7 Days Ayurveda and Yoga Retreats in Rishikesh, India

  • Guru Yog Peeth, 3rd Floor, Maayaa Radha Krishna Guest house, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249192, India

7 Days Ayurveda and Yoga Retreats in Rishikesh, India

  • Guru Yog Peeth, 3rd Floor, Maayaa Radha Krishna Guest house, Tapovan, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249192, India

Ayurveda and Yoga Retreat India

Guru Yog Peeth offers a number of retreat packages that have all been developed with the aim of offering you a holiday experience combined with personal growth. Your stay includes yoga, meditation, accommodation, meals, and any of the other courses like Ayurveda massages, crystal and sound healing, aromatherapy and even Reiki if you are so inclined.

Highlights

  • Daily yoga and meditation classes
  • Partake in a profound spiritual experience
  • Daily pranayama sessions and take a walk in the hills
  • Enjoy the sound of the temple bells sitting by the Ganges River
  • Learn and understand yoga and your own body
  • Daily Ayurvedic and vegan meals
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • 7 days with instruction
  • English
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The accommodations are based on single or double room occupancy at the Guru Yog Peeth's guest house near Lakshman Jhula. Each room is attached with Western toilets and a bathroom provided with hot and cold water. Each room is also Wi-Fi enabled. The rooms are equipped with a king or twin bed, tables with comfortable chairs, air conditioning, flat screen television with satellite channels, tea and coffee making facilities, and a laundry bag.

Guru Yog Peeth yoga retreats not only offer relaxation, Ayurveda massages, sound, or chakra healing, but also equip you with yoga and meditation skills so you can cope better with life. Whether you want to beat fatigue, reduce stress, or lose some weight a yoga retreat will provide the right package. Even a week long yoga retreat helps you regain energy and feel less burdened and anxious. Yoga retreats can help you power up so you are better able to deal with life.

Ayurveda doctors will check every student and will prescribe an Ayurvedic treatment according to each person's needs.

Sample daily schedule

  • 05:30 Morning Tulsi tea
  • 06:00 - 06:30 Shatkarma (twice a week) / silent meditation / mantra chanting
  • 06:30 - 08:00 Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga
  • 08:00 - 09:00 Pranayama
  • 09:00 Organic Ayurvedic breakfast
  • 10:30 - 12:00 Anatomy and physiology in Ayurveda
  • 12:00 - 13:00 Yoga philosophy / yoga psychology / Ayurveda
  • 13:00 Organic Ayurvedic lunch
  • 14:00 - 16:30 Self study
  • 16:30 - 18:00 Classical Hatha yoga
  • 18:00 - 19:00 Meditation philosophy and meditation practice / yoga Nidra
  • 19:00 Organic Ayurvedic dinner
  • 21:30 Lights out

Anatomy and physiology

Anatomy and physiology in Ayurveda are based on the body’s function rather than structure. Eventually, both are of equal importance. Nevertheless, this fundamental difference is primary in understanding the logic of Ayurvedic medicine as a whole.

Sarira Vicaya is the Ayurvedic term that represents both anatomy and physiology. Vicaya means the special or detailed knowledge. As per Caraka, the detailed knowledge of the normal human body is helpful to understand the factors influencing health and therefore such knowledge is widely appreciated by Ayurveda experts.

The word ‘Vicaya’ means the special or detailed knowledge. Detailed knowledge of normal human body i.e.,‘Sarira’, is considered helpful in understanding the factors influencing health. Though most of the basic concepts of human physiology explained in Ayurveda are strikingly similar to the concepts of modern physiology, some concepts like ‘Atma’, ‘Manas’ and ‘Prakrti’ are unique to Ayurveda.

Understanding of physiology in Ayurveda should start with the understanding of innumerable minute individual living units called ‘Sarira Paramanus’ or ‘Anu Srotamsi’. These units are now known as cells. A group of such functionally and structurally similar units is called a ‘Dhatu’. These ‘Dhatus’ are almost equivalent to the tissues. Seven such ‘Dhatus’ have been enumerated.

Similarly, the individual systems in the body have been designated by the term ‘Sthula Srotamsi’ and thirteen such ‘Srotamsi’ have been described by Caraka. ‘Annavaha Stotas’, for example, stands equivalent to the digestive system and ‘Rasavaha Srotas’ to the cardio vascular system.

