I have always had an innate desire to teach, to help others – partially due to the appreciation I have for those who have taught, and helped, me. For some reason, from the moment I decided to become a certified yoga teacher, I was called to Nepal. After researching the country, I learned that yoga actually originates from Nepal (but that region is now India) so perhaps my intuition was, as always, guiding me towards the right choice. However, considering the amount of yoga centres in Nepal, my intuition was of no help in that area and I found myself wondering:
Where In Nepal To Do The Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) Course
How To Get There: If you’re arriving from Tribhuvan International Airport, a transfer can be arranged (mine was free of charge) but if you’re arriving from elsewhere in Nepal, just hop into a bus or taxi towards direction Nagarjun
Currency: Nepalese Rupees
What To Expect: Not gonna lie, as a foodie, I was concerned (only slightly, though) about the food at The Himalayan Yoga Academy, simultaneously known as The Himalayan Yoga Resort, considering I was staying for 28 days but (again) not gonna lie, as a foodie, I was over the moon – every damn day, mind you; literally I would finish my breakfast then immediately start fantasising about lunch due to excitement. The main chef, Harry, would ensure that a variety of options were served per meal so, for example, if you can’t tolerate spicy, there would be a non-spicy option.
Speaking of Harry, he was just as kind as every other staff at The Himalayan Yoga Academy and was not only a chef to us but also a tour guide; taking time to explain the Nepalese culture and to answer every random question we had – or shall I say, I had, because I definitely had many random questions (as I know my classmate, Lisa, would agree with).
I also appreciated the fact that on the compound there was an assortment of produce, like: mango, guava, avocado, pomelo, peppermint, chili, cinnamon, and more!
But before I continue digressing, back to the yoga course: spanning 28 days over 200 hours, it can be intense – but also physically and mentally rewarding; physically because your body is finally receiving the treatment it needs and mentally because your mind is finally learning to unlearn. The theoretical aspect of the course can be compared to the opening of pandora’s box as the history of yoga spans centuries and the depth of the topic is bottomless. But trust me, you’re going to want to continue learning even once you’ve returned home as 200 hours is actually just scraping the surface.
If you’re curious about what else to expect during the 200 hours yoga teacher training course at The Himalayan Yoga Academy then know this: your day begins at around 6 am as at 6.30 am you will practice a nasal cleansing technique known as ‘jala neti’ – honestly, considering the dust in Nepal, your nasal cavity will thank you for the cleanse. After that, a two-hour class will commence, with the remainder of the day as follows:
My classmates and I really enjoyed the location of the academy; despite being situated just 15 to 20 minutes from Thamel, we actually preferred wandering around the area – we visited the numerous monasteries nearby, experienced the infamous Monkey Temple one too many times, and even hiked to various viewpoints as Nagarjun is known for its forest reserve. In fact, our main teacher, Dr Subodh, even hosted a class atop the mountain, which was indeed unforgettable. So if you were worried that you wouldn’t have time to explore, fret not. To add a cherry on top of the good news, once a week, during your free-time, you will receive a treatment – anything from a full-body massage to an Ayuverdic oil treatment and more!
As for the accomodation, the YTT students are placed in a spacious tent, which is actually outfitted with two single beds as it’s meant for sharing but Dr Subodh ensures that everyone has their own tent, if possible. However, as I visited during a busy month, I was upgraded to a room in the main building – and then shortly after, a classmate joined me. As for the toilet situation, it’s a shared toilet but it’s cleaned daily so nothing to worry about; one of the toilets also faces the Monkey Temple which is perfect for staring at while brushing your teeth.
Additional Information: As a YTT student, you should know that the course details the various (traditional) cleansing techniques – and as you’re training to be a teacher, need to understand what you’re learning through trial, like with the ‘jala neti’. Although not compulsory, it is recommended to partake in a ‘master cleanse’, which entails consuming 6-25 glasses of warm (rock) salted water combined with lime over a span of two hours while performing various yoga postures. The aim of the cleanse is to reset the digestive system, to basically return it to its natural state – of course, a clean diet after is recommended and on the first day itself only a specific meal can be consumed (rice with lentils and ghee). My classmates and I partook, each with varying results…. So prepare yourself for that (or just refuse, lol!).
I am genuinely grateful for each and every person I met at The Himalayan Yoga Academy – and I met many! Despite how all the interactions were unique, there was a shared factor: how each of our consciousness expanded by connecting with, and learning from, people from around the world. Again, I want to thank each and every one of you for being you (if you’re reading this, that is) and, of course, want to also thank the instructors at the academy for extending an overwhelmingly warm welcome to us – I genuinely felt like a part of the family, and I know my classmates did, too. The fact that we even managed to celebrate local festivals together (including the resort guests) was just an added bonus! Pictured below is my guru on Dashain, as it is tradition to touch or use a swing on the main day of the festival in order to be closer to the cosmos.
Btw, if you’re a light sleeper then know that that will change once in Nepal – it’s inevitable, really, as your body will just at some point or another need to drown out the high-pitched honking, blaring barks, cacophony of bell-chimes, and every other sound imaginable to men. Totally unrelated but on a lighter note, pictured below are two photos of our graduation ceremony!
Price: Depends on which package is chosen, ranges from 95 USD per person for the retreat package(s) upwards to 1,500 USD for the (200 hours) yoga teacher training course
Other Recommendations: Whilst at The Himalayan Yoga Academy, I also learned how to heal others through focused intention and energy-work – known as reiki, there are three levels and I successfully completed two; well, my classmates and I did. Even though each course is short and sweet, one is required to practice the learned techniques for at least 21 days after the classes commenced. Luckily, I could share the task with my roommate, Erika, so for 21 days we meditated, and reflected, together every morning for an hour – it may sound like a lot but we actually really enjoyed it!
Obviously the reiki course isn’t for everyone but I would highly recommend receiving a reiki treatment from a qualified practitioner to understand what I’m talking about. For those already enticed, these are some of the topics discussed during the reiki training: forgiveness and self-love, extra-sensory perception, auras, chakras, Christ consciousnesses, and more. One classmate, Paul, was participating in the course mainly to learn so don’t be shy to do the same!
If you’re in Kathmandu and would like to experience reiki with a master but are short on time then fret not as our teacher, Swami Padmasattva, owns a studio in Thamel, known as Kaivalya Yoga. I seriously recommend visiting him as he is an intriguing man that one can converse with for hours on end – having studied basically every type of reiki (the traditional curriculum has 13 levels, btw), practiced ‘The Art of Dying’, and personally experienced ‘Samadhi’ (also ‘Nirvana’), you can imagine why I said that; I definitely feel like there’s sooo much more I could learn from him and I definitely hope to, in this life or the next. In general, I feel like Nepal is just calling my name again, asking me to continue learning, to continue growing… And if you’ve made it this far into the article then I’m guessing Nepal is also calling your name so take this as the sign you were looking for!
“Everyday is an initiation into a beautiful life.” Dr Subodh