Published: October 30th 2008October 30th 2008
at aarti with Marie
Aarti is a nightly ceremony at the Ganges River
After weeks of living in an ashram, with virtually no internet access and 12 hour days of Yoga and Yoga Teacher Training, finally i am updating my blog and adding pics!
Teacher Training was a fantastic experience. It took place at an ashram in northern India, in a city called Rishikesh. It is at the foothills of the himalayas, and is situated on the most holy Ganges river. My ashram, called Parmarth Niketan, is the largest ashram in Rishikesh, with over 1000 rooms, and beautifully landscaped gardens, temples, and yoga halls.
Our group was 13 people, from all over the world. US, Canada, Europe, Korea, Iran, the UK, and our 2 teachers were from San Francisco and India/Khasakstan, respectively. The program was to obtain a 200 hour certificate as a yoga teacher, and allow registration with Yoga Alliance in the US. The program was long hours, with class beginning at 630am, and going until about 630pm or 7pm. We had a few days off here and there to hike, visit temples, and go to the beach along the Ganges river.
It was a great experience, the people were fantastic, and our group really got along well.
Ram Jula bridge
the way to the Ahram, called Parmarth Niketan Ashram, in Rishikesh, at the foothills of the himalayas
We had incredible Indian food of all varieties, and learned more about yoga than I could have possible dreamed.
There were a few moments of illness in the group, including myself, where one day I became violently ill for about 4 hours, and I still attest that a crazy Swami (holy man) that lives in the forest in a cave put a spell on me to cleanse my body and purify me. Perhaps it was food poisoning, who knows.
We attended aarti, a nightly ceremony of offerings to the River Ganges, many times, and also were lucky enough to celebrate Diwali while there, which is the largest festival in India, marking the new year. It is like a combo of X-mas, 4th of July and New Years all in one. Think fireworks, temple ceremonies, oil lamps everywhere, and gifts galore.
We went hiking to waterfalls, went ot many various temples, shopped the interesting markets around town, and occasionally went out for dinner away from the ashram. It was a long and tough program, but well worth it. The accomodation was simple, but clean, and we only got busted once for coming back after 10pm (the gates close
at 10 every night).
I feel like a Yoga pro! For our finals, we had to teach a class as a group, and individually, which went very well. There is SO much to learn with Yoga, and this is just the beginning.
There are more photos below