“Still, relaxing atmosphere, inviting to meditation”

Stayed July 2016, Travelled solo - Laurence Claire; Switzerland

I visited HIYA twice, in the course of June and July 2016, each time as a 2-day yoga retreat (overnight stay), with accommodation within the Kailash bungalow. Located slightly away from the buzz of Kathmandu center, HIYA provides a truly beautiful & relaxing atmosphere inviting you to just ... pause for a moment.

The place is not easy to find and not necessarily well known from locals (in spite of being around for quite some years now). So best is to announce your visit slightly in advance and get picked up by a cab driver who knows the place well. HIYA works closely with a specific taxi driver, reliable and knowing how to get there easily. This will save you some hassle. 

My day started around 06:15 am with introduction to nasal cleansing using a neti pot & slightly salty water.

I was then given the opportunity to practice some asanas and to reflect on what yoga genuinely means. If your intent is to become a "pretzel stretching practitioner" strictly, then this might not be the right place, as there is a big part dedicated to understanding yoga in a more holistic & spiritual manner, including pranayama and yoga philosophy.

Food is simple, yet tasty, healthy, hygienic. One of the best parts of the retreat package lies within the therapy offer - I strongly recommend experiencing a massage by Bipana. Her firm & highly experienced hands will work absolute magic on your muscles & joints. She is truly highly qualified.

All the staff and Dr. Subodh are kind, helpful and welcoming. Dr. Subodh is highly knowledgeable about yoga, its philosophy & spirituality. His teaching is always accompanied with a good sense of humor & luminous smiles.

All the facilities are extremely clean and in good maintenance. The garden is magnificent.

Yoga retreat at the Himalayan Yoga Academy

Stayed April 2016, Travelled Solo
This inspiring post illustrates a day at the Himalayan Yoga Academy, situated on the outskirts of Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal, where I deepened my knowledge of yoga, meditation and body cleansing.

After several nights of being haunted by insomnia and disturbing nightmares, I finally manage to sleep for one full night. I can feel my body is going through a cold; most likely, a consequence of the thorough cleansing process I’ve been experiencing at this retreat. During every cleanse, whether it’s physical, mental or spiritual, our body aims to discharge redundant toxins. The latter get accumulated if we do not devote sufficient time and energy to our organism to flush out harmful substances on a day-to- day basis. Our stressful and fast-paced lives force us to accumulate everything, saying, “I’ll deal with that later.” By that, I am also referring to trapped emotions and thought overflow. We suppress things over days, weeks and months, because we are lacking time or are unable to process everything that is happening in life as we go. The consequence is an outbreak as soon as we finally get to unwind. On yoga retreats, the organism finally lets everything out, which explains why the majority of participants feel angry, nervous and tired. I have taken part on quite a few retreats, courses and educational seminars home and abroad; I have completed a Thai massage course and educated myself on herbs, hormonal balance, Daoism and Traditional Chinese Medicine.

However, this retreat had a special meaning to me. Perhaps because for the first time, the purpose of my participation was not to strive for new knowledge, but to completely and utterly relax as well as regain my mental power and focus.

At 6.45 am, Hari comes knocking on my door, letting me know that everybody is already waiting. We start the day by observing the sunrise and enjoying some herbal tea. We continue the day with nasal saltwater washes, a highly valued Ayurvedic procedure that maintains moist, clean and healthy mucus. Our mucus serves as a defence mechanism by gathering dust and impurities as we inhale particles from the air. The past year has been one of the most unstable ones in my life so far. I could not imagine starting my day without a cup of coffee… Actually, rather two! But this time, a cup of tea will have to suffice. We are meeting at the yoga practice room and starting off by singing a few mantras, followed by an hour and a half of stretching our tight bodies in various asanas.

