14-Day Yoga-Meditation Retreat & Pilgrimage to Nepal
1st – 14th April 2019
With visiting yoga teacher Nathalie Royer
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
A practitioner for over 15 years, Nathalie Royer has studied Ashtanga yoga, Vinyasa yoga and now specializes in Anusara style. She began her yoga journey in Colorado, before living and practicing in Frankfurt Germany and Amsterdam Netherlands. She completed her certification in Boston before returning to her hometown in Quebec Canada. A runner and a mother, she is familiar with the balance and the benefits that yoga offers. Nathalie brings a relaxed, warm and open energy to her instruction of yoga, infused with the emphasis on alignment. She strives to offer a practice that is nourishing to the spirit to help enhance self-awareness and being in the present moment.
– 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.
- 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.