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Walk to Ahimsa

Join us for a bushwalk and visit to "Ahimsa", a National Trust property in Cheltenham that borders the Lane Cove National Park.

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Walk to Ahimsa
Walk to Ahimsa

Bookings & Location

20 Aug 2023, 8:45 am – 4:00 pm

Start from Thornleigh or Penrith


Ahimsa is a National Trust property in Cheltenham that borders the Lane Cove National Park.

It was left to the National Trust in 1970 by Marie Byles, who was an amazing woman.  Written material on display at Ahimsa notes the following:

“Throughout her life Marie became known as a committed conservationist, the first practicing female solicitor in New South Wales, mountaineer, explorer and avid bushwalker, feminist, author and an original member of the Buddhist Society in NSW.” 

Here is a link to a National Trust web page on Marie Byles:

The word ‘Ahimsa’ is variously interpreted as meaning non-violence, non-harming, cessation of hostility, non-killing and non-injury.  And would have been significant to Marie Byles from a Buddhist perspective.

It also represents a key underlying principle for those of us who follow Ashtanga Yoga, the eight-limb path, which was outlined by Patanjali, many centuries ago, in his Yoga Sutras.  The first of Patanjali’s eight limbs is the Yamas (sometimes referred to as self-restraints or moral principles), and the first of the Yamas is Ahimsa.  These precede the third and fourth limbs that are most familiar to us from our yoga practice – Asana and Pranayama.

  • Depart Penrith at 9am.  You may wish to car pool to reduce the number of cars making the journey. If car pooling, arrive 15 minutes earlier (8:45am) outside the yoga studio.
  • Depart from Thornleigh 10:30am. Meet outside the Monday Morning Cafe in Thornleigh (86 The Esplanade, Thornleigh) which is directly opposite Thornleigh train station.  Please arrive 15 minutes before departure.
  • The walk will wend it’s way from Thornleigh to Cheltenham, traversing parts of Lane Cove National Park, and taking in City View Lookout and Whale Rock, ultimately ending at Ahimsa. From there, a short walk will take us to Cheltenham train station, with frequent trains back to Thornleigh to pick up our cars.
  • Please bring a packed lunch, snacks, water, etc. Sun-protection recommended. Walking shoes/boots with ankle support also recommended, as the walk is uneven in parts.
  • There is water, electricity and a kettle at Ahimsa. We will find out if we are allowed to use them! But in case we are, you might like to bring along a mug and a tea bag. We’ll supply some soy milk!
  • Sadly, no dogs are allowed, as the walk goes through National Park land.
  • Family members, friends, etc. are welcome.
  • We estimate the overall distance of the walk to be around 7-8km. It’s mostly flat, but with some descending sections.
  • Expected return time to Thornleigh Station is 2:30 to 3pm. Expected return time to Penrith is around 4pm.
  • If you need to contact us on the morning of the walk, please call or send texts to the studio - 0424 337 223.

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