Friday, 30 November 2012

Rishikesh pt 2 - And then there was yoga


Rishikesh is a town of three parts. Part 1 the main town is shit!  Dirty, smelly and uncool.  Part 2 is the opposite side of the river and a bit shit (mainly due to taxi’s and copious amounts of bikes) but not so dirty and smelly. Part 3. Where we are, is not shit, is not smelly (well, comparatively) and not dirty. The bloody maniacal taxi jeep drivers still scream around the roads like rally drivers and the bikes still appear out of nowhere and frequent topple their riders and 4 passengers, but this is all in much more manageable numbers so it is possible to walk side by side the streets quite often. The street we live, eat, practice yoga in and generally hang out in is comparatively short and situated in an area called Laxman Julha. Lots of travellers, funky cheap restaurants and little clothes shops and a really laid back feel to it. We have become complete hippies! We typically wear sandals, yoga trousers (mine white and baggy linen, Rachels vary) loose tee shirt, sarongs made into scarves, another layer of some sort and a big old blanket that we wear like a poncho to keep us warm. Showering and hair combing have, it must be said, slipped somewhat lately
We have fitted into a daily routine of 3 hours of various yogic practice – physical, spiritual and beathing  from 8am till 11am then breakfast overlooking the Ganges in our favourit ‘Little Buddha’ restaurant till about 12 then back the room for a little snooze and tidy up.  At  1.30pm we either go wandering the ghats, along the riverside beaches or sit about drinking honey, lemon and ginger drink and reading on a rooftop or balcony. About 6.30pm in the evening we are back with our yoga teacher ‘Tuna’  for another 1.5 to 2 hours more yogary stuff. We are not what you might conventionally called bendy but we are getting there -  albeit in a sore, aching manner. Our classes are great, fast moving and very personal as there is just Rachel, I and Tuna’s student. – Rahul. We have had him to ourselves for 5 days so we have developed a good relationship and he has pushed us hard so  we have been laying on blocks, standing on our heads and stretching ourselves in to impossible shapes that we might not have been able to have achieved had we been part of a large
class. Tuna is petite, pretty and quiet spoken and would definitely be my first choice for Mowgli in a stage version of Jungle Book . He takes times to instruct on the theory, correct our pose’s and after seeking acceptance will take a hands on approach and push us even further (see pics in the gallery). Yoga has been so satisfying both spiritually and physically for us and we are sure we wish to continue using some of the techniques.  We have learnt some amazing breathing excercises using  resonating sound that calm and invigorate us and today experienced ‘Netti’ – A Nasal clearing practice where warm salty water is poured into one nostril and after sloshing around in your sinuses comes gushing out of the other. The pics give the full story of how this feels although the end result is much more satisfying than you would expect.
The Ganges (Ganga) is quite beautiful here. With a strange turquoise colour to the water, rapids that rush over large boulders, sandy beaches  and wide ghats. The sun turns the water different colours at different times of the day and the slight haze that pervades over all gives the place a feel of mystery.


  1. You have come a long way Grasshoppers.
    Perhaps your perspective on my tai chi which includes laying, sitting and standing meditation along with chanting will change. We don't do separate breathing exercises because, over time (years), the breathing adjusts itself to the tai chi. It's awesome you have experienced a spiritual aspect to yourselves.

  2. I reckon I would have a few problems with all that bending and contorting but I guess you feel better for having done it. The Ganges sounds quite like ...... a lot of water maybe!! No I'm only joking still seems like you are having some fantastic experiences. Speak to you soon all our love.

  3. Sun Salutations to you !! im doing 'snow salutations' in the freezing cold snow !! L 2 u both XX neatneat

  4. Reminded me that I must get the pipes under the sink cleaned out, also did yogi bear give you, Chris, a bigger tea pot? Rachel looks like she's lost in some spiritual world..... As for standing on ones head like that must have been easy for Chris after all its big enough! Thanks for all the notice regarding the 8th but some of us poor souls actually have to work for a living.... Continue with the bloggers or whatever you call them as it makes a real change from watching the test card late at night, seriously good to hear from you and it is mildly addictive wanting to see what misfortune has befallen you! Just so you have a bit of news Scott is moving into his own place this weekend, 1 down 3 to go xx