Apart from these, the functioning of individual systems has also been described in a considerably detailed manner. The cardiovascular system is a closed circuit, the role of the liver in the functioning of the hemopoietic system, the functional significance of the brain in neural mechanisms, the basics of digestion and metabolism, and the basics of immunity ‐ all are some such topics worth mentioning.

The theory of Tridosa is another important theory of physiology. This represents the various reciprocally functioning homeostatic mechanisms at various levels of organization. The state of equilibrium among these ‘Dosas’ is responsible for maintenance of health. Three ‘Dosas’, i.e., ‘Vata’, ‘Pitta’ and ‘Kapha’ in general, represent neural, endocrine and immune mechanisms respectively, and form the basis of neuro‐immuno‐endocrinology.

Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga

Ashtanga means eight limbs or branches, of which asana or physical yoga posture is merely one branch, breath or pranayama is another. Vinyasa means breathing system. Without vinyasa, don’t do asana. When vinyasa is perfect, the mind is under control.

Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga is a style of yoga codified and popularized by K. Pattabhi Jois during the 20th century which is often promoted as a modern-day form of classical Indian yoga. Pattabhi Jois and Sharath Jois, his grandson, encourage the practice of Ashtanga yoga - all eight limbs. The first two limbs, yamas and niyamas, are given special emphasis to be practiced in conjunction with the third and fourth limbs (asana and pranayama).

Usually, an Ashtanga practice begins with five repetitions of Surya Namaskara A and five repetitions of Surya Namaskara B, followed by a standing sequence. Following this, the practitioner begins one of six series, followed by what is called the closing sequence. The six series are:

  • Primary series: Yoga Chikitsa, Yoga for Health or Yoga Therapy
  • Intermediate series: Nadi Shodhana, The Nerve Purifier
  • Advanced series: Sthira Bhaga, Centering of Strength.
  • Advanced A, or Third series
  • Advanced B, or Fourth series
  • Advanced C, or Fifth series
  • Advanced D, or Sixth series

Teaching Ashtanga in a much less linear style, with a greater emphasis on alignment and breathing.

Tristhana

Tristhana means the three places of attention or action: breathing system (pranayama), posture (asana), and looking place (dristhi). These three are very important for yoga practice and cover the three levels of purification: the body, nervous system and the mind. They are always performed in conjunction with each other.

Bandhas

Bandhas are one of the three key principles in Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga, alongside breath and drishti. There are three principal bandhas which are considered internal body locks:

  • Mula Bandha or root lock at the pelvic floor (drawing in the perineum)
  • Udiyana Bandha drawing back the abdomen, 2 inches below the navel
  • Jalandhara Bandha throat lock, achieved by lowering the chin slightly while raising the sternum

Dristhi

Dristhi is where you focus your eyes while in the asana. In the Ashtanga yoga method, there is a prescribed point of focus for every asana. There are nine dristhis: the nose, between the eyebrows, navel, thumb, hands, feet, up, right side and left side.

The purpose of Vinyasa is for internal cleansing. Breathing and moving together while performing asanas makes the blood hot. Thick blood is dirty and causes disease in the body. The heat created from yoga cleans the blood and makes it thin, so that it may circulate freely, heated blood removing toxins, impurities, and disease from the organs through sweat produced during the practice, it is only through sweat that disease leaves the body and purification occurs.

Hatha yoga

It runs in the line of Hindu yoga and is dedicated to Sri (Lord) adi natha (Adinatha), a name for Lord Shiva (the Hindu god of destruction and renewal), who is believed to have imparted the secret of Hatha yoga to his divine consort Parvati. Sanskrit hathayoga, also called Hathavidya, is a branch of yoga. The word Hatha (lit. “force”) denotes a system of physical techniques supplementary to a broad conception of yoga.

Hatha yoga is associated with the Dashanami Sampradaya and the mystical figure of Dattatreya. In the 20th century, Hatha yoga, particularly asanas (the physical postures), became popular throughout the world as a form of physical exercise and is now colloquially termed as simply yoga.

Hathapradipika

The Hathapradipika was composed by Svatmarama in the 15th century CE as a compilation of the earlier Hatha yoga texts. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Gheranda samhita are derived from older Sanskrit texts. In Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Swatmarama introduces his system as the preparatory stage for physical purification that the body practices for higher meditation or yoga. It is based on asanas (postures) and pranayama (breathing techniques).

