HimalayanYoga & Mindfulness Retreat
Himalayan Yoga and Mindfulness Retreat
Dates 15th - 27th April 2018
Take a break from your daily routine, unplug and take time to relax, reflect, learn and explore on our holistic journey which combines trekking in the inspiring Himalayas with stunning views, yoga and immersion into a traditional Sherpa way of life which is steeped in Tibetan Buddhism. Amongst the mountains and valleys, you'll interact with people who live in the villages where we've been working for many decades, and learn about the Buddhist way of life from the local Sherpa people and their Lamas. Trekking in the Himalayas, you can breathe clean air and open your mind to this beautiful traditional part of the world.
This journey is focused on mindfulness and retreat on the rooftop of our planet. Throughout history, humankind has stood in awe of mountains and you will see why. The strength and sturdiness evident in the rocky crags and smooth slopes of the peaks has for time immemorial inspired creativity and kindled courage. Mountains have been venerated by many cultures, which worshipped great summits as gods and sacred beings. In their looming presence, humanity has seen power, steadfastness, and resolve.
As you walk off the beaten track, connect with this land, practice meditations and yoga; the power that lurks in the heart of all mountains will flow into you while their essential beauty reminds you that you, too, are a creature of the earth.
Our journey passes through small villages, overlooks valleys and rivers, and takes a glimpse at curious yaks, working farmers and playing children. Upon our arrival in the villages of Bupsa and Bumburi where our charity has renovated two monasteries amongst many other projects, friendly villagers will welcome you to their homes and community where you can also visit the children in the local school supported by Moving Mountains.
With twice-daily Hatha Yoga, Yin yoga, Mantra, Qi Gong and Meditation practice, it will be the trip of a lifetime and an opportunity to experience conscious tourism; it offers great experiences, by taking care of your well-being and spiritual prosperity alongside contributing to sustaining local communities.
This holiday is arranged with the assistance of The Shanti Space and alongside our experienced Sherpa guides and porters you'll also have the wonderful company, tutoring and guidance of Yoga & Meditation Facilitator, Jessica Brookes and Qi Gong and Yoga Teacher, Jack Weaver with you.
Together Jessica and Jack will guide you into spaces of stillness to bring about a deeper awareness and connection. Both world travellers they'll encourage you to explore within; to reveal and empower you on your journey of self-discovery. During this holiday they will provide a daily yoga and meditation program and practices which will include Asanas, Meditation, Kriya, Pranayama and Samyama, as well as other practices such as Mantra and Qi Gong. The focus of the retreat will be on the cultivation of inner silence, clarity and peace.
Jessica and Jack are co-founders of Shanti Space are working with Adventure Alternative to curate a yoga retreat designed to fill you with a sense of purpose and help create a better world by engaging with the local communities we work with.
Our trek requires us to walk for two long days in order to reach the villages where we will be based. In Nepal, the main type of lodging is in teahouses, or small, family owned lodges where you will have a room with twin accommodation and a common room. Rooms are not heated or cooled and basic comforts are provided. Food options are heavily local, which is mainly a simple diet. We advise that you choose vegetarian options while traveling in rural areas.
With basic but comfortable accommodation, local food and English speaking staff, this is a chance to get off the busy trail and experience something unique and special in the humbling, yet expansive breath-taking backdrop of the Himalayas.
Our itinerary involves two, seven-hour trekking days in order to reach our destination village. These days are not technical, but they certainly require you to be in decent physical shape. There is a good bit of trekking along mountain paths which are quite rocky and occasionally steep. There are no dangers on these paths, they are used by the local people, but you will need to be careful if you meet with pack animals along the way. If there is rain then the stones on the path can be quite slippery and there will be mud, so you will need to take care. Some people like to have walking poles to assist. Your boots should have a good tread on them and you may prefer to take walking boots with support for your ankles.
This trip is about physical, mental and spiritual harmony so expect to enjoy days of walking on the paths between the villages with plenty of time for stopping and chatting, taking tea, meeting local people and taking photographs. Jessica and Samanta will guide you through the yoga sessions, but they also offer massage for an additional fee. The food will be local produce, and plenty of it! Gear required is minimal, please see our Nepal Trekking Kit List for more information. So come join us for an unforgettable connection to mind, body, earth and community on our Himalayan Yoga Retreat.
The Himalayan Yoga Retreat cost - £1695.00*
*The full price is £1995 however we've offered a discount for those signing up early and will increase to £1995 in January 2018
- Experienced, professional English speaking local guides throughout the journey
- British Yoga & Meditation Facilitators, Jessica Brookes and Jack Weaver
- Twice daily Yoga in the Himalayas
- Meditations including Mindfulness practices, Qi Gong and Mantras
- Cultural immersion experiences with Tibetan Buddhists and the local villagers in the communities we visit.
