Soul Journal

Rishikesh: A Yogi's Paradise

Nov 04, 2019

#travel  #yoga 

Rishikesh, India: The Birthplace of Yoga

“Travel is more than just a seeing of sites. It’s a change that happens, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” – Miriam Beard
The next stop on our Ultimate Spiritual Adventure in North India is Rishikesh, India. Rishikesh is considered by many to be the birthplace of yoga. It is where the Rishis and sages have lived since ancient times, meditating on the banks of the Mata Ganga (the Ganges River) contemplating the quintessential question, “Who am I?” Situated at the foot of the majestic Himalayas, Rishikesh is the ideal location for seekers to go in search of a spiritual awakening. In fact, The Beatles, traveled to Rishikesh in 1968 to sit with the Maharishi at his Ashram and practice Transcendental Meditation. It is here that they wrote what would be The White Album. The Ashram has undergone lots of artistic upgrades and is now a really incredible, peaceful place to explore and sit in contemplation.

The Maharishi's Abandoned Ashram

Rishikesh is now a cacauphony of yogis, healers, musicians, backpackers, outdoor enthusiasts, and everything in between. Occasionally I hear people say that Rishikesh is commercialized, but after 12 years of traveling there, the mystique and charm still abounds. Literally around every corner is something spiritual – a satsang here, a yoga class there, music class over yonder, special yogi bread made fresh each morning, nightly Aarti ceremony to come together in gratitude, a deep conversation with a stranger. There's a palpable vibration that's infectious – a high vibe vortex! Music plays 24/7 – Snataum Kaur has surely been on repeat since 2007. People wear white. Bright colors. Never black (the reason you'll never find black offered at SoulJour). Rishikesh rocks because everything is within walking distance. Life is laid back. "Hari Om" is the way to greet people (unlike "Namaste" elsewhere) which is a mantra used to remove all suffering...It's no surprise that the ancient sages, sadhus (holymen), and swamis went there, to the banks of Ganga, at the base of the Himalayas in search of Truth...


On our upcoming Ultimate Spiritual Adventure in North India,  we'll attend the world renowned, International Yoga Festival at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, visit the abandoned Maharishi’s ashram, enjoy early morning classes and satsang with our favorite Indian teacher, Yogrishi Vishvaketu at the lovely Anand Prakash Ashram in Tapovan. We’ll enjoy a delicious lunch at Ramana’s Garden prepared onsite by the children at Ramana’s Orphanage, and visit with the children at Ganga Valley School. We'll explore the vast bookstores filled to the brim with every spiritual book on the planet, visit a village of women who make mala beads, and take a refreshing dip in the sacred Ganges River. We’ll even head upriver for incredible ayurvedic massages, food, and hiking in the Himalayan foothills.

Rishikesh is clearly a "must do" pilgrimage for anyone on the path of yoga. It’s one of our favorite places on earth and is our hOMe away from hOMe. We hope you'll join us!

Ultimate Spiritual Adventure in North India
February 29-March 13
Varanasi, Rishikesh, Dharamsala with an optional Taj Mahal overnight
with Nicki Doane & Ashley Melin

Register Now


*All photos by Ashley Melin & DJ Pierce