Hatha Yoga Pradipika lists 35 great Hatha yoga siddhas or masters; Adi Natha, Matsyendranath, and Gorakshanath. It includes information about shatkarma, asana, pranayama (subtle energy control), chakras (centers of energy), kundalini (instinct), bandhas (muscle force), kriyas (techniques; manifestations of kundalini), shakti (sacred force), nadis (channels), and mudras (symbolic gestures), among other topics.

Modern popularization

Many modern schools of Hatha yoga in the West derive from the school of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, who taught from 1924 until his death in 1989. Among his students prominent in popularizing yoga in the West were K. Pattabhi Jois famous for popularizing the vigorous Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga style, B. K. S. Iyengar who emphasized alignment and the use of props, Indra Devi and Krishnamacharyas son T. K. V. Desikachar.

Another major stream of influence within and outside India has been Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh (1887–1963) and his many disciples including, among others, Swami Vishnu-devananda - founder of International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres, Swami Satyananda - of the Bihar School of Yoga, and Swami Satchidananda of Integral Yoga.

In India, Baba Ramdev of Haridwar has popularized yoga among the masses in the 21st century. In Sierra Leone, the Yoga Strength organization headed by Tamba Fayia, a former child soldier who has become the country’s first qualified yoga teacher, focuses on taking yoga to the people who need it on the streets, in the slums, in the schools.

False association with the Nath

According to British indologist James Mallinson, some scholars have been falsely associating Hatha yoga with the Nath, Matsyendranath, and Gorakshanath. In actuality, hatha yoga is associated with the Dashanami Sampradaya and the mystical figure of Dattatreya.

Practice

Hatha yoga has some important principles and practices that are shared with other methods of yoga, such as subtle physiology, dharana (fixation of the elements), and nadanusandhana (concentration on the internal sound).

Hatha yoga consists of eight limbs focused on attaining samadhi. In this scheme, the six limbs of hatha yoga are defined as asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi. It includes disciplines, postures (asanas), purification procedures (shatkriya), gestures (mudras), breathing (pranayama), and meditation. The Hatha yoga predominantly practiced in the West consists of mostly asanas understood as physical exercises. It is also recognized as a stress-reducing practice.

Preservation of life force

In its earliest formulations, Hatha was used to raise and conserve the physical essence of life, identified in men as bindu (semen), which is otherwise constantly dripping downward from a store in the head and being expended. The female equivalent, mentioned only occasionally in the sources, is rajas, menstrual fluid.

The preservation and sublimation of semen were associated with tapas (asceticism) from at least the time of the epics, and some of the techniques of early Hatha yoga are likely to have developed as part of the ascetic practice.

The techniques of early Hatha yoga work in two ways: mechanically, in practices such as viparitakarani, the reverser, in which by standing on one’s head one uses gravity to keep bindu in the head, or by making the breath enter the central channel of the body (sushumna), which runs from the base of the spine to the top of the head, thereby forcing bindu upward.

Kundalini

In later formulations of Hatha yoga, the Kaula system of the visualization of the serpent goddess Kundalini rising as kundalini energy through a system of chakras, usually seven thou there are 114, is overlaid onto the bindu-oriented system. The same techniques, together with some specifically kundalini-oriented ones, are said to affect kundalini’s rise up the central channel (which is called the sushumna in these traditions) to a store of amrita (the nectar of immortality) situated in the head, with which Kundalini then floods the body, rejuvenating it and rendering it immortal.

Siddhis

The aims and results of Hatha yoga are the same as those of other varieties of yoga practice: siddhis (both mundane benefits and magical powers) and moksha, the latter often understood as being attained in a body immortalized by Hatha yoga practices. In keeping with the physical orientation of Hatha yoga practices, its siddhis are predominantly physical, ranging from the loss of wrinkles and gray hair to divine sight or the ability to levitate.

In common with earlier formulations of yoga, in particular, Kaula ones, the techniques of Hatha yoga can be used to effect kalavancana (cheating death), utkranti (yogic suicide), or parakayapravesa (entering another body). As in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, siddhis are usually said to be a hindrance to or distraction from Hatha yoga’s ultimate aim - liberation - but in some Kaula-influenced texts, the pursuit of specific siddhis through specific techniques is taught.

