30-hour Yoga Philosophy immersion module with Emil Wendel

Dates: 14 March 2021 - 21 March 21
Taught by: Emil Wendel, with Anouk Aoun Wendel
Location: Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Pharping, Nepal
Cost: 130,000 Nepali rupees (approx. USD $1,130)

We live at a time when people place more and more trust in outside sources to make or influence their decisions. As a result, many of our critical decisions are made, for example, by algorithms, with no philosophical framework for understanding ourselves, our values, or what is truly right for us.

A willingness to return to ancient philosophical and spiritual questions will determine the future that humankind moves towards – questions of getting to know ourselves, of what is good, what is a good life, what is a good relationship. These deep and searching conversations are sidelined by much of modern culture, yet remain highly important and practical questions.

Those who engage with philosophies such as those developed by the ancient yogis will be more equipped to navigate modern life on their own terms, in a way that fulfills them and truly contributes.


In this retreat, Emil Wendel presents the history of Yoga and the richness of Indian thought – its fascinating evolution from its roots in Vedic times, its flowering 2500 years ago, through the Tantric variations, and into the development into today’s Modern Postural Yoga.

The course entails 24 contact hours of philosophy lectures, 3 hours of self-study, and 3 hours of audio-visual material with discussions. There will also be hand-out papers to study and prepare for the daily classes. These hours fulfill the Yoga Alliance requirement for Continuous Professional Development, for those on a teaching path.

Resonating with the Tibetan Buddhist value for the union of method and wisdom, the retreat recognises that philosophical study is richer when underpinned by practice. We will therefore embody the theoretical knowledge with a daily 90 minute Pranayama and Meditation class by Emil, along with an Asana class taught by Anouk Aoun Wendel.


The retreat also includes free time to walk around the temple premises and nature paths, meeting with the monks of the Monastery, and time to contemplate the teachings as the sun sets and the mighty Himalayas go to sleep.

Click for the Yoga Philosophy Curriculum

Who this yoga philosophy immersion module is aimed at 

This particular retreat in Nepal is an opportunity for all teachers and interested Yogis alike that wish to cultivate their knowledge of the history and philosophy of Yoga.

No specific qualifications are needed. Any prior exposure to Yogic or Indian philosophy will make the material more accessible. There is a reading list for registered participants that may provide support; this preparation is entirely optional, though.

Please note, however, that the course requires long hours of attention, and a good degree of physical health is recommended for the Pranayama and Asana sessions.

For those holding Yoga Alliance teaching certification (200 hours upwards), the course contributes 30 hours of Continuing Education credits recognised by Yoga Alliance, and enables you to guide your students on a deeper philosophical engagement with their practice.

If you are not a teacher, you will receive a diploma mentioning the course character and the hours attended.

Emil Wendel

Emil was born in Switzerland and has lived in Asia since the mid-seventies. This included many years in Taiwan and Japan for the study of Chinese classics, and twenty-five years of residency in Nepal and India.

The immersion in Sanskrit and Buddhist literature allowed Emil a deep insight into the Indian civilization and its underlying currents. It brought him into contact with remarkable human beings and teachings, including adepts representing contrasting branches of thought. At the same time he was introduced to the practices and values of Hatha Yoga and the meditative paths.

Since then he has shared his knowledge, which is always non-dogmatic, in many parts of the world. For over twenty years he has curated retreats and workshops that are both accessible and inspiringly expansive. His storytelling gift makes him a sought-after instructor also on training programs where he teaches the history of Yoga, besides Pranayama and meditation.

Anouk Aoun Wendel

Working primarily with Asana, Pranayama and mediation in her teaching, Anouk weaves yoga philosophy into her classes, bringing Emil’s teachings into an embodied practice.

Anouk seeks to guide students to establish a practice that assists them to become awake and self-observant, to center themselves in times of chaos and to cultivate a sense of serenity in life. She is fascinated with exploring what lies beyond our physicality.

Anouk teaches from a belief that respect and being kind to one another are foremost virtues in our life journey. Remaining joyous and non-dogmatic along our spiritual practice helps to cultivate a lightness of being.

Anouk has now become a sought-after guest on several teacher training programmes, and those attracted to the CPD accreditation for this course will benefit from her wealth of experience in guiding teachers.

Venue for our yoga philosophy module 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 one of the most sacred and important pilgrimage sites, as it is where the second buddha Guru Padmasambhava (“Guru Rinpoche”) attained the state of enlightenment, before going on to establish Buddhism in Tibet.

The monastery is surrounded by paddy fields, and the beautiful yoga space within the monastery overlooks the foothills, and – when the weather is clear – gives us stunning views of the sunrise over the snow capped Himalayas.

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.

It is the perfect place to go within and practice.

The guest accommodation has spacious and modern rooms, comfortable beds for deep and refreshing sleeps, all with attached bathrooms. 

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

Course fee and practicalities

The fee is 130,000 Nepali Rupees. At the time of writing, this equates to approx USD $1,130. 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, world-class teaching from Emil and Anouk, and trips during the retreat.

Our departure will be from a centrally located meting-point in Kathmandu at 2pm on Sunday 14th March 2021. We will gather there from 1pm and travel together to the monastery by private bus.

We will return to central Kathmandu by 1.30pm on Sunday 21st March. From there allow an hour to travel to the airport if you are planning to fly that day. 

Hiking around the monastery, March 2019

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.


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