Our teacher is relentless in demanding discipline, devotion and seriousness. The purpose of yoga practicing is to deepen your asana poses, as well as to gain maximum awareness of every stretch and move you make. There is no purpose in giving only 50%; the wanted result will never be achieved this way. It is better to give your best — even if only for 10 minutes — rather than exercising for hours with minimum effort! I find myself being more flexible in certain positions and some asanas seem easier than others. The philosophy of yoga teaches that each part of our body represents a spiritual and mental segment. Each posture, turn and stretch allows retained energy to flow freely. Deep breathing and stretching enable us to create space for new, more loving and positive energy. That is also the reason why we often feel worse after a good yoga session: retained and built-up energies overloading our body are now finally being released. It takes a few days of practicing to recharge ourselves with new energy. Yoga increases self-awareness and trains the mind to pay attention to emotions trapped in certain body parts. Try to figure out which body parts build up the most stress and which body parts are not sufficiently relaxed. My stress center point is my entire shoulder and back area, but mostly my lower back. These body parts are in need of the most attention and exercise. For example, anger, resentment and stress are built up in the shoulders, whereas stress is accumulated in the lower back area.

The yoga session is followed by a light breakfast. I opt for granola with sour milk and fruit and indulge in another cup of herbal tea. After that, we start with one of our therapy sessions. We get to choose one of the following daily therapies: Ayurvedic acupressure, oil treatment, vaporizing bath, reflexology, or reiki healing. Each day brings a new therapy to increase toxin secretion and body relaxation. Before lunch, we get some time to practice the asanas we have most difficulty with or engage in something creative; this is when I am most inspired for writing. Lunch is at 1 pm. The food, of course, is vegetarian and traditional Nepalese, consisting of plenty of rice, sometimes noodles, and many vegetables. We can also take cooking courses and learn how to prepare traditional Nepalese meals. Afterwards, we get to enjoy some well-deserved rest before getting back to asana practicing and meditation.

At 5 pm, all participants gather to practice yogic sleep. The most important things about yoga nidra is not to move or fall asleep; by doing so we strengthen our awareness and learn to direct our mind. This exercise is not as easy as it looks and sounds! After yoga nidra, we tackle some more demanding mindfulness meditation. Last but not least, we sing a few mantras to release vibrations, which help us to refocus our mind and body.

Dinner is accompanied by another “dose” of tea. Straight after the gorge, we train our mind in focusing and healing our eyes by practicing the so called “candle gaze.” The goal is to stare at a candle without blinking in pitch-dark for as long as possible. Though this exercise is quite challenging, it is not difficult to advance rapidly. It has a complete calming and purifying effect. Of course, everyone can try this at home. Start by glaring at the candle for only a few minutes and continue increasing the time after a few sessions.

Each participant retreats to their own personal space before bedtime; for me that means writing or meditating. Though yoga and meditation need to be practiced on a daily basis, I truly feel reinvigorated after spending only four days at this retrieve (even though it did demand a share portion of self-discipline from me). I wasn’t able to follow my regular practicing routine in the past months and I was in desperate need for such a retreat in order to get back to my “old routine”.

Tomorrow I’m departing to the city of Pokhara, 6 hours away from Kathmandu. I’m going to be writing more about the new adventures awaiting me there in the next few days.

For all wanting to go on such a retreat, you can make a reservation by following the link: www.yogainnepal.com. It is worth mentioning that all people working at the Himalayan Yoga Academy are locals and all funds go straight to them. They strive to cater to each guest’s requests and teach them something new each and every single day.

Namaste,

Mayita

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Erin H. Oregon, USA March 20, 009
After leaving the airport & driving through Thamel I was overwhelmed & exhausted. I was welcomed with warm arms & friendly faces. I received an ayurvedic message & was surprised by how different it was from a western message. I wasn't same afterwards but my mind & body were calm & muscles were exhausted. We did some stretching which helped me melt away later that evening. The food was fantastic! No need to worry about the water! They have their own spring & also boil & filter the water! It's ok to savor the fruits & vegetables from the garden. They also grow their own & make their own honey yum! I very much enjoyed the conversation and learning from DR. Subodh. He is very knowledgeable & is open to answering all the questions you may have. The Syambhunath stupa is a short walk away & it's enjoyable to with Nepali life. While touring the surrounding neighborhoods, he was great guide too. I very much enjoyed my stay here & would highly recommend it to other western looking to unwind & get recentered. I also highly reccommend a yoga lesson! Namaste!


