Saturday, January 19, 2013

Rishikesh: A place to find enlightment

Last week I picked up the Nat Geo Traveller, October 2012 issue specially for reading the article: "Here Comes the Sun". But it wasn't the title of the article - but the tag line on the cover - "A Yoga Skeptic in India". I am a bit into Yoga - actually the meditation kind - Pranayama. So I was intrigued and picked up the issue.

The article was fantastic - very well written and insightful. A Must Read! A few quotes from the well-written article:

Reading the line below had me break into a smile  - "spirituality mall". It is unfortunate that even though I have lived in New Delhi for the first half of my life - I have never visited Rishikesh. Ok I may have been there when I was very young but no memories from the trip.
Rishikesh is a shopping mall for spirituality straddling the Ganges northeast of New Delhi.
Yep Yoga is not about breaking a sweat. And a teacher is a must, IMHO. Yoga is a way of life, and it is most certainly not about difficult and challenging poses.
There are no New Age tunes pumping through hidden speakers, no distracting yoga outfits, no blinding heat, no incense, and no attitude. Just students and a teacher.
On driving on the wrong side of the road?
STAY LEFT, STAY LEFT quickly becomes my mantra as I wind past candy-striped buses and overstuffed rickshaws belching black clouds. Left-side driving is easy to adapt to—until you forget.
And Peter sums it up well:
I ask Jagdish if he does yoga.
“Yes, every day. Work is my yoga. My job keeps my body flowing.”
Yet Madhav, I realize, is the walking example of that knowing soul I aspired to be. Nothing, no matter the urgency or size, derails him. He doesn’t live in a cave, nor did he guide me through a single pretzel contortion. Yet he taught me, almost daily, not necessarily how to walk the “yogi path” but how to understand it better and, most important, to realize that my mind needs as much stretching as my annoying back.

Here is the original: Here Comes the Sun by Peter McBride

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