the joy of living in an ashram

Imagine a beautiful calm paradise devoted to spiritual growth tucked away in bustling ‘Capital of Yoga’ Rishikesh, this is Sri Yoga Ashram. Located by Ram Jhula, looking over the Holy Ganges, the ashram is the perfect balance between tranquility and action.

In this gated serenity, amongst the luscious trees and colorful flowers, there are two yoga halls, a meditation hall, a dining room, and a library. All the yoga halls are spacious and well equipped, with the most recent even having heated floors making practice even more enjoyable! The library has Wi-Fi for you to connect to those back home while connecting with yourself in the ashram, as well a selection of yoga books and magazines, allowing your practice and knowledge to grow even when you aren’t on the mat or in class.

A thirty-second walk all from these facilities are the en-suite bedrooms, with a choice of air-conditioned and single or double occupancy. Everything is so close you can roll out of bed and find yourself in the meditation hall what could be easier? On this short walk, you will be immersed in tropical Indian wildlife including incredible birds, cheeky monkeys and of course the adorable ashram dogs, who are always available to give you some very cute unconditional love. This uplifting scenery is reason enough to get out of bed, even if you don’t feel up to morning meditation.

Aside from the ashram puppies, perhaps one of my favorite features is the familiar sound of the ashram bell ringing in the morning and for each meal. The ashram is designed to support all of your needs, so that your energy can be spent on your own practice and growth. This means you don’t have to worry about a single thing, the bell rings, and your meal is served – a luxury you wish could take back home! The food itself is delicious, authentic vegetarian Indian cuisine. It is freshly made by the amazing onsite chefs in a loving sattvic kitchen, whose food and smiles make you look forward to every meal!

All the staff in the ashram are incredibly warm and attentive and able to help with any question from the practicalities of living in India to life’s purpose. Living here creates a close-knit family atmosphere, as we all share the same common values and respect for each other. The people I have lived with here staff and students are some of the kindest and interesting people I have ever met, and type of people the ashram attracts is its priceless feature as we bond over our authenticity and insights from our own journeys.

Living in Sri Yoga Ashram has been one of the most enjoyable, relaxing yet insightful experiences I have had that I am already planning how and when I will come back! However, aware of my own bias for this piece of heaven at the foothills of the Himalayas, I have asked others about their experiences to help shed more light from different perspectives and experiences.

Paras, 30, from India. (Paras has been coming once a year for three years)
How would you describe your stay in the ashram?
Living in an ashram is like a small version of the life. As we come into our new life, without knowing what lies ahead, we are nurtured and taken care of by our family and friends. This is the same as in an ashram, where we are taken care of by our teacher and our fellow ashramites, who help us develop a new perspective for life. Just as in life we discover numerous new things, in an ashram we discover various techniques for spiritual life and to make our choices. Just as in life, we make friends and become happy for families in an ashram we connect with various people who become our family forever.

What is your favorite thing about living in the ashram?
It is not one, but the combination of all the events of our journey in the ashram. For food to be perfect, all the spices must be in balance and be pleasant. In an ashram, also all the activities are so important to make the experience complete.

Micah, 31, from the USA. (Micah has been living here for three months)
How would you describe your stay in the ashram?
It reminds a bit of school, in the sense that you are meeting new people. There are rules, but it is casual, and instead of studying science and math, yes it's yoga and meditation but also yourself.

What is your favorite thing about living in the ashram?
Besides the dogs, the people. Not only the people who are coming and going but also the staff, there is enough structure here to show that you are always in the grace of like-minded energy.

Wendy, 56, UK, (Wendy has been here for 2 weeks)
How would you describe your stay in the ashram? It’s like living in a children’s home, a school, but with yoga and spirituality. Everyone is here for different reasons and everyone has different needs, and everyone seems to pick up the different things that they need.

Natt, 28, USA (Natt has been doing her Yoga Teacher Training here)
How would you describe your stay in the ashram? Being able to connect with other people, it’s comforting to know that wherever you go you can connect with good kind people.

So what are you waiting for? For spiritual growth, an ashram is the place, and for ashrams, Sri Yoga Ashram is the place.

1 Comment

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Amber Tope

April 24, 2019 at 10:46 am

I so want to try this while I am there, but don’t know if I can do it. We’ll see how it goes….

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