14-Day Yoga & Meditation Journey in

Nepal With Revisiting Yoga Teacher Alix Northup

November 1st – 14th 2020

Yoga and Meditation in Nepal ,The first week we settle in beautiful locations surrounding the Kathmandu Valley and visit some of the most revered Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world. The second week we hike in the foothills of the Himalayas, walking in the footsteps of fully realised yogis and Yoginis, as we visit monasteries and nunneries that are nestled inside a ‘pure-land’.

Yoga and Meditation Journey in Nepal with Revisiting Yoga Teacher

The Yoga and Meditation theme will be weaved into our days, both in the Kathmandu Valley and in the Himalayan foothills, as we embark on an inner and outer journey through Nepal.

Message us to discuss all the details: hello@himalayanhermitage.com

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.

Alix is based in Portland, Oregon, in the USA and offers group classes, private classes and workshops, specializing in yoga therapeutics and back care, both locally and internationally. A student 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 first visited Nepal a few years ago, and fell in love with the friendliness and the resilience of the Nepali people, and the beauty of the Himalayas.

To learn more about Alix Northup, please visit www.alixnorthup.com

– We are very excited to be facilitating this yoga pilgrimage 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 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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  • 7:45 – 9:00 Yoga
  • 9:00 – 10:00 Breakfast
  • 10:30 – 12:00 Morning session on Tibetan Buddhism & Meditation Practice
  • 1:00 – 2:00 Lunch
  • 2:00 – 3:30 Free time
  • 3:30 – 5:30 Visiting sacred places
  • 7:00 – 8:00 Dinner
  • 8:15 – 8:45 Evening meditation

The yoga sessions will combine themes from the meditation practices along with carefully sequenced active and restorative poses, gentle unwinding movements, vinyasa, and breath work. Detailed alignment, experiential anatomy, sensory awareness, and mindfulness is emphasized to encourage deep listening and a compassionate understanding of one’s own mind-body with the overall intent of cultivating prajna (insight and wisdom) within the yoga experience on and off the mat. Classes are suitable for all levels and modifications of will be given as needed.

There is no prerequisite for joining a pilgrimage, nor is it required to have any 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 in visiting sacred places. In fact, there is nothing even Buddhist about it! The idea of pilgrimage here means that while we are exploring sacred sites, we are also investigating ourselves with a ‘tried & true’ internal/contemplative process called meditation. 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 and environment. It is simply a technique with which to uncover all the layers of hope, fear, grasping, and judgement that are all such strong habits which cloud the mind. With the practice of meditation we can learn to come back to ourselves, to become familiar with the groundless, unfabricated, and raw quality of reality.

The daily schedule in this 14-day itinerary comprises of meditating together every morning and evening – this can be for 30-60 minutes (several sessions of sitting and walking meditation) depending on what the group wants and where we are in our itinerary. Buddhist philosophy sessions are roughly 1 hour/day combining a short presentation with group discussion. Throughout the 14 days we slowly walk through all 3 yanas (vehicles) of the Tibetan Buddhist path. We explore how & why shamatha/mindfulness (one-pointed ‘calm abiding’ meditation) + vipassana (insight) are used as tools from the beginning through to the end of the path. The foundational path of the Shravakayana is comprised of: ‘The 4 Turnings of the Mind’, ‘Refuge’, ‘The 3 Marks of Existence’, and ‘The Four Noble Truths’. There is an emphasis on exploring the middle yana – the Mahayana (the ‘great vehicle’ of the Bodhisattvas) which entails: ‘Bodhicitta’, ‘The 6 Paramitas (perfect actions)’, ‘Shunyata (emptiness)’, ‘Relative and Ultimate Truth’, and ‘Lojong (mind-training)’. We contemplate Lojong slogans as brought forth in an accessible way by great Tibetan/Western hybrid teachers Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Pema Chodron. We touch upon the final yana of the Vajrayana (Tantric Buddhism) by exploring its many expressions and intricate symbolism. At face value Tibetan Buddhism may look esoteric, but with investigation we may see first-hand how it is simply a system for training one’s mind by utilizing various methods which combine mindfulness, compassion, and wisdom cultivation practices.


A Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Pharping

DAY 1 – ARRIVAL & STAY AT A TIBETAN BUDDHIST MONESTARY IN PHARPING, KATHMANDU VALLEY

 

Arrival and pick up at Tribhuvan International Airport of Kathmandu. We drive straight to a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Pharping, 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 journey by the facilitators.

