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       Meditation & Yoga ..

  Meditation Centres:

The Mahayana Buddhist Himalayan Yogic Institute (PO Box 817, Kathmandu; Tel 4413094), located in Baluwatar, conducts regular evening meditations and weekly dharma teachings (donation), hosts a revolving schedule of day-long workshops and courses in Tibetan Buddhist meditation and related Tibetan arts, and has a library and meditation room. HYI is affiliated with Kopan Monastery, north of Bouddha, where it offers seven-to ten-day meditation courses during the autumn and spring.

Nepal Vipassana Centre (PO Box 133, Kathmandu; Tel: 4225490) runs ten-day courses on vipassana. These aren't for the frivolous: daily meditation begins at 4.30 am, and silence is kept for the full ten days. To register or pick up a pamphlet on the course, visit the centre's Kathmandu office (Sun-Fri 10 am-5.30 pm) in the courtyard of Jyoti Bhawan, behind Nabil Bank on Kantipath. All courses are funded by donations.

The Kathmandu Buddhist Centre (PO Box 5336, Kathmandu) holds introductory talks in Western Buddhism a few times a week during the tourist seasons-check at the Nepalese Kitchen or on notice boards for the location. It also conducts one-day courses in Buddhism and two-day meditation workshops at its premises next door to Hotel Ganesh Himal, about 200m south and then west of Chhetrapati Chowk, overnight retreats at Nagarkot, and five-day residential courses in a restored bahal in Patan.

If you're of the Rajneesh persuasion, you'll be pleased to learn that Kathmandu supports a thriving Osho industry which includes a travel agency, a bimonthly magazine and three meditation centres. The Asheesh Osho Meditation Centre (Tel: 4271385) in Tahachal and a second site in Lazimpat conduct one-hour dynamic meditation sessions every morning; these are open to all and the fee is a donation. The third venue, Osho Tapoban Forest Retreat Centre (PO Box 278, Kathmandu, Tel: 271385), located in a beautiful setting north of Nagarjun Ban, hosts occasional retreats as well as daily meditations and discourses. If you can't get through to the centres themselves, contact Osho World Travel on Tridevi Marg.

 

  Yoga:

Patanjali Yoga Centre (Tel 4278437; Fax: 4229459), east of the National Museum in Chhauni, has a highly respected director in Yogacharya Sushil Bhattacahrya, and offers classes and residential courses in pure astanga yoga, a balance of the eight traditional yoga systems. Daily early-morning and afternoon meditation/hatha yoga sessions are open to all. Residential study in hatha yoga, yoga philosophy, diet and health costs about ten dollars per day.

Month-long yaga/trekking programmes and yoga teacher-training courses are also offered.The Yoga Studio teaches hatha yoga in the Iyengar method, a gradual path espoused by BKS Iyengar, a key figure in bringing yoga to the West. The resident instructors teach a regular schedule of classes year-round, as well as one and two-week intensive courses in season. The studio is located in Tangal, about a ten-minute bike ride east of Thamel: follow the road north of the Royal Palace eastwards until it becomes dirt, and it's between the Ganesh shrine and a small pokhari (pond).

Ananda Yoga Centre, a retreat facility in a lovely setting in the valley 8km west of Kathmandu, caters for both beginners and advanced students of yoga. The teacher is Shri Vikashananda, who brings an eclectic approach to hatha yoga, pranayama, meditation, yogic cleansing, diet and naturopathy. You can set your own itinerary. For information contact Travellers Service on the corner of Jamal and Kantipath.

The only real yoga centre in Thamel, Holistic Yoga Ashrama, just south of the Kathmandu Guest House, offers daily morning and afternoon yoga/meditation sessions. Simple accommodation is available here and at another branch near Pashupatinath.

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