Rishikesh the ‘Yoga Capital of The World’

Posted by on Sep 18, 2016 in Asia, Featured, Healthy Living, India, Travel, Wellbeing | 0 comments

Rishikesh the ‘Yoga Capital of The World’

North of Delhi nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas lies the magical place that is Rishikesh.

The holy River Ganges flows steadily through the town as cows wander the streets and cheeky monkeys watch you pass by.

A spiritual hub that attracts those looking to study the ancient arts of yoga and meditation, Rishikesh is an alcohol and meat free town.

The people who come here are open minded and ask the big questions, our conversations mull over topics like the meaning of life, who we are and what is truth.

There’s unquestionably something special in the air, The Beatles must have felt it too and wrote many of their songs while living here in the 1960s.

 

lakshman-jhula

 

It was here I chose to complete my 200 hour yoga teacher training course, at the World Peace Yoga School in the small community of Lakshman Jhula.

An amazing experience where I learned all about yoga and the philosophy behind it, and practiced meditation and pranayama (breathing techniques).

An incredibly personal journey I also learned about my mind, my body and myself as a person.

 

emma-meditating

 

I was diagnosed by the ayuverdic doctor as a predominantly Pitta person, the dosha or type associated with the fire element known for being intelligent, determined and fiery.
From simply taking my pulse he determined this and pointed out other ailments I had.

 

cow-and-stall

 

With a healthy amount of scepticism I went to see the astrologer, however he was scarily accurate in his account of my life to date from only looking at the stars. Third generation he is often overseas and always charges 500 of the local currency, luckily for me being in India that meant 500 rupees rather than those who see him in America and pay 500 dollars!

 

river-view-from-beatles

 

Beyond my regular classes I visited temples, took part in a cacao ceremony, a rebirthing, full moon ceremony, fire ceremonies, a party for Lord Krishna’s birthday and attended an acupressure and cupping workshop.

My journey was shared and encouraged by the wonderful people I met along the way, my beautiful teachers and other students who felt like long lost family.

 

tea-break-friends

 

One afternoon we hiked to a stunning waterfall in the mountains, as the afternoon rain came stopped for a leisurely cup of tea by the river, then hitchhiked a lift into town in the back of a truck.

 

waterfall

 

Nights were spent feeling the fresh breeze while standing on the bridge over the Ganges, at the fire offering on the river (‘Ganga Aarti’, pictured below), gazing at the stars from a rooftop or sitting on the steps of an abandoned mansion contemplating life and its mysteries.

 

ganga-aarti-rishikesh

 

Staying there for a month I soon settled into the gentle rhythm of the place. The streets became familiar and shopkeepers would invite me in for chai.

Just as it began to feel like home it was time to leave.

My glimpse into India certainly whet my appetite, and I’m sure I’ll be back one day.

 

emma-in-street

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