- Accommodation throughout the mountain ranges provided in lodges, tea houses and home-stays in the mountains
- All meals with a hot drink (not including bottled water) throughout the trek and in the villages
- Guidance and experiences with Tibetan Lama in the village
- All airport transfers in Nepal
- Flights from Kathmandu to Phaplu and Lukla to Kathmandu
- International return airfare to Nepal
- Nepalese Visa ($40 for 30 days)
- Personal travel insurance (~ £60)
- Accommodation in Kathmandu (~ £15 - £25pp/n) - we can book this for you. Click here for details or look at www.booking.com
- Meals and drinks in Kathmandu (~ £40)
- Personal spending for tips, souvenirs, bottled water, tourist activities, lunches and dinners in Kathmandu
- Reiki with Jessica Brookes / Jack Weaver
- Kathmandu tour - there are many different choices. Our staff on the ground will assist and help organise this for you based on your preferences
A deposit of £250 is required on booking to secure your place and we ask that the remaining balance (trip price minus the deposit) is paid in full 4 weeks prior to your departure. When you book with us you're given your own secure online account which you can access 24/7. Through this account you can edit your booking, add flight, health, insurance and dietary details and also make interim payments. We make payments as flexible as possible and you can choose, if you wish, to pay a bit off your trip fee whenever it suits you.
Arrival in Kathmandu (15th April 2018), transfer to hotel or Adventure Alternative Nepal Guesthouse (there is a range of accommodation options available in Kathmandu click here for details and also check out www.booking.com). In the afternoon meet up with others, have a briefing and go out for a meal. It's absolutely fine to arrive before this date if you wish.
|2||1400m to 2415m||5/6 hrs||
Kathmandu –Phaplu - Ringmu
With clear weather, the 30 minute flight* from Kathmandu to Phaplu will be scheduled in the early morning. The sights from the plane are amazing, providing dramatic views of lush terraced hills, small settlements and the distant giant Himalayan peaks.
We'll land in Phaplu, which is a small airstrip with excellent views of the surrounding villages and peaks such as Numbur, Khatang and Kerolung. Here we'll meet our team of porters and travel through beautiful, lush countryside and pass over many streams and rivers. We soon enter the stunning pine and rhododendron forests which are teaming with birds and then pass numerous Shepard huts and the settlements of Chiwang and Phera before reaching Ringmu where we overnight.
|3||2415 to 2300m||5/6 hrs||Ringmu to Nuntala
Today is a very special day as we trek towards the monastery of Takshindu. Takshindu is an important Buddhist site with an incredible Gompa and a very famous and ancient Mani wall. We will enjoy some time in this truly inspiring area and as we stop for lunch we'll meet the Lamas of this fascinating monastery.
We start the day with an ascent to the Takshindo La Pass (3100m.) From the high point of the pass and our day, you'll see stunning views of a number of well known Himalayan peaks such as Thamserku (6623m), Kantega (6780m), Kusum Kangaru (6370m) and Mera Peak (6650m).
After spending time in Takshindu we then have a gentle descent for 1 1/2 hrs to Nuntala (2300m).
Nuntala to Bumburi
From Nuntala we drop down to the Dudh Koshi River (milk river) at 1480m, and cross the stunning and safe 109m suspension bridge, which is adorned with Buddhist prayer flags. The fresh cool waters create a wind that sends the teachings through the valleys and it's a spiritual and inspiring place. The trail wanders through terraced fields and past stone houses, before descending steeply through forests overlooking the river and on towards the village of Bumburi, where we spend the afternoon and evening.
|5, 6, 7 and 8||2245m undulating to 2470m||
Village time: Bumburi - Bupsa - Khari Khola
The next five days you'll experience life around the villages of Bupsa (2300m), Bumburi (2245m) and Khari Khola (2220m) with various cultural interactions. The time spent in the area will be relaxed, free and be shaped according to your wishes.
The peaceful and engaging atmosphere of the Himalayan landscapes will be essential components to our daily meditation and yoga classes. In the villages, you will have the opportunity to meet the Lama’s in their monasteries, open your mind to the teaching of their way of life, their vision of our world and every aspect that builds their community.
Following this introduction of the Hindu-Buddhism culture, immerse yourself into the villager’s everyday lives. Get to know them, learn about their life-stories and habits. Actively take part in the Moving Mountain’s projects and be astonished by the magnitude and importance of their endeavour.
