who we are

In a nutshell, for the yearning of wanting to grow and for the love of mountains, we came together as a team to bring to life Swara Retreat.

Ganesh was brought up in the yogic tradition since a young child in Nepal and India. He has been practising for over 30 years and has studied yoga at the Vivekananda Yoga University in Bangalore, Divine Life Society in Rishikesh, Bihar School of Yoga in Munger, Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram and KPJ Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore. He holds an M.A. in Sanskrit and Vedic Philosophy from Banaras Hindu University. Ganesh is an enthusiastic and experienced teacher with a natural flair for understanding the physical, energetic and psychological faculties. A multi-tasker, he oversees the operations of the retreat and our faithful work force. He is generous in sharing his energy and knowledge, and being with people. When not at work, he loves a deep, hearty conversation in history, philosophy and politics. 

IiLing trained and practised architecture in the UK before turning to yoga. Enthralled by John Scott and Annie Pace in the early days, she took to daily mysore practice and assisted Hamish Hendry at Astanga Yoga London, and eventually at the source at the KPJ Ashtanga Yoga Institute in Mysore, India. She met Ganesh there and they returned  regularly for a decade to practice with Sri K.Pathabhi Jois and Sharath Jois. Somewhere in between, their yoga journey embodied two boys. Here at the retreat, she crafts the programmes, the meals and attends to emails, enquiries and other demands of the virtual sphere. Look out for her if there are rosy suggestions to design a new initiative, share ideas, muse on growth seeking or to improve your stay. She thrives in nature, before dawn and behind the scenes.

Ram plays a pivotal role in ensuring that everything runs as smooth as butter. Upon arrival in Pokhara, you will most likely meet him who will graciously accompany you to Astam. He is the man to seek should you need aid, advice and assistance with travel arrangements, itineraries and excursions before, during and after your stay. Whilst running a travel agency, Ram was introduced to yoga at the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Kerala. Together with Sakuntala, they founded Atman Yoga in Kathmandu before wrapping it up to be a part of Swara Retreat. Over the course of building the retreat, Ram braved through seasons to source manpower, equipment and materials; from tree trunks to sewage pipes to ironmongery. In sum, he is comfortable in unchartered waters.

Sakuntala trained at the Mandala Yoga Studio in Kathmandu and thereafter, at Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Kerala. She co-founded and taught at the Atman Yoga Centre in Kathmandu. She teaches hatha yoga and enjoys creating nourishing foods to support your practice and wellbeing. With wisdom passed down from her grandmother, she has the curiosity to forage wild plants and herbs. She heads the kitchen with a creative streak and finds delight in discovering new flavours to share with you.