Leaving South India and landing in the north is like being in a different country. While Southern India is much like a touristy-vacation spot, North India is what I have always imagined India to be and more, and why, as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to travel here.
The first stop was Rishikesh, the yoga capital of the world. There is a yoga studio almost every block offering different styles of practice. Although many offer teacher training courses and retreats most welcome drop in classes.
Rishikesh is along the Holy Ganges River at the bottom of the Great Himalayas mountain chain.
The water in the Ganges here is sparkling clear. Certainly not at all like what I had heard and read about the Ganges.
It was here in Rishikesh that I had the fortunate experience of staying at the Yoga Nikitan Ashram (a stark room with only a cold shower, no heat – in February the temperature was still cold- a bed without sheets and a blanket under which I slept with my jacket on). The ashtanga yoga classes (based on Patanjali yoga philosophy), given by swamis or gurus (I’m not sure), were some of the toughest I’ve had, but also some of the most satisfying and spiritually nourishing.
While I was here Jivasu, the founder of the Naturality Movement was giving a workshop on A Natural Path of Awakening.
If you follow others, you will miss yourself.
Although I was not registered for the Naturality workshop and was leaving Rishikesh the day after Dr. Jivasu had arrived I was privileged to be able to attend his opening session and only wished that I could have stayed for the entire workshop.
Naturality is a process of accepting life in its totality, which encompasses fear and stillness, sorrow and joy, turmoil and peace. It is an effort to know one’s own nature and the nature of the external world, two sides of the same reality, rather than following a system or a teacher.
“The most beautiful book to read is the book of our life”