Pullahari at Kathmandu Valley

Excursion to Swayambhu

Excursion to Thrangu Tashi Choling Monastery

Cory Bryant

Cory Bryant is a true spiritual activist who believes that yoga can and does impact the world in a positive way. He currently teaches at the Flow Yoga Center in Washington, United States. Cory teaches a well-balanced yoga class based on the Jivamukti method that incorporates chanting, contemplation, and breath-centered Vinyasa.

Khenpo Karma Gyurmey

Khenpo Karma Gyurmey was born in 1978 in Nubri in northern Nepal. In 1987, when he was nine years old, he was ordained as a Buddhist monk at Ka Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in Boudhanath, Nepal. There, he pursued his elementary studies, which included memorizing many texts and learning the monastery's tradition of chanting. In 1998, he commenced studies in the monastic college at the Sangye Yeshe Higher Shedra. He studied there for nine years, focusing on texts related to sutra and mantra-level Buddhism as well as general fields of study. Currently he teaches to those who are interested in Buddhist teachings, both ordained and lay, from both East and West.

Anil Chitrakar

Anil Chitrakar was trained as an engineer and energy planner, and has been at the forefront of numerous projects aimed at economic, social, and environmental sustainability in Nepal. Anil was also born to a family of artisans and loves sharing his knowledge of Nepal's rich cultural heritage. Anil has worked closely and tirelessly with local artisans for the preservation of the arts, crafts, and living heritage of the Kathmandu Valley and offers a rare look at the life in the Malla cities.

Joanne Larson

Joanne Larson is the director of programs at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Boudhanath, Nepal. Joanne is a gifted teacher, she communicates the often complex history and philosophy of Buddhism in language that everyone can understand. Joanne has contributed as an editor to translated works on Buddhist philosophy and holds a master degree in Buddhist studies from the University of Bristol.

James Hopkins

James Hopkins has been traveling and living in South Asia for the past 18 years. In 2004, James moved to Nepal where he studied Buddhist philosophy and Himalayan languages at the Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastery. James now works at the monastery as the director of development, gathering support for the activities of the monastery around the world. In 2006, he started a micro-finance project in an encampment of street beggars, which now provides jobs for economically challenged women and sponsors the education of about 40 children from that community. James has a great knowledge of the Hindu and Buddhist holy sites of the Kathmandu Valley and enjoys sharing it with visitors.

Lucas Vieira Lopes

Lucas Vieira Lopes is Brazilian born and has been traveling around the world working in hospitality for over eight years. His spontaneous and nomadic way of life led him to a mindfulness community in the Northern Thailand, where he discovered Buddhist meditation and philosophy. He attended his first meditation retreats there, and seeking a deeper understanding of the Buddhist path, he studied Buddhist philosophy at the Rangjung Yeshe Institute for one semester, and currently spends most of his time in Kathmandu. As a retreat manager, Lucas will be there to answer your questions, handle logistics, and to make your journey in Nepal smooth, memorable and fun.

Bidur Ghimire

Bidur Ghimire was born and raised in Nepal and received his Bachelor's degree from the Tribhuvan University. Bidur also completed the Nepali government's tourism training course and since 1999, has worked for the Royal Mountain Trekking Nepal Company as a tour guide and program planner. For more than four years, Bidur has been an essential member of the Yoga Nepal team, handling all transportation details and supporting all guests during hikes. Bidur is studying for his Master degree in Buddhism and Himalayan Studies at Lumbini Buddhist University in Kathmandu.

This retreat will be held at three different locations in Nepal.

Nepal

Nepal borders with the Tibet Autonomous region of the People's Republic of China in the North and India in the East, South, and West respectively. Nepali is the national language of Nepal. Yet the average people whom travelers have to deal with will speak and understand English and various other foreign languages. Nepalese people are mainly divided into two distinct groups, the Indo-Aryans and the Mangoloids. Kathmandu valley, which is also the capital city of Nepal, is the spiritual and cultural meeting point of all these groups. Nepal is the only Hindu Kingdom in the world. Hindu temples and Buddhist shrines are scattered all over the kingdom. Nepal is the birth-place of Buddha, the light of Asia. You will find a complex blending of Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal, which is unique.

The Vajra complex

The Vajra complex is situated on the foothills of the Swayambhunath Stupa and its age old pilgrim road, also near the Bijeswori temple complex, two of the power places of the Kathmandu Valley. The Vajra is surrounded by trees and flower trail gardens, creating a place of serenity and beauty, overlooking the entire Kathmandu Valley up to the snow peaks of the Himalayas. The location of the Vajra also permits you to overlook the entire Kathmandu Valley.

Boudhanath

Boudhanath, one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites and one of the largest stupas in the world, is located four kilometers from Tribhuwan International Airport and 11 kilometers from the center of Kathmandu city. Today, the Boudhanath Stupa is also referred to as a wish-fulfilling stupa because of its powerful ability to make wishes come true.

