Yoga Teacher Training in rishikesh, india
So, I headed off to my new home for the next month in Rishikesh, a city in India’s northern state of Uttarakhand, in the Himalayan foothills beside the Ganges River. The river is considered holy, and the city is renowned as a center for the study of Yoga and meditation.
Above is a picture of me and my classmates (who, I may add, were all beautiful souls) dipping in the river. Learning what Yoga means was an eye-opening experience for me. I became a vegetarian for a month, and I now understand what the West knows about the physical practice of Yoga—the "asana" (postures)—is just a small portion of what Yoga really is. There are eight limbs of Yoga, and aspects such as nonviolence and truthfulness are so much more important in the life of a Yogi than anything else. It was a rewarding experience, and overwhelming at the same time. I never knew that so much was involved, but I am glad I got a chance to experience it.
My Yoga course in India was like going back to school. Almost every day we took classes in the philosophy and the anatomy of Yoga, except for a free Sunday here and there. This schedule did not allow much room for anything else unless we had a group outing. However, as I continued to travel, volunteer opportunities seemed to find me. As I took one of my walks, with a fellow Yogi joining me, we encountered a sign seeking volunteers. I couldn’t pass up the chance to help one last time before I left India. The sign was for www.cleanhimalaya.org, whose vision is simple: “To preserve the sanctity, beauty, and cleanliness of the Ganga and Himalayas”. Unfortunately, in case you are not aware, India has a huge pollution problem due to a lack of education and/or government intervention in taking drastic measures to resolve the issue. Of course, it doesn’t help that India has a staggering population of 1.2 billion people; you can only imagine how this affects the environment. Nevertheless, my Yogi friend and I were more than eager to help with this cleanup task.
I do want to point out something here that is worth mentioning. Every time I volunteer, I meet amazing people who have a passion for humanity, and trust me—my reason for serving has nothing to do with money. For instance, the picture above shows Swami Amritarupananda (in the middle), who has dedicated the last 10 years of her life to fighting for a cleaner India. This just blows my mind! PEOPLE ARE AWESOME.
The week I volunteered in Rishikesh was my last week in India. Pictured here is my fellow Yogi after one of our group meditations. We have now become a family. Even though we all live around the world, we keep in touch through Facebook and WhatsApp. Later that week I received my diploma, I am finally a certified 200-hour Yoga teacher. Even though I have no plans to teach, it is nice to know that I have accomplished a major milestone in my life. It is something I will never forget. forget.