Waking Up To Life – Ashtanga yoga and Mindfulness retreat with Scott Johnson

Dates: 19 September 2020 - 26 September 20
Taught by: Scott Johnson
Location: Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Pharping, Nepal
Cost: 119,000 Nepali Rupees (approx USD $1,075 or GBP £850 at time of writing)

Ashtanga Yoga |  Mindfulness | Chanting | Pranayama | Philosophy | Movement

Scott Johnson offers his Waking Up to Life retreat for the first time in Nepal – bringing this transformative immersion to a place that truly incubates change. 
Scott will lead a week-long retreat of inquiry into how contemplative practice lands in the modern world. What does it mean to use ancient practices such as yoga, mindfulness and chanting, in our culture and how do they then relate to our individual lives?
The retreat is structured as an evolutionary journey, using and growing in the practices as a tool for greater self-awareness and personal growth.

Retreat Overview

Each morning we will sit and cultivate mindful awareness through mindfulness meditation and pranayama before undertaking an Ashtanga yoga assisted self practice, encouraged and assisted by Scott Johnson.
After the class we will join together in chanting the traditional shanti mantras from the yoga tradition. We will look at what it means to chant, to use our voices in a deeply meaningful way.
Over three afternoon workshops we will look at the integration of the practical and philosophical elements of yoga and how the physical and subtle are deeply linked.  
The retreat will include a day of silence to support your journey inward and to create space for what really matters to you to be heard. Mahalaya will also offer optional hikes, Buddhist teachings and a visits to sacred spots in the Kathmandu valley to complement your practice with the beguiling culture, nature, history and philosophies of Nepal.
This week will be an opportunity to delve into a deeply personal awareness of your own yoga practice in one of the most inspiring places in the world. Cultivating traditional yoga practices, modern ways of integrating those practices in our culture, and sharing through held inquiry and support, the outcome of the week is to leave you deeply connected to your life and place in the world. 
Hiking around the monastery, March 2019
The retreat is most suited to those who have at least some knowledge of Ashtanga yoga (it is not suitable for complete beginners). The retreat best lends itself to those who know the practice. Note that the morning sessions will be three hours long, allowing for mindfulness, pranayama, self-practice and chanting.

Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson has over 16 years of experience with Ashtanga Yoga. He is a devoted yoga and mindfulness practitioner. He is the co-founder and main teacher at Stillpoint Yoga London which has been open since 2009.

Scott’s teaching is greatly inspired and influenced by world renowned teachers John Scott, Lucy Crawford and Manju Pattabhi Jois. Scott met John in 2002 and instantly felt the deep connection to the ashtanga yoga lineage through John’s teaching of the ashtanga yoga practice. Scott’s relationship with John has lead him to become a senior teacher in the John Scott Ashtanga yoga community. Scott is also authorized to teach the primary and intermediate series of ashtanga yoga by Manju Pattabhi Jois.

In 2019 Scott Johnson co-founded Amayu Yoga, a new organisation dedicated to growing compassionate and highly skilled students and teachers of Ashtanga yoga, with consent and student empowerment at it’s heart. 

Scott Johnson has also also undergone extensive training with Clear Mind Institute, gaining their level 3 certificate in Mindfulness and Compassion.

Scott teaches with encouragement, insight and integrity to the ashtanga yoga lineage he has had access to. He adheres to the authentic tradition and lineage of ashtanga yoga, assisting practitioners in discovering how the practice can unfold, not only personally on the mat, but also in the wider context of daily life.

Venue for this yoga and mindfulness retreat in Nepal

This retreat is hosted in a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the foothills of Nepal’s Himalaya’s – the gift of a unique collaboration with Mahalaya.

For Tibetan Buddhists, the hills of Pharping where we immerse for our retreat together is considered as sacred as Bodhgaya in India. It is where is where the second Buddha, 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 practice.

Accommodation is on a twin-share basis, and the retreat fee includes a delicious and substantial brunch and afternoon snacks, and wonderfully nourishing dinner each day (all food is vegetarian).


Retreat fee

The fee for the 8-day retreat is 119,000 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 $1,075 or GBP £850. Payment details will be sent to you on confirmation of your place.

The fee is all-inclusive from when we pick you up centrally to when we return you to our meeting-point at the end. It includes: return transfer from central Kathmandu to the monastery in a comfortable private bus, twin-share accommodation for 7 nights, all your delicious vegetarian meals, teaching from Scott Johnson, trips during the retreat.

A limited number of private rooms may be available for a supplement of $210. Please let us know if you would prefer this, and we will allocate these if available 10 days before the retreat. Twin-sharers can share with a friend/partner if coming together, or we will allocate you a lovely co-participant to share with.

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