Health benefits

Yoga’s combined focus on mindfulness, breathing, and physical movements brings health benefits with regular participation. Yoga participants report better sleep, increased energy levels and muscle tone, relief from muscle pain and stiffness, improved circulation and overall better general health. The breathing aspect of yoga can benefit heart rate and blood pressure.

The 2012 Yoga in America survey, conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Yoga Journal, shows that the number of adult practitioners in the US is 20.4 million, or 8.7 percent. The survey reported that 44 percent of those not practicing yoga said they are interested in trying it.

Mantra chanting

The sacred chanting of Sanskrit mantras gives you the power to reach your goals and uplift yourself from the ordinary to the superior level of consciousness. Mantras give the power to cure diseases, ward off evil, acquire supernatural powers, worship a deity for uplifting communion and for reaching blissful state, and liberating your self.

Pranayama

A Sanskrit word alternatively translated as an extension of the prana (breath or life force) or breath control. The word is composed of two Sanskrit words: prana meaning life force (noted particularly as the breath), and either yama (to restrain or control the prana, implying a set of breathing techniques where the breath is intentionally altered in order to produce specific results) or the negative form ayama, meaning to extend or draw out (as in extension of the life force).

It is a yogic discipline with origins in ancient India. In “Bhagavad Gita”, pranayama is mentioned in verse 4.29. According to Bhagavad Gita as it is, pranayama is translated to trance induced by stopping all breathing, also being made from the two separate Sanskrit words, prana and ayam.

Pranayama is the fourth limb of the eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga mentioned in verse 2.29 in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Patanjali, a Hindu Rishi, discusses his specific approach to pranayama in verses 2.49 through 2.51, and devotes verses 2.52 and 2.53 to explaining the benefits of the practice.

Patanjali does not fully elucidate the nature of prana, and the theory and practice of pranayama seem to have undergone significant development after him. He presents pranayama as essentially an exercise that is preliminary to concentration, as do the earlier Buddhist texts.

Many yoga teachers advise that pranayama should be part of an overall practice that includes the other limbs of Patanjali’s Raja Yoga teachings, especially yama, niyama, and asana.

Pranayama techniques and forms include:

  • Agni-prasana or Agni Prana (Breath of Fire) like kapalabhati.
  • Agnisar pranayama – an abdominal breath.
  • Anuloma pranayama – a form of alternate nostril breath (distinct from nadi shodhana).
  • Bhastrika pranayama (bellows breath) – fast and forceful inhales and exhales driven by diaphragmatic breathing. Bhastrika is a cleansing kriya to clear the nadis, nostrils, and sinuses for pranayama.
  • Bhramari pranayama (bee breath) – making a humming sound while breathing
  • Chandra Bhastrika pranayama
  • Chandra bheden pranayama
  • Kapalabhati pranayama (Skull shining breath) – similar to bhastrika, but with a passive inhale and a forceful exhale, powered mainly by the diaphragm and the external and internal obliques
  • Kumbhaka Pranayama (Breath retention) – controlling both Antara (holding in) and bahya (holding out)
  • Lom Anulom Vilom pranayama
  • Murchha pranayama
  • Nadi Shodan pranayama
  • Pratiloma pranayama - the inverse of anuloma: the inhale is drawn through one nostril (alternating sides each time) and the exhale is released through both nostrils
  • Sama vrtti pranayama (Even breathing) - the inhale and exhale are of equal size and duration. The opposite of visama vrtti
  • Shitali pranayama (Cooling breath) - Inhalation is drawn over the curled and extended tongue
  • Shitkari pranayama - Similar to shitali but the tongue is held between the teeth
  • Surya Bhastrika pranayama
  • Surya bhedana pranayama and Chandra bhedana pranayama - Channeling breath in one side and out the other without alternating, meant to energize ida or pingala nadi. The right nostril is associated with the sun (surya) and left nostril with the moon (ida)
  • Surya Chandra Bhastrika pranayama
  • Udgeeth pranayama (Chanting pranayama) - often done with the chanting of the Om mantra
  • Ujjayi pranayama - also known as victorious or conquering breath

This is a type of breathing with the glottis slightly engaged, producing a