Nepal Trail Running + Wellness Retreat (2024)

Oct 10 to Oct 19, 2024

Nepal Trail Running + Wellness Retreat (2024)
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Women Only

Gain a new appreciation for what it truly means to be "empowered by running" by hearing Mira Rai's story firsthand and running alongside her through the villages and to sacred Buddhist monuments dotting the landscape

Join us for this rare opportunity to run explore Nepal's extraordinary beauty and heritage from the perspective of an extraordinary young woman who went from being a child soldier to an internationally recognized champion trail runner and National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

Even if you've never heard of Mira, you'll be moved by her story of resilience and empowerment for young girls, which is why a portion of your retreat package fee is donated to the Mira Rai Initiative, a non-profit organization she founded to give girls better economic and social opportunities through running. 

And don't feel at all intimidated! You don't have to be an ultrarunner to do this retreat. We have group runs planned for 6 of the trip's 10 days, with rest days interspersed throughout during which you can rest, do other activities or add more runs on your own. Our mindful group runs range from 1 to 3 hours, depending on the day, on a mix of dirt roads and trails (though not on high alpine or exposed terrain). Your retreat leader will brief you on what to expect so you can decide whether or not you want to join based on how you're feeling. On the days we have only short runs or no group run planned, you can go for a hike, run on your own, do a yoga or meditation class, paddle on the lake, or other activities available. Some of the resorts we stay at offer Ayurvedic treatments or massages for an additional fee. 

This mindfully designed retreat strikes the ideal balance between time on the trail with travel to different regions from Kathmandu to Pokhara. Explore historic sights of spiritual significance through which you'll gain a deeper understanding of this place, its traditions and its people. The time you spend on and off the trail, engaging in the activities and practices that feed your soul open your potential for self-discovery and spark more joy, in running and in life. 

This Retreat is Level III

This retreat is rated Level III. This means it’s suitable for those with trail-running experience, good fitness and some experience running on trails, preferably in mountainous terrain. Runs range from 4 to 10 miles on superb, though challenging, singletrack trails. You should feel comfortable with heights and have the fitness to run up to 10 miles or more on the road comfortably.

Each day’s run in this itinerary is represented by time spent on the trail rather than miles run because the mileage covered will depend largely on your run pace. Faster runners will cover more mileage than slower runners on some days. These run times include breaks to enjoy the views, take photos, eat and drink. The precise route and trails run may change due to changes to trail routes, weather conditions, guide recommendations and other safety considerations.

About Running in Nepal

Nepal hosts some of the most spectacular natural areas and biodiversity in the world. Home to the planet’s highest peak, Nepal boasts a wide variety ecosystems, vegetation, forests, and wildlife. The trails on this retreat will bring you on on a mix of well established single track trails, and dirt roads. The terrain is though expansive alpine valleys, not high alpine environments, or exposed terrain. On the trials you may experience obstacles like loose rocks or tree roots.

Nepal is 3300 feet above sea level on average. The retreat starts at about 4,500 feet above sea level in Kathmandu and the elevation decreases throughout the retreat to about 2200 feet above sea level, before returning to Kathmandu. On this retreat, runners will find they need to adjust their running pace at higher elevations. We have taken this slower pace into account, so you will have plenty of time to run or hike at your own speed. October is one of the best times to visit Nepal! As the monsoon dissipates in August/September, the hillsides are covered in lush greenery, and Nepal welcomes beautiful clear skies, fresh air and incredible views. The weather is typically dry, warm and sunny, making for great days on the trail. You can expect cooler evenings in the high 50s, with day time temperatures in the 70s and low 80s.

Run with Mira Rai, Internationally renowned trail runner

Born into poverty in the remote Himalayan foothills of Bhojpar in Nepal, Mira went from being a child soldier to internationally recognized ultrarunner in a few short years. When she was 15 years old, Mira's family was struggling financially due to the Nepalese Civil War, so she joined the Communist Party insurgents in order to support her family. Becoming a child soldier also provided her an escape from the traditional barriers surrounding women in Nepali society.
It was during her time training as a child solider that she found her passion for running – a passion that saw her go on to not only become one of the world's best female ultrarunners, but become a symbol of hope for her country. Today, Mira competes (and often breaks records) at trail races around the world. A portion of your retreat package is donated to the Mira Rai Initiative to support young women in Nepal. Learn more about her here:

Pokhara Peace Pagoda

World Peace Pagoda Pokhara is situated atop a hill right above the famous Phewa Lake. The temple offers a great place to see the sunset over Pokhara and beautiful views of the Annapurna range and Fishtail mountain. You’ll be enchanted by the stunning 360-degree view of the Pokhara Valley's, Himalayan Mountains and the Phewa Lake. The temple is one of the many Peace Pagodas around the world. After the Second World War, Buddhist monks from Japan started a campaign to build Peace Pagodas around the world. This pagoda is one of the two World Peace Pagodas in Nepal, the other being located in Lumbini. These holy temples represent peace without discrimination.

Visit to Namo Buddha Monastery

You don’t need to be religious yourself to appreciate the beauty and tranquility of Namo Buddha, where you'll see some of the best Himalayan views in the area. On the way, you will run past traditional villages, beautiful temples, the holy Panauti river, and amazing landscapes along the forest trail. According to the Buddhist legend, the King Mahasattva gave his body to a hungry tigress at this place. His reliquary Stupa remained underground for centuries. One day a hermit called Bhagavan (Sakyamuni) came to this site and was attracted to the bulge. It is said that he clapped his hands, and miraculously the Stupa appeared.

