Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School Review

Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School is a steadily growing teaching academy in Rishikesh, India.  They have new recruits at the start of every month and are turning out newly trained Ashtanga Yoga teachers into places all over the world.

I had the privilege of studying with their institute and gaining my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training Certificate with them and enjoyed it immensely.

As a personal trainer I have always promoted the benefits of yoga and stretching.  I was practicing and teaching Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga to my clients for a while and became quite well known as being the ‘Yoga Chick’ in Ibiza even though I was not qualified.

So, after finishing work for the season I decided it was time to get my Yoga Teacher Training certificate and the best place to do this was in India.

Ganges Rishikesh

I originally thought of going to Goa,  but a good friend of mine suggested that I go to Rishikesh, so that is what I did.  

After doing my research on the other schools in the area I found the Ashtanga Vinyasa course that I wanted to attend: Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School

Here are a few questions answered on my experiences in India at the school. 

Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School

Why Did I Choose Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School?

The course was the 200hr Yoga Teacher Training and was the type of Yoga I had been practicing at home.

Cost of the course was well priced, and they provided all your Ayurvedic meals (apart from Sunday night) and the accommodation was included too.

Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School offered activities on our free day to the local sights which were also included.

Plus there was an Ayurvedic massage thrown in too 🙂

Ganges Rishikesh

What Made Me Decide On Rishikesh?

Rishikesh is promoted as being the birth place of Yoga, and is the gateway to the Himalayas.  It is very spiritual and many famous people including the Beatles had gone to study in Ashrams in the area.  There are lots of places to worship and there are also so many drop-in Yoga classes available and guest appearances by famous Yogi’s to go and see.

The area is so beautiful with the Ganges flowing right through it.  There are walking paths to waterfalls, white water rafting activities and hiking treks into the Himalayas and this is what sold me…. I was also told by a good friend that I would love it.

Beetles Ashram India

Rishikesh is also a lot quieter than other areas in India, especially if you have been in Delhi or in the surrounding areas.  I spent two weeks previous to the course travelling around the Golden Triangle, which was pretty hectic.  So when I got to Rishikesh I felt relieved.

How Did I Get There?

Before the course began Rishikesh Ashtanga Vinyasa School set up an email chain so that all the students were in contact before the course.  Some of us arranged to share a taxi from New Delhi, so we booked the same hostel and then took the taxi the next day.  The cost was 5000 rupees, which at the time, was the equivalent to €60 and the journey took 5 hours.

Alternatively you can fly from New Delhi to Derradun which is a 1 hour flight and will cost about €60.  From there you take a taxi to Rishikesh which will cost about €20.

Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School also provides transfers in which you can organise directly with them.

Ceremony Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School

What To Expect On The First Day

We were told in the confirmation email that a welcoming ceremony would take place on the first day and that we should bring something white to wear.  The majority of the group (like myself) had not bought anything but luckily we had time the night before (arrival night) to walk into town and buy what we needed.  There are lots of market stalls and shops for you to get exactly what you would like to wear.

On the first day we had breakfast at 08:00 and we then went up to the hall in the same building, and this is where the ceremony took place.  It lasted a couple of hours, there was singing and prayers, and offerings and we were blessed with the bindi spot and rice. 

After that, we had lunch and the teachers gave us a free afternoon for us to find our bearings in the area, and also make friends which was great!

Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School Beach Yoga

What Were The Teachers Like?

Honestly the teachers were  the best bunch of people I have ever met.  They were great and were all dedicated to helping us with our practice.

They were young and lively and were always up for a dance when any tunes came on.  Especially from time to time in Meditation they would all jump into the room to have a boogie.  Also,  if there is a birthday in the group there is no doubt a cake would be there for us all to share…. I can’t remember how many cakes we had, but it was quite a few. LOL

Did I Enjoy The Food?

The meals were all Ayuvedic, meat free and healthy.  You could select what you wanted to eat as it was displayed on the counter and you all lined up to serve yourself. 

Breakfast: We normally had porridge and cereal, some people had both but I generally stuck with porridge with a dab of peanut butter and honey.  Sometimes we had pasta for breakfast (I know, pasta for breakfast!) and this was a wonderful surprise especially when we got further into the course.  Sometimes we could pretty much predict what we were going to eat that day, but that didn’t matter as we appreciated what we were given, like the majority of India has to do. 

