What will the food be like?
Nearly all of your meals are included in the cost of the trip. Yoga Nepal provides a vegetarian menu, and you'll also have a couple of chances to go explore Kathmandu's culinary offerings on your own.
Each morning, after yoga and meditation practice, you can enjoy a healthy breakfast with a selection of breads, fresh fruits, muesli, porridge, local yogurt, eggs made to order, and potatoes, along with juice, tea and coffee.
The traditional Nepali staple dish, dal bhat tarkari is simple, yet flavorful. Similar to Indian fare, dal (lentils) is often cooked with tomatoes, onion, chili and ginger along with a variety of herbs and spices such as coriander, cumin, cloves, mustard seeds, bay leaves and turmeric. It is served with bhat (steamed rice) and vegetable tarkari, a spiced curry side dish made from local vegetables in season.
Tibetan momos (dumplings) are another local favorite, prepared by hand and filled with fresh, finely chopped, seasoned veggies.
These are just a couple of examples of what's on the menu. Kathmandu is well-known for its diversity of food options, and the hotels and restaurants here serve up everything from traditional Nepali and Newari food to Tibetan, Indian, and other dishes from around the world.
Yoga Nepal chooses hotels and restaurants where the kitchen staff maintains a high standard for health and hygiene.
If dining on your own, be sure to choose meals that are hot and freshly prepared. Avoid buying food from street vendors or stalls. Bottled water and soft drinks are generally ok. Tea, coffee and boiled water are also safe to drink. DO NOT DRINK TAP WATER IN KATHMANDU.
How many participants are you accepting?
Yoga Nepal is accepting a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 participants for each trip. SPACE IS EXTREMELY LIMITED, and that means you get plenty of individualized attention from your instructors during daily yoga sessions. The smaller numbers also allow us to get to know each other well and share our experiences in a fun and supportive environment.
How much yoga do I need to know?
Classes will be primarily intermediate level classes with options and suggestions for people who are newer to the practice or more advanced. We do ask that you come to the program having a current yoga practice (at home or at a studio) and being familiar with the basic asanas. Absolute beginners might find the program a little challenging, as classes are geared toward those with some experience with the poses.
The Yoga Nepal program is also geared towards people with reasonable level of physical fitness. We will be on our feet for a few hours at a time during city tours and we will head out on a few modest hikes throughout the journey as well.
How do I get to Kathmandu?
From North America, expect to pay between $1200-$1800 RT for an economy ticket. From Europe, $750-$1200 RT. From Hong Kong or Singapore, $450-$800 RT. These are just general estimates to give you an idea.
Several airlines offer service to Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport. We'll pick you up from the airport and take care of the rest.
If you're looking for discounted fares to Kathmandu, we recommend Zen Travels. Zen specializes in the Kathmandu market and usually prices are lower than the online sites. In case they don't have the best fares, they will advise you to purchase your ticket from an alternate site. So do your sleuthing, check kayak, and other online sites and then contact Zen and compare. The choice is yours.
Zen has set it up so that all participants can purchase their tickets to Kathmandu from Zen Travels by calling 1.202.600.4530, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by requesting a quote by submitting your request on the form: https://zentravels.wufoo.com/forms/zen-travels-quote-for-yoga-nepal/
WHEN SHOULD I ARRIVE AND DEPART?
The October 13 - 23, 2018 trip begins late Saturday afternoon (around 4pm), Oct 13 and ends after breakfast on Tuesday, Oct 23. You may arrive on Oct 13 and depart on Oct 23.
Please inform us if, due to flight arrival and departure dates, you require an extra night or two on either end of the trip and we'll place a reservation on your behalf. (A fee for extra hotel nights would apply.)
Do I need tRavel insurance?
All participants must be covered by a current major medical insurance policy that covers you for international travel for the duration of your trip. Call your provider for coverage details.
We also strongly recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan ("Travel Insurance"), roughly $100-$200 depending on coverage, to protect your investment in travel, personal assets and health during your trip. This will eliminate much financial risk and decrease your need to worry about things beyond your control. Insurance carriers assume risks that would otherwise be yours such as theft, baggage loss, trip cancellation or interruption, emergency evacuation, medical treatment, flight delay or cancellation, jury duty, and personal or family sickness leading to cancellation. Please, read through this article: Stop Press: Playing it Safe, by Krista Carothers, Condé Nast Traveler. It provides more detailed information on the benefits of travel insurance as well as a list of established companies that offer competitive insurance rates. TravelInsurance.com and InsureMyTrip.com will give you a quick cost comparison across a few different companies. You might also check out World Nomads and Travel Insured for their insurance options.
