Practicing the Ancient Art of Yoga in Nepal

The rugged and pure beauty of the Himalayas of Nepal, along with the country’s relative isolation from influences of the outside world, makes it a popular destination for travelers who are interested in pursuing the benefits that can be derived from the ancient practice of yoga. Nepal has numerous yoga retreats and wellness centers that offer a variety of programs according to each visitor’s specific needs. The majority of these retreats are found in and around the exquisite Kathmandu Valley, with others scattered throughout Nepal.

In various parts of the world yoga is practiced for both its spiritual and health benefits. It is widely accepted that the postures (Asanas) of yoga assist in the development and maintaining of flexibility and strength, as well as general body health and awareness. The main objective for serious adherents, however, is to reach the highest goal of the spiritual path through the inter-relationship between meditation and yoga. The disciplines of meditation and asceticism connected with yoga are believed to lead the adherent to a profound understanding of the very nature of existence. The Eight Fold Path of Yoga, which focuses intently on the morality of living, consists of Yama (self restraints), Niyama (self observances), Asana (postures), Pranayama (breathing techniques), Pratyhara (withdrawal of the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (identification with pure consciousness).

Situated on the banks of the Bagmati River in the Kathmandu Valley, the Satyananda Yoga Center offers a variety of group and individual courses in the art and science of yoga. The center follows Swami Satyananda Saraswati’s BSY/BYB method of teaching. With the goal of developing a healthy body, as well as a healthy mind with purity of thinking, the center assists each student to achieve the balanced and harmonious development of all the varied aspects of their personalities. Overlooking the Kathmandu Valley, the Ananda Yoga Center offers the Satyananda (Bihar) style of yoga to explore and promote the links between sound spiritual health and physical vitality. The center offers yoga classes for beginners and advanced students as well as teacher training.

In Pokhara, about 210 kilometers northwest of Kathmandu, the Sapta Yoga/Patanjali Yoga Retreat Center offers a Sapta Yoga International Course for those who would like to become teachers of Sapta Yoga or who wish to intensify their own personal experience. The month long course covers all aspects of the Yogic way of living. The isolated retreat center can only be reached by crossing the beautiful Fewa Lake by boat.

Visitors to Nepal also have the option of combining the popular activity of trekking with yoga. This combination offers visitors the option of exploring some of the multitude of natural wonders of Nepal and making the most of these beautiful places by stopping to practice yoga and meditation out in the open and at one with nature.

Clearly, Nepal has something for everyone, and those who wish to explore the many facets of the ancient art of yoga will find that Nepal is the ideal place to do this.