India extends his influence in a soft way and adopts a strategy with the yoga business and launched the International Yoga Day on June 21th.
Rishikesh, the worldly famous city of yoga is a hub for the global yoga market, and famous people like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar that I had the pleasure to meet by Laxman Jhula bridge, are here to support the business campaign.
To really understand what represents the yoga business in India, you have to go to a city up North Delhi, called Rishikesh. Nested at the heart of Ganga Valley, the town of 100 000 inhabitants is a sacred place. It is a step for the many pilgrims going to the source of the river. It is also well known for the Beatles Ashram, where the group spent few weeks, experiencing transcendental meditation there.
About 200 yoga centers are counted in Rishikesh. Every corners is offering yoga classes, Hatha, Ashtanga, detox program, Baba Ramdev organic products, crystals, malas and the favorite formula the « Express Yoga Teacher Certificate Training » given in one month and for some thousand euros.
Rishikesh is transforming into Rishi-Cash. The marketing spirit of the politics behind the promotion of yoga into business is invasive. The only danger is that yoga is emptied from his history and true values. In a way, I see even with this aspect, the result is still very positive, even if those Gurus are good or bad, they help their students to liberate themself and adopting a better lifestyle.
Yoga is an exercice for self study, self discipline and in the service of our own emancipation, so, even with this politics projects to commercialize yoga and domesticate the Indians, that won’t succeed as people there just do whatever they want without any regard of the law and codes, you can just observe that by the way they are driving…
During my 2 weeks in Rishikesh, I enjoyed bathing in the sacred Ganga even if it was cold as fuck. I took the opportunity to send an offering for my dear mother who just passed and helped her going to the other side with serenity. I attended severals singing classes where I learned the correct spelling in Sanskrit of sacred mantras with the lovely teacher Keya, a great performer with her husband, she treated me like a daughter and explained me that she could not give birth so she became a singing teacher instead of performing to feel that each students is part of her as a mother. And I visited the Vashista cave, is one of the 7 great sages from the Hindus scriptures, who was carrying the seeds of life in Noa Arch and later on found Vashisht Village where I spent few months after Rishikesh. I also met some friends from Goa who was still wandering in India and bending their back at the feet of the Ganga river. Prem Baba and Mooji was not in SachaDham Ashram but instead I had the pleasure to attend Shanti Mayi’s satsang, the direct student of Sri Hansraj Maharajji to receive her blessings and whatever my questions was, each persons in the room had solved it for me as it was arising effortless from my heart. I understood that obstacles are only our mental projections and self-made difficulties to overcome by stillness.
I stayed in a family guesthouse, very unfriendly and expensive, the business mentality of the Indians living in Rishikesh was very annoying and also their attitude regarding the environment by polluting every corners of the town and the river was disguting which are the reasons I won’t recommand to go.
Here some of my favorite pictures taken there :