Yoga-Pilgrimage to Nepal

13th – 26th October 2019

With visiting yoga teacher Eva Michaelsen

This yoga pilgrimage to Nepal will begin at the Neydo Monastery in the area called Pharping, in the South Western corner of the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. In this beautiful monastery, surrounded by rice fields and pine tree forest and with big views overlooking the Kathmandu Valley, is where our sessions of mediation and yoga will take place. After having settled in for the first few days, we continue our journey to Namo Buddha, another sacred site in the Kathmandu Valley. We stay at the lovely Namo Buddha Resort where we can enjoy fresh vegetables from their organic farm. After spending a few days here, the yoga pilgrimage continues to Phablu in the foothills of the Himalayas. We spend the first few days in Phablu, doing a one day hike up to the beautiful Chiwang Monastery, tugged into the cliffside outside of Phablu.

After this, we begin our hike through the upper valleys of Chiwang and Ringmo until we reach the nunnery of Thubten Choling on a hill nestled into pine tree forests and prayer flags. Here we spend three days, taking part in the lives of the nuns, before making a loop back to Phablu during our 6-day hike. If weather permits, we will get a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas from Phablu. The following day, we travel back toward Kathmandu Valley by flight if the weather permits. We spend the last days of the yoga pilgrimage in Boudha where we have a free day to do the last shopping and watch the people around the Boudha Stupa.

The yoga and meditation theme will be weaved into our days, both in Kathmandu and in the mountains, as we embark on an inner and outer journey through Nepal.

Introducing the Facilitators

This yoga pilgrimage will be jointly facilitated by yoga instructor Eva Michaelsen and an experienced Himalayan Hermitage facilitator.  The groups will hold the maximum amount of 15 people.

During the last four years, Eva has worked as a devoted yoga teacher in Denmark. She has also been a practitioner of meditation for more than 30 years. Furthermore, Eva has been strongly connected with modern pilgrimage, having walked 800 km of the famous Camino de Santiago in Spain. Eva experiences the inner journey of a pilgrimage as a way of softening ones heart and opening up of ones mind towards a new and life-changing reality. Since that first pilgrimage, Eva has walked more than 6000 km on various pilgrimages in Spain and Portugal. 

The idea of “pilgrimage” also led her towards the Himalayas in 2007 where she felt a strong attraction to Tibetan Buddhism. After visiting the Tibetan part of the Yunnan Province in China, her journey over the years brought her to different parts of northern India and Nepal. Eva has been teaching movement, meditation, walking meditation and inner development in the last 28 years, leading numerous pilgrimages, courses/workshops and lectures in Denmark and Spain, guiding individuals and groups on their inner journey. Eva is happy to share her experiences with you in the yoga sessions on our pilgrimage in Nepal. To learn more about Eva, see here: http://movimento.dk

– We are very excited to be facilitating this yoga pilgrimage together for the first time!

We start the day by exploring the inner experience of awakening in ourselves, as well as grounding our awareness into the body through yoga, and in the afternoon sessions we enhance the experience by becoming pilgrims and yogis. We explore the outer element of sacredness and the culture of awakening by visiting, and paying homage to the many sacred temples and shrines in the Kathmandu Valley. Evening meditation after dinner.

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Sample Daily Schedule (note. schedule will vary day-to-day during travel into the mountains)
  • 8:00 – 9:00 Yoga
  • 9:15 – 10:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 – 12:00 Morning philosophy session
  • 12:00 – 1:00 Lunch
  • 1:00 – 4:30 Visiting sacred sites & hiking in nature
  • 7:00 – 8:00 Dinner
  • 8:00 – 8:30 Evening meditation

Info on Meditation

There is no prerequisite for joining the yoga pilgrimage, or to have in-depth knowledge or experience with the practice of meditation.  Simply, to have the wish to go deeper with one’s mind, and to have curiosity regarding its functions is enough. There is nothing religious about the practice of meditation, or to visit sacred places and shrines. In fact, there is nothing even Buddhist about it. The practice of meditation is simply a tool to bring your mind back to a place of naked awareness, to a place of basic space with yourself. In fact, it is simply put a technique with which to uncover all the layers of hope and fear, grasping and expectations that are all such strong habits of the mind.  With the practice of meditation we can learn to come back to ourselves, and to become familiar with the groundless and raw quality of reality.

Info on Yoga

On this pilgrimage, the yoga will be a combination of Hatha and Yin Yoga. We will have daily yoga sessions in the morning to awaken our body and to clear the mind. The yoga will be like “tuning” our instruments before the daily program of meditation practice, introduction to Buddhism and hiking to sacred spots in the surrounding landscapes. In Hatha Yoga we will practice the classic yoga asanas and breathing exercises in a calm and mindful atmosphere. Sometimes we will move into a more dynamic speed getting energized by the intensity of the stretches, but in a smooth way so that everyone can follow. Towards the end of the yoga sessions, we will relax into the 3-5 minutes Yin Yoga poses with a mindful awareness of whatever is. With every yoga session we will end in Savasana, the deep rest and reset of body and mind.  Everyone can take part, both beginners and advanced practitioners. Please note that yoga is not about performance or fighting yourself. It is an invitation to be gentle with yourself, listening to your body and learning mastering your life. 

Itinerary

Neydo Monastery in Pharping

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU

Arrival and pick up at Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu. We drive straight to Neydo Monastery, in the South Western corner of the Kathmandu Valley. There may be time to rest from the journey, go for a walk or enjoy the spectacular views over Kathmandu Valley. In the afternoon there will be an introduction to the pilgrimage by instructors Eva Michaelsen and Himalayan Hermitage facilitator.

