Hidden gems in India - yoga courses for 2018 winter season in Rishikesh
Finding YOUR CUP OF TEA (masala chai) in Rishikesh
You might have heard of Rishikesh being the world capital of yoga. It is a great place to visit if you are interested in yoga, however choosing the right place for you is not going to be so easy.
There are more than one hundred fifty yoga schools advertising in and around Rishikesh alone. Internet is overflowing with promises of the best yoga training experience ever, short of only enlightenment itself. The approach to practice, the styles of yoga, the personality of the instructor, can all make a considerable difference in your final perception.
There is no doubt that everyone can find something to their liking but it can take time, effort and frankly, considerable amount of disappointment, before you find what you are looking for.
Since the staff of TopYogis has an opportunity to visit and get to know many interesting yogis, below are a few recommendations of unique schools and their teachers representing the teachings of yoga not only through verbal instructions or asana demonstrations but also through the actions of their everyday life.
Sanskar Yoga Shala was founded by Yogi Naveen, who has been practicing yoga since childhood. He learned from many teachers, including Swami Yogananda who lived to be over 105 years old and taught a traditional system of Sukshma Viyayama, Yogiraj, and Yogi Vishvaketu, the founder of Akhanda yoga style. In his teaching, Naveen combines the elements of traditional classic yoga, Akhand yoga, and kundalini. Positive, smiling, happy, friendly and modest, Naveen is an inspiration for people pursuing more positivity and joy in their lives. Naveen has a genuine interest in yoga, he is authentic and dedicated in his practice, which are very important elements of a good yoga experience.
His school is located in a quiet part of Rishikesh and can host no more than 16 people, which means you will practice in a small group and will receive more personal attention.
Do it before it gets too well known! Check Sanskara Yoga Shala 200-hour yoga teacher training course in October.
Many yoga teachers have jumped on board of the current craze of yoga teacher trainings in Rishikesh and offer courses that promise all the possible superpowers, including foreseeing the future and endless bliss. In this situation of marketing flooding, a teacher who refrains from active self-promotion and keeps a quiet profile for many years, is a true exception. Rajendra Pandey, the founder of Rajendra Yoga and Wellness Center, is one of such rare teachers. He received his training in classical yoga and now teaches traditional yoga approach. His center includes the capacity of about 10-15 students, so you will have all the benefits of personal attention. We like Rajendra Ji because for us he embodies qualities of a yogi and lives according to the yogic principles.
If you study the programs of most yoga schools in Rishikesh, you will notice that they run retreats at the same time when they run their teacher training programs. Most often that means that if you come for a retreat, you will just join a teacher training group with a possibility to skip some of the classes. While you may think that you get an additional benefit from a teacher training, the downside is that the teachers’ priorities are covering the topics of ttc rather than the theme of your retreat. In other words, quite often you might not get all the insights from the retreats that are advertised on school’s websites. For these schools, retreat clients are just an addition to the main business of teacher training.
Therefore, if you want a good retreat experience, it makes sense to look for schools who concentrate solely on retreats. That’s why we recommend The Yoga School run by Roopali Patel for retreats focused on the traditional practice of yoga, ayurveda, and yogic lifestyle. If you want to learn the traditional approach to the science of yoga based on ancient scriptures and local traditions, this is your place for a retreat. Cleansing, diet, food, fasting, cooking, healing. Yoga as a lifestyle, not just an exercise system!
This school is run by Pandey Ji, an experienced yoga teacher who is particularly known for his expertise in yogic energy work. If you want to learn about pranic effects of pranayamas, cleanses, mudras, meditations, asanas and other practices, Vedansha is a good place to do it.
Pandey Ji is a charismatic teacher and his classes are motivational, entertaining and energizing. Check Vedansha’s autumn 200-hour yoga teacher training course.
All these courses are conducted in Rishikesh, a place which currently gets more attention as a yoga training destination and is commonly referred to as "the World Capital of Yoga". To find out more about Rishikesh, it's weather, food, natural conditions, yoga schools and teachers, useful tips for getting to and around Rishikesh, check our yoga guide to Rishikesh.
Tell us what you think. Have you found any hidden gem in Rishikesh that deserves more attention? Share with us!