K. Ananad - New York, USA (student at Harvard university), March 27, 2009

After a trek around the Annapurna region and few days in heavily polluted Thamel, I was ready for a change of scenery. I wasn't sure what to do with my last three days in Kathmandu that is when I found the HIYA brochure.

Arriving at the HIYA ground was like stepping into an Oasis in the middle of desolate desert. Further the brochure was not lying when it said they treat you like GOD in field the great service is one of the unique highlights.

The magnificent garden well maintained, the food is temtic and the cook extremely accommodating and friendly. The bed and bathrooms were very clean and fresh which was welcome surprise after trekking.

The expertise of Yoga instructor Dr. Subodh is certainly the Highlights of HIYA. The message is caring and unique and his yoga / meditation instruction was refreshing and inspiring. I will defiantly be returning to HIYA for a longer stay and with some friends. I think Dr. Subodh will be the ideal teacher for a longer term training course or more intensive health cleansing therapy.
I wish HIYA and all its partners all the best and hope more westerners discover the benefits of eastern philosophy / medicines through HIYA and Dr. Subodh.

May 14, 2009
After traveling around the world I felt exhausted and unhealthy, after a week here at HIYA I feel completely rejuvenated, healthy and relaxed. The staffs here are friendly and the food is fantastic, thanks to cook Babu. I also enjoyed the fresh food garden here. It has been great to relax in this lovely sanctuary away from busy Kathmandu whilst still having everything close by. The Yoga and health treatments were great and really got a lot of meditations. Overall it has been a really great week and have enjoyed spending time with the friendly people here .It is also been great having the family atmosphere here
with kids. Thanks again.
Daniel Gray, Australia, Victoria


Nicole from the Germany - 1st May 2009
After coming back from an exhausting trekking tour in Bhutan I could not find a better place for some relaxing days in Kathmandu. It was perfect to find a spot at Himalayan Int'l Yoga Academy & Research Center (HIYA) like this beautiful garden with all these nice people in the middle of the amazing city. It is my third time in Nepal, but I could never end my trip better then this time. I am sure after staying here for five nights, doing some yoga, having message and the very relaxing Shiro Dhara, I am good prepared to go back to hectic Europe. When ever the next weeks will turn busy and I feel get under pressure it will remind me back to this lovely place.Thanks a lot for your kind hospitality.


Dave and Kristin ( NYC), USA – June 12 , 2009
Dear,
Dr. Simkhada and all the staff at HIYA
Thank you for the wonderful two weeks accommodation and service at your beautiful center. As soon as we stepped through the gate we felt as if we were in a different world around. It is a tranquil and peaceful oasis.
The staff was gracious and the accommodation in the tent was superb.
Our favorite treatment was Shiro Dhara an enlightening hour of liquid meditation. The Yoga class in the early morning to start the day and dinner under the star provided happy end.We would recommend HIYA to any one seeking tranquility and peaceful mind in Nepal. Thank you for everything and we hope to see you again soon.


19, June 09, TATYANA FROM MOSCOW, RUSSIA
Hello everybody in the Yoga center I am very lucky to visit here although I didn't plan.
Now I am glad to be here. I like the staff, the territory, accommodation, food is very good and natural.
I like the helpful and friendly atmosphere of this place that takes you to the inner peace and happiness.
Mostly I am thankful to Dr. Subodh who takes care of everybody of us provide us the Yoga and meditation and give the opportunity to grow and see new horizons.


Willam Mason July 22, 2010:
We enjoyed here very much and will be back. The staff was most friendly and hospitality. Dr Subodh is a world class teacher of Yoga and of Life. It was my first experience in Yoga and Meditation. Dr taught us the values of time and yoga in modern life. The place is more peaceful and relaxing. Thank you! Thank you! See you.


Natasha Reaney, Vancouver,Canada- July 30,2010:
This place is absolutely wonderful. Providing a much deeper understanding of yoga, I feel ready to practice on my own. Dr Subodh is a wonderful teacher, while I have already had opportunities to learn about yoga, meditation, positive food; his teaching allowed me to pull this knowledge together, expand it and make it whole-the essence of yoga as a life practice. i hope to use the knowledge and understanding I have gained here. i will always remember HIYA. Dhanyabad!


