I didn’t tell you last time what an Ashram is, because I wanted to do this in an individual post. It’s the question I’ve been asked most when I was telling people about my trip.
What the heck is an Ashram?
Well, an Ashram is simply the place where the Yoga teacher (often referred to as “Guru”, which is Sanskrit and means teacher) lives with his family. It is also the place where he holds classes and teachings, such as the teachers’ course I took.
It’s bit like its own world. When I first got there, I immediately felt the peaceful and calm atmosphere. I didn’t feel the need to check my cell phone every other second or read any newspapers or watch any news. Also the way of interacting with the other people is very kind, friendly and helpful.
As we were a group of 18 students, there was a lot of work to get done every day, but nobody shyed away from helping. There was always a helping hand for doing the dishes, cutting veggies for dinner or sweeping the floors. What astonished me most, was the fact that though I (like everyone else) had a lot to do, I never felt “exploited” in any way – a feeling I sometimes get back in Germany. On the contrary, I was happy to give a hand.
This is the Meditation room where we would meet for meals, Meditation, Hatha Yoga and lectures. It might look uncomfortable, because there are no chairs and tables, but after some days we didn’t mind. We would just put out a tablecloth on the floor and gather for meals. And it was a lot easier to sit in a straight position on the floor than it would ever have been on a chair.
I guess there is not much different between life in an Ashram or a monastery. The daily schedule is pretty much the same every day ( I described this in my last post) and both are equally beneficial if you’re looking for a place to retreat from life to rest and relax.
Yogi Hari’s Ashram did not only create the feeling of “being in paradise”, but it also looked like paradise, with the vast garden, the palms everywhere, the birds and crickets singing all the time and the lizards running around in thousands… The perfect place to practice Yoga.
Join me next time to read more about my course!