Travel meets yoga and brings about a holistic change in your mind and body. You'll find yoga retreats by the plenty online, but none other like @balanceretreat.
The location of choice this time was Rishikesh - The Yoga Capital of the world. Our minds were an empty slate when we started expecting some yoga, good food and great mood but we were more than pleasantly surprised with the trip and the empty slates were filled with memories to last a lifetime.
The location - Aloha on the Ganges, Rishikesh
The minute we entered our venue, we were greeted by a beautiful panoramic view of the Ganges and people rafting that we immediately felt like diving in.
Day 1: Acro Yoga with Pradeep
We checked into our rooms with the same gorgeous view and the first day began with an Acro Yoga Session by @indian_acro_yoga.
Acro Yoga is a physical practice that connects yoga and acrobatics. It's also a great way to connect with people as it doesn't work without trust. For more on Acro Yoga, check out our earlier blog. We started with the trust game to build trust between the partners, and our bodies were all warmed up for the session after some gruelling warm up exercises.
Trust us, it wasn't easy and the fresh air and poolside view helped us do the asanas better. Our bodies toughened up for the following days while our minds opened up to newer forms of exercise.
After the session we went over to The Hosteller Max and surprisingly nobody was tired. We were all energised with the live singing and grooved to the beat.
Day 2: Yoga with Tithi
We were not rested but eagerly woke up the next day for the morning Yoga session with Tithi. It was a beautiful sunny morning and the poolside was the perfect venue for our exercises. After some relaxing meditation, we had quite an intense yoga session warming up and energising our bodies.
When you're in Rishikesh, you can't miss white-water rafting. The flowing water of the Ganges is perfect to indulge in this experience. It wasn't a very high-tide day and the weather was just perfect. Our rafting guide started the journey after a quick talk on how to manoeuver the raft. Tiring as it was, it was also exciting. The cherry on the cake was when our guide told us to hold on to a single rope and take a dip in the icy cold waters. We were living for today, and it was beautiful as can be.
After we were back from rafting, we had to head out for fuelling our bodies with a wholesome lunch at VJ's pizzeria. We had some healthy summer coolers and some delicious stone-fired pizza. After all, we deserved it after working so hard on our bodies. ;)
Also the view at VJ's pizzeria was the perfect time to get our lensbaby out and take some portraits.
Day 2: Sound Healing Session with Dr Yashika Jain
After our tummies were happy, we headed over to the old city to attend the sound healing session by Dr. Yashika Jain. We crossed the beautiful Janki Jhula and only paused to take a few photographs and for refreshing nariyal pani before the bridge. We had to walk the rest of the way to the meditation centre and on reaching we were warmly invited by the serene ambience in the meditation hall and a smiling Dr. Yashika.
The session was for healing our digestive system and the vibration of the bowls lent a positive healing energy to the whole room. After a single session, we were so energised and forgot all about the heat and the tiring day we had! Dr. Yashika mentioned that sound healing is said to cure even cervical cancer and she has had several patients heal with sound therapy. We are firm believers after just one session, and if you're ever in Rishikesh, we recommend you try this atleast once and see for yourself.
After the sound healing session, we attended the Ganga Aarti and watched the sun set over the majestic Ganges. It was a sight to behold, the flowing water, the golden sun rays hitting the white sand on the riverbanks.
Post that a few of us explore Ram Jhula and we met at Beatles Cafe after some much-needed shopping! The view at Beatles Cafe was so refreshing and the food felt even more so. We headed back to Aloha to rest for the night excited to wake up to another yoga session the next morning.
Day 3: Yoga with Tithi
Another beautiful morning in Rishikesh, slightly sunny and slightly overcast from the last night's showers. We had a fun yoga session in the grass with last night's dew pleasantly greeting our mats.
After the yoga session was a closing ceremony, and Tithi had even got us incense lamps as goodbye gifts!
Rishikesh, you have our hearts! We have to come back for them.
P.S. Some of us stayed back and extra day and it was an extended retreat. More on that coming up in the next blog.