Rapseed fields on our hike up to the Asura cave

DAY 2 - NEYDO MONASTERY

Morning meditation session followed by breakfast. We have our introduction session to Buddhist philosophy before lunch. After lunch and a rest, we hike through rice fields to visit the Asura cave and the self-arisen Tara in Pharping. Dinner and Meditation session. We spend the night at Neydo Monastery.

 

The majestic Swayambhu stupa

DAY 3 - SWAYAMBHU

Morning meditation session followed by breakfast. We have our introduction session to Buddhist philosophy before lunch. In the afternoon we venture out to the majestic Swayambhu Stupa for a sunset pilgrimage. We return to Neydo monastery for dinner, followed by meditation session. We overnight at Neydo Monastery.

 

View of the Kathmandu Valley

DAY 4 - NAMO BUDDHA RESORT

After breakfast we continue our journey to the lovely Namo Buddha Resort, where we spend the next two nights. We will have lunch in the beautiful surroundings of the Namo Buddha Resort followed by a free afternoon. After dinner we will have a meditation session.

View of Thrangu Rinpoche's monastery

DAY 5 - NAMO BUDDHA PILGRIMAGE

Morning meditation session and breakfast at Namo Buddha Resort. After lunch we hike to pilgrimage in Namo Buddha where it is said that the previous incarnation of Shakyamuni Buddha sacrificed his body to feed a starving Tigress and her cubs. We visit the stunning monastery of Thrangu Rinpoche and the sacred Namo Buddha Stupa. We overnight again at the beautiful Namo Buddha Resort.

We pass small Buddhist shrines and temples along the path

DAY 6 - JEEP RIDE TO PHABLU

After breakfast we depart for Phablu and venture into the foothills of Lower Everest region of Nepal.  We go on a beautiful jeep ride up through Central West Nepal where we drive along the Trisuli river and lush landscapes of Central Nepal. The roads are a lot better now compared to in past years but we can prepare ourselves for an adventurous journey. Dinner and overnight in Phablu.

Crossing a bridge over a creek

DAY 7 - HIKE TO CHIWANG MONASTERY FROM PHABLU

After breakfast, we hike up for 3-4 hours up to Chiwang Monastery for a day’s visit. We can sit in on practice of the monks and pay homage to the monastery shrine room. Afternoon meditation.

We spend the night in Phablu.

Hiking through lush forests in the Everest region

DAY 8 - HIKE TO THUBTEN CHOLING

After breakfast, we begin our 5-6 hour hike up to Thubten Choling, a nunnery located up in the lower Everest region. We stop for lunch in Junbesi and climb the last bit after lunch. Afternoon tea and dinner.

Nun climbing the stairs at Thubten Choling

DAY 9 - THUBTEN CHOLING

Morning practice with the nuns. At Thubten Choling we experience the living tradition of a sacred heritage, passed down from the historical Buddha Shakyamuni, to the present day, in an unbroken lineage of masters whose teachings have been passed on to their students, seeking the qualities and realisation of awakening. We join the nuns in their daily practices in the main gompa (place of meditation), and otherwise there is the chance to go for short hikes in the astounding surroundings of hillsides, dotted with prayer flags and retreat caves.

Nuns at Thubten Choling

DAY 10 - THUBTEN CHOLING NUNNERY

We take a few days off hiking and spend the day at Thubten Choling, where we are able to sit in at the nunnery gompa with the nuns practicing. It is possible to go for short hikes in the area around the nunnery. The day is partly guided, partly free for own adventures. According to Tibetan terminology, Thubten Choling is seen as a pure realm; a Buddha field. This signifies a place where many prayers and mantras have been whispered throughout the years, of the many nuns living there; mantras and prayers of compassion and loving kindness for the wellbeing of all sentient beings, and very naturally one senses the result of this accumulation of merit.

Crossing a bridge in Solo Khumbu

DAY 11 - PHABLU

After breakfast we make our descend to Phablu. Lunch in dinner. We spend the night in Phablu.

Folklore in Boudha

DAY 12 - RETURN TO KATHMANDU

After breakfast, due to the unpredictability of the weather in the mountains, if weather permitting, we fly back to Kathmandu. If weather does not permit we will take the jeep back to Kathmandu. We overnight in Boudha.

The majestic Boudha stupa

DAY 13 - BOUDHA FREE DAY

Last day of the programme is free to do shopping, visit sights in Ktm etc. We meet for a farewell dinner at the pizza joint Fire an Ice. We overnight in Boudha.

DAY 14 - DEPARTURE

Day of departure. We provide transportation to the airport.

WHERE – NEPAL –  Kathmandu Valley & Thubten Choling in Solo Khumbu, Mt. Everest Region, see Nepal map

WHEN – October 13th – October 26th 2019

PRICE  – EARLY BIRD OFFER UP UNTIL APRIL 1ST 2019  – 2900 USD /    –  Twin room to share: 3160 USD / Single room supplement: 350 USD

Please wait with transferring the full amount to us, as well as the booking of your flight ticket before we have confirmed that we have the minimum of pilgrims to run the Pilgrimage Journey.

BOOKINGS – Please refer to our booking procedures via this link and our cancellation policy via this link.

INCLUSIONS

  • All accommodation, meals and transport in Nepal
  • Experienced guides and instructors
  • Jeep ride from Kathmandu to Phablu and flight from Phablu to Kathmandu

EXCLUSIONS

  • International flight ticket to Nepal
  • Personal insurance during the yoga pilgrimage
  • Personal visa to Nepal (25 USD for 15 days / 30 USD for 30 days to be purchased upon arrival)
  • Any alcoholic beverage during the yoga pilgrimage
  • Tip to local guide and porters

For bookings and more information info@himalayanhermitage.com

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