Rishikesh - The Yoga Capital of the World
Gateway to Garhwal Himalayas, Rishikesh is a prime center for yoga and meditation. Yoga is a philosophical doctrine developed in India about 5000 years back. It is primarily based on asceticvalues, moralprinciples and special type of physical technique. Rishikesh is home to several ashrams and meditation centers the most important being Vivekananda Ashram, Sivananda, Osho and Bihar School of Yoga. Rishikesh is one of the best places to learn classical Indian yoga.
Important Yoga Centres in Rishikesh
The Yoga Study Center: This center is situated at Ganga Vihar, Haridwar Road. The senior Iyengar teacher who conducts lessons in a rather militaristic style is Bramacharya Rudra Dev. However, most Westereners like his challenging approach where the students have to keep up with the fast pace. Classes are held daily at the center and are attended by locals as well as foreigners. Women must dress modestly as is the custom in most yoga centers. Intensive classes of twenty days are held three times a year during February, April and September. The centre is closed from mid-December to mid-January and for March, May and June.
Yoga Niketan Ashram: In this ashram classes are taken in a traditional Indian manner. The sing-song voice is used which makes the learners to relax. Classical postures are taught with mild variations. You must stay for at least 15 days in the ashram to complete their course and attendance to morning and evening classes are a must.
Sri Ved Niketan Ashram: On the eastern side of the Ganges is Sri Ved Niketan Ashram. The style taught in this ashram is similar to that of Bihar School of Yoga. The classes include gentle warm ups for the joints, a few asanas and pranayama. A one month course held in this ashram covers asana, pranayama and yoga and Hindu philosophy. This is held seven times a year.
Sivananda Ashram: Sivananda Ashram is part of the Divine Life Society but different to the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Ashrams and Centres located around the world. The Sivananda Ashram has three living gurus, direct disciples of Swami Sivananda. They are Chidananda, Brahmananda and Krishnananda. You must obtain a permission prior to your visit to the Ashram if you desire to stay here.
Programs and activities offered at Sivananda Ashram, Rishikesh
Ganga Sadan: This Ashram established by Swami Omkarananda aims to create a spiritual atmosphere all round where divine love is all pervading and truth and peace becomes an eternal companion. It also conducts various services to the society through its 2 registered trusts - Swami Omkarananda Saraswati Charitable Trust and Swami Omkarananda Dharma Samsthan.
Yoga Ashram Retreat: This please place located on the banks of the Ganges provides a healthy atmosphere for devotees to practice yogic postures, learn yoga theory and meditation. It is one of the perfect places to practice and learn classical Indian yoga.
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