10-day Ashtanga retreat in Nepal with Petri Räisänen and Wambui Njuguna-Räisänen

Dates: 16 April 2021 - 25 April 21
Taught by: Petri Räisänen and Wambui Njuguna-Räisänen
Location: Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Pharping, Nepal
Cost: 177,500 Nepali Rupees (approx USD $1,450)

In April 2021, Petri and Wambui return to Nepal to offer their extraordinary 10-day Ashtanga retreat. 

Join them in a spectacular and welcoming Buddhist monastery in the foothills of the Himalayas. The retreat is an incomparable and inspiring opportunity to deepen your relationship to the practice and yourself.

Retreat summary

Among the energy of the Himalayas and by one of the most sacred sites in Tibetan Buddhism, join Petri and Wambui for a very special immersion into the Ashtanga practice.

The 10-day retreat combines the powerful practice of Ashtanga Yoga with a unique setting. This is complemented with technique discussions, pranayama, healing techniques, chanting, meditation with the monks, and Dharma philosophy teaching. We also offer visits/hikes to pilgrimage points nearby, and time for quiet contemplation and joyful connection with like-minded others.

The retreat is an opportunity to adjust your pace and perspective, to slow down, and to experience life more fully through mindfulness. Feel supported in your practice by dedicated teachers, by the sacredness of the place and by the complementary philosophies of Yoga and Buddhism.

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


Each day will begin with optional meditation with the monks, under the calming and inspiring gaze of the temple’s 60-foot Buddha. Mysore-style self practice will bring us together each morning. This is followed by a varied schedule each day to share ideas, philosophies, techniques and places that add texture and depth to your practice and personal journey.

We will also protect time for your own space to restore, connect and simply be.

Petri and Wambui

Petri Räisänen started practicing Ashtanga Yoga in 1988 as a devoted student of his Guru, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. He was authorized to teach Ashtanga Yoga in 2001 by Guruji. Petri is careful to pass on his Guru’s exact teachings. Petri is the director of Ashtanga Yoga Helsinki, one of the world’s largest Ashtanga Yoga Shalas which he co-founded in 1997. Sri K Pattabhi Jois blessed the school to teach the traditional Astanga Yoga method.

Petri focuses on integrating healing and therapy with yoga, meeting students’ individual needs and guiding their progress. Petri’s yoga pose adjustments are gentle, effective, therapeutic and, according to some, almost magical. They originate (besides his own practice and teaching) from his past work as a traditional Finnish folk healer and naturopath. His friendly, relaxed behaviour and intuitive perception give an open, energetic and meditative atmosphere to his classes.

In 2004, Petri wrote “Astanga – The Yoga Tradition of Sri K. Pattabhi Jois” in collaboration with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois and his grandson, R. Sharath Jois. The book introduces the primary series (1st series) Astanga Yoga method and philosophy, as well as its potential as a physical, mental, intellectual and spiritual practice. His intermediate series (2nd series) book “Nadi Sodhana” was released in 2008 and is written mostly from the interviews with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois from 2006-2007 in Mysore, India. 

See Petri’s full bio.

Wambui Njuguna-Räisänen took her first yoga class when she was 16. It proved to be the therapy she needed during rigorous, professional dance training. She continued to practice different types of yoga throughout college and graduate school.

She came across Ashtanga in 2008. Its structure and consistency was the grounded discipline she needed at that time. For the past ten years, Wambui has been immersed in Ashtanga yoga. She edited the English version of Ashtanga Yoga: The Yoga Tradition of K Pattabhi Jois and translated (Finnish-English) Nadi Sodhana: Yoga in the Tradition of K. Pattabhi Jois. Many people have started practicing Ashtanga using her Half-Primary series You Tube video, which has had more than 1.7 million views. 

Lately, Wambui has moved towards teaching yoga through an explicitly trauma-informed, anti-oppressive lens. BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ communities have been the voices most silenced, and are the bodies most left out of the healing space while simultaneously being the most impacted by systemic trauma. Therefore, creating wellness spaces that feel more welcoming, inclusive and accessible is of utmost necessity and importance. Together with her massage training and meditation advocacy, Wambui strives to work at the intersection of social inclusion, equity and wellness.

See Wambui’s full bio.

Image courtesy of Eleni Paspatis

The venue

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. 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 10-day course is 177,500 Nepali Rupees. For an indication on what the rate is in your currency, see www.xe.com. At the time of writing, this equates to approx USD $1,450 or GBP £1,175. 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 for 9 nights, all your delicious vegetarian meals, teaching from Petri and Wambui, trips during the retreat.

Next steps

Simply complete the Registration Form and we’ll help you from there.

On securing your place with a deposit, we will also send you the retreat welcome pack, full of information to help you plan your visit.

Book this course