Meet Yamuna Dhakal, a fiery woman from Kathmandu, who breaks the taboo of being single at 34 and embraces cycling with love, defying prejudices. She dispels stereotypes with her serene yoga, and now her journeys across the globe on the bicycle.

Rolling Om

I'm Yam Kumari Dhakal, but I go by Yamuna. I'm from Jhapa and have lived in Kathmandu for over a decade. For the past four years, I've worked in television as a camera person, and now people call me a cyclist. I have always had a passion for cycling, and it has become a significant part of my life. Being recognized as a cyclist brings me great joy and fulfillment as I continue to pursue my love for the sport.


1. What makes cycling a vital part of your life, and what fuels your passion for cycling?

We used to travel by bicycle for everything from farming to shopping throughout India when we were kids. We even used our cycles to get around during strikes and other disruptions. However, after I moved to Kathmandu, our hectic schedules caused us to lose our cycles, which is why I want to start riding again. Cycling not only provides me with a sense of freedom and adventure, but it also allows me to stay physically active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, reconnecting with cycling will not only bring back cherished childhood memories but also help me navigate the busy streets of Kathmandu more efficiently.


2. How did the inspiration to start your cycling journey unfold, and what drove you to take this path?

There was a competition going on and I was covering that news as a camera person, I imagined and wished to participate in the contest and thought to myself, I have been riding a cycle since my childhood, and the urge to continue it triggered it, and that's when I met Subha Prasad Sharma, and in that conversation, he inspired me to start in, and I started it in Kathmandu again, even though I thought it was impossible in Kathmandu, and I restarted as a beginner and I started to cycle, and when you want to do something, you find a way to achieve it. I did some research and discovered information on the World Cycle Tour, but it lacked the participation of women. Since many guys were actively traveling and making a positive impact, I decided to try and do the same as a woman.


3. How did yoga become a significant aspect of your life, contributing to your well-being?

Yoga I started doing yoga for my own well-being. I even started teaching other people a few years later. Even though I have taught a few courses in the past, I am not teaching yoga at the moment. However, I am working toward being a professional instructor. I learned the art of yoga from Patanjali Yog Path in Haridwar, and I have been doing it for the past five years. At first, it was quite raw, but with time, I improved and gained knowledge, and I'm also getting positive feedback.


4. Share your family's initial reaction to your choice of cycling and yoga, and how have they supported you in these pursuits?

They were initially opposed, saying you wouldn't be able to do it because it's not as simple as you think. However, after explaining my reasons and showing them my determination, they eventually came around and now fully support me on this journey. They understand the importance of personal growth and breaking free from societal constraints, and they are proud to see me taking on such a challenge. However, after I persuaded them that this is a journey and you should go at your own pace without feeling rushed, they changed their minds.


5. Reflect on the challenges you faced as a woman breaking societal norms in cycling and yoga. How did you overcome them?

I realize that women have it harder than males, but I think we should test things on our own and make our conclusions rather than assuming anything. By embarking on this global cycle tour, I hope to inspire others to push their limits and embrace the joy of cycling. Through my journey, I aim to break stereotypes and prove that women can conquer any challenge they set their minds to. We need to empower ourselves and challenge societal norms by taking on new adventures and exploring the world on our terms. And for the Word Cycle Tour, we have to leave our jobs hence we rely on collections and donations from organizations and individuals that support the agenda and advance global well-being since I have to quit my work and embark on a different adventure.


6. Give us a glimpse of your upcoming plans, particularly your global cycling adventure and yoga teachings. What do you aim to achieve with these endeavors?

My philosophy and next project are teaching people yoga and encouraging riding throughout the world and how these two things assist others. I'm now attempting a global cycle tour. I'm training myself to become more proficient and resilient. I'm now training for my next destination, which is Purba Mechi to Paschim Mahakali. Following my tour of Nepal, I'll begin my worldwide trip. Additionally, I will be teaching yoga to anyone in the area around me following the morning's bicycle session.