See more photos here: https://flic.kr/s/aHskQWMELh
My first week in India was one of wonderful smells, cows, chaos, and yoga. Outside of the 200 hour yoga program, I explored Tapovan (a suburb of Rishikesh where all the yoga schools and many ashrams are located). It is a beautiful area located in the mountains along the holy Ganges River. With my classmates, I sampled many coffee shops, window-shopped, and traversed the famous Laxman Jhula Bridge. It always has monkeys lazing around its entrance and exit. Unfortunately, they are accustomed to humans and will attack periodically if you are holding food. On the same footbridge, you will also find cows, scooters, and many people. The Ram Jhula Bridge a couple kilometers further is quite similar.
On the weekend, our instructors took us to Kunjapuri Temple to watch the sunrise. This Hindu temple is about a two hour drive from Rishikesh. The sunrise was spectacular and we could also see the Himilayan Mountains in the distance. After the sun rose and the other tourists had departed, we meditated together and enjoyed the morning.
Later that day, several of my classmates and I went white-water rafting down the Ganges for three hours. It was awesome and the water was frigid. It sparkled of turquoise blue and reminded me of Canadian glacier water. Additionally, it is considered to be some of the holiest water in the country. My favourite parts was jumping outside the boat and floating down some of the rapids on my own! Of course we held onto the boat and wore lifejackets so we didn’t float away. Overall, the excursion including transportation was only 500 Indian Rupee.
That same evening, I again joined my classmates in a cooking class led by our yoga school’s chefs! They are amazing and demonstrated how to cook several vegetarian Indian dishes.
Other than that, it has been an amazing experience completing my 200 hour yoga instructor course at Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School. Several times we have done yoga on the beach next to the Ganges River. Additionally, during one philosophy class, we heard a musicians outside and our teacher invited them into our class. The trio performed for the next half hour and were very entertaining! One of them played an instrument that sounded like a snake-charming flute, one played a drum, and the last seemed to be a manager or friend.