One week Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga retreat in Nepal with Helen McCabe and Andy Gill

Dates: 20 October 2018 - 27 October 18
Taught by: Helen McCabe and Andy Gill
Location: Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Pharping, Nepal
Cost: 122,000 Nepali Rupees (approx USD $1,200)

This October we welcome back Helen McCabe and Andy Gill, to once again join us to share their extraordinary teaching. As before, this retreat will be hosted in the beautiful Tibetan Buddhist monastery in foothills of the Himalayas, with which we have a unique collaboration for practice.

Having each cultivated a distinctive approach through years of practice and teaching, Helen and Andy blend their experience to bring a rare depth and roundedness that enables each student to grow and flourish. Few teachers have their gift to bring together a diverse student group as one beautiful community, whilst paying dedicated attention to each person with individual guidance. We invited back these warm and deeply authentic teachers immediately after their last retreat with us, and expect high interest for this week so please book early if you would like to participate.

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga retreat – Moving back to centre

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is a synchronised breath-and-movement system in which we flow into and out of each posture, following the breath as we move. Each asana has a unique choreographed number of movements into and out of it and it is this focus that ultimately makes this beautiful practice become a moving meditation.

Yet as we are challenged to maintain a steady, focussed breath through progressively more difficult postures, the practice can feel anything but meditative. It can be easy to fall into patterns of thought and movement that don’t suit or serve us, to create a ‘story’ around our practice that may lead us to judge or analyse it too much. In this retreat we seek to return to the simplicity of the practice: breath, focus and movement.

Throughout the week, Helen and Andy will explore some of the key components and techniques to developing a practice that will resource you. We will explore how to work in a way that suits your body and its needs, to create a powerful, safe and sustainable Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga practice that you can continue throughout your life.

Overview of this Ashtanga retreat in Nepal

During the week, we will explore how to begin your practice, create effective foundation and bandha, unpack and understand the movement patterns of the asanas and how to finish your practice to realise its full benefits. Together we will learn how to transcend the story in our minds and instead practice with a ‘felt sense’ of movement and breath.

The retreat will include:

  • Daily morning asana practice
  • Afternoon workshops
  • Morning and evening meditation
  • Breath and Pranayama work
  • Yoga Nidra and guided relaxation
  • Dharma philosophy from the head teacher of the monastery
  • Visits/hikes to some of the great pilgrimage points nearby
  • Time for quiet contemplation in the spectacular location and joyful connection with like-minded others

The retreat is aimed at those with some existing Ashtanga Vinyasa practice (newer practitioners are very welcome, but the retreat isn’t suitable for absolute beginners). 

Helen McCabe and Andy Gill

Helen McCabe is a practitioner and teacher of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga normally based in Dorset (UK), where she founded and directs ‘Yoga at the Space’. There she runs the morning Mysore programme as well as teaching Yoga for Pregnancy, and she runs regular retreats and workshops both in her studio and internationally.

She started practicing yoga in 1991 when she was working in the film industry and had just had her first daughter. It has played a major part in her life ever since. A Senior Yoga Teacher under Yoga Alliance UK, her main teachers are John Scott and Lucy Crawford, and she regularly assists John in his retreats around the world. 

Helen teaches with a gentle, inclusive and incredibly encouraging approach that has brought countless students into the practice of Ashtanga. Her particular gifts include supporting students to connect to the energetic and meditative aspects of Ashtanga to evolve a personally-powerful practice that transcends the purely physical.

Andy Gill has been practicing Yoga for over 25 years, intially through Hatha and Iyengar Yoga before finding his Spiritual Yoga home in the Ashtanga Yoga method.

Andy has been teaching Ashtanga for over 15 years. He is a 3rd Series practitioner and has extensive knowledge and experience in teaching Primary, 2nd and 3rd Series asana practice in the Ashtanga method. He started his teaching through an apprenticeship with his teacher Gingi Lee at The Shala in London. His continued personal study and practice has taken him on several visits to Mysore in India, the spiritual home of Ashtanga Yoga where he worked with Sharath and Saraswati. Andy has also had the privilege to work with a number of top Ashtanga Yoga teachers including; John Scott, Lucy Crawford, David Swenson, Rolf and Marci Naujokat, David Keil, Dena Kingsberg, Greg Nardi and David Williams.

As a teacher and Life Coach Andy places the needs of the individual student at the heart of his teaching. He brings an informed and non-dogmatic approach to teaching Ashtanga whilst remaining true to the traditional method. Andy encourages students to explore and surpass their limitations — without fear and often laughing.

Both Helen and Andy have taught with John Scott on several foreign retreats resulting in them becoming two of only a handful of teachers to be awarded the John Scott Yoga 500 Hour Teacher Training certification. This is a unique chance to practice with both of them together.

Venue of this yoga retreat in Nepal

For Tibetan Buddhists, the hills of Pharping where we immerse for our retreat together is considered as sacred as Bodhgaya in India, as it is where is where the second buddha Guru Padmasambhava (“Guru Rinpoche”) attained the state of enlightenment, before going on to establish Buddhism in Tibet.

The monastery which is our home during the retreat makes important contributions to the preservation and sharing of the Buddhist teachings, and our stay there helps to fund education for the many young monks from remote areas of Nepal. The lovely guest accommodation has spacious and modern rooms, comfortable beds for deep and refreshing sleeps, all with attached bathrooms. The yoga space overlooks the rice paddies of the Kathmandu valley, and – when the weather is clear – gives us stunning views of the sunrise over the Himalayas.

It is the perfect place to go within and study.

Accommodation is on a twin-share basis, and the retreat fee includes a delicious, vegetarian and substantial brunch and wonderful healthy dinner each day. 

Course fee

The fee for the course is 122,000 Nepali Rupees. For an indication on what the rate is in your currency, see At the time of writing, this equates to approx USD $1,200 or GBP £900. Payment details will be sent to you on confirmation of your place.

The fee includes: return transfer from central Kathmandu to the monastery in a comfortable private bus, twin-share accommodation, all your delicious vegetarian meals, teaching from Helen and Andy, trips during the retreat.

Next steps

Simply register for an application form and we’ll help you from there.


Book this course