So why should every yogi visit India?
Close your eyes for a minute and imagine a place where yoga is the norm, waking up early is cool, meditation is the thing, vegan and vegetarian food is on every street corner, the morning Himalayan air is perfect for pranayama, and flowing yoga sequences, the days are warm and sunny, people are friendly and always happy and excited to practice their English skills.
Lush Himalayan mountain views and the mighty River Ganges, morning fire pooja, afternoon satsang and evening kirtans. Shops that only sell books on yoga and libraries dedicated to creating pools of yogic knowledge and wisdom.
This is Rishikesh
Rishikesh is 180 miles northeast of Delhi located at the foothills of the Himalayas and situated in the Uttarakhand state. A beautiful, exciting, vibrant town, famous worldwide and known as the yoga capital of the world.
Rishikesh translates to land of the rishis (a sage or saint). It is said that great teachers, saints, sadhus, philosophers and yoga practitioners have been visiting, practicing and living in this jewel of a town for thousands of years.
Best time to visit Rishikesh
Rishikesh shares its wisdom and knowledge with visiting yoga pilgrims all year round and during the summer temperatures can reach up to 50 degrees centigrade. Which can definitely be slightly uncomfortable at times.
The best time to visit Rishikesh is mid September in the last weeks/days of the monsoon. This time of year is blessed with warm temperatures, flourishing nature, luscious green mountains and beautiful blue-skied sunny days.
September is also before the large crowds arrive which marks the beginning of the main tourist season. By visiting at this time of the year it is easier to navigate, enjoy and soak up the beauty of this town.
It's an incredible place and a must visit for all yogis and yoginis
One of our favourite places is the area of Tapovan - a small peaceful part of the town located close to the River Ganges and Laxman Jula.
Tapovan translates to forest of austerities/spiritual practice.
Home to the best yoga schools/retreat centers in Rishikesh. This is where we now host our yearly Incredible India Yogic Lifestyle Retreat. Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram is where Compete Unity Yoga founders Will Fisher and Malene Vedel lived together for the whole of 2015 teaching, practicing and studying yoga.
What to expect?
In Tapovan you can find everything you need and more including:
Ayurvedic doctors/therapy centres, a traditional Indian men's barbers, the best vegan restaurant in Rishikesh, a humble Japanese guest house/eatery, authentic India cookery schools, Ayurvedic spas, meditation teachers, yoga philosophy teachers, a variety of yoga schools and :
Ayurpak - famous worldwide for its simple nourishing Ayurvedic restaurant and cookery school.
Tapovan is also super close (a few minutes walk) to Rishikesh's two Organic Natural Food Shops and many great places to buy delicious fresh local fruit and vegetables.
Have you been practicing and teaching yoga for decades or are you excitedly wetting your feet in the expansive world of yoga?
and I am truly blessed to have spent 10 days in their company and have them in my life.
Rishikesh. They opened a book of adventures to me and gave an amazing insight into their
life in India. Both are authentic and absolutely wonderful loving people. I miss the time with
them and hope to meet them next year for a Yoga and Hiking tour through the Himalaya.
Yoga-Wise we were fortunate to be a small group and experience a personal approach not
only to Yoga, but also the philosophy of yoga."