I am currently in the middle of my fourth week of a six week yoga certification program in India. My program has attracted students from a wide range of ages, countries and experiences. There are students from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, Russia, England, Scotland, Trinidad and two India natives.
I am so thankful for all of the stories shared and the genuine spirits of everyone in my program. I have made some incredible friendships during my time here. I am beyond grateful for the cohesion and unity of my group. To give you an idea of our life here in Vill Jounk, I will outline a day in my life here in India.
It’s 6am and the sun is just coming up, people should still be asleep. But, I am not because our days begin early here at Rishikesh Yog Peeth yoga school. We begin our mornings at 6:30am by drinking herbal tea as we attempt to wake ourselves up from slumber.
After our herbal tea, we head outside for a morning detox. During this time we have used “Nettie pots” filled with salt water solution, used a cleansing nasel band and have done other salt water detoxification practices according to traditional Ayurvedic practices.
Following nettie pot time, we head to our yoga studio and start our morning asana practice. We begin asana with pryanama and chanting. After our various traditional yogic chants and our morning meditations, we begin a yoga practice.
During our morning practices our teacher teaches us proper adjustments of various asana poses. After our morning yoga class, we head to breakfast at 9am. We eat our meals at Krishna Cottage which is a building that is five minutes away from Surya Palace where we sleep and have our practices. The walk to and from Krishna is always wonderful, filled with plenty of sights within the small village area.
Breakfast consists of a fruit salad including mango, papaya, honeydew, banana and watermelon. It is usually a race for the fruit, whoever arrives first gets a whopping serving of papaya and whoever is last gets stuck with the bruised honeydew. I often top my fruit with hemp seeds that I brought from home, as pictured below.
Following breakfast we walk back to Surya Palace. Along the way I am always greeted by many sights and smells. I must often dodge the cow manure along the little stone paths and attempt not to get hit by the honking motor scooters that zoom beside me. I usually see cows, sleeping dogs, children and pass by little snack stands as the workers whisper “Namaste” with a sweet smile.
Sometimes I stop by little cafes before our 10am course and order a coconut milk chai latte, they’re incredible. All for forty rupees.
From 10am until 12:15pm we have anatomy and philosophy class. The classes are discussion and lecture based. I love observing the classes and the interesting things that are taught. Following our class periods, we have lunch at 1pm and free time until 5pm. During the free time I do a variety of things. I either catch up on sleep, hammock, do a personal yoga practice, adventure and shop around, go on walks, journal at a cafe, catch up on leisurely reading, FaceTime my family, or people watch.
From 5 until 7pm we have another asana class, mediation and chanting. This time is usually focused on our personal practice. During my third week here, our night classes were taught by students in the 300 hour course so they could have teaching practice. We usually have a five or six minute break between our asana class and our meditation time which gives us enough time to catch a glimpse of the sunset from our roof. It’s always stunning.
Following our second asana class, we have dinner. After dinner I usually head to a nearby cafe and talk with fellow students. I am usually back in my room, showering, reading, catching up on global news/politics, talking with family or doing laundry. I am usually asleep by 9:30 or 10:00pm every night to prepare for my early rising. Pictured below is my little puppy friend that I made one night walking back from dinner. His gratitude and love he shared with me when given a bit of food, was beautiful. Such a sweet little guy.
The program has this regimented schedule Monday through Friday. On Saturday mornings we do nice, long silent meditation walks/hikes instead of our asana class. We then watch a few yoga videos after our hike and a free afternoon until asana at 5pm.
Sunday’s are excursion days. The first week we did whitewater rafting in the Ganga. It was a great morning filled with rafting, cliff jumping and just drifting along the holy river.
The second week we did a night excursion to a traditional yogi lighting ceremony at an ashram. They were both wonderful experiences, more to come on the lighting ceremony and my other adventures here.
But for now, that is a day in the life of Amelia during her 6 week yoga certification program.
Stay true, live justly and always travel on.
Peace and love.