Back in Bupsa village in the evenings, we relax around a typical dinner cooked and served by the Sherpa families, and enjoy their cheerful company at the table. Finally, don’t fear to follow their lead if they suddenly invite you to join a traditional village party, instead have a pleasant time and make some great memories.
If you feel inspired to spend the night in a different village to Bupsa, speak to your guide. He will be happy to organise one or two days away from Bupsa for you.
While you will stay in lodges in Bupsa, or in the surrounding villages, you will be welcomed in homestays and actively participate in the inhabitants’ daily activities. All of our host families have a tight bond with the Adventure Alternative company and our charity the Moving Mountains Trust and all will be pleased to meet and greet you in their homes.
|9||2470m to 2600m||2 hrs||
Bupsa to Puiyan
While following a peaceful path, where you'll constantly be amazed by the beauty of the Nepalese landscapes and the Himalayan mountains we slowly ascend to the small community of Puiyan which offers tranquillity before heading onwards to Lukla.
For our last non trekking day we relax and spend time some quality time exploring our spirituality whilst nestled in the most ideal of locations.
|2600m to 2860m||3 hrs||
Puiyan to Lukla
We leave the quietness of Puiyan and walk towards the airstrip town and gateway to Mount Everest, Lukla, where we spend our last night in the mountains.
Lukla to Kathmandu
The flight* takes about 45 minutes back along the valleys we've just walked through to Kathmandu. You'll be able to see the communities which have been your home for the last ten days before arriving back in the vibrant and ancient city of Kathmandu.
Depart or onward travel
You're welcome to stay on longer if you wish and explore Kathmandu, the surrounding areas or take a trip to Pokhara, all of which we can help you with.
* These flights ‘fly by sight’ so if there is cloud cover or bad weather there can be delays. If necessary we can be flexible and adapt the itinerary to catch up on lost days, but if the planes can’t fly then there is little that we can do except wait. Occasionally the planes can’t fly but helicopters can, if you prefer this option we can organise it but there would be a supplemental charge. This doesn’t happen very often but if your trek is very early, very late, or out of the main season you should consider possible impacts
Himalayan yoga retreat kit list
Duffle bag or rucksack for all your main clothes and sleeping which will be carried by a porter.
Day pack for carrying during the day with things you need immediate access to, like a camera.
Plus your clothing and equipment:
- Sleeping Bag (3 season)
- Selection of clothing (should be comfortable, warm in the evenings and lightweight during the sunny days)
- Waterproof jacket
- Fleece jacket
- Walking boots & trainers
- Flip flops/sandals
- Sun glasses
- Sun cream
- Wash kit and towel
- Camera - plus charger unit
- Mobile phone - there is signal in the villages with a local SIM card
- Torch or head torch
- Walking poles
- Small first aid kit
- Water bottles
- Insect repellent
- Country guide book
- Local language phrasebook
Additional Kit Info
Also don't forget:
Your passport - valid for at least six months beyond the return date.
Insurance - comprehensive travel and medical insurance cover.
Immunisation booklet - with details of all the jabs you've had.
Tickets and itinerary - remember to leave copies of these with friends or family.
Money - a mixture of some cash and credit/debit card.
List of useful contact numbers - such as Embassy/Consulate, insurance company and credit card 24 hour emergency telephone number.
Clothing is very much a personal preference though we would advise lightweight and loose fitting, synthetic or a poly/cotton mix tend to be a little more comfortable and quicker drying, particularly when trekking to the villages.
You can buy pretty much anything you need in the markets and shops, particularly for trekking. Kathmandu is a treasure trove of gear shops! If you need to buy, rent or forget to bring some kit then it's easily and cheaply replaced in one of dozens of equipment shops. Many sell second hand expedition equipment/clothing and fake locally branded gear but the materials and quality tend to be very good. You may not rely upon the fake gear on a serious and remote expedition but it will be fine for trekking in the mountains. Take a jacket or fleece for cooler evenings, and remember to take a selection of short and long sleeved items, so you've got cover from the sun and protection from biting insects in the evening.
Females will have to dress conservatively in public and especially in schools and at the projects in the mountains. You will draw unnecessary attention to yourself and maybe cause offence if revealing clothing is worn, shoulders should remain covered and legs covered to the knee at least, particularly outside Kathmandu.
You can book your Adventure Alternative holiday for as little as £100.00 and pay the balance in as many instalments as you like. Choose a scheduled date or contact us for private dates, a bespoke itinerary or more trip details.
- Duration 14 days
- Numbers 8 - 12
- Challenge Moderate
- Comfort Lodges