It was Friday evening – a dress down day and so, was the mood. I was not through the day and, yet my spirit was already exuberant about two days to total relaxation yogic retreat that I had planned for the weekend. The destination I had chosen was obvious. Only 250 kms (approximately) away from Delhi, and eminent as yoga capital of the world, it was none other than the spiritual town Rishikesh that was going to be my ‘weekend getaway’.
For quite some time, I had been quite relentlessly leading a life that primarily comprised of late night parties, gossip-oriented slumber nights, excessive work hours, rotational shifts, etc. I needed to shift myself away from all that a little, take a break to get back on the human ‘wagon’, rather than the ‘crazy’ wagon that I had been riding these days.
So, as soon as the day got over, I reached home, got packed for the weekend, had my dinner, picked up my best friend along and drove through the night.
06:00 a.m. – Arrival in Rishikesh
We touched the tip of Rishikesh before sunrise. So, my friend had a hot cup of organic tea prepared by a local tea vendor. I am not a tea person. Since, there was no coffee available at the moment and I was a little exhausted from the drive, I decided to have a cup of tea too. And, boy! It was yummy. I do not know whether sipping on a cup of hot beverage while looking at the beautiful, dewy view of Himalayas that triggered its taste or, was it the purity of ingredients utilized to make this tea, it was simply delectable and refreshing.
06:30 a.m. – Meditation by River Side and the holy dip
We heard the melodious hustle of river Ganga, and decided to stop by. After parking the car, we climbed down the hill through tiny pedestrian pathways and sat there for awhile, completely captivated by mesmeric blue beauty of the river. I sat on one of the rocks, cross legged and meditated for awhile. What used to be such a difficult task to accomplish back in the city, with in a fraction of seconds, I was able to delve into a complete state of meditation without haul. And, for the next few minutes, it was just me, my soul and the music of this gorgeous river in the background.
Post meditation, we took a holy dip in the river with sunrise.
8:30 a.m. – Ashram Check-In Breakfast (Vedic)
We checked in to a Yoga Ashram, put our luggage in our designated room and come out for some breakfast in the garden. I had my anxiety about eating 2Vs (Vedic and Vegan) for two days. But, all my anxieties were put to rest when I tasted some of the most scrumptious vegan food of my life. It was so delicious that I felt weird for calling it ‘healthy’. Aren’t healthy foods supposed to be bad in taste?
10:30 a.m. – Ayurveda Massage
It was time for an Ayurveda massage – a much needed experience, not to mention worth every single second spent on it. I felt renewed inside out as if some sort of weight was lifted off my body.
12:00 p.m. – Rest
Totally relaxed from the massage, dropping unconscious in bed was an obvious outcome. For the next couple of hours, I had no idea where I was.
02:00 p.m. – Lunch
After the nap, we headed for a three course vedic meal in the ashram mess, where we got to meet and interact with more people, spiritualists, travelers, guests from all over the globe. It was nice to make conversation with people that did not involve work or somebody’s boss.
04:00 p.m. – Yoga Session
Time for an invigorating yoga session with fellow yogis combined with breathtaking view of the Himalayas in the background, I definitely could not ask for more. My body and my mind felt completely revived and, at peace.
06:00 p.m. – Stroll in the Town
As evening arrived, we headed out to spend some time in town. We brought some interesting charms from the local flee market, even bought Rudraksha beads. We strolled through the curvy lanes. The sheer fresh air of this town invited us to keep walking instead of driving.
07:00 p.m. – Ganga Aarti
The soul-stirring chanting of mantra, the auspicious glimmer of diyas, the unanimous prayer offering and, all this by the banks of Holy River Ganga under the sheet of a starry evening – the Ganga Aarti was a sight to remember and a feeling to cherish forever.
08:00 p.m. – Dinner and Bedtime
Post relishing another palatable meal for supper, we were back to our room and in our respective beds, remembering how busy the entire day was. Yet, my body felt so active and lively.
05:00 a.m. – Shat Kriya
Waking up before the sun and actually, preparing the body for it – I did not think I would be able to pull this off. But, here I was – in the Shat Kriya Session, preparing for the ultimate cleansing ritual of my body. Slightly complicated as it was, I had never felt more detoxified in my life before, not even after a really expensive spa session. Cleansed and purified, I was ready for bracing the Sun.
06:00 a.m. – Suryanamaskar
12 extremely beneficial yoga poses in front of the rising Sun—this was not something remember. It is worth imbibing in daily life.
07:00 a.m. – Pranayama Therapy
Post Suryanamaskar, we stepped in for a Pranayama Therapy session. The session was dedicated to help us observe, learn, and control our breath. Breath, being the core of all supreme powers — mastering its rhythm, its flow and observing it can transform a life.
10:00 a.m. – Spiritual Interaction
This was an inspiring where we got to meet and interact with yoga gurus, life coaches, vedic scholars for an enlightening spiritual interaction.
04:00 p.m. – Yoga Therapy
Another vibrant session, packed with Hath Yoga therapy and body stretches for complete workout and recuperation.
08:00 p.m. – Dinner
After spending the evening exploring the calm, peaceful life of the town, I came back to have some dinner before calling it a night.
10:00 p.m. – Bed
Saddened at the thought that this would be over tomorrow, I looked at the starry night of this spiritual town once more and promised myself to come back here soon — this time for a bit longer. I put my head on the pillow and went to asleep – A deeply rested sleep.
Back to Pavilion – I was now mentally relaxed, physically revitalized and spiritually alive.