After India, Nepal is the most popular yoga destination in the world. The roots of yoga sprout hold this nation too just as it does India. With tens of internationally acclaimed yoga teacher training centres here, it is one of the most sought after locations for learning yoga. Moreover, the fact that the YTTCs are so affordable despite such a high grade of yoga teaching makes it even better. There is nothing more calming or empowering as sitting in the lap of mountains, gurgling streams and fresh greenery surrounding you, learning yoga. The unpolluted atmosphere does wonders for your health. Overall, doing your yoga teacher training in Nepal is nothing short of a dream-come-true.
The same goes for yoga retreats in Nepal. Location plays a huge role in yoga retreats. When we choose a yoga retreat to go to, we look for a destination that appeals to us. Some like mountains, some like beaches, some like luxury resorts. And if you are looking for a traditional yoga location in the midst of nature, look no further than Nepal. Several international, as well as local schools, offer refreshing retreats for those wanting to experience yoga in Nepal. But today, besides the usual questions, there is another large one looming above our heads. Will it be a good idea going for a yoga retreat in Nepal during the pandemic? That is exactly the question we plan to answer here.
What to Check in a Yoga Retreat in Nepal During the Pandemic
It is true that most YTT centres cancelled the yoga teacher training courses in Nepal after the pandemic started. They cancelled all the yoga retreats too. But many places are starting classes and retreats again. In fact, more and more people are turning to yoga to combat the stress of the pandemic and consequent quarantine. Since workplaces, markets and most organizations are restarting, the anxiety and fear of contracting the disease are too. So, people are looking for ways to destress. And yoga is one of the best ways to do that. For those who do not have the opportunity for regular classes, yoga retreats are great options. But one must make sure that the yoga retreat will not compromise their safety in any way. This is how you can be sure.
- The very first thing you must do is to check the “News and Alerts” section of the website of the yoga retreat. Check if there is anything with the tag “COVID-19 Response”. If there is, read it carefully. Find out what steps the people organizing the retreat are taking for the safety of their customers.
- If there is nothing Corona-related anywhere on the site itself, make a point to contact the people. Ask them questions about what they are doing to ensure the prevention of contagion. Do not take vague replies and keep asking unless you are absolutely clear. A transparent organization should give honest answers right from the start and not be dodgy. Especially be clear about the sanitization process of the premises, objects and the people, enforcement of social distancing and use of masks.
- Read the reviews of those who went in the pandemic before you. Reviews can give a lot of insight on what is really going on in a retreat. If you feel the need, you can even contact these people personally to ask questions.
- If you do find a section on the website that clearly mentions what their preventive measures are, read them thoroughly. Tally them with the directives that WHO has given out. Make sure they follow at least all the rules the WHO website on Coronavirus mentions.
- Look at the retreat capacity. A larger number of bodies per retreat will increase the chances of a person with the virus being there. This will automatically increase the chances of catching the virus. Also, it will make social distancing harder.
- Similarly, check out the exact location of the retreat. Is it a public place or a more isolated one? This is a time when large crowds and busy bustle is not something you want to encounter.
- If possible, also try to find out where the staff working there live. It will be an added bonus if they live on the premises itself as this will reduce the exposure to the virus from outsiders.
- Make sure that if outsiders do come, they go through the basic temperature check and sanitization process. This includes students. Also, make sure the institute makes it mandatory for students to get a COVID test done before coming on the retreat.
You Also Have the Option of Online Retreats
If the pandemic has done one thing, it is to push people to create online versions of things we did not even think was possible to have online versions of. Yoga retreats are one of these things. Many yoga teacher training schools in Nepal, just like their counterparts in the world, have started offering online yoga retreats. You probably have loads of questions right now about how these are possible. We will tell you how.
The registration process is the same, of course. But instead of going to the retreat location, you have to open your computer and log in to the live-streaming platform that the retreat organizers are using from the comfort of your home. The schedule is fixed beforehand so that students can plan their day and fit in daily activities accordingly. For the self-practice part, you will get pre-recorded or textual material. Some places may also provide you with a diet chart. They will tell you to keep all of the food ready or prepped so that you can have your meal in time. The organizers will also ask you to have a specific corner of the house reserved for the retreat.
Where Can I Go for a Yoga Retreat in Nepal
There are quite a few choices to choose from if you want to go on a yoga retreat in Nepal. But you will want a facility that takes the coronavirus preventive measures very seriously without compromising on quality. If that is the case, Pokhara Yoga School should be the first name on your list of options.