Let’s agree that Mondays require the majority of motivation prompts, and what’s more motivating than exploring what you can do beyond your homeland? Welcome to another edition of Monday Motivation where we introduce you to Rishikesh, India; AKA the Yoga Capital of the World.
The Yoga Capital of the World
Namaste: The Beginning of Yoga
While yoga can be traced back 5,000 years, researchers are confident it has been around twice as long, despite unknown origins. The most we can build from is a mention in one of the world’s oldest surviving texts, the Rigveda–and even that original documentation is buried under centuries of refinement and modified definitions. The styles most associate with yoga are Hatha and Vinyasa, which are comprised of flowing movements and pose-holding. However, exploring the practice’s original intention reveals yoga focused on the mind and achieving moksha–a Hindi and Buddhist term encompassing emancipation, liberation, and release from the ego.
Rishikesh, India: The Birthplace of Yoga
We don’t know if the town of Rishikesh is where yoga first took place; however its reputation as the holiest place among Hindus and proximity to the sacred Ganges River leave little chance for the title being bestowed elsewhere. Scads of ashrams (places of retreat) appear as you get closer to the shores of the Ganges River. Follow the river to Rishikesh’s northeast area to Muni Ki Reti and Tapovan. These two towns house Rishikesh’s top places to practice yoga and find your peace. Unsurprising to Rishikesh’s status as Yoga Capital of the World, there are many places to attend yoga classes–free or low cost–and the ones you want to go to vary depending on your interests.
If you are simply passing through the area, you can choose to attend a daily yoga class. (The Sivananda Ashram offers free yoga and meditation classes to visitors). Otherwise, there are many yoga retreat opportunities if you are spending multiple days in Rishikesh.
The International Yoga Festival
Yes! There is one, and it takes place at Rishikesh’s Parmarth Niketan every year in March. (2019’s occurs March 1-7, in case you want to work with your Jaya agent to customize a trip around that). Parmarth Niketan is the biggest ashram in the area; a statistic that comes in handy when over 2,000 people from all over the world gather for the festival. The festival is a 7-day immersion and exposure to yoga styles and authentic spiritual leaders to people of all yogi levels. The accommodations are simple and the richness of the experience comes from connecting with others through strengthened spirituality. Like most ashrams and temples, Parmarth Niketan is open year-round and offers everything from daily yoga classes to full retreats.
Rishikesh’s location in the beautiful Himalayan foothills, thick with temples and shrines, presents a platform to connect with the universe. Call Jaya Travel today to book your trip to spiritual enlightenment.