To be honest I don’t really know how to find the right words, that can describe this journey to Rishikesh, India but let’s give it a try.
Rishikesh is known as the world capital of yoga and you can find many different yoga schools, yoga retreats and amazing yoga teachers from all over the world. The school we chose to complete our 200hr yoga teacher training for one month is called Shiva Yoga Peeth. Shiva Yoga Peeth is especially focused on Hatha Yoga which is the basic of all yoga forms and you can choose between 200hr, 300hr or 500hr yoga teacher training programs or if you like drop by for some daily yoga classes while visiting Rishikesh.
Let the journey begin:
I started flying from Copenhagen to Frankfurt to meet up with my friend Emelie to start our journey to India. Since Emilie’s flyed got delayed and she missed our connecting flight to Delhi, India, I suddenly found myself alone in the plane to India. Since I never traveled so far on my own, I got very mixed feelings on the flight to Delhi. I was nervous, excited, worried about Emelie and in my head went over and over again on how I will get from Delhi to Rishikesh on my own.
When I arrived in Delhi and was driving with a local bus from the international airport to the domestic airport, I got confronted with so much poverty outside the airport, that got me think: Isn’t it crazy that we can just take a luxury and comfortable flight coming from a country with great infrastructure, good economics, health care system etc. and then getting out of the plane, seeing malnourished kids, running around naked, living at the sides of huge highways, carrying around stones that a bigger than themselves …
After taking the plane from Delhi to Dehradun while driving to Rishikesh by Taxi, I got overwhelmed by India’s beautiful nature. All my nervousness of traveling by myself and being totally on my own was completely gone and I enjoyed being for the first time in India.Tired but happy I arrived at Shiva Yoga Peeth. As well here I got overwhelmed with so many impressions, meeting already so many amazing people from all over the world, seeing my new room for the next 4 weeks and getting confronted by Indians culture. Even that the street in front of Shiva Yoga Peeth seemed quite small, there was so much traffic. Cars overloaded with people were honking their way through small, dirty streets. Pilgrims that are on a journey to a holy place were walking through the streets. They were looking at you, trying to get in contact with you and taking picture of you, it almost seemed impossible to walk the streets. Cows were either lying on the streets, slowly walking around or sleeping inside in front of your hotel’s reception. Monkeys were sitting in the trees, walking around the yoga center, sitting on balconies or watching us during our hatha yoga classes, they just were everywhere! I have to say the first day I was so happy to see all those monkeys so close and found it really exciting to have them around. That view or attitude towards those huge monkeys changed quickly during the weeks. If those monkeys saw you with food trust me nothing stopped them from getting it. One morning on my way to school, two girls were passing me with their grocery bags with fresh fruits, out of nowhere a huge monkey jumped on the street, grabbed their grocery bag took out the things he liked and enjoyed fresh bananas sitting on the next wall. So in the end after having experienced many of such situations I have to say I got huge respect for those monkeys.
During my first walk up and down the street, next to all the noise, people, monkeys and cows I could feel the heavy and humid air that was lying over the city smelling of trash and cow dung that were lying around.Back in my room, which was very small and dark and with very simple furnishing seemed a bit depressing. The room had one large double bed with moisty sheets, a fan plus air conditioner and a little bathroom. The electricity was always a kind of good luck thing sometimes and often my phone was used as light during the evening hours. The same thing applies for warm water, if the tank for warm water was empty, you had to wait until it got filled up again or once in awhile boost your immune system with a cold shower in the morning. I don’t wanna let those things seen as critique or an complain, It’s a great experience to get and it’s easy to realise how good we have it back home.
The first day at Shiva Yoga Peeth we started with a fire ceremony that has been an amazing experience and great start of the course. In the Indian culture they believe that the fire ceremony cleans your past and helps you to start a new life. But the best thing happening that day was that Emelie finally had arrived safed in Rishikesh. That same day we got our schedule for the next four weeks thereafter I asked myself for the first time if I knew what I had said yes to. We had classes from Monday to Saturday starting at 5:30 am until 8 pm. Here the mornings was the hardest especially without coffee. Luckily we found a chai place right next to the school, where a local family was making the best fresh brewed chai in town. I asked for the recipe and got so lucky so that the recipe is now available on My Tasty Travel, Indian chia.
Let the practice begin.
First of all I have to say both the yoga teachers were amazing! I really felt in love with their for me new teaching techniques/methods and with each of their individual yoga classes. I got pushed to physical and mental limits I didn’t knew of before. I never have felt that weakness in my body and still had the strength to continue. Here it comes to the part that I am not sure on how to describe my journey in words. My body got really sick the first week, due to new food, training and environment factors. I got scared being in India and just wanted to leave the country, being in my own bed and surrounded by things I am used to. I got better again and stand back with both my feet on my mat and practiced, practiced, practiced. It felt good I felt strong and happy. I learned so much about myself and got a wider view on yoga and meditation. Suddenly this weakness I have not been used to came back, I was trying so hard to attend every class since I am used to being strong! My body started shaking during one of the classes I had no strength no energy, tears were rolling down my face and I for the first time I learned to admit to myself that’s ok to be weak and to take a break. After taking this break for myself, sitting at the site watching the classes and eating a huge cinnamon bun I felt so much better and with full new energy could start participating in the next classes. In the end of the course, we started teaching each other to practice our teaching skills. Here I found so much love in teaching yoga like I love practicing yoga that I am looking forward to share my experiences and love as yoga teacher.
During the course I have met so many amazing, inspiring and wonderful people from all over the world that made that journey so special and unique. Again here I can’t find the right words on how amazing it was to meet so many great and amazing people on one place and share this journey with all of them. I can only say I got overwhelmed with so many feelings and emotions.
Ok let’s change the topic to another passion of mine: Food. While I was attending the Yoga Teacher Training I tried next to the food at school different restaurants to get inspirations for new recipes. Like you might already know the main dishes in India are mainly rice and daal or here in Rishikesh momos are very popular. Momos are small pastry bags filled with vegetables and optional cheese. They can be enjoyed damped or fired and for some extra spices can be dipped into a delicious spicy dip. Concerning sweets and desserts I felt in love with two Indian recipes one is called Gulab Jamun that are small pastry balls that are served in a sweet sauce with lots of delicious cardamom. The other sweet is called Laddu and are sweets in form of small balls that main ingredients are flour, minced dough and sugar with other ingredients that vary by recipe. This sweets are often served at festive or religious occasions and are really delicious and filling. When it comes to drinks Indian Chai is a must when visiting India or if you’re not planning on going to India in the next period of time try make your own Indian Chia at home. I am sure you will love it.
When I arrived back home, it took me awhile to be back again, to process all the impressions, experiences and emotions. But I am really happy being back home, lying next to the person I love sharing my life together and enjoying all the amazing things I am so grateful to have. I actually told my boyfriend at the first day: “ I am ready to have an house/apartment, kids and job”. I actually don’t know why I felt that way of something more stable since the things we have learned about in India were mainly getting not attached by such things. Let’s see what comes next.
“Be yourself and accept yourself the way you are ➻ You are perfect the way you are!”
“Life the moment and ENJOY life in its current moment!”