14-Day Yoga Pilgrimage to Nepal

21st March – 3rd April 2020

With revisiting yoga teacher Alix Northup

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 Alix Northup, and an experienced Himalayan Hermitage facilitator. The groups will hold the maximum amount of 15 people.

A student for over 20 years, Alix has been teaching yoga since 2007. She is registered with the yoga alliance at 500 hour level, and is also a licensed massage therapist. Her yoga classes combine elements of meditative practice from various traditions of yoga and conscious movement, with the intention of bringing mindfulness into the yoga experience, on and off the mat. Alix is based in Portland, Oregon, in the USA, and specializes in yoga therapeutics and back care.To learn more about Alix Northup, please visit www.alixnorthup.com

– We are very excited to be facilitating this yoga pilgrimage together again!

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.

 

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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

The yoga sessions will combine practices of hatha and yin yoga. This is a softer version of yoga with a focus on deep, natural breathing, presence, feeling and intuition. The yoga sessions will be more soft, and will not push you to the limits. On the contrary, it will help rebuild and recharge and it will help you to connect with your body. You will not be pushed but be greeted with empathy and respect, in order for tensions in the body and mind to gradually subside. The practices will vary from deep and gentle stretches, to more dynamic poses and meditation practice.

Itinerary

Neydo Monastery in Nepal

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 Alix Northup and a 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 - THUBEN CHOLING NUNNERY

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.

DAY 14 - DAY OF 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 – 21st March – 3rd April 2020

PRICE  – EARLY BIRD OFFER UP UNTIL OCTOBER 15TH 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 guide and instructor
  • Return flight to and from Phablu, or in case of cancellation of flight, return jeep ride one or both ways

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