 

At the Pharping Guru Rinpoche cave

DAY 2 – PHARPING

 

Morning yoga 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 and pay homage to the Asura cave and the self-arisen Tara in Pharping. Dinner and meditation session. We spend the night at the Tibetan Buddhist monastery guesthouse.

 

The majestic Swayambhu Stupa

DAY 3 – SWAYAMBHU

 

Morning yoga followed by breakfast. We have our introduction session to Buddhist philosophy before lunch. After lunch and a rest, we pilgrimage to the sacred Stupa of Swayambhu and watch the sunset overlooking the Kathmandu Valley from the Stupa. Dinner and meditation session. We spend the night at the Tibetan Buddhist monastery guesthouse.

 

View of the Kathmandu Valley from Namo Buddha

 

DAY 4 – NAMO BUDDHA

 

After morning yoga and breakfast we continue our journey to the lovely area of Namo Buddha, where we spend the next two nights. We will have lunch in the beautiful surroundings of the resort we will stay in, 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 yoga followed by breakfast at our resort in Namo Buddha. 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 resort in Namo Buddha.

 

Crossing a bridge over a creek

DAY 6 – JEEP RIDE TO PHABLU

 

After breakfast we depart for Phablu early morning and venture into the foothills of Lower Everest region of Nepal.  We go on a beautiful and bumpy jeep ride up through Central West Nepal where we drive along the Sudekoshi river and lush landscapes of Central Nepal. Once we get closer to Phablu we might get a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas. The roads are much better now compared to in recent years but we can prepare ourselves for an adventurous and long day of traveling. Dinner and overnight at a charming mountain lodge in Phablu.

 

Full day’s hike to the Tibetan Buddhist nunnery in the Everest region

DAY 7 – HIKE TO THE TIBETAN BUDDHIST NUNNERY IN THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS

 

After breakfast, we begin our 6-7 hour hike up to the Tibetan Buddhist 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.

 

The Buddhist nunnery in Solo Khumbu

DAY 8 – STAY AT A TIBETAN BUDDHIST NUNNERY IN THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS

 

Morning practice with the nuns. At the nunnery 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 other than that there is the chance to go for stunning hike in the astounding surroundings of hillsides, dotted with prayer flags and retreat caves where we – if the weather is on our side- will be able to get a glimpse of the majestic Himalayas.

 

Nuns at the nunnery

 

DAY 9 – STAY AT A TIBETAN BUDDHIST NUNNERY IN THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS

 

We take a few days off hiking and spend the day at nunnery, 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, this Tibetan Buddhist nunnery 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.

 

Hiking through pine tree forests

DAY 10 – RETURN TO PHABLU

 

After breakfast we make our descend to Phablu. We have lunch and dinner and spend the night at the same charming mountain lodge in Phablu as on our way up.

Sunrise with view to Mount Everest & the Himalayas

DAY 11 – FULL DAY AT THE MOUNTAIN LODGE IN PHABLU

Early morning there is an optional outing by a 30-40 min. jeep ride to go up above Phablu for a sunrise view to Mount Everest & the full Himalayan range. Departure at 4.30am. We return to the lodge and have breakfast around 8am. Day for rest & evening yoga & meditation practice/philosophy session. Dinner at the lodge.

 

Getting the jeeps ready for an early morning departure from Phablu to return to Kathmandu

DAY 12 – RETURN TO KATHMANDU

Early morning breakfast at the lodge and departure for Kathmandu at 7am. We embark on yet another full day of traveling down through Solo Khumbu on our way back to Kathmandu. It’s a stunning ride but bumpy as well! Dinner and overnight at our guesthouse in Boudha.

The ‘wish-fulfilling’ Boudha Stupa

DAY 13 – BOUDHA FREE DAY

 

Last day of the programme is free to do shopping, visit sights in Kathmandu etc. We meet for a farewell dinner at the Roadhouse Restaurant with view to the sacred Boudha Stupa. We overnight in Boudha.

DAY 14 – DEPARTURE

 

Day of departure. We provide transportation to the airport.

 

 

We will be staying in nice accommodation with good amenities during our first week and last days of the Journey while we are in the Kathmandu Valley. During our days in Phablu, starting point to the Himalayan foothills we will stay in a charming mountain lodge. During our three nights up at the beautifully located Tibetan Buddhist nunnery in the Everest region accommodation will be more simple, yet comfortable with access to hot water and comfortable rooms.

