Ashtanga retreat in Nepal’s Himalayas with Petri Räisänen
Taught by: Petri Räisänen
Location: Kagbeni village, in ancient Tibetan Mustang, Nepal
Cost: 305,000 Nepali Rupees (approx USD $2,700 at the time of writing)
Become one of an intimate handful of participants to join Petri Raisanen on a once-in-a-lifetime yoga retreat in Nepal’s ancient Himalayan kingdom of Mustang.
Join us in a tiny Himalayan plane followed by jeep over rugged Himalayan terrain to reach Kagbeni. There, step out of daily life and out of this world to experience something spectacular. Through yoga, meditation, contemplation and discussion, connect with deeper layers of you and of this life.
A yoga retreat like no other
This one-week retreat will take place in one of the most beautiful and remote areas of world, in the Himalayan footsteps of great masters who helped to shine a light on the Yoga path. Against the backdrop of the stunning Annapurna mountain range, in an area of high desert, the landscape is dramatic, expansive and awe-inspiring.
It is one of the few remaining places like this in the world.
Tucked away high in the Himalayas, light filters along the narrow cobbled streets and ancient mud temples of the peacefully haunting medieval village of Kagbeni, our home for this retreat. Kagbeni is widely considered “more Tibetan than Tibet” thanks to its preservation of traditions and lifestyles which are rapidly disappearing across the border.
There, Petri seeks to combine the Ashtanga practices and teachings with the extraordinary energy of this remote and inspiring land.
Morning asana and meditation practice will be complemented by optional afternoon hikes into the surrounding terrain. The day trips accessible from this base take you to some of the most extraordinary locations on earth. Within this setting, Petri will share some of his deep knowledge of yoga philosophies that originated in these mountains.
Who the retreat is aimed at
All levels are welcome but you must have a regular Ashtanga practice and be comfortable in a self-practice (“Mysore-style”) class setting.
This is not a formulaic retreat: we are looking for those inspired to take an adventure with us.
The altitude of Kagbeni is 2,800. This is just below the standard altitude-sickness threshold and means that temperatures at night can drop very low. This will affect your breathing and stamina and may limit your practice. This retreat will most suit those students looking to nourish their souls with the teachings and through modified practice in an extraordinary location.
This area is remote, wild and unpredictable. Rapidly changing mountain weather systems may affect flights: we will provide you with an extraordinary experience, but we seek those willing to roll with us into the unknown. The village is a step back in time: we seek those who yearn to step away from modern distractions to sit with themselves, with each other, and with the breath-taking landscape. The food and accommodation is outstanding for the location, but is basic and traditional: we seek those who find joy in simplicity.
If this is you, we wholeheartedly welcome you.
The enchanting mud-walled Red House in the village of Kagbeni has a beautiful shala space that can accommodate just 12 students at a time. Please do get in touch early if you are interested.
Venue for this retreat in Nepal’s Himalayas
We will meet in Pokhara, where we will spend the first night in welcome and orientation before travelling together at dawn the next morning to Jomsom. This short flight offers jaw-dropping views as it passes between some of the world’s highest mountains.
From Jomsom we jeep to Kagbeni in Mustang, one of the last regions where traditional Tibetan life thrives. A quasi-independent Tibetan kingdom until 2008, its timeless culture remains almost intact. Described as a “cauldron of myth”, Mustang has remained on the periphery of modern life, a land of ancient cave homes, deep ravines, pilgrims, demonic myth and profound spiritual peacefulness.
Our home in Kagbeni is the Red House Lodge, a beautiful Tibetan guesthouse with comfortable and lovingly-crafted rooms.
The guesthouse has a small private Tibetan monastery with a huge clay idol of Maitreya, and you can share, if you wish, in the ancient Tibetan Buddhist traditions of our hosts.
Our life there will be simple: simple organic fresh foods, simple lifestyle, and communion with nature. Feel the demands of daily life shed away and create space for what truly matters to be heard.
In this remote mountain landscape give yourself sanctuary and clarity through the peaceful simplicity of Himalayan life.
On the last day, 9th May, we will take a dawn flight back to Pokhara to end the retreat.
Petri Räisänen started practicing Ashtanga Yoga in 1988 as a devoted student of his Guru, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and was authorized to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 2001 by Guruji. Petri is careful to pass on his Guru’s exact teachings. He is the director of Ashtanga Yoga Helsinki, one of the world’s largest Ashtanga Yoga Shalas which he co-founded in 1997. Sri K Pattabhi Jois blessed the school to teach the traditional Astanga Yoga method.
Petri focuses on integrating healing and therapy with yoga, meeting student’s individual needs and guiding their progress. Petri’s yoga pose adjustments are gentle, effective, therapeutic and, according to some, almost magical. They originate (besides his own practice and teaching) from his past work as a traditional Finnish folk healer and naturopath. His friendly, relaxed behaviour and intuitive perception give an open, energetic and meditative atmosphere to his classes.
In 2004, Petri wrote “Astanga – The Yoga Tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois” in collaboration with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson, R. Sharath Jois. The book introduces the primary series (1st series) Astanga Yoga method and philosophy, as well as its potential as a physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual practice. His intermediate series (2nd series) book “Nadi Sodhana” was released in 2008 and is written mostly from the interviews with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois from 2006-2007 in Mysore, India.
See Petri’s full bio.
A detailed Information Pack will be sent to you on confirmation of your place (receipt of your deposit).
The fee for the course is 305,000 Nepali Rupees. For an indication of the rate in your currency, see xe.com. At the time of writing, this equates to approx USD $2,700 or GBP £2,100. Payment details will be sent to you on confirmation of your place.
We have space for a limited number of students’ companions who do not wish to participate in the yoga but who would like to join the adventure. For these guests, the rate is 265,000 Nepali rupees. Please enquire if you would like to attend with a non-yogi companion.
The fee is all-inclusive from when we meet in Pokhara to when we return you there. It includes: return flights from Pokhara to Jomsom*, 6 nights’ accommodation on a twin-share basis (1 x Pokhara, 5 x Kagbeni), the cost and handling of your permits to this protected area, return jeep from Jomsom to Kagbeni plus jeep use for trips, an unforgettable itinerary, 3 meals per day, world class teaching from Petri.
*If you would like to stay on in the area for trekking or rest after the retreat, we will be happy to deduct the cost of the returning flight from your fee so you can make your own arrangements.