Sound Journey, Yoga + Meditation Classes

Throughout your retreat you'll have the opportunity to enjoy either yoga, meditation classes or guided sound journey with Nepalese teachers who specialize in these deeply traditional wellness practices. These classes require no prior experience; this is a great opportunity to try something new in a setting that is supportive and non-judgmental.

Guided Mindful Runs

Learn how to run more mindfully to become a better runner. This includes natural running form clinics during which you'll learn about the Power Posture: use proper alignment to make gravity do more of the work. This reduces the muscular force involved with running so it feels easier and less strenuous on muscles and joints.
Focus on efficiency: Use natural running techniques to drastically improve efficiency. You'll practice changing stride length, cadence and tempo on various types of terrain. Then put the pieces together to achieve the ultimate trail running experience. Learn to cultivate the circumstances for flow to occur by being relaxed and mindful.

Dedicated Retreat Leader

Our highly trained retreat leaders provide the space and support for you to have a potentially transformational experience. As experts in mindful leadership, she provides valuable guidance on how to be mindful on and off the trail. Here's more about what you can expect from your retreat leader:

  • Leads the opening meeting on Day 1, explaining what you can expect, the general flow of each day, what's expected of you, how she'll support you and all the other logistics you need.
  • Works with our local staff, such as guides and drivers, to keep things safe, on schedule and running smoothly
  • Leads mindful running clinics that teach you how to run more efficiently and with more flow and ease
  • Manages the pace of each run so that you never feel rushed or get left behind
  • Helps you get to scheduled events like yoga class, spa appointment and dinner reservations on time
  • Facilitates sharing circles, creating a safe space for the group to reflect and share openly
  • Provides emotional support if ever you need it

About The Host

We specialize in trail running- and wellness-based travel experiences that support women’s overall health and well-being. Our programs feature mindful running techniques that help women run better while maximizing running’s stress-reducing effects on the body and mind. Set in some of the world’s most inspiring natural destinations known to runners, each itinerary is an immersion in nature and wellness experiences such as yoga, hot springs, or spas.

We include the specific elements you need to have a wonderful retreat and leave out anything that doesn’t support that mission. 

Why Choose Us

We are about experiencing running as a means to cultivate mental and physical health and well-being. While our purpose is to provide transformational travel experiences for runners like you, our mission is to offer you the time and space to clear your mind and focus on breathing deeply, connect with nature, dial down stress, and release endorphins so that you can relish in the joy and inspiration running brings.

No one succeeds in isolation, which is why the empowering community and connections that women find through our retreats are such a gift. Time after time, we hear the most heartwarming stories of the friendships that were made on our retreats, and why so many women come back year after year (sometimes even multiple times a year!) to run with us in a new location and often with women they’d met before.

When you travel with us, you are choosing to:

🏃‍♀️ connect deeper with yourself because no matter how long you’ve been on this planet, there’s always more to discover about who you truly are. We offer things like travel journals for writing and sharing circles during the retreat that support your inner as well as outer journey.

🏃‍♀️ experiment with mindful running principles that make you a better, more playful runner because there’s nothing like taking yourself too seriously to stifle motivation. Our retreat leaders provide mindful running exercises and tips you can use on an off the trail to run and live more mindfully.

🏃‍♀️ be open to connecting with other like-minded women because meeting new people is less scary than you might think. You’ll meet women who value running as part of a health lifestyle as we all as a sport. It’s amazing how quickly retreat groups bond after the very first run together!

🏃‍♀️ receive support, even when you don’t necessarily think you need it, but are so grateful you did when you realize how great it feels. In addition to the company of our professional running guides and expert retreat leaders, we highly encourage peer support to give you what to need to feel comfortable in this group.

🏃‍♀️ experience the mental health benefits to running that having nothing to do with your last race result or next goal. Our retreat leaders help you replace expectations and performance pressure with intentions and a focus on simply having fun.

🏃‍♀️ be intentional with the words you choose to express yourself, promising to be authentic and forget about trying to be anything you’re not. Intentions are rooted in values, and there’s no better opportunity to reflect on your values than when you’re traveling.

🏃‍♀️ make peace with the runner you are today, knowing that you belong here because runners come in all shapes and sizes and that’s okay. Since this isn’t a training camp, we’re not focused on where the future, but rather, rooted in the present moment, since that’s where the magic happens.

🏃‍♀️ give up the need to control everything going on around you because that’s the only way to find peace, restore your energy and find true joy. Our expert travel planners have worked out the logistics, and our professional guides scouted the routes, which means you can relax and let go.

🏃‍♀️ trust us to take you on a journey that has the potential to be deeply transformational and profoundly meaningful in a way that is entirely unique to you. Our retreat leaders understand that getting vulnerable can be scary, so they’re prepared to hold the space you need to have your experience at your own pace.

🏃‍♀️ forget about comparing yourself to others, either in terms of pace, speed, accomplishments, age or any other way, and focus instead on what you share in common. This is what we mean by community; you don’t have to “qualify” to be here, you show that you belong here by simply being you.

. . . and so much more.


Things to keep in mind