Eleven Nights in Rishikesh

Eleven Nights in Rishikesh

When something is inspiring and shackling you so much – surrender. That’s what I did. To start something new you have to make room. Make room in your life, in your social environment, in your head and in your heart. Being on this journey means to confront myself with these topics of making room, letting go, being open for whatever comes. And so my journey began. I quit my job, sublet my apartment, packed my stuff, said goodbye, promised I will come back, left a kiss, hugged my tree, prayed for safety, shed a tear and got on the plane.

The Valley of Miracles

My flight left from Frankfurt to Delhi and I started with the goal to not stay longer than 24 hours in Delhi. And I was successful. Only 30 hours (incl. 6 hours of car driving) after arriving in Delhi I found myself in Rishikesh. Rishikesh is located in the northern part of India and one of the most famous places of pilgrimage. Usually travelers will pass by and stop on their way to the Himalayas. (See also post pilgrimage (I)). Mother Ganga flows right through Rishikesh, surrounded by mystical green mountains. The atmosphere is very special, the holy river, the people, the seekers, the finders and the lost ones. A Potpourri of all these different energies buzzing around, to be cleansed by holy Mother Ganga. Myself I felt wrapped in love and security. Taking a bath everyday gave me a feeling of deep gratitude to be here so close to Mother Ganga and being embraced by her unconditional love.

Daily signs paved my way

One thing that you have to get used to in Rishikesh (or probably all over India) is being permanently surrounded by animals. Everyday a different animal appeared, a snail, lizards, black redstarts (Hausrotschwanz) of course cows and dogs. All these animals have different meanings, e.g. the black redstart is typically found in the Himalayan valleys and meant to bring luck. But not only animals appeared also fascinating trees could be found along the banks of Mother Ganga. Since I learned a bit about how to “read” trees I see miracles and signs everywhere along my way. As Rishikesh is a very holy and spiritually loaded place I found trees winding more exceptional than others, pointing obviously towards places like Mother Ganga, temples, hills or other sacred spots. Already by observing the trees I could tell that this is an exceptional place with special energies.

Almost forgot…Yoga in Rishikesh

Rishikesh as the Capital of Yoga might not be the same as it was 20 or 30 years ago. I spoke to a man, a musician from UK, who is coming frequently to Rishikesh since 1995. He experienced Rishikesh in a completely different way. Without a lot of commercialization around Yoga, teacher trainings were rare and the teachings seemed to be more appreciated and seen as special and nothing which is a “fast moving consumer good”. But development and progress is a natural flow that everything in this world will undergo. I always try to see the good and the advantages in that. Even if I sometimes would like to experience places like Rishikesh how they were back in the days. Anyway. Finally I went to see three different teachers here in Rishikesh. Less than I planned but I just followed my own flow.

Swasti Yoga – Hatha Yoga with Surinder Singh

  • what a wonderful and warm-hearted teacher
  • perfect doses of corrections
  • just a look and you know what to correct
  • not the most perfect asana teachings but still on a high level

Resume: go and join his classes, feel his love and prana floating through the room

Energy exchange: 200 INR

Location: direction Ram Jhula, better ask on your way

Time: 8:30am (be there at least 15 minutes before class starts)

Vivekananda Yoga and Meditation School – Vinyasa Flow teacher unknown

  • this was by far the worst yoga class I ever experienced
  • teacher was not able to create a comfortable and energetically flowing space
  • instructions given were sometimes not clear
  • no real warm up for quite advanced asanas (injuries?)
  • bad corrections
  • left the room during Savasana

Resume: I wouldn’t recommend this school

Energy exchange: 300 INR

Location: close to Lakshman Jhula

Time: 6:00pm

Green Hotel – Iyengar Yoga with Ashish

  • very strict and detailed
  • pushes you to your limit
  • simple but powerful corrections
  • be prepared for two hours of quite intense practice

Resume: join Ashish‘s class and experience Iyengar yoga, detailed asana practice and overcome your blockages (in your mind)

Energy exchange: 200 INR

Location: Green hotel near Ram Jhula (Shala might changed now)

Time: 8:30am

In the end experiences are always individual. Maybe you will find your preferred teacher and style which you would like to recommend.

Leaving Rishikesh

When I left Rishikesh my heart felt heavy, I knew I would miss Rishikesh. Miss Mother Ganga. Miss the lovely people (especially from Sonu Guesthouse). Miss the atmosphere. Miss the wonderful nature. The fresh air in the morning. But my journey is about arriving, staying and leaving. And this is what our whole life is about. We arrive in this world, we stay and one day we will leave (physically). But our souls are eternal.

My thoughts for you: appreciate your stay in this world, make it a better place with all that you can give and with all your talents. You are unique.

[If the Layout appears funny to you use this mantra: Function over Form. WordPress on iPad is a pain in the a…nkle.]

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