Namo Buddha Resort

The Namo Buddha Resort is situated 45 km south-east of Kathmandu, at the top of a hill 1800 meters above ground, and when the weather is clear, the guests can see awesome views of the Himalaya. The panoramic view stretches across the Annapurna and Khumbu range. During the main tourist season, views are the best early in the morning.

For this retreat, almost all of your meals are included. Yoga Nepal provides a vegetarian menu, and you will also have a couple of chances to go explore Kathmandu's culinary offerings on your own. Each morning, after yoga and meditation practice, you can enjoy a healthy breakfast with a selection of breads, fresh fruits, muesli, porridge, local yogurt, eggs made to order, and potatoes, along with juice, tea, and coffee. The traditional Nepali staple dish, dal bhat tarkari is simple, yet flavorful. Similar to Indian fare, lentils are often cooked with tomatoes, onion, chili and ginger, along with a variety of herbs and spices such as coriander, cumin, cloves, mustard seeds, bay leaves, and turmeric. It is served with steamed rice and vegetable tarkari, a spiced curry side dish made from local vegetables in season. Tibetan dumplings are another local favorite, prepared by hand and filled with fresh, finely chopped, and seasoned veggies.

The Explorers Restaurant at the Hotel Vajra

The Explorers Restaurant offers a complete menu of well-prepared Nepali, Tibetan, Indian, and Continental dishes. Many of the vegetables, salads, and spices are hand-picked from Vajra's own organic vegetable gardens. In the morning, you can enjoy a healthy and well prepared breakfast buffet with a selection of home baked breads.

The Ananda Restaurant at the Hotel Siddhi Manakamana

The Ananda Restaurant offers an eclectic combination of Indian, Nepali, Chinese, Continental, and Tibetan cuisines, and highlights the best local and seasonal produce available with cereals, fresh produce, and dairy products locally sourced. Relax and indulge in friendly atmosphere at the dining and garden sitting areas and be sure to enjoy the setting sun from the open spaces of the rooftop lounge.

Namo Buddha Resort cuisine

The Namo Buddha Resort cuisine serves vegetarian food, prepared in a wood-fired oven, like sour dough breads, pizza, and other bakery items. The kitchen staff makes meals inspired by Europe, as well as typical Nepali style foods.

Exclusions

  • Soft drinks, espresso drinks, alcohol, additional meals, and snacks are not included in this retreat.

Other activities at Namobuddha Resort

Other activities to enjoy at the Namobuddha Resort include visiting Dapchha Bhakunde Besi, Kushesshower Mahadev Temple, the town of Panauti, the village of Phulbari, the Sunkosi River that is a famous Hindu holy site, and the Thrangu Tashi Yangtze Monastery.

Visit the East-West library at Vajra Hotel

The East-West library contains the basic Tibetan texts, Sanskrit texts, Western scientific and management works, literary works, atlases, art books, and Nepal ecological studies. Writers, artists, and scholars use the library for their research.

Visit the fabled flower trail gardens at the Vajra

The Vajra is surrounded by trees and flower trail gardens, creating a place of serenity and beauty. The gardens are really beloved for those relaxing hours after a mountain expeditions or bazaar sorties.

Visit the October gallery at Vajra Hotel

The Naga theatre has a seating capacity for 110 people. This is the main venue for the annual drama performances of Studio 7's Avant-Garde productions directed by Sabine Lehmann. The Naga Theatre also provides a venue to the October Gallery East with its traditional and contemporary art exhibitions.

During this retreat, you may enjoy an Ayurvedic massage at the Vajra Hotel for an extra cost.

  • 10 nights accommodation
  • 3 daily vegetarian meals per day on most days, bottled water, and tea or coffee at meal times
  • All entrance fees
  • All the activities listed on the program
  • Knowledgeable guides and teachers
  • Land transportation within Nepal and airport transfers to and from Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM)
  • Scheduled excursions to pilgrimage sites
  • Yoga and meditation sessions
  • Additional hotel nights before or after scheduled program dates
  • Airfare to and from Kathmandu
  • Airport or departure taxes Laundry or other personal expenses
  • Phone calls
  • Shopping
  • Single supplements
  • Travel insurance
  • Trekking extensions
  • Unscheduled activities and excursions

Driving directions from Kathmandu to Namo Buddha Resort

Pass Bhaktapur and Banepa, continuing to Dhulikhel 23 kilometers from central Kathmandu.

When you reach Dhulikhel, turn right to take the paved Sindhuli-Highway for eight kilometers to reach the village Kavre Bhanjyang.

The village of Kavre Bhanjyang is not visible from the road, only by a bus stop on your right.

