Upon entering into Rishikesh, I almost felt like I wasn’t in India anymore. The beeping horns,tuk tuks, and cows brought me back to reality but something was different……what was it?
Ahhh, yes….white people! Loads of them actually. And more specifically, young white women with Lululemon pants walking into air conditioned stores with specialty oils and packaged coconut water. I felt like I had been transported back to Southern California! Where did India go??
At first I was a but disappointed. I had really been enjoying the experience of being a monitory and not having access to western “stuff”…..and now it didn’t quite feel like that. But once I looked last that part, and past the spiritual marketing to young, impressionable hippies with money….it’s hard not love Rishikesh.
It’s incredibly scenic, has a great vibe about it, and basically everyone there has come to learn and practice yoga and meditation.
The bulk of our 2 weeks was spent at the amazing Mahatma ashram. While we were there we had 3 hours of yoga a day
1 1/2 hours of meditation
A 1 1/2 hour lecture from the wise and humble Yogi Ji
Ganga river worship each night. These 3 young men would sing the most beautiful song and we would put flower pedals in the rivers with our prayers. The ceremony would start and end by them blowing a conch shell. They let me try it one night. It’s harder than it looks!
And 3 AMAZING Ayurvedic vegetarian meals a day almost convincing me to go vegetarian when we got home. Almost.
We also went white water rafting with our group at the ashram. It. Was. Awesome!! So exhilarating.
At one point we just flopped out of the boat and floated along with the current. When we were in Varanasi- I would have told you that you couldn’t have paid me to get in the Ganga….that day I didn’t want to get out. When we got to the cliff jump, I didn’t think twice about it. We went on the side and cut the “line” (aka- mass of guys pushing their way up), almost got pushed right off the slippery rock, stepped to the edge and before I knew it- someone pushed me off! It was fun. 🙂
We explored other yoga classes with our buddies on our Sunday off and thoroughly enjoyed a 2 1/2 hour yin yoga session.
During our free time, Shane worked and I read, got in the river, or wrote. We went to Cafe de Goa each day for wifi and talked to the incredibly friendly staff who constantly told us to stay as long as we wanted to work….”this is your home!”
One of the many highlights of the trip was our Indian cooking class. I’m not sure how we are going to replicate this ridiculously good food, but we are going to try. We learned so much! Come over for dinner and we will try out our skills 🙂
On our last night there we stood on the stunning suspension bridge that connects the 2 sides of the city. The wind was blowing and the stars were shining, the powerful river Ganga below us. We acknowledged what was flowing by us were the prayers, energy, hope and devotion of millions of people. And in that moment, I felt more connected with the river than I could have imagined. It was a moment I’ll always cherish….just like our time in India.
Thank you, Rishikesh!