Rishikesh is known as the ‘yoga capital of India’, so it was here we decided to bunker down for 2 weeks and practice daily yoga. I (Joey) had been craving routine, exercise and healthy eating, and so this was exactly what I needed. For the duration of our 2 weeks here, we stayed at Mahatma Ashram overlooking the Ganga river. The location was divine, away from the hustle and bustle of honking cars and bikes, and right on a little beach area of the river Ganga where we could go for a daily dip if we wished. I only made it into the water once, but it was refreshing, and I can now say I’ve been blessed in the almighty Holy Ganga.
Yoga & Meditation
For the first
Whilst at the Ashram, we decided to sign up for a 6-day Ayurvedic treatment called Panchakarma. Panchakarma means “five therapies” in Sanskrit and involves different detoxifying treatments aimed at cleansing the body inside and out and helping to re-balance the doshas (your mind-body type). It involved a LOT of oil. Daily massages with
The whole treatment was quite an experience and we can say that after the 6 days we did feel somewhat cleansed. Some people continue with these treatments for 21 days or longer, so we only really just scratched the surface of what Ayurvedic treatments can offer.
The Beatles Ashram
Before we left Rishikesh we did make it over to the now-abandoned Beatles Ashram. This is where the Beatles stayed in the 60’s whilst they learnt advanced Transcendental Meditation (TM), and wrote many of the songs on their last couple of albums. The ashram has been abandoned and not in use since the early 90’s, but you could tell that it would have been a pretty magical place to stay. Situated within a national park and right on the river, there are accommodation huts and stone meditation caves scattered within the forest. These days the abandoned buildings are covered in cool artwork and inhabited by monkeys.
After 2 weeks of not travelling around, it was time to once again pick up our heavy backpacks and be on the road. Thanks Rishikesh for the rejuvenation, it was just what the doctor ordered!