Yoga, Mantras and Malas

DCIM103GOPRO

A typical day in Rishikesh would consist of getting up around 7am (no alcohol available and going to bed at 10pm does that to you). After a quick coffee in our room – I bought a Press coffee maker in Kochi which I guard with my life. You can take a girl out of the Balkans, but don’t mess with her coffee – Then Mat normally goes for breakfast at the Divine Ganga and satsang with Mooji. Mooji is this incredible Jamaican guru, and his satsangs are really nice (check him out on www.mooji.org). While I go for yoga with Amrit at the Divine Ganga. The Divine Ganga is the hotel we stayed in when we first arrived to Rishikesh. It is great, but as we were decided to stay a month, it became too pricey so we moved down the street to Bindusar Yoga School which charged us far less. Bindusar Yoga school is a family affair and they throw great parties, as we saw during Holi.

Bindusar_holi

Our Yoga teacher, Amrit is from Pune where he studied Iyengar yoga for years before coming to teach the style in Rishikesh. He is hands down one of the best yoga teachers I’ve had and is generally a great person to be around. Having classes with him each day for a month was great and we learned loads. Iyengar yoga is a slower paced yoga style that focuses on holding positions for longer, this way you learn the correct alignment of the various asanas and as it uses a lot of helping tools like blocks, boulders etc. is a great style for new beginners (or lazy bums who haven’t practiced for a while). Another really good teacher is Mukesh at the Bindusar Yoga school. He mainly focuses on Ashtanga yoga and I took a class with the guys doing teacher training. This guy is hardcore and all my muscles were aching for days, which means that it worked. Sadly I only found out about him towards the end of our stay, otherwise I would have taken morning classes with him and evening with Amrit. Bindusar do teacher training and Mukesh normally teaches in Budapest, so if you’re around be sure to check him out. His webiste is here.

After satsang and yoga, we’d normally meet for lunch. A great place is Ramana’s Garden this place is actually a Children’s home for disadvantaged kids from Nepal and kids from abusive homes in India. The kids are great and as the place runs a Cafe they help around and this way learn about hospitality. Most of these kids have pretty terrifying stories and it’s quite touching to visit them and see how they live and grow. Ramana’s also run a school that also kids from the area attend. They currently have a “Banana for Ramana” campaign going on, which aims to provide the school kids with a banana a day. Some of the kids walk far to get to school and some often show up hungry, a banana a day will keep their tummies full and happy so they can focus on learning and playin with their schoolmates. To provide one of these kidlets with bananas for a whole year (!) costs £15 only and you can donate here. Needless to say this is a great cause and the money goes to Ramana’s directly. When you donate, drop me a line with you address and I’ll send you a funky post card from one of the countries we go to as thanks for being and awesome person.

We learned a lot in Rishikesh. Most importantly to live in the present, something you easily forget while running around like a crazy person at work. It’s easy to lose perspective of the important things and Rishikesh is definitely a place where where you find back to yourself again. To put it in work terms, it’s like hitting a giant reset button and you become receptive to people and situations around you and when negative things happen, you don’t get attached to the feeling, instead you just watch it slide past you. It’s great. Here is us, being receptive to a giant Indian family who wanted to take our photo.

Love & Light Nx

DCIM103GOPRO

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