Rishikesh Stories and Tips

So You Wanna be a Yogi

There's all different types of travelers who descend upon Rishikesh. On one side of the continuum, you've got people who have no intention of doing yoga (I know; weird, right?) and on the other end, there are the dredlocked, all-in-white, prayer beads on wrists, barefoot souls who radiate peace. The great news is that you if you do want to do some yoga, the commitment level is entirely up to you. You can, of course, go hard-core and sign up for an ashram experience where you live, eat and breathe yoga in a community for 2 weeks, 2 months or until you levitate. I, on the other hand, opted for the drop-in classes. Just ask anyone, and you'll hear of at least 4 places around town that offer daily practice. Usually there is a morning hatha class and an early evening vinyasa class, and the class sizes range from five to 12 students (international).

Vedic Yoga Centre, located on Laxman Jhula, is an excellent establishment. Kuku Ji has been a yoga instructor for over a decade and is passionate about his teachings. He speaks philosophy and the science of yoga in very understandable terms. Typically, Kuku Ji's 8 am class (150 Rs) starts off with chanting, mantras, breathwork and then asanas until 10 am. During the evenings, there is arti by the Ganges River, meditation and chanting. By request, Kuku Ji offers excursions to temples and caves (about 300 Rs) that depart at 11 am and return around 3 pm.

If you want to complement that yogic spirit with a yogi diet, Namaste Cafe can manifest that. They have the best bottled-water washed salads, real brown bread, the quintessential ginger-lemon-honey tea, and the highest quality in all foods. I've never gone back to a place so often in such a short amount of time. It's on the same street as Vedic Yoga Centre which makes for an easy commute in that interconnectedness sort of way.


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