South Asia

5 of the Best Yoga Retreats in Nepal

by Mélissa Lesnie  |  Published March 19, 2024

Whether for travelers with an adventurous streak, or passionate yoga students seeking the spiritual source of their practice, the mountains and temples of Nepal offer a serene backdrop for soul-stirring yoga retreats.

Mardi Hamal yoga and trekking retreat (Photo courtesy of Book Retreats)

For those curious about delving deeper into the pre-lycra origins of yoga, it would be difficult to find a purer setting than Nepal, at the crossroads of Hindu tradition and the birthplace of Buddha, where yoga, tantra and meditation have been practiced for thousands of years. Like the holy Indian city of Rishikesh in the foothills of the Himalayas,  Nepalese cities like Kathmandu, Pokhara and the Buddhist pilgrimage site of Lumbini are home to many affordable retreats and schools providing an authentic experience no matter where you are on your yoga journey, not only of the asanas and physical practice, but also Ayurveda (yogic medicine), cleansing rituals and mindfulness. What Nepal may lack in terms of luxury (in a Western sense) is quickly forgotten in light of spiritual richness and the sanctity of nature, with an abundance of forest and mountain treks. Here are five quality retreats to consider for a life-changing yoga experience at the source.

8-Day Spiritual Yoga and Meditation Retreat with Monastery Experience in Nepal

Yoga in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery (Photo courtesy of Book Yoga Retreats)

During this immersive yoga retreat in the village of Pharping, southwest of the Kathmandu valley,  participants spend four days in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery, including a day of silence. To escape the grind of urban life, few experiences could be as replenishing and humbling as living among the monks, accompanying them in their daily rituals.  The Himalayan Yoga Academy invites you to begin each morning at sunrise, with two daily sessions of ‘bhakti’ (devotional) yoga including mantra chanting, and an hour of ‘dhyana’ meditation, with time in the afternoons for a tour of Kathmandu’s main natural and sacred sites. A reward for what might seem like a fairly ascetic existence: on the seventh day, you will have the option to pamper yourself with a massage, Shirodhara treatment or steam bath. From US$800 / 8 days

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8-Day All-Inclusive Meditation and Yoga Immersion Retreat in Pokhara, ‎Gandaki Pradesh

Atmashree Yoga Retreat, Pokhara valley (Photo courtesy of Book Yoga Retreats)

In the Pokhara valley, overlooking the Fewa Lake and forest, the Atmashree Yoga Retreat is an inspiring and rejuvenating location in which to deepen your yoga practice and meditation techniques, with a focus on traditional yoga philosophy. Daily 90-minute traditional hatha classes, led by experienced local teachers, are accompanied by meditation and silent walks, kirtan (mantra singing) and organic, vegan and vegetarian Nepalese meals. The revitalizing schedule leaves enough time for outdoor activities including a dip in the lake, cycling, paragliding, or even bungee jumping, with nearby local villages, caves, temples and the Buddha stupa to explore. From US$350 / 8 days

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15-Day Everest Base Camp Trekking and Yoga Holiday in Nepal

Trekking Planner trek to Mount Everest Base Camp (Photo via Book Yoga Retreats)

In this all-inclusive two-week adventure, Trekking Planner has combined a unique experience of the outdoors with morning yoga designed to keep your muscles conditioned and mind relaxed at each step of the journey. You will meet your fellow mountaineers in Kathmandu, with an opportunity to take in the UNESCO World Heritage sites before a short domestic flight to Lukla. With morning yoga sessions nourishing body and soul before each stage of the trek, you will pass lush forests, peaceful villages, monasteries and a glacial river. There will be time to acclimatize to the altitude in the alpine villages of Namche and Dingboche before reaching the Kala Patthar mountain and the Khumbu Glacier. Yoga brings a touch of spirituality and communion with nature to this once-in-a-lifetime voyage. From US$1,699 / 15 days

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4-Day Relaxing Yoga, Hiking, Sound Healing Retreat in Nagarkot, Bhaktapur

Niru Yoga Homestay (Photo courtesy of Book Yoga Retreats)

Niru Yoga is nestled in the rural village of Changunarayan, 45 minutes from Kathmandu airport. Here, you can connect your yoga practice to nature, with two daily hatha classes, hiking activities, and jungle meditation. With three norishing vegetarian meals a day, the retreat center is proud of the local Nepalese cuisine and offers a cooking class or the opportunity to assist in the kitchen to learn how to prepare local dishes. Sundays are about complete relaxation, including a healing sound bath performed by a qualified expert, and access to the sauna. For unforgettable views of the highest mountains of the Himalayas, take part in the optional sunrise hike. From US$240 / 4 days

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9-Day Mardi Himal Yoga Trek In Nepal

The best way to see Nepal, while sun saluting in the refreshing mountain breeze. Mardi Himal is located in the Annapurna Himalayan range at an altitude of 5,587m (18,330 ft). The site opened to trekking as recently as 2012. Starting at Kathmandu with a scenic drive to Pokhara, you will savor morning yoga classes and a warm breakfast before your hike on most days, stopping by waterfalls on the way to Deurali and Forest Camp. The trek to the Mardi Himal base camp is the most challenging, with 6-7 hours to reach panoramic views of the snow-capped peaks, and a final climb to an unforgettable sunrise. Your caring and qualified yoga teacher, Sudan, has studied yoga and naturopathy in Nepal and will accompany you throughout the trek. From US$960 / 9 days

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