Immediately after the bus stop turn right onto the rough road, the Namo Buddha Road.

Continue on this road for approximately five kilometers to reach the hill.

The entrance road to Namo Buddha Resort will be on your left.

Arrival by airplane

Please book you flight to arrive at the Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM). Traveling Yogis will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

Distances

  • Kathmandu, 45 kilometers
  • Tribhuvan International Airport (KTM), 4 kilometers
For information about the booking conditions, please send Traveling Yogis an inquiry.
  • Review by Carole Revelly

    "The yoga and meditation pilgrimage was the most incredible way to sink into the beauty of Nepal. It was so professionally and cleverly put together with a right balance of yoga, meditation, and spiritual experiences. Having the team who organized the retreat following us every day, made it special. It never felt like anyone was organizing it for any other reason but the joy of sharing their passion. We could feel this passion, their knowledge and I think this explains why the retreat was so highly appreciated by everyone. Thank you all, organizers, teachers, guides, and students for making it such a strong and unforgettable experience."

    Traveling Yogis website, edited

  • Review by Katie Barta

    "Yoga Nepal was the perfect experience at the perfect time in my life. It really felt like family every step of the way, the love, the sharing, the teaching, the laughing, and the crying were all beautiful experiences. The staging of the trip was ideal, from the vibrancy of Kathmandu, to the sacred energy of Boudhanat, to the serene and subtle vibrations at Namo Buddha. The Yoga Nepal team was incredible, patient, gentle, and loving while still meeting the needs of a diverse group of people and interests. I would recommend this trip to anyone interested in experiencing Nepal."

    Traveling Yogis website, edited

  • Review by Kathy Jalali

    "I am still sorting out my feelings after the retreat. I think it was one of the best things I couldve done in my lifetime. There are few things in our lifetimes that we reflect on very fondly and the Yoga Nepal experience was one of them."

    Traveling Yogis website, edited

  • Review by Evelyn Tay

    "This retreat wasnt just a series of yoga practices planned with some cultural tourism thrown in. Marni Kravitz has taken pains to design a spiritual journey that brought us close to the intriguing cultures of the land. Seeing the rich spiritual traditions of the land unfold right before you, as well as partaking in some activities of the people, made it a truly beautiful and humbling experience. All in all, this trip has a special place in my heart. Because of it, I will never see things the same way again."

    Traveling Yogis website, edited

  • Review by Julie Beal

    "If you are looking for a spiritual adventure, this could be the trip for you. I have not done group travel of any kind since I was a kid, this experience was so authentic that I felt like I was with a group of friends I had known for a long time. I came out of Yoga Nepal a little bit wiser and had my eyes opened to an incredible community that I had no idea existed. We were in such good hands, no detail was overlooked. The teachers that Marni puts in front of her group are experts in their fields. Marni is a great host and she leads by example."

    Traveling Yogis website, edited

  • Review by Cristine Joslyn

    "What a wonderfully fulfilling and unforgettable experience! Marni organized everything impeccably: from her perfect choice of destinations and hotels, to her choice of excellent teachers and guides. They are all extremely knowledgeable in their fields and make every experience enjoyable and enriching. These 11 days are complete with physical yoga, meditation and introduction to Buddhism, meeting Rinpoches and Tulkus (teachers) in monasteries, visiting the beautiful Kathmandu Valley and hiking through terraced hills and remote villages. I highly recommend enrolling for a retreat with Traveling Yogis. It truly is a "pilgrimage to the heart"."

    Traveling Yogis website, edited

  • Review by Michael Beard

    "Yoga Nepal masterfully opened a door to Nepal that left me wanting to learn, feel, and experience more. Nepal is so rich and varied that I don't think you can ever take it all in but Marni and her team told a story of Nepal that was woven together through unforgettable experiences, practices, and teachings. It has changed, in large ways and small, the way I think about my practices, my meditation, and my everyday outlook. It was one of those experiences you wish you could have again, for the first time, because when you look back, you wish you could capture and savor each minute more. I can't wait to find a way back."

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  • Review by Andrea Bracho

    "This trip was an amazing experience! It was the perfect balance between yoga, meditation and Buddhism. It also had a very good balance of tourism and culture, which made it unique. The sights, the food, and the accommodations were all very enjoyable. Kudos to Marni Kravitz & the team for such a nicely managed program. Waiting to hear where Yoga Nepal 2.0 will happen! Much love & thanks."

    Traveling Yogis website, edited

  • Review by Katherine Miller

    "Back in March I took an amazing journey with Marni Kravitz and her team to Nepal. Daily yoga and hikes reconnected me to my body; the meditation and Buddhist teachings challenged my mind; and my heart was opened to a new community of people. If you've been feeling a little less than focused, I highly recommend this trip. I can promise you'll have an amazing experience (Oh and the food is amazing, too!)."

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