Rishikesh the Yoga Capital of the World
Rishikesh is commonly referred to as the Yoga Capital of the World. But to some, Rishikesh is just another city in India— a far-off country that can be intimidating to imagine visiting.
Some people also, when thinking of doing yoga in India, are unsure of what the teaching style will be like. They may only be familiar with yoga classes in the West with Western teachers. It can be difficult to imagine showing up in a new country, with new teachers, at a new yoga shala unsure of what to expect.
We here at Punyah Yoga wanted to share our thoughts on what yoga in Rishikesh is really like. Whether you sign up for a course with us or not, we thought this information could provide a bit of insight into what yoga in Rishikesh is really like!
1. The Layout
Rishikesh is divided into three separate areas: Laxman Jhula, Tapovan, and Ram Jhula. They are all separated by bridges and the beloved Ganges River. Laxman Jhula runs along the river and is the smallest part of Rishikesh, just one Main Street that follows the river. Tapovan sits on a hill and is a dense area. And Ram Jhula is more sprawling and spread out and has lots of narrow side streets that lead you into a bit of a maze.
All three areas of Rishikesh are equally known for yoga and likely have the same amount of yoga studios. Not one part of the city is better than the other, it just depends on the vibes you’re looking for!
The Yoga Studios
There have to be hundreds, if not thousands, of yoga studios in Rishikesh. The whole city is filled to the brim with yoga studios. You really can’t walk 10 meters without seeing a yoga studio. It can be hard to decide which yoga studio to go to, so definitely check out the websites or read reviews. Each yoga studio might focus on a different style of yoga, such as Iyengar, Ashtanga, Hatha, or Vinyasa. Punyah Yoga’s main focus is Ashtanga Yoga with a secondary focus on Hatha Yoga.
The Yoga Teachers
Yoga teachers in Rishikesh vary, but they generally do have a very good command of the English language, so you don’t have to worry about not understanding your teacher! There also is a level of expectation that a teacher has for a student, of being fully present and committed to the practice. You might find that the teachers are more strict than Western teachers, that there is a stronger more intense presence of the teacher in the room. However, the level of teaching is so incredible and authentic. The depth of knowledge that a teacher has about each asana is incredible! Expect life-changing asana adjustments!
The Yoga Energy
Since most of the travellers who come to Rishikesh, come for yoga, you can expect to be surrounded by wonderful like-minded people from around the world. Sitting in any cafe or restaurant, it’s likely that you’ll find yourself in conversation with all the people around you. You’ll be chatting about yoga teacher trainings, different teachers, and about spiritual teachings. If you don’t join in on the conversation yourself, you’ll hear words about yoga and spirituality swirling all around you. It’s a magical place for connecting with other people!
The Yoga Teacher Trainings
Most yoga teacher trainings in Rishikesh are intensive, in that they are conducted usually for about 10 hours a day for 30 days. That is, if you’re doing a 200 hour teacher training course. Expect breaks for meals and a day off a week that will be full of rest or of adventuring around the area. There will be hours of asana practice each day, philosophy, meditation, history, anatomy, etc. It is intense on the body and the mind, but it is incredible stimulating and rewarding. You dive in so deeply to the world of yoga, you’re totally immersed. You feel full to the brim of yoga knowledge. It’s powerful, trust us.
We hope that this information about what yoga in Rishikesh is really like proves useful to you! We also, of course, hope you consider Punyah Yoga when you’re thinking of doing courses and trainings! We are proud to be one of the leading yoga shalas in the area and we would love the opportunity to deepen your knowledge of yoga, and to guide your yoga journey.