Nepal and yoga seem to go hand in hand: with yoga's beginnings linked to Hinduism and over 80% of Nepalese identifying as Hindu, it's only natural that Nepal yoga retreats have become extremely popular. And that's without mentioning the stunning mountain scenery that immediately helps visitors feel detached from the hustle and bustle of every day life. Whether you're a beginner or pro yogi, want a quick immersion or an extended stay, here are some of the best yoga retreats in Nepal.
Atmashree Yoga Retreat, Pokhara
In Pokhara, where you'll find many popular yoga centres, you can't go wrong at Atmashree Yoga Retreat. There, you'll be surrounded by the calm waters of Phewa Lake and its green mountains. If you want an authentic, pared-back experience, this is the place to be. You have five lessons each day, two of which are made up of classic sun or moon salutations and traditional poses, while the other three focus on breathing, meditation and philosophy, showing you that here in Nepal, yoga is not just some organised stretching a few times a week; it's a lifestyle.
The tranquil Pokhara lake © Sandra Foyt/Shutterstock
Purna Yoga Retreat
If you want plenty of choice, that's what you'll get at Purna Yoga Retreat, also in Pohkhara. There are all kinds of different packages for varied lengths of time; from 3-day to 21-day retreats, your yoga journey can be as quick or long as you like. And they cater for all levels of experience too. It doesn't stop there, though – Purna Yoga Retreat also offers detox and wellness retreats, juice cleanses and cooking classes. If you want to focus on yoga, sign up for a jaw-dropping sunrise yoga tour to the top of Sarangkot, Pokhara Valley's highest peak. Only passing through? The drop-in yoga classes are well worth a visit.
Begnas Lake Resort
A Nepal yoga retreat at Begnas Lake Resort is the ideal place for a peaceful escape. Visitors can sign up for one or two weeks, and the yoga retreat package includes a stay in Kathmandu and transportation to Begnas Lake Resort. With all the details covered, the moment you step off the plane, you can relax. Your day starts with a two-hour yoga and meditation session followed by a delicious brunch, and in the evenings you'll learn about Buddhist philosophy, yoga postures and technique. During the day, there are plenty of activities to take part in, including hiking, swimming or visiting local coffee farmers. Or simply enjoy diving into a book while overlooking the lake.
A Nepali singing bowl used to accompany chants in meditation © MS Mikel/Shutterstock
Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge
Don't want to dive right into a full-blown retreat quite yet? There's nothing wrong with wanting to dip your toe in and test the waters first – and while doing that, you might as well opt for a bit of luxury, too. Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge is perfect for people who want some great quality yoga as part of a larger trip. Pioneers when it comes to responsible tourism and conservation in the area, staying at Tiger Mountain is a no-guilt luxury experience that'll sit well with the balanced yogi mindset.
Everest Trek and Yoga Retreat
One of the huge draws to Nepal is the opportunity for trekking and hiking in the Himalayas. For small hikes or going all out to Everest Base Camp, the snow-capped ragged peaks are among one of the greatest sights and most compelling experiences in the world. So, naturally, trekking and yoga came together. With Kamzang Journeys, you can trek the Everest region's sacred peaks and then practice yoga with a view over them, giving this yoga retreat an added spiritual element. It's one of the most challenging, too, as the high altitude affects your breathing – but it's worth it when you can see Everest while you're practising your warrior pose.
You can combine yoga trekking in the Himalayas © Piyawan Tantibankul / Shutterstock
GRG's Adventure Kayaking and Yoga
Do you find it hard to keep still? Need a place to burn off all that excess energy in your downtime in between yoga sessions? We've found the perfect trip for you. GRG's Adventure Kayaking and Yoga retreat balances yoga with high-octane adventure. The trip returns in spring 2019 with trips on the Sun Kosi River rapids. You'll travel from close to the Tibetan border to Nepal's border with India. Mornings start with yoga by the water. The body of the day is taken up with rafting and evenings feature a dynamic flow class followed by fellowship around the campfire.
Top image: © udeyismail / Shutterstock