On the banks of Maa Ganga……beneath the beautiful blue skies…fresh air that can blow away your worries,…surrounded by the breath-taking mountains…comes a serene feeling within us, that no money can buy.
It was a chilly morning. I could hear the breeze whistle past my ears, but that couldn’t hamper my excitement…
What was I excited about?
I was absolutely thrilled to see and meet 250 Yogis and Yogini’s who had travelled from all over the world, all the way to Rishikesh where the revered Astanga Guru Sharath Jois was there practicing Yoga with us.
Our classes were right on the banks on Maa Ganga and I couldn’t even begin to explain how it feels. When the cool breeze is interspersed with chants of the holy Ganges and you are practicing right by the river…
‘Heavenly‘ is the word that’s apt. Those moments, were truly heavenly!
The day began with the homa (Haven), we prayed to Lord Ganesha. Most Hindus believe that Lord Ganesha is the god of learning and wisdom and worship him first, before all deities.
What makes me to go to Rishikesh and attend YogaWorkshop?
Definitely, for Sharth Jois. Sharath Jois, Ashtanga Yoga guru of Mysore, South India, is the practitioner and lineage holder (paramaguru) of Ashtanga Yoga. It is very tough to attend his normal classes or enroll into teachers training program with him. Students have to wait for months to get there.. The website opens at a particular time in midnight and closed within 4 mins. The registration starts 6 months before..
So for me it was an opportunity to go and attend his classes and getting to know him and meet him and Rishikesh being capital of yoga and such a sacred place makes me to attend his workshop.
How I booked the event?
I booked my event from the link below.. Follow them..
How was my stay in Rishikesh?
I was staying outside the ashram half the time and inside the Ashram for remaining half the time.
Outside the Ashram, I was in city or downtown of Rishikesh where there are lot of street vendors, there was cloth market, super market. I was staying in my friend’s relatives. They had a guest house inside the temple.. The temple names Bharat Mandir (Temple) is the most ancient, most sacred, most famous temple in Rishikesh. Temple located in the heart of the city. It is close to Triveni Ghat, a confluence of three holy significant Rivers the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati, is a most revered sacred bathing spot in Rishikesh. It was worth to live in inside the temple.
Where we were staying, a big tulsi tree, an old well which still works, a mountain visible from home and a sweet old style kitchen took my attention. We used to call private Auto at 5:30 am to take us to our Yoga workshop spot every morning..
Inside the Ashram, the stay was very heavenly. Parmarth Niketan is situated in the lap of the lush Himalayas, along the banks of the Ganges where I enjoyed the peaceful vibe and fresh air. Temple bells ring incessantly, incense wafts on the breeze and yogi friends are everywhere to be seen.
There was a clean, pure and sacred atmosphere as well as abundant, beautiful gardens to thousands of pilgrims, who come from all corners of the Earth. I used to attend my yoga classes followed by morning universal prayers and meditation classes, daily satsang and lecture programs, kirtan
, a Ganga aarti.
Rishikesh is considered a sacred city, there’s only vegetarian food. I’m a vegetarian, and I had no qualms. I have tried all the local food here. It was fresh and very yummy. From Samosas to Tikki, to Kachori, to Rajma Chawal, to Cholle Batture, to Sweet Lassi, to Faluda kulfi, to Aaloo Parantha and Gobhi Parantha and many more……
Awe :(….. I gained a lot of weight as the food was too good.
The shopping was surprisingly good too. I loved the flowing clothes, devotional music, semi-precious gemstone jewelry, and books. If you’re like me, these would be some items you’d wanna considering buying. I was also fascinated by the variety of options for natural healing treatments such as Ayurvedic massage, and courses in everything from astrology to Sitar…
In the afternoons, we relaxed in the ghat, reading our favorite books and having Garam Garam Chai (hot tea) and Samosa (snack)…
I was accompanied by the holy cows on most occasions, that was great too!
The evening aarti(spiritual ritual) takes place at dusk on the ghats (steps), in front of a massive white statue of Shiva in a meditation pose. It was an exciting event to take part in: pandits chant and wave oil lamps as the sun sets, and after dark everyone is invited to release small offerings — little “boats” made of flowers and leaves, containing a candle and incense stick — on the strong currents of the black river.
This Cute little Pandit (Vidyarthi) made my Aarti even more special by giving Aarti plate to me every day… I mean every day… :). Thanks to all the divine energies.
After the aarti, there was Satsang. sacred gathering during which we danced to the songs of Lord Krishna, again a mesmerizing effect on our souls…
That’s just a sneak peak at what transpired at Rishikesh, and I absolutely cherished every moment of it. I encourage my dear reader – You, to participate in such events and you’ll be amazed as I am.
Goodbye, for now … Find me where I am.
If you want to follow Sharath Jois, he is going to Japan for his next workshops, follow him thru this link
And a Ganga Dip! Jai Maaa Gange …