Easing back into life is not always so straight forward particularly after an extended trip to India. Arriving in India, you feel as though you’ve entered a strange and magical world. Your senses get overloaded with sounds, sights, colours, smells and tastes. India pulses and you feel so alive. There is no hiding from the experience, it is all consuming and you quickly adjust to the ebb and flow of life.
My first destination was Rishikesh situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and known as the “Yoga capital of the world”. The sacred river Ganges flows through Rishikesh and the city is considered holy by Hindus. A bustling centre of temples, customs, rituals with a deep rich history. You become completely absorbed by life here.
Home during my stay was Anandprakash Yoga Ashram in Tapovan , just a few minutes walk from the sacred Ganges. Tapovan, an ideal location for yoga sadhana, is named for its heritage as a site for spiritual disciplines. “Tap”, represents tapas, the practice of spiritual disciplines. “Van” means forest. So, Tapovan is the forest of the yogis.
(Arrival at Anand Prakash Ashram)
The rigours of ashram living can be challenging particularly the strict daily routine. You wake up early before sunrise, meditate to go deeper into our mind, practice yoga asanas to work on a physical level within the body, practice breathing exercises to steady our mind, chant to raise our vibrations and bring balance, fire puja for purification, eat simple food, discuss philosophies to open the mind and lectures to develop our knowledge.
I had several goals for my trip, firstly to spend time with my teacher to seek guidance and spiritual wisdom. I was ready to learn new skills and techniques to deepen my knowledge and personal practice. I was looking for new ideas and inspiration to bring back and share with my students. And finally to meet fellow yogis and spiritual travellers.
(Our teachers – Gayatri, Yogrishi Vishvketu, Prem, Kamalika)
“Simply being with other people who are also seekers and who are involved in the same quest you are is very meaningful” ~ Dan Wakefield
My trip didn’t disappoint, I gifted myself this time and I absorbed new teachings, personal reflections, had the opportunity to be fully present and in the moment without the distractions of everyday life. I found peace and clarity of mind. I met an amazing group of fellow yogis from all corners of the globe. We developed a deep connection from sharing the same life changing experience.
As I reflect I can see that this trip is the beginning of something special. The depth of the experience was so immense that I do not think I will comprehend the impact until much further down the line… Every moment feels so special and I have a new vigour for life.
(Yoga Teacher Training Yogis)
“Spirituality is allowing compassion and love to flourish. When belongness begins, corruption ends.” ~ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
“Happiness cannot be travelled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude” ~ Denis Waitley