31 January 2016

Rishikesh – Yoga tourism in the middle of the mountains


We did a day trip to Rishikesh, which is only around 30 km away from Haridwar. The day started by a satsang (question and answer session) with a Brazilian guru, Preem Baba. My only encounter with a spiritual teacher so far was listening to Tony Samara in Be-In festival in the summer, so I was excited to find out how this person would feel like and what sort of energy would he radiate. And boy, was I blown away: the minute he came in the room, my eyes filled with tears and I felt a rush of love in my heart. Such a powerful presence! I mean, say what you want about these "big names" who attract masses of spiritual people to listen to them, I really was impressed by him. His answers to the questions didn't provide any new information as such, but I think it's always interesting to approach the same things (moving from darkness into light, facing up to all your qualities and befriending them etc.) from a different angle. Everyone understands these things differently, so getting different perspectives to these themes always make me realize something a little more.




After the satsang we had lunch (malai kofta! jeera rice! salty lassi! hummus! Stomach was like "Noooo wtf are you doing to me" ;)), shopped a little and walked around.



Being out of the ashram for the first time was pretty exhausting. Sensory overload, plus my body was still quite weak from the diarrhea and cold. But it was great to get to see a bit of Rishikesh. I had contemplated rebooking my flight to Goa and spending a week in Rishikesh after the retreat, but now I realized I didn't want that. It was beautiful, yes, the town situated snug between the amazing mountains, but I was a little put off by the yoga tourism. Every building was a yoga school and travel agents were touting mountain treks and rafting and whatnot. I think Rishikesh is a place where you need to know where you want to be. If you just go there without a plan, you won't know where to start, there's so much on offer. I was interested in doing a reflexology or ayurvedic massage course there, but decided against them in the end, mostly because of the cold. I just need warmth. Less layers of clothes on me. Not sleeping with 5 layers of clothes and 3 fleece blankets. Thank you very much.





Mandakini and Nicole, an American living in the ashram


Sooo many monkeys
Offering

Ram Jhula bridge


1 comment:

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