Rishikesh, the city known for its spirituality and holiness is located on the banks of the holy river Ganga and surrounded by the tall Himalayas. Rishikesh is considered as one of the most spiritually inclined places in India. One of the reasons is due to the magnificent nature’s phenomenons that it surrounds itself with, making it easy access for people willing to lean to the side of holiness.
Rishikesh is also known as Tapo Bhumi that translates to a place for yoga and meditation of gods. Rishikesh is considered as a holy place that is considered as the entrance point to the other pilgrimage spots laid out on the northern side of the country. People in search of some peace and tranquillity head towards Rishikesh as it fills the mind with utmost peace and spirituality. Rishikesh also translates into the ‘city of saints’. It’s believed that Rishi Raibhya was one day sitting on the banks of River Ganga while performing severe penance in the form of austerity and extreme yoga practices. Mythology states that he was rewarded when Lord Vishnu appeared in the form of Rishikesh.that is how Rishikesh was rewarded its name. On the exact spot that Rishi Raibhya encountered Lord Vishnu, today people perform meditational practices and perform sadhana.
Rishikesh gained popularity during 1960 when the famous British band Beatles came to the city. The purpose of the Beatles to visit Rishikesh was to study the art of spirituality with guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Beatles Between 1960 to 1970, the International Academy of Meditation was s a popular meditation centre for the students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who was popularly known for teaching the Transcendental Meditation technique. During the early year of 1968, the English rock band Beatles came to this academy to study meditation. Its is believed by them and agreed by many of their fans that the band produced some of their best music during the period of their stay. The media was rigorously tracking the stay of the Beatles in Rishikesh. It is believed that the year Beatles came here, we’re actually their most stressful times. Every move of the Beatles was constantly under the radar of the local and foreign media. They were also grieving the loss of their manager, Brian Epstein. The Beatles visit led to meditational being that helped them cope through all the difficulties they were going through together.
Sadly, this meditation centre was shut in 1990 and returned to the forest department in the year 2003. Despite that, the spot became a popular site for fans of the Beatles band that come from far off places just to feel a sense of what the experience must have been like for the Beatles. The spot where the members of the band meditated is beautifully located on top of the Manikoot hill that overlooks the holy waters of river Ganga.
The spot allows you to take a peaceful walk around the arena to soak in all the purity and holiness that in consideration that spot to imbibe. You can also choose to spend some more time bird watching, The entry to the ashram has an entry fee of Rs 150 for Indian nationals and Rs 600 for foreigners.
TOP PLACES FOR YOGA IN RISHIKESH
- The Arogya Yoga School in Rishikesh is considered as one of the most premium spots to practice the art of Yoga. They offer various kind of Yoga teaching courses in Rishikesh. Affiliated with Rishikesh Yog Peeth and registered under the Yoga Alliance, USA, the Arogya Yoga school has been in existence since 2005, It was formed by two avid yoga teachers that wished to share the positive aspects that yoga had had on their lives and also to preserve its traditional values. The team of instructors include a team of five yoga instructors that have a prominent experience of teaching yoga to students of all ages. The program is stretched into different timings. The timings can be divided into 100, 200, 300 and 500 hours. The instructors are well versed with the English language, hence, people who do not know how to talk or understand Hindi will find it easy to comprehend what the instructor is communicating. Apart from this, organic meals, wifi and accommodation facilities are also available.
- The Rishikesh Yogapeeth was formed in the year 2005 to conduct yoga teacher training program sessions to people who are on the search of becoming a Yoga teacher and spread the positivity that surrounds it. The courses are divided into 200-hours, 300-hours and 500-hours. The institute believes in spreading the power of yoga through the ways in which their teachings have been influenced over the years. Whether it was how it was practised during the different periods or sages, the learning has been positively influenced by their teachings. To go into a persons ore and answer the questions of one’s own being is what the institute highly focusses on. Our mind is constantly working, therefore it is considered extremely important to calm it down. The Rishikesh Yogapeeth believes that the answers to all these questions are hidden in the treasures of Yog Sutra compiled by Mahrishi Patanjali.
- Founded in the year 2007 by Yogrishi Vishvketu, the Akhanda yoga Ashram is located around Tapovan in Rishikesh that is surrounded by the view of the mighty Himalayas. It is known as the international village of spiritual seekers stating true to its name Tapovan (forest for the yogis). The Ashram is known to practice Akhanda Yoga that is famous for being introduced by Himalayan Master Yogrishi Vishvketu. The khanda Yoga brings forward ancient wisdom for a modern age and incorporates all aspects of yoga – asana, pranayama, mantra, meditation and Yogic wisdom in every class. The classes are conducted twice a day. People who are looking to avail the Morning yoga session Yogrishi Vishvketu and accommodation facilities will be charged 500 rupees per class. But, if you want yoga classes on a drop-in basis then you are required to pay only 300 rupees per class. the great things about this Aashram are that people can learn how to cook food especially sattvic vegetarian food that is made using fresh local ingredients. The classes are also available online for people who cannot travel up to Rishikesh.
- The Patanjali International Yoga Foundation was established in 2001 as a Yoga Ashra and Retreat Centre in Rishikesh. It is a prominent yoga health and training school that is known to hold sessions and teachings around the ancient yoga technique. The foundation is known to share knowledge from the original textbooks of yoga, Ayurveda and Indian cultural scriptures. The mission of the Patanjali International Foundation is to not teach the physical practice of yoga, but also the spiritual involvement that affects the mind of the practitioners. The foundation conveys to followers around the world that as Yoga is gaining popularity among people, it is simultaneously losing its value. Hence, it clearly states on people looking to join the foundation that the art of Yoga that is taught here is as pure as it was during the olden times that are clearly stated in Sanskrit. They provide people with accommodation facilities, sattvic meals, library, laundry service, taxi service and holy place visits. Whether a beginner or not, they welcome everyone with open arms.
- Vishwa Shanti Yoga School is known to conduct affordable and intensive 200 hours, 300 hours and 500 hours hatha yoga teacher training sessions. A 100-hour session is also provided at the Vishwa Shanti Yoga School. These sessions are certificate-based that has been affiliated by the Yoga Alliance USA in Rishikesh. The yoga teachings that are taught in the school range from the beginner level, intermediate level and advanced level. The different week programs (four weeks/ six weeks/ ten weeks) allow the individual to learn all the aspects of yoga in a way that he or she could further be able to share their learnings further as a trained professional of yoga. The Vishwa Shanti Yoga School is offering the certification programs as per YA USA guidelines on a number of teaching hours and course curriculum for the prescribed programs since March 2015. The Vishwa Shanti Yoga School also offer yoga and Ayurveda retreats for yoga aficionados on a weekly basis. The place also has in house accommodation facilities for visitors to have a comfortable stay.
- The Sattva Retreat Rishikesh is considered as one of the most luxurious yoga retreats centres of Rishikesh. The place has been defined as the perfect amalgamation of luxury and spirituality. It is considered as a perfect retreat spot for people who are looking for a change from their daily monotonous lives. The place lets you lead a life for a brief period that is surrounded by calm and tranquillity. Sattva Retreat has a total of twenty-five well-furnished rooms that have all the necessary amenities like laundry, 24-hour room service, 24-hour backup, in-room safe, and travel assistance. The place also has a restaurant that offers organic food, hence keep care of both your mind and stomach. You need to travel up to Mohan Chatti, Jogiyana to visit the retreat centre.
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