retreat nepal

When your body is craving nature, space and restoration – you know it. You can feel it in every part of your body. You can choose to ignore it and continue the rat race you live in. Or you can listen to it and satisfy these very basic needs of the human body.

When Yoga Room Kathamandu called out to people who want to experience a two-day workshop at the enchanting location of Vishuddhi Alaya in Phulbari, Nepal, I was immediately convinced. This is exactly what my body and mind was yearning for – just as my anxiety levels were rising and my body was cramping with the stress from the fear of the coronavirus pandemic.

From the moment you step into the location, you are immersed in complete serenity; surrounded by nature, enjoying immaculate cleanliness in a minimalistic yet warm atmosphere created through the gorgeous design of the lodge.

Founder of Vishuddhi Alaya is Adelheid (Adi) Schneckenburger, who inspired by the beauty of nature, wanted “to create a beautiful place for people to restore, calm and slow down. By being in nature, reconnecting to oneself and knowing one’s true nature, or potential. The buildings, designs and materials follow this approach and are kept minimalistic in order not to disturb the senses from the absorption in nature.”

The structure is constructed using modern rammed earth technology and latest green technology in water conservation and usage. “Sustainable building practices, water saving and conservation techniques and organic farming promote our goal of sustainable living and blend in the philosophy of Vishuddhi Alaya, bringing together thoughtful techniques with respect for nature and its beauty.”

The vision for this nourishing retreat space is simple. Whilst maintaining its natural beauty and space for realigning with ourselves and nature, Vishuddhi Alaya’s “open architecture stays open to new ideas that are feasible and fit into the overall concept.“

Here you can get a glimpse of local life and its surroundings, explore nature and visit the nearby Namo Buddha Monestary. All meals are carefully prepared using organic and fresh produce from the retreat’s own farm and nearby village farms. Freshness and quality with superb flavours is guaranteed.

Two out of four employees are hired from the community. “We hope to create more income opportunities by buying locally or even create income opportunities for them such as soap making or selling local products at our place, if suitable.”

In the midst of the global pandemic, the staff at Vishuddhi Alaya are keeping busy in the permaculture garden. “We are mostly staying at home. At the same time working a lot in the garden and doing some landscaping projects. Since the staff is from neighbouring houses or living at the retreat, they are still coming to work and we try of course to keep them at work as long as financially feasible or find a solution that ensures their survival until after the lockdown. A lot of vegetables that is harvested during this season are distributed to the village community.” Adi concluded.

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The two-day retreat organised by Yoga Rooms Kathmandu included the practice and teachings that follow the BKS Iyengar School of Yoga. “Next to isolation we believe that a strong immune system with corresponding lifestyle choices is a practical way to respond to the current crisis and gives you new inspirations for a healthy, vibrant lifestyle in future, irrespective of viruses,” says Adi.

Vishuddhi Alaya hosts various group retreats and workshops that serve the wellbeing and personal development of guests. The place is open to all kinds of organizations and corporations to hold their seminars or workshops here as it is an ideal place to withdraw from our daily routine and access a fresh kind of intelligence and inspiration in the stillness of nature.

Last but not least, the space is open for everybody who simply wants to spend a couple of days in the seclusion of nature with healthy, delicious food, guided hikes in the area or Ayurvedic massage treatments.

Daily and weekly courses on yoga and meditation are offered by outside yoga institutes.

About Adelheid  Schneckenburger

Commonly known as Adi in her friends’ circles,  Adelheid is a German national, a certified Hatha Yoga teacher as well as certified Iyengar Yoga teacher since 2012 and 2018 respectively. By education a Developing Economist and Sinologist she has been living and working in China and Nepal for the past 25 years, working mostly in the development cooperation sector with GIZ and the European Commission.

Over the last 15 years she has been intensifying her studies in yoga, following many workshops and courses with senior Iyengar teachers such as Sri Abhijata, Swati and Rajiv Chanchani, Ramanand Patel, Birjoo Mehta, Jawahar Bangeraji.

In recent years, she participated regularly in the Yoganusasanams at Pune/India in December and visited many workshops of internationally reputed senior Iyengar teachers.

She has been sharing her knowledge and experiences (group and individual classes) since 2012 at various places. Together with Yoga Room Kathmandu she organizes special workshops for visiting teachers at her retreat place Vishuddhi Alaya since 2019.

She has a regular self-practice and, apart from the workshops and courses, has been following different Ayurveda and philosophy courses over the last couple of years.

In 2013 she completed the 2 years online course on Ayurveda and Yoga therapy with the American Institute of Vedic Studies (David Frawley) and she is still following studies with the Swami Dayananda Ashram, Rishikesh on Vedic studies.

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