Atmashree Yoga Retreat, Pokhara, Nepal

Spoiler : there are no pictures for this post. You’ll just have to believe that Trey’s headstand was legendary and my plough pose: simply sublime.

6am – Meditation (chanting, ringing bowls, silent walk, pre yoga nap)

7am – Shatkarmas: Morning cleansing of body (nose, stomach and chest all with salt water- google it – the nose cleanse is amazing)

7.15 – Herbal tea (drinking it and not sticking up our nose)

7.45am – Yoga (Hatha, Vinayasa, Ashtanga) – 90 mins, mellow class – lots of focus on breathing techniques and stretching.

9am – Breakfast (Vegan or Vegetarian options / no bacon sandwiches or full English here)

10am – Rest

12pm – Meditation: Yoga Nidra, Singing Bowl Meditation (also known as pre-lunch nap time)

1pm – Lunch – DhalBaat, rice and curry

2pm – Free time

4.30pm – Herbal Tea

5pm – Yoga – As above yoga but tougher and more dynamic. Longer more intimidating poses. #speedsalutations

7pm – Dinner – Delicious Nepali food

8pm – Meditation (Chanting, Intense Meditation / Japa Yoga)

9pm – Retire for the evening – actual sleep.

Cost: 6 days / 5 nights: Room/board/classes and full instruction: $310.00 pp (excl flights). Compare this to the cost of retreats organized from San Francisco [6 days in Peru for $2950.00 pp (excl flights).

Atmashree yoga

Saturday 13th October- Day 5: Day hike to Ghyaru (3730 mtr) and back

  • Time-5.42min
  • Distance-15.3km
  • Elevation-Ascent 927m, Descent 927 m
  • Fun score
  • S-1
  • T-1

Trek started through the village and traversing around the mountain and then down through woodland. We approached a series of prayer wheels followed by another suspension bridge before our steep ascent of 400m to the village of Ghyaru. The ascent was all steep switchbacks on dusty exposed paths.

At the top the wind really picked up and we switched out to wool hats and jackets.

The view of the range was spectacular and we were able to see a broader scope of it with our elevation.

We noticed the altitude on the hike. Harder to climb, shorter breaths. I had started to take diamox two days previous so it helped a lot but we still felt it.

At our turning point we paused to take in the view and the past five days and we’re both grateful and lucky to have had the opportunity. We’ll be back to complete the whole circuit but climbing to 3730 mt (over 80km) in 5 days (about a 3rd of the circuit) is not bad for a last minute idea.

Friday 12th October – Day 4: Chame (2710mt) to Upper Pisang (3310mt)

  • Time-4.45mins
  • Distance-14.5km
  • Elevation-tba GPS shitty
  • Fun score
  • S-1
  • T-1

It’s starting to get colder now. Today started with a high of 8 deg C but was very hot in sun.

First section long climb over 2 hours including a walk through cliff face with a narrow road carved into it.

Generally we had mixed terrain from dusty roads to forest walks- it was a nice blend and kept it interesting.

The village of Bhratang was interesting. This area of the Menang province is known for apples and as a result the village had created a Sonoma-esque farm shop and coffee bar for the hikers. After walking through humble shacks previously it was jarring to see a glass fronted coffee shop selling apple donuts and espresso. I did not partake.

Next section was steeper followed by a forest amble before opening up into a mellow woodland path.

Ahead of us was this huge mountain of smooth rock which served as a backdrop to a small village where we grabbed some lunch with a couple Kiwis we’d just met.

Balance of trek was very desert like with dry arid land.

Reached Upper Pisang and looked for the hotels that CD recommended.

Stayed at hotel Alobar with the Canadian and US couple from last night

Thursday 11th October – Day 3 : Danaqyu (2200 mt) to Chame (2710mt)

  • Time- 4.45mins
  • Distance-14.9km
  • Elevation-ascent 907m descent 565m
  • Fun score
  • S-1
  • T-1

Today’s was a straightforward route: no cows, some horses but nothing dangerous.. Great morning views of the Annapurna from the guest house. The scenery got more dramatic the higher we got (kind of obvious, but still worth noting). There was a nice forest section away from the road – with less noise and less dust plus a few bridge crossings on remainder of the route – some low, some high.

Previous weather had been 20-25deg C now today it dropped to 17deg C with a cool breeze. Good to get the rain shells out.

Walked through some waterfalls on the path.

Got to Royal Garden Hotel as per referal and scored a room with en suite for 500 – Santi did not let us down -the hotel belonged to her nephew.

We met up with the Dutch couple again and also a couple from SF who just started the hike.

4110 nrps for room and board. $34