04 Aug 20

Renewal in Rishikesh – the birthplace of yoga

Sue Chater Yoga and Hiking

For any yoga devotee, a trip to the serene town of Rishikesh located in the foothills of the Himalayas beside the holy Ganges River in India is a ‘must-do’. Renowned as the birthplace of yoga, the magical energy of Rishikesh will infuse your spirit with magical energy that will stay with you long after you leave.

Easy, hassle-free travel in India

Despite its location in the foothills of the Himalayas, Rishikesh itself is an easy place to travel to with just a short, one hour flight from Delhi to Dehradun airport. The drive from Dehradun airport into Rishikesh centre is half an hour by car.

Saturated in powerful spiritual energy

India is positively saturated in powerful spiritual energy, and this incredible energy is elevated to the next level in Rishikesh due to its unique location against the banks of the holy River Ganges.

The River Ganges is the most sacred river to the Hindu religion with its water said to hold a special power to purify the soul and heal the body. Hindus use water from the holy river to cleanse ritual objects, purify themselves and even sometimes drink it to assist with illness.

Every morning as the sun rises, hundreds of holy men named Sadhus will appear in the streets of Rishikesh to bathe en masse in the waters of the Ganges. Adorned with loincloths, chains, saffron robes and sandalwood face paint, this makes for a breathtaking sight.

Drawn to Rishikesh for centuries due to it being one of India’s most sacred sites, these Sadhus have purged themselves of all their worldly possessions and live in a quest for spiritual devotion.

Nestled in nature

Located at the foot of the Himalayas, Rishikesh is home to lush subtropical rainforests, waterfalls and pristine waters.  As you wake and sip on your masala chai, you will catch the sun peeking through the mighty Himalayas lending a warm, golden glow to your morning. The town’s natural beauty provides the perfect setting for some beautiful hikes in the surrounding trails showcasing awe-inspiring views. To this day, Rishikesh remains relatively untouched and protected with its pristine beauty and fresh air making it a special place to visit.

Authentic yoga

Practising yoga in India is a must for any person seeking to experience the true essence of yoga in the very place the ancient practice originated. The original Rishis and Yogis developed yoga is a way of life and a complete system for spirituality and health and practising yoga in Rishikesh will take you back to its very roots for a truly authentic yoga experience.

In Rishikesh, you can expect to get a taste of ancient yoga practices including breathwork, mantra, asana, meditation, arti, satsang and kriya. You will also experience Ayurveda – the lifestyle that works alongside yoga to bring health and vitality to the body, mind and spirit.

Experiencing yoga in India is a truly life-changing experience no matter where you are on your yoga journey from beginners through to more experienced practitioners.

sue-chater

Written By

Sue Chater

Sue is RAW Travel's Camino manager. She has walked the beautiful Le Puy Camino in rural France and Italy’s Via Francigena through Tuscany. Sue spent many years enjoying life as a tour leader in the Indochina region. Her most treasured travel memories come from the unscripted encounters that occur along the way.

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