Natasha Betity, Philipinnes, August 6, 2010.:
I came here thinking that I would experience here physical yoga exercise and instead I learnt something more better that yoga is a waym of life, not merely concerned of physical attainments. Dr Subodh is a wonderful teacher and every word he utters shows him to be true yoga Guru. My stay here at HIYA has truly been a memorable experience. I regret leaving after 3 days and wish that i would stay longer. The view from my luxurious tent is quite wonderful. The food has been excellent. All in all, I 've had a great time here.


Anisha and John,Newyork,August 28,2010:
We came here for some rest-relaxation before trekking(and to distress from 4 days with luggage).The surroundings were peaceful, we thoroughly enjoyed the therapies ,Food and learning with Dr who gave a complete introduction about Yogic Science that will guide my learning and practice. He answered my questions and was very resourceful. The staffs were friendly. It was my wonderful experience and hope I can return sometime soon to stay longer.


Celine- South Africa 23rd September, 2010:
Yoga in Nepal is the most serene and tranquil environment. I will never forget my time here; the people of the retreat are warm and friendly. Dr Subodh has added so much to my life. His gentle and calm manner helps you to achieve complete relaxation and his knowledge and wisdom encourage one to seek the truth from within. I am deeply grateful for this opportunity.


Eunice- Philipines, 14th October, 2010:
It was the perfect way to spend my time in Kathmandu, Everthing was great about my day started with herbal tea, Yogasana & Pranayam practice in morning, had healthy breakfast, a very relaxing oil therapy  and nice lunch. Thank you Dr and your team for the warm treatment, practice and lovely atmosphere! I had extra 90 minutes extra session with Doctor! Thank you so much for the hospitality and i will definitely come back and refer to my friends. i wish and can stay longer in future.


Andrea Edwards, UK-16th November, 2010:
I have had a wonderful relaxing stay here at HIYA. Not only enjoying fantastic organic food but learning so much from Dr Subodh about the yogic lifestyle and physical practice, as well as the inner practice of Meditatin is found in HIYA. I know I will take the lesions away with me and continue my own internal and external practice in the hope of living the yogic lifestyle. Thank you Dr Subodh and everyone at HIYA


Lendsey Edgar (Putali is the nepali name), 29th November, 2010:
This place rocks! I had an awesome time here doing the yoga teacher training and eating healthy food. It was a peaceful base to call home for a while in the busy Kathmandu. I had great teachers to learn from them. Thank you for the Dr, his wife, cute kids for providing such a place and also thanks for all the staff for making it happen. I'll never forget the time here. It has changed my life and will continue to do so long after i leave. i hope to return someday again. Thank you! i miss yoga and mediation.


Vicky, Australia-9th Jan 2011: We stayed here five days and were all very nice, food is fabulous, therapies wonderful and everything is so clear, our yoga and meditation classes were excellent. We feel relaxed and re-energized from the beautiful packages. Next time i am in Nepal and will need to stay longer here.


Lucas-united States, 4th Feb.2011: I arrived not knowing anything about Yoga. I purchased the 6 nights Packages. By the time day four arrived I noticed my mind was clearer than it had been in several years.  More importantly I felt more patience and calm. The combination of yogasana and Meditation truly showed results and a new found way of life. In seven days my mind, body, and soul have all received the care and attention they deserve. I recommend this Center to anyone who may feel anxiety or worry, as HIYA has remedy.


Misuzu Hatase, Japan, 7th Feb, 2011: First of all, I want to thank you for the great experience and hospitality, good foods. It was very short stay but these 3 days make me feel so relaxed and filled with happiness. I did’t have any knowledge about the Yoga but I really enjoyed with yogasana and meditation. i wann come back here when I take long time holidays next time.


Lisa Mandrop, Pittsborgh, USA, 22nd Feb. 2011: Thank you for m having me into your home. Every person was kind and loving. I learned more about yoga in 5 days then 5 years of study in USA. i shall always carry this wisdom given by Dr with me wherever life leads me and use it as a guide for bliss. I am beside myself with gratitude. Thank you so much Dr for your open soul.

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Yogainnepal.com As recommended in Lonely Planet, Nepal 8th edition, 2009 -page 410 – yoga in nepal

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