Lunch: Variations of vegetable / chickpea curry with rice and some chopped uncooked veg like carrots and radishes.

Dinner: Chickpea curry or a pea mix that we put into chapati’s.  It was always chapati’s for the evening meal and rather light.  We never had rice.

Walking in Rishikesh

What Did We Do In Our Free Time?

There was quite a bit of free time in the day; we had a break after breakfast and then three hours after lunch before Ashtanga.  We could socialise in the courtyard, relax in our rooms or some of us would pop out into town.

We were all connected on WhatsApp: Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School set this up when we arrived.  If people were going out from the school an invite was sent out to the group, and we had all made friends so it was lovely to spend time together outside of the classroom.

So when we felt like it, we went for a coffee or something to eat, look around the market stalls and some of the group took other Yoga classes and went for Ayurvedic massages.  We even went to the Beetles Ashram.

Sunday was our free day but we had a compulsory excursion with Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School.  On our first Sunday we went to Kunjapuri Temple on the bus and saw the magnificent views across the mountains.  We also had a great day out at the waterfalls where we took a walk and spent time swimming in the falls.

On the last Sunday, everyone got together in the courtyard and painted Henna tattoos on their hands.

Beetles Ashram

Did We Do Cleansing Practices?

Of course… when in India and studying Yoga!  And when in India, we cleanse!

We woke up every morning at around 05:30am, had some tea and then waited for the warm water to come out from the kitchen for the practices.   We started with Jala Neti where we flushed warm water through our nostrils with a jug and then blew it out using a breathing technique called kapalbhati.

After practicing jala neti for a week we were then introduced to Trataka (eye neti – we would call it) where we used two small pots with rosemary water and placed them over our eyes for 1 minute.  During the minute we would keep our eyes open and move the eyeball around to cleanse the complete eye.

We did the Dhauti and Bhasti cleanse where we had to drink 2 or more glasses of salty water which focuses on cleansing the digestive tract by either being sick or letting it pass through.  This was not the most pleasant out of the cleansing practices but was worth the experience.

On the last week we tried the rubber neti process.  It  was a little harder than we all thought as the rubber tube had to go up your nostril and pass through your throat to clean the nasal and throat tract.  Not many of us could perform this as it was a little painful or it was difficult to find the way with the tube.   Those that could manage it said that they felt that it was very rewarding and the nose felt a lot clearer…. I wish I could have done it to be fair!

Waterfalls Rishikesh

How Hard Was It?

Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is not to be seen as an easy form of Yoga.  You practice for three hours a day; Vinyasa Flow in the morning and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga in the evening.  The teachers at Rishikesh Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga School taught us quite quickly over the 4 weeks.  This is because we had to get through the whole series before the end of the course.

As we ventured into the course, we all found that we were getting a bit tired and some of us were suffering from muscle soreness.  I think I hurt in a different place everyday towards the end….

Fortunately, you do have time to rest and it is strongly recommended that you do so.  The teachers will encourage you to continue and avoid taking a break from your practice.   They say that if you push through, this is where the magic happens and you start to see the changes both physically and mentally.

Opening ceremony Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School

What Did It Teach Me?

Rishikesh Ashtanga Vinyasa School not only taught me how to teach.  I learnt all the basic fundamentals on what it takes to be a good teacher and all of the main principles that encompass Yoga.

I was able to take away so many skills and ways to practice and expand my knowledge.  I know that I will always be improving my practice in Yoga as there is so much to think about and to continually learn.

It taught me that everyone is different and that no matter what, Yoga is not about being perfect.  Yoga is about being you and your own personal journey to self-discovery.  Also, to always remember not to take life too seriously, have fun, love, dance and enjoy yourself! 

Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School

Would I Do It Again?

Yes!  After completing the first series with Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School I will definitely like to do the second series (but you need to have mastered the skils from the first series as the second series is a lot harder).  There are many people from my course that wanted to do the same after they qualified.

Also, the people that were in our group were just amazing.  We had such a strong bunch of fun, happy individuals, I am so pleased that I got to study with them… maybe we could all go back at the same time next year for series 2  😉

If you have any questions about Rishikesh Vinyasa Yoga School and would like to get in touch then please feel free to drop your query in the comments box. Thanks!

Sunset Ganges Rishikesh