A Mountain Sadhana: Ashtanga Yoga Journey in Nepal

About us

This transformative Yoga journey brings together the traditional daily practice of Ashtanga Yoga with Buddhist and Hindu teachings and visits to spectacular cultural sites, in the land and culture that helped to write the biography of the Yoga we know and practice today. 

You will be able to deepen your Yoga practice with Ellen Johannesen, who has over 20 years of experience teaching and practicing Ashtanga Yoga. Ellen holds a Masters Degree in Buddhist studies and has become a local in Kathmandu after many years of living and working here. 

The Kathmandu Valley natives have practiced Yoga and Tantra for hundreds of years, integrating these practices into their daily lives. The valley itself is a mandala of sacred sites: monasteries, meditation caves, temples and stupas. Several of these are on UNESCO's world heritage list and being present in these spaces is transformative and deeply moving. 

If you feel called, then join us for what will be a life changing journey. We will practice Yoga in a Tibetan monastery, and visit the medieval city of Patan. We will trek through otherworldly landscapes at the foot of the Himalayas, and visit the holiest Buddhist and Hindu sites including Bouddhanath and Pashupatinath. 

Event Highlights

  • 8 Ashtanga Yoga classes with Level 2 Authorized KPJAYI teacher Ellen Johanessen
  • Daily meditation and philosophy classes and Ashtanga technique classes (alternating)
  • Introduction into the study and practice of Buddhism
  • Daily meals: full board at Neydo and Namo buddha Resort, otherwise as described in the programme
  • Visits to Kathmandu’s most spectacular spiritual sites including Bouddhanath and Pashupatinath
  • Stay in a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery

Venue Highlights

Imagine living in a stunning Tibetan Buddhist monastery or an ancient Newari farm house, set in the magical foothills of himalayan Nepal. Imagine waking up in the medieval city of Patan, or the lively Tibetan section of Kathmandu, Boudhanath. All the while, enjoying daily yoga classes, meditation sessions and philosophical talks with Ellen Johannesen, KPJAYI level 2 authorized Yoga teacher with a Masters in Buddhist studies. This transformative journey is your opportunity to deepen your understanding of Yoga at it's root, and to enhance your Ashtanga practice!

Daily morning Ashtanga Yoga self-practice assisted by Ellen, for practitioners working on the Primary, Intermediate and Advanced Series. Beginners will be individually assisted and lovingly introduced to Ashtanga Yoga.

The afternoon classes will be inspired by the day trips and excursions, and include meditation, a restorative practice, talks on various philosophical and technical aspects of Yoga, as well as pranayama (breathing). The philosophy lectures will introduce Buddhist teachings.


Day 1. Arrival. Transfer to hotel in Kathmandu, tour of Boudha stupa and welcome dinner
Arrival in Kathmandu. We'll pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel in Boudhanath, the "Tibetan" part of Kathmandu. Here you'll have time to acclimatize and relax, take a stroll around the largest stupa in Nepal and soak up the lively atmosphere of neightbourhood. In the late afternoon we´ll meet up for a welcome dinner overlooking the lively Boudhanath Stupa.
Overnight Hotel: Shambaling, Boudha. Meals included: dinner.

Day 2. Exploring the spirituals hubs Boudhanath and Pashupatinath
After our morning Yoga class and breakfast, we will walk the back streets and visit some of the many monasteries in Boudhanath. If possible, we will meet a Rinpoche and receive a blessing for our journey! In the afternoon we´ll meet up for a tour to the sacred cremation Ghats and Hindu temples of Pashupatinath. This powerful place is also home of the local sadhus and Nath-yogis.
Overnight Hotel Hotel Shambaling, Boudha. Meals included: breakfast.

Day 3. Yoga retreat at Neydo Monastery
Morning Meditation, breakfast and departure to our Yoga retreat at the beautiful Neydo Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist monastery perched on a hillside near the village Pharping. We'll have lunch and meet up in the temple for an introduction to Buddhist thought and a tour of the spectacular shrine room. At 4.30 PM we meet for our daily Ashtanga class. Dinner and evening meditation.
Overnight: Neydo Monastery. Meals included: breakfast/lunch/dinner.

Day 4. Yoga retreat at Neydo Monastery
After Yoga and brunch, we'll take a walk through the rice fields to one of the most sacred Buddhist sites in the valley. The meditation cave of Guru Rinpoche, the Asura cave. We'll climb further up to hang colourful prayer flags to ensure the success of our journey! Tea, late afternoon workshop and dinner follow.
Overnight: Neydo Monastery. Meals included: brunch/dinner.

Day 5. Yoga retreat at Neydo Monastery
After morning Yoga and brunch we continue with an Introduction to Buddhist philosophy and practice. Tea and transfer to the medival city of Patan. Here time is at your own disposal: You may choose to see an astrologer, have a massage, take a singing bowl workshop, or just chill in the colourful Patan Square. Patan has lots of great restaurants and there's much to explore!
Overnight The Inn. Meals included: brunch.

Day 6. Exploring Old Patan
After morning Yoga and brunch we will transfer to the medival city of Patan. Here, your time is at your own disposal: you may choose to see an astrologer, have a massage, take a singing bowl workshop, or just chill in the colourful Patan Square. Patan has lots of great restaurants and there's much to explore! Overnight The Inn, Patan. Meals included: brunch.

Day 7. Patan museum and Golden Temple /Duhlikel:
This morning, we'll visit some of the great sites of traditional Newari culture. The Newars are the original inhabitants of Nepal, famous for their skills in the arts, handicraft and architecture. Patan was one of three royal cities in the Kathmandu valley, each one with their own city square, temples and palaces. We'll visit the Golden Temple and Patan museum, which stores some of the finest sculptures of the valley. After lunch, we'll depart for Duhlikel Resort. We arrive in time to enjoy dinner and the sunset.
Overnight: Himalayan Horizon/Duhlikel Mountain Resort. Meals included: breakfast/lunch/dinner.

Day 8. Yoga retreat at Duhlikel Mountain Resort
After morning Yoga and breakfast, we'll walk to the nearby sacred site where the Buddha in his previous life offered his body to a hungry tigress and her cubs! Afternoon Yoga workshop. Dinner and evening meditation.
Overnight: Himalayan Horizon/Duhlikel Mountain Resort. Meals included: breakfast/lunch/dinner.

Day 9. Kathmandu
Yoga and breakfast. After lunch, we transfer to Kathmandu. Settle-in at Tibet Hotel, Lazimpat, a quiet spot in the more touristic part of Kathmandu. Free time to relax or visit the busy hub of tourist shops and restaurants nearby.
Overnight: Tibet Hotel. Meals included: breakfast, lunch.

Day 10. Last day for shopping and sightseeing, departure
Morning Yoga and closing circle. After Breakfast, you'll have some free time for sightseeing, shopping etc. You may take a bicycle rickshaw around the center of Thamel or go visit the "Monkey Temple" at Swayambunath. We'll drop you at the airport for evening departure.
Meals included: breakfast.


Hotel Shambaling, Boudhanath, a boutique hotel with quality accommodation, and an excellent restaurant, just a few minutes away from the maginficent Bouddhanath Stupa.

Neydo Monastery Guesthouse Tucked away in the lower Himalayas, amidst the most scenic landscapes, this guesthouse is a very peaceful and serene location alongside the Neydo Tashi Choeling Monastery.

Namo Buddha Resort, Kathmandu Valley. This is a beautiful, peaceful eco-resort situated in the Nepali countryside, 45 km East of Kathmandu, surrounded by farmland and forest, with a fantastic view of the mountains.

The Hotel Tibet Charming and spacious accommodations in one of Kathmandu’s most popular hotels in the heart of the city and near to shopping areas and restaurants.

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I go on retreat to remember who I really am. And I remember that I am alive, Deryk

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We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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