Yoga in Rishikesh & Leaving India

Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Blog, India | Comments Off on Yoga in Rishikesh & Leaving India

Dates of travel: 11/5 – 11/8/2012

Rishikesh is known as the yoga capital of the world. With hundreds of Ashrams and yoga masters all throughout the town, tourists come from all over the world to get the “true” Indian yoga experience.

Usually, we try to avoid touristy places except to see specific sights, but after the difficult experiences we have had with the locals, we decided that a place full of tourists would be perfect for us. Furthermore, we figured that some yoga, relaxation and focusing on spirituality would be just what we needed after having been sick. We went to Anand Prakash  Ashram because it was recommended to us by a friend and were hoping to stay there for one week. They were booked out but offered us to stay at a guesthouse next door while we still could eat all our meals and participate in the yoga classes at the Ashram. That sounded perfect for us as we didn’t have to follow the strict routines such as not being able to talk until 10 am. When we went to our first dinner it was very interesting. We all sat in a small room across from each other. We were on the floor with small tables lined up for everyone. We each had our own dishes and the same food for everyone was served into our bowls by the staff. Before we started eating everyone would sign a chant and clap their hands together. The last time we had an experience like this we were in kindergarten, but it obviously meant a lot to everyone here.

A lot of the people staying at the Ashram were completing their 200 or 500 hour teacher training requirements. To get some experience they held the yoga classes for the non-teachers like us. We enjoyed the classes but felt that it wasn’t anything different than the classes we had taken in California.

The Ashram was peaceful and the town certainly cleaner than everything else we had seen in India, but still we didn’t find that it was a special experience. In fact, we felt like we could just as well be home in California doing the same. When I ended up getting sick again after just two days, we decided that it was time to move on, book our flights out of India and head back to Delhi to prepare for leaving.

Laxman Jhoola - Main Tourist Area in Rishikesh

Laxman Jhoola – Main Tourist Area in Rishikesh

Main Tourist Street in Rishikesh

Main Tourist Street in Rishikesh

Monkeys on the bridge

Monkeys on the bridge

View inside the courtyard of an Ashram

View inside the courtyard of an Ashram

Leaving India  (11/9 – 11/11)
During our last two days in Delhi we were just miserable and sick. We couldn’t wait to get out of India and get on our flight to Bangkok. When the day finally came, I was checking us out of our hotel while Eric was dealing with getting the bikes strapped to the top of the airport taxi. When we were at the airport we looked forward to spending our last Indian Rupees at McDonald’s. Yes, McDonald’s sounded very, very appealing, scrumptious and healthy compared to a lot of the Indian food we’ve had in the last couple of weeks. When we checked our money we realized that we were missing some of it. We went over our spending and when I told him that I had paid for the taxi and the hotel his jaw dropped…. “What? But I had paid for the hotel last night!”
Seriously? I couldn’t believe it. When I paid that morning I had specifically asked the owner if Eric had not already paid the night before and he told me no, he hadn’t. We felt like fools and shared some McDonald’s French Fries since a Big Macs weren’t in the budget anymore. This ending to our India Adventure certainly confirmed our decision to leave India much sooner than planned and to never return.

All India posts:
Part 1 – A long day – Crossing the border into India
Part 2 – Cycling in India 
Part 3 – Feeling like Superstars
Part 4 – A super-cheap amusement park? Heck yes!
Part 5 – Dussehra Festival
Part 6 – Agra and the Taj Mahal
Part 7 – Delhi
Part 8 – Staying on a houseboat on Dal Lake in Kashmir
Part 9 – Yoga in Rishikesh   &   Leaving India
Final Part – I.N.D.I.A. – I will never do it again!