Enchanting, peaceful, beautiful, amazing, serene, magical Rishikesh. I could find so many other wonderful words to explain this very special place. Its definitely stole a piece of my heart (and I’m only here a week)! I don’t think I’ll be ready to leave in 3 weeks time (I could easily spend months here which I intend to make happen in the very near future).
Many consider Rishikesh to be the yoga capital of India, and therefore the world. Yoga centers are dotted along the roads pressing against each other more frequently than cafes in Sydney.
Rishikesh is located on the banks of the river Ganges which makes it a very sacred and beautiful place. Its nestled by mountains with the river Ganges running through it. The people here speak of the Ganges, or the “Ganga”, as the Mother of All Life. It is easy to see why, with life growing heavier the closer to the riverbank you go.
Its only been a few days but already it feels like home for me. I most definitely have been here in a past life (that I am sure of). Everyone is so friendly, from the backpackers that you meet to the lovely warm locals. Its got a really nice welcoming feel about the place. I’ve been fully immersing myself in the local culture, and the truth is, I honestly love it. What I love so dearly is the soothing chants echoing from endless temples and ashrams feathered along the riverbed, quietly fusing into the deeply meditative intonation of the pouring Ganga. My soul is deeply happy here, that I know!
After spending 2 days in Delhi which was over populated, noisy, over polluted and ridiculously hectic; I soon found out it was Rishikesh that brought me to India. I was talking to my dear friend Lili the other day who spent some time here last year and the words she shared with me rang so true “I called Rishikesh the land of manifestation. I would think of someone and they would appear. Or I would think of something I want to do and then see a poster. Everything you think just appears.”
Seriously no word of a lie, that’s exactly what’s been happening for me too since arriving. Anything I seem to put out to the universe, moments later it appears. For instance, I really wanted to meet Gurmukh (a well known Kundalini teacher who is the co-founder and director of Golden Bridge Yoga Center in LA ) and I knew she was hosting some teacher training while I was here. Next thing, I’m in a Kundalini class (which my ashram directed me to) but little did I know it was a teacher training happening. I just thought I struck lucky! Guess who was one of the teachers sitting at the top of the room – only Gurmukh. So, I was sitting there and then I notice some students with books around me and I put two and two together. But, before I had a chance to get up I get a little tap on my back ”Sorry but I don’t recognize you from this training. This is a special teacher training on right now.” I was mortified, I jumped up blushing apologising and ran out the door as fast as I could. Later I met the same lady at Aarti and they invited me to attend their early morning Sadhana’s so that’s what I’ve been doing for the past couple of mornings (and I’m loving it).
So my days are looking a little like this at the moment:
- Wake Up before 4am/4.30am
- A bath in the Ganges
- Kundalini Sadhana practice
- Hatha yoga class
- Panchakarma (which I started on Friday for 7 days)
- An Inner Child healing session or time chilling out with new friends or reading/studying/writing
- Mysore Ashtanga yoga class/Aarti
- Music concert
- Bed by 8pm/8.30pm
I feel blessed to have found an incredible healer Claude and I’m currently doing some Inner Child work. Its very powerful healing work. I hope to blog about this in a more detailed post at some stage.
I started the Panchakarma on Friday which was most certainly an experience (I shall blog about this in-depth in a later post). I caught myself snoring half way through it. It left me feeling deeply relaxed. It started with a full body massage (I was stripped down to nothing) and bathed in oil (yes, everywhere). I surrender completely to the rhythm of the massage and I become liquid like the ocean! If that wasn’t relaxing enough, next up is the shirodhara (which is a third eye treatment)! This is a technique which soothes and invigorates the senses as well as the mind. I then finish with a medicated steam bath. I literally floated out of the room like a soft marshmallow.
Tomorrow I start my Basti (enema) which shall be a whole different kind of experience! I’m on liquids all day too.
On Saturday I had my very first Tarot Reading which was very intriguing! I wanted to shed some light on the areas of my life that needed healing (I was curious what the guidance had to say) – after all that’s what I’m here for. So for the next 3 weeks that’s exactly what I’ll be doing, spending time out healing and doing this beautiful inner work (as painful as it may be for me) that I feel so incredibly blessed to be here for. I’m so ready to forgive, heal and release all that is consciously or unconsciously delaying or blocking the transformation of my being.
I’ve found a wonderful yoga teacher Anu from Ananda Yoga Shala which I’m taking two classes a day with. I attend his incredible morning Hatha class (which goes for 2 1/2 – 3 hours) and then his Mysore class in the evening. In the morning class, we sing as we move through the sun salutes which I have to say is simple divine. I’m learning a great deal from him and I can’t wait to share these learnings in my own classes back in Sydney soon.
So that’s it for the moment. There is so much more I could share and write about but I’ll save that for another time.
Sending you so much Love, Light and Blessings from Rishikesh,
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