‘Early Bird Special’: 2900 USD (expires 6 months prior to the starting date of the journey)

Normal price: 3160 USD

Single room supplement: 390 USD

Deposit: 500 USD

INCLUSIONS

  • All accommodation, meals & transport in Nepal
  • Experienced guides & instructors
  • Jeep ride from Kathmandu to Phablu and flight from Phablu to Kathmandu
  • Healthy, vegetarian meals
  • Daily Dharma talks & introduction to meditation
  • Notebook for journaling during the pilgrimage

EXCLUSIONS

  • International flight ticket to Nepal
  • Personal insurance during the 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 pilgrimage
  • Tip to local guide and porters

To secure your place in this journey please visit the ‘Book a Journey‘ page and follow through the 3 steps explained.

We wholeheartedly look forward to having you on one of our journeys!

Pay a deposit of $500.00 per item

What People Say

"Sisse, Alex and Alix (yoga teacher) are superb guides in yoga, meditation and in the Buddhist practice and tradition. The treks were amazing, and practicing with the monks and nuns was priceless. I have many tools to bring back with me and apply to my life at home. I thoroughly enjoyed the Nepal experience with Himalayan Hermitage!"

Sarah Helt, pilgrim from Los Angeles, USA

"My experience with Himalayan Hermitage has been life-changing. The friendly, knowledgeable and charming guides lead you through some of the most challenging situations with grace and compassion. Whenever I thought I hit my limit physically or mentally I was able to fall back into the practices they taught me; or simply open my eyes to the beautiful of Nepal to be reinvigorated on the journey. I am so grateful"

Sarah Helt, pilgrim from Los Angeles, USA

"I have learnt so much. I have learnt to trust. Trust in people, in situations, and in myself. And to have courage. To dig deep and to trust that everything will be ok. I have also learned about the true nature of peoples, their kindness, generosity and their unconditional love. Additionally, the introduction to Buddhist philosophy has been so complimentary and interesting. Nepal is an amazing and interestingly diverse country with very peaceful and loving people. Finally, I have learned how complimentary the yoga and meditation practices are in daily life and how this consistency is so important for progress"

Sybil Foster, pilgrim from Geneve, Switzerland

"What seems to be very complicated back home is kind of presented in a simple framework to build upon. I feel even more curious now after being presented to the Tibetan Buddhist philosophy. I feel happy that it is so accessible for me as a Western person. I really feel welcomed here, in Nepal. And being with the monks up early in the morning, meditating. And just to be part of this culture in a very natural way. I had my doubts whether this was possible. But now I see it, I feel it. That it is authentic and that it is a living thing that you can come and experience. And that is something very precious. What stands out for me during this pilgrimage is the moving part, that we move from place to place. We hike through beautiful paths and see the local culture and we come by sacred places. We lit butterlamps and we had this really intense feeling of being in important places. Without this really being part of our culture (back home) but still visiting a living culture. That made a big impression. It is also such a strong feeling to experience something valuable like this in a group. You go and you wander through the mountains and you come to a new place and you settle. You do your practices led by the instructors in beautiful places, you go through the meditation practices, and I was a bit surprised. It helps you settle, and open up. This is a new experience for me, and a very valuable one ( ..) If you stay or visit in Kathmandu definitely combine it with a pilgrimage. That is really eye opening"

Anna Cecilie Skovgaard, pilgrim from Copenhagen, Denmark

“Sisse, Alex and Alix (yoga teacher) are superb guides in yoga, meditation and in the Buddhist practice and tradition. The treks were amazing, and practicing with the monks and nuns was priceless. I have many tools to bring back with me and apply to my life at home. I thoroughly enjoyed the Nepal experience with Himalayan Hermitage!”

Jackie Brandabur, pilgrim from Washington, USA

“Overall, I really enjoyed the pilgrimage! I went into this with an open mind and I was very pleased with the breadth of the experience. Alex, Sisse & Alix (yoga teacher) were very kind, professional and calm under pressure. Their network of guides, porters and their knowledge of the area is top notch! Thank you for this once in a lifetime experience. I will never forget this and the wonderful people I have met”

Peter Keller, pilgrim from Portland, USA

“I have had an amazing time. It has been one of the biggest experiences of my life. I loved being in Nepal and during this pilgrimage it has been an amazing opportunity to get closer to the culture and religion in an amazing way that is understandable for Western people like me. I have learned how Tibetan Buddhism can become a part of my life and I will carry home many tools in my backpack. The sessions we had were so mind opening and I was exposed to so much new information. The places we stayed at were beautiful – they had amazing views and amazing food. I would highly recommend this for everyone to do, it is so important!”

Johanne Schovsbo, pilgrim from Copenhagen, Denmark