NOTE: To be eligible for coverage, some companies require that the policy be purchased within a certain time frame of putting down your first payment for the trip.
I HEARD THE CITY OF KATHMANDU IS POLLUTED. IS THAT TRUE?
Well...yes. Traveling in and around Kathmandu city is a almost like taking a dip in the Ganges -- it's a holy place, but it can be a bit dirty too. Kathmandu sits in a bowl-shaped valley, and it can be a smog trap. Traffic congestion, fumes from old vehicles, and dust are the dominant pollution source. No one escapes the experience of Kathmandu traffic or its pollution entirely, so if you are pre-disposed to respiratory illness, you might consult your doctor before the trip. Our time on the roads will be limited, and when we do travel by road, we'll be sitting comfortably in a bus. The hotels are all a good distance from major roads, especially when we get to Namo Buddha where the air is pristine and clear.
CAN I CHOOSE MY ROOMMATE?
Yes, you can. If you are registering with a friend, boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse, just enter each others' names on your registration form in the roommate selection area.
Do I need a visa to travel in Nepal?
Yes. The easiest way to get your visa is at the airport upon arrival in Kathmandu (that's what I do). Right now, a 15-day multiple entry visa is $25 US. Bring extra passport-size photos along with you for your visa application. If you're the kind of person who likes everything done ahead of time, you can apply for your visa through the Nepal Embassy.
Are there any immunizations required for entry into Nepal?
Immunizations are not required for entry into Nepal; however, there are some vaccines you should consider for your own health and safety. Malaria is NOT present in the regions of Nepal we will be visiting on this journey. It is recommended that you get medical advice from a doctor or travel clinic at least 6 weeks prior to departure.
Can I opt-out of any activities or excursions?
Absolutely. This trip is about having the best experience possible, and if you decide you'd like to take a rest or see something else on any given day, you are more than welcome to do just that.
WILL WE BE TRAVELING AT HIGH ALTITUDES?
The highest elevation we'll reach on our journey is a moderate 5,740 ft. (1,750m). So you'll need to hydrate for sure, but you won't need to be concerned too much with the effects of altitude. (Not fun when you're trying work in some intense asana practice!) At the same time, when we reach Namo Buddha, on a clear morning you'll witness an unbelievable panorama of Himalayan peaks! Although we do go for some lovely day hikes, Yoga Nepal does not offer high altitude or extended treks. If this is something that you're interested in, and you'd like to plan an extended trip, let us know and we can recommend a local trekking agent who can make those arrangements for you.
What about emergency services?
Kathmandu has several excellent travelers' clinics, including the CIWEC Travel Medicine Center. My personal experience is that the care and attention I've received from them over the years for the occassional tummy ache and routine check up is even better than the service I'm used to getting in the States! That being said, the level of medical services and facilities that you might be accustomed to, including the presence of a specialist and/or the availability of prescriptions drugs, or certain kinds of equipment, may not be available. During our three nights in Namo Buddha (approximately 2 hours from Kathmandu), medical facilities and services will be limited. We recommend that you have adequate medical and travel insurance in the unlikely event that you require medical evacuation. Please, read the section and article provided above for more information on travel and medical insurance.
What's the climate like?
Expect sunny days and cool, pleasant nights. Daytime temperatures can vary from pleasantly warm to hot, so arm yourself with a good hat or sunscreen. You'll definitely want a warm jacket or thick fleece for the evenings, a warm cap, along with a good pair of heavy socks.
How do I know Yoga Nepal is for me?
Spend a little time and check in with yourself. If you know it’s time to step away from the daily grind and make space for yourself again, if you’re ready to dive in and expand your practice in new ways, then don’t miss this opportunity. This program is for yoga students of all levels. If you're eager to learn about ancient spiritual traditions and immerse yourself in new cultures, join us in Nepal. Your journey with Yoga Nepal is more than a retreat. This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore the living traditions of the Kathmandu Valley, to learn from them, and to deepen your practice in the company of like-minded yogis. You won’t find an experience like this anywhere else in the world.