Rishikesh was a super chill place where I really enjoyed just relaxing and not having as many cars circle around me. Rishikesh is a pretty little town (well, the part where I stayed was cute….not so much with the rest of the city!) and is known as the capital of yoga. It’s a great place to go on a retreat, do some yoga, relax, take some meditation courses, drink some chai….
It was like a bigger Dharamshala with less Tibetans and more yoga and more hippies. And I kind of liked it.
I got there after a horrendous night spent on a freezing cold minivan, followed by a rickshaw ride, bus ride, and then another rickshaw ride. (Travelingt in India is never easy.) I checked into Shiv Shakti Guesthouse, which had the #1 rating for Rishikesh B&Bs on Trip Advisor. #1 in India is definitely different. Ha.
I ate breakfast at The German Cafe/Pumpernickle, which was great and quickly became my fave cafe, despite super slow internet. The staff were friendly, the chai was good, the banana pancakes were wonderful, the fruit salads were lovely, and it was a great vibe. Every day, I spent at least a few hours, writing, sipping, relaxing, dreaming.
Every day, I did yoga at least once, sometimes twice. I ran a bit - but now, my old injury is coming back to haunt me. Two weeks off. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction sucks. I wrote. Taking Julian’s wisdom, I am trying to write 2-3 hours a day. Sometimes it’s pure shit, sometimes it’s just journaling, somtimes it’s articles for the baby website...But it’s pushing me to do what I came her to do. I like to write at cafes, though sometimes I write in beds, at desks, in lobbies, and in transit.
I walked to the Maharesh Ashram, aka The Beatles Ashram. They now charge 600 rupees, which is pretty crazy, but it was a really special experience. You could feel the energy there. I wandered around, barely saw anyone else, took some photos. I wanted to meditate in the little huts or the meditation caves, but it’s also India and I’m a woman traveling by myself so…I didn’t.
With some people at my hostel, we watched the Gang Aarti, which was a nightly sunset ceremony by a Hindu temple. Lovely, neat, and fun, except some of the “holy men” (I’m not sure what to call them) took photos with people’s cameras the entire time, so that made it feel a bit weird.
I basically spent my time, wandering, drinking chai, writing, eating, doing yoga, and relaxing. Pretty nice time.
I also inquired abt further yoga intensives. I think the best option (unless I want to do the full 300 hours after my 200 hour training to have a 500 hour certification) is to do a kundalini intensive for 6 days along the Ganges. I think that is prob the best option for me to learn about something that I want to learn about.
There were lots of potheads (not my thing) but a pretty relaxed atmosphere otherwise. Hippies who got caught up for year.
I met a sadhu who gave me a necklace and befriended me, and later said as he passed me, “Rich people are stupid.” Um, okay.
I’ll prob be back, and that feels nice. It’s a cute town with a ton going on. I was even able to buy two new tops to boost up my minimal (too minimal) wardrobe that I packed with me from home.