Kathmandu might seem the obvious place to do yoga, to take a course or retreat or just a yoga class from time to time. But it is more tricky than you might think. There are a range of places and yoga styles and schedules and the quality of studio varies immensely.
After visiting several places, and procrastinating for months, I decided to dive in with Pranamaya Yoga in Thamel. It has another studio in Kathmandu on the Patan side, at the Moksh studio.
In January there was a 30 day Power Yoga Challenge. There was a discount ticket on offer so the cost for unlimited yoga classes was NRs. 4500, which if you went every day would cost just Nrs 150 per class.
There was a morning class at 7 everyday. Yes, cold getting out of bed, but the sun was just rising in a surya namaskar, and it was a great way to greet the day.
Power Yoga warms you up pretty fast. There is plenty of stretching, especially of the major joints and hamstrings. There is also a good deal of balancing, which helps you focus your mind.
But the key thing that people will look for is the core-muscle strengthening exercises.Lying on your back, lifting your legs up vertically and then kicking the feet up into the air, like a "high five to heaven", as Roshani the Nepali Power Yoga teacher called it, really gave a burn - you could feel you were working out.
After a week a difference could be felt. The next day's pain in legs and buttocks had long subsided, and my posture was better and I felt I was walking taller.After two weeks, the abs, the stomach muscles, and shoulders all looked and felt stronger.
But one great advantage was the routine, of getting out of bed nice and early to do something good with some nice people.
After yoga class at 1905 with the birds still singing in the garden and the traffic just a distant hum, it felt like anything would be possible in the coming day.