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Yoga-Pilgrimage to Nepal

27th August – 9th September 2019

With visiting yoga teacher Tara Folton

This yoga pilgrimage to Nepal will begin at a beautifully located Tibetan Buddhist 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 a lovely resort in the area of Namo Buddha where we can enjoy fresh vegetables from their organic farm. After spending a few days here, the pilgrimage journey continues to Phablu in the foothills of the Himalayas. We spend the first few days in Phablu, doing a one day hike up to a stunning Tibetan Buddhist onastery, tugged into the cliffside outside of Phablu.

After this, we begin our hike through the upper valleys of Solo until we reach the Buddhist nunnery 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 simply observe 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 Tara Folton, and an experienced Himalayan Hermitage facilitator. The groups will hold the maximum amount of 15 people.

Tara received her 200-hour certification from the Nosara Yoga Institute in Costa Rica (2006) and she has completed her 500-hour Kunga Yoga certification from the Wilmington Yoga Center in the US  (2011). She is the founder of Yatra Yoga and facilitates 200hr Yoga Alliance yoga teacher training’s worldwide; living and teaching in Byron Bay, Australia. She has facilitated global service retreats and assisted teacher training’s and workshops for many years under her teacher Kristin Cooper-Gulak. She is trained in Ayurveda, Advanced Pranayam, Thai Yoga Massage, and Acro Yoga.

Tara is deeply honored and humbled by every opportunity to share her practice and love for yoga throughout her playful and dynamic vinyasa classes. She encourages her students to find their own authentic voice with the intention of empowering them to be conscious and compassionate activists of social change. Her greatest gift has been the birth of her son, who is truly her greatest teacher.

– 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

The yoga sessions will combine carefully sequenced including a different theme each day.  Classes will range from a vigorous morning practice including pranayama and meditation and a more gentle restorative practice in the afternoon. Detailed alignment, exploration of 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 and beyond. The sessions are suitable for all levels including those those new to yoga, and modifications of poses and props will be used as needed.

Itinerary

A Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Pharping

DAY 1 - ARRIVAL IN KATHMANDU

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 pilgrimage by instructors Alex d’Artois & Sisse Budolfsen

Rapseed fields on our hike up to the Asura cave

DAY 2 - PHARPING

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 the Tibetan Buddhist monastery guesthouse.

 

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 the monastery guesthouse for dinner, followed by meditation session.

 

View of the Kathmandu Valley

DAY 4 - NAMO BUDDHA

After 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 meditation session and 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.

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 A NEARBY BUDDHIST MONASTERY

After breakfast, we hike up for 3-4 hours up to a nearby Buddhist 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 THE TIBETAN BUDDHIST NUNNERY IN THE HIMALAYAN FOOTHILLS

After breakfast, we begin our 5-6 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.

Nun climbing the stairs at Thubten Choling

DAY 9 - 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 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 - 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.

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 – August 27th – September 9th 2019

PRICE  – EARLY BIRD OFFER UP UNTIL MARCH 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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