Overview

Himalayan yoga retreat

Dates 1st - 14th May 2017

Take a break from your daily routines, and take part in a holistic journey which combines trekking in the inspiring Himalayas, stunning views and scenery, yoga, immersion into a traditional Sherpa way of life which is still very much steeped in Tibetan Buddhism and a lot of time to relax, reflect, learn and experience. This experience is very much about mindfulness and retreat. If you’ve always dreamed of discovering symbiosis with nature and life, then following this path will be the right choice. Among the mountains and valleys you will experience an interaction with people who live in the villages where we have been working for many years, and learn about the Buddhist way of life from the local Sherpa people and their Lamas. Trekking in the Himalayas, you can find your inner self and open your mind to this beautiful traditional part of the world.

The trek comes across various villages, overlooks valleys and rivers, and takes a glimpse at curious yaks, working farmers and playing children. Upon your arrival at the villages of Bupsa and Bumburi where our charity has built two monasteries, friendly villagers will welcome you to their homes and community. The yoga and meditation classes, as well as connecting with the Moving Mountains projects in this area, are an opportunity to experience conscious tourism; it offers great experiences, by taking care of your well-being and spiritual prosperity as much as this trip will be contributing to sustaining local communities.

This holiday is arranged with the assistance of The Shanti Space. You will be accompanied by experienced Sherpa guides and Yoga & Meditation Facilitator, Jessica Brookes. Jessica will guide you into spaces of stillness to bring about a deeper awareness and connection. A world traveller herself, she encourages you to explore within; to reveal and empower you on your journey of self discovery. During this holiday she will provide a daily yoga and meditation program bringing ancient practices of the East such as Tibetan Singing Bowl Sound Baths, Mantra and a gentle Hatha Yoga Practice to nourish your mind, body and soul.

You will also meet with a Tibetan Buddhist Lama who will hold Dharma Talks in the beautiful monasteries that we have helped to build in the area, sharing the enlightening practices of Buddhism and the essential tenets of this philosophy that is deeply embedded in the culture here. With comfortable accommodation, delicious local food and English speaking staff, this is a chance to get off the busy trail and experience something very unique and special in the breath-taking backdrop of the Himalayas.

Cost

The Himalayan Yoga Retreat cost - £1245.00 - £1515.00*

*The price shown depends on the number of people. If we have 5 people, which is the minimum sized group for the trip to run, then the cost will be £1515pp. If we have a group of ten people the cost per person reduces to £1245pp.

Includes

  • Experienced, professional English speaking local guides throughout the journey and British Yoga & Meditation Facilitator, Jessica Brookes
  • Daily morning Yoga in the Himalayas (10 classes)
  • Evening meditations including Restorative Singing Bowl Sound Baths, Kundalini meditation and Mantras with Jessica Brookes (11 classes)
  • Dharma and cultural immersion experiences with Tibetan Buddhist Lama 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

Excludes

  • International return airfare to Nepal
  • Nepalese Visa ($40 for 30 days)
  • Vaccinations
  • Personal travel insurance (~ £60)
  • Accommodation in Kathmandu (~ £15 - £25pp/n) - we can book this for you. Click here for details
  • Meals and drinks in Kathmandu (~ £40)
  • Personal spending for tips, souvenirs, bottled water, tourist activities, lunches and dinners in Kathmandu
  • Therapeutic massage and Reiki with Jessica Brookes
  • Kathmandu tour - there are many different choices. Our staff on the ground will assist and help organise this for you based on your preferences

Payments

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.

Itinerary

Day Elevation Travel time Itinerary
1 1400m   Arrival in Kathmandu (1st May 2017), transfer to hotel or Adventure Alternative Nepal Guesthouse (there is a range of accommodation options available in Kathmandu click here for details)
2 1400m   R&R in Kathmandu with sightseeing tour options around the city.
3 1400m to 2470m to 2750m 4 hours walking

Kathmandu – Phaplu – Ringmu

We wake early and drive to the domestic airport where we catch a morning flight for our short 35 minute flight from Kathmandu to Phaplu (2470m). The sights from the plane are amazing, providing dramatic views of lush terraced hills, small settlements and the distant giant Himalayan peaks. After landing in the village of Phaplu we'll meet the rest of our staff and porters. Phaplu is a small airstrip in Solo Khumbu with excellent views of the surrounding villages and peaks such as Numbur / Khatang / Kerolung. The trail follows Chiwang and Phera through pine and rhododendron forests which are teaming with birds. After the forest we pass many shepherd huts, before crossing a number of magnificent streams to reach Ringmu (2750m), for overnight at a local lodge.

4 2750m to 3100m to 2320m  4 - 5 hours

Ringmu – Nuntala

Today is a very special day as we trek towards the monastery of Takshindu. Takshindu is a major 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.

Our days trekking starts with a gentle ascent for 1 1/2 - 2hrs to 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). The next section of the day is a descent to the town of Nunthala (2320m) where we stay overnight at a local lodge.

5 2320m to 1500m to 2245m   5 hours

Nuntala to Bumburi

From Nuntala we descend to the Dudh Koshi (Milk River) River at 1480m, and then 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 is a spiritual and inspiring place. 

The trail then wanders through terraced fields and past stone houses, before descending steeply through forests overlooking the river. We pass many fields of barley, wheat and corn to the sprawling Rai village of Jubing (1680m) before continuing alomg a ridge to the Sherpa village of Khari Khola (2220m). After a break we'll then walk the last stretch to the village of Bumburi (2245m), where our charity has undertaken many projects and programs and one of our bases over the coming days.

6-10 2245m

 varies

Village time: Bumburi - Bupsa - Khari Khola

The next five days you will experience 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.

11-12  2245m to 2860m  2 days 4 hrs per day

Bupsa - Puiyan - Lukla

On the 11th and 12th day, we ascend towards the village of Lukla and its airport. While following a peaceful path, you will constantly be amazed by the beauty of the Nepalese landscapes and the Himalayan mountains.

Take time to memorise the extraordinary assets of these regions where the Sherpa people live in harmony with nature. Before concluding your retreat in Lukla, you will spend one night at the heart of a Nepali community, which is located in a small village called Puiyan, about 4-5 hours walk from Bupsa.

There you will again enjoy the hospitality of villagers. The final day of trekking towards Lukla will pass several villages through the paths which are the highways and byways of the Sherpa people. At Lukla we have our final night in the mountains.

13  1400m  

Lukla - Kathmandu

With clear weather, the 40 minute flight from Lukla to Kathmandu will be scheduled in the early morning. Back in Kathmandu, we can relax or enjoy some final sightseeing.

14

 

 1400m   Transfer to Kathmandu airport at any time during the day for departure - 14th May. 

 

Fitness

Himalayan yoga retreat - fitness

You do not need to be super-fit for this trip as it is focused more on social interaction, team work and yoga. Having said that, you will enjoy the trip all the more if you are in good physical shape having exercised regularly and eaten nutritiously leading up to the trip. 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!

Kit List

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
  • Sunhat
  • 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 Suggestions

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.

Why Us

Responsible travel company and social enterprise

  • The trips we run involve local stakeholders and villagers who all benefit from the tourism we promote in the area
  • Our employees are all full time staff and we pay proper salaries with benefits, not day rates
  • The heart of our passion lies in responsible tourism and our company actively supports sustainable development in Nepal in a tangible way, for which we have twice won the World Responsible Travel Awards
  • Adventure Alternative underwrites the administration of our charity Moving Mountains and ensures that our trips have a strong developmental angle
  • Financial security for our clients is guaranteed because we have the correct protection in place
  • Jessica Brookes is working with us for this trip, and she is the founder of the Shanti Space. Over the last four years she has travelled widely, and worked as a yoga, sound and massage therapist. She also volunteered as a English teacher and as an ambassador for the Dreamflag project.
  • This trip is run by Adventure Alternative alongside the Shanti Space, a social enterprise curating yoga retreats with a sense of purpose in helping to create a better world.

Photos

Extras

£1,515pp

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Key Information
  • Duration 14 days
  • Numbers 15 - 25
  • Challenge Moderate
  • Comfort Lodges
Information Nepal
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