Journey into Spirituality
March 1-8, 2018
A Unique 8-Day Yoga Retreat & Adventure with Raj Patra
The weaving of Hinduism and Buddhism in Nepal brings a spiritually powerful culture of yoga to everyday life.
Take a journey with HYFL and Raj Patra to witness ancient traditions and practices of yoga on this rare adventure through Kathmandu where you will touch the sky of spirituality, encounter sadhus, yogis and lamas, visit World Heritage Sites, and witness life inside the Vajrayana monasteries and simple villages which preserve this ancient way of life. Hike up Himalayan trails above the clouds to ancient caves, and sit on the same boulder where Buddha himself once sat. Discover why Nepal is a constant source of inspiration for curious globetrotters and yogis, and stay at serene resort of Hotel Vajra, with organic garden and farm-to-table food.
Your Guide: Raj Patra
Born in Kolkata, India in a spiritual family, Raj was soaked in Hinduism and yoga traditions at a very young age. Practiced in Swami Yogananda lineage, his current teacher is the father of Universal Yoga lineage, Dorje Andre Lappa, a Vajrayana Buddhist. Raj has traveled to Nepal many times.
“My goal is to educate others on the essence of yoga traditions. On this adventure you will touch the sky of spirituality and the heart of adventure. You’ll visit known and hidden holy sites, witness peaceful ancient culture, and meet yogis — this trip will remain unforgettable.”
LOVERS OF LIFE
DAY 1. After you’ve soaked in the views of multi-colored collage of Kathmandu against the backdrop of mountains and your plane touches ground, ground transportation will take you to our lovely Newari-style Hotel Vajra. Very close to the historical Swyambhunath Stupa, one of the largest stupas in the Himalayas, Hotel Vajra is conveniently located in the heart of the city. A labyrinth of backstreets and alleys leading from one bazaar to another offers a pulsating theater of color and sound!
DAY 2. Morning yoga practice will help you overcome jet lag, take away any fatigue, and prepare you for the day’s adventure!
Our Nepal adventure then begins with the extraordinary presence of Bodhnath Stupa, a pilgrimage site for all Tibetans through high Himalayan passes. Next destination is Pashupatinath temple, considered one of the holiest of Hindu sites, on the bank of Bagmati. Step off the beaten tourist path with Raj to visit the meditation caves of Tilopa (988AD) and Naropa, founders of Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism lineages. On our return to the hotel, we’ll witness one of the most spectacular pujas and aarti (worship with fire and oil-lamps) inside the main temple.
DAY 3. After a morning practice, lecture, and breakfast, we’ll travel to Bhaktapur Durbar Square (image to the right), and ancient citadel inhabited but untouched since 1400 A.D. Inside, see incredible sculptures, temples, king’s palace, and life as it was centuries ago. Don’t forget your camera today!
Evening meditation, lectures, and internal practices will help you leave normalcy of life behind and focus on cultivation of freeing your mind.
DAY 4. A peaceful Universal Yoga class brings in the day. Then, we visit the Nepal-home of Andrey Lappa and Raj, Karma Lekshey Ling Monastery. After a lecture from Rimpoche Choje Lama Phuntsok (tentative due to impacts of the 2015 earthquake) and witnessing monastic Buddhist life from the inside, we venture into this northern part of Kathmandu for your own culinary adventure. After, we visit the famous shrine of The Monkey Temple–a golden spire crowning a conical wooded hill, this is one of the most ancient (500AD), iconic, and enigmatic of all holy shrines in Kathmandu valley.
DAY 5. A full day of adventure ensues on our trip to Namo Buddha and Thrangu Tashi Monastery starting at 6:30AM. After an early breakfast, we set off on a drive through scenic farmlands, terrace cultivations, and small villages to the revered Buddhist pilgrimage site of Namobuddha and the impressive Thrangu Tashi Monastery to stroll the village on foot. Tickle your taste buds with authentic, locally grown and prepared, Nepalese foods, with a couple of our recommendations for restaurants.
DAY 6. A Universal Yoga class brings in the new day! After breakfast, we train you on the art of bargaining, before we make our way to Patan. Vibrant sights and the sounds of bazaars will feed your senses. Then, there is shopping! Today is your day to hunt, bargain, and shop, now that you are somewhat familiar with the Nepali culture. Patan (The City of Living Art) and Bhaktapur (The City of Devotees), along with Kathmandu constitute the Kathmandu Valley. The buzzing markets, the artistry of age-old temples and palaces, and the medieval feel bestow a definitive experience of the epicenter of this Himalayan Kingdom. While you venture out to find a delicious lunch, we’ll rejoin together for dinner in Patan. Back in the hotel, we finish the day with a deep stretching and meditation class.
DAY 7. Another early morning, as we set off to Shivapuri Nagarjuna National Park at sunrise. If our prayers pay off, we’ll see snow-clad Himalayan ranges along our drive. You must have your passport with you on this day. Our day-hike will take us to breathtaking views of Kathmandu valley below, as we journey up to ancient caves of Sadhus and Siddhis, many of whom have been away from organized civilization for decades. Along the way, we’ll have a great chance to visit nuns and hidden monastery, eventually bringing us to the site of the sleeping Buddha, where the Buddha himself once meditated. This is the pinnacle of your Journey into Spirituality.
DAY 8. Your final day begins as all others with yoga in the Pagoda Room. After cultivating a peaceful remembrance of your journey, we finish breakfast and allow for the time to reflect on your experiences. We’ll say our farewells, followed by ground transportation back to the Kathmandu International Airport.
From Kathmandu, we continue our OPTIONAL journey to Pokhara - a place of tranquility and serenity with its famous lake and colorful boats, just an hour flight away. The cost of this part of the trip is not included. We spend three nights here with amazing restaurants and shops, and can take an Everest Mountain flight, or helicopter to Annapurna Base Camp.
Flight to Pokhara is typically $120 each way, and hotels are between $50 - $125/night depending on seasonality. Absolutely worth it!
If you are interested in traveling to other parts of Nepal, trekking to Mt. Everest base camp, or amazing India, we can offer assistance, guidance, and planning suggestions at no cost. Some folks go trekking in a variety of routes in the Himalayas. Others head to India. The Golden Triangle in India (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur) is a popular and must see route with Taj Mahal. Some folks prefer going to Varanasi, or Rishikesh for cultural sites, or to Kerala for eco-tourism.
- Visa fees ($25 cash upon arrival at Kathmandu)
- Travel insurance
- Any shopping and personal expenses
- Any gratuity for hotel and trip staff
- Alcoholic beverages
- Accommodation for 7 nights at Trip Advisor 4.5 star rated hotel
- Transportation to and from airport
- All yoga classes and lectures
- All entrance fees and tickets
- All transportation to sites in air-conditioned coach
- Fees for guided tours for six days
- All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners at farm to table restaurant
- All-inclusive price: $2395. ($500 deposit to reserve your spot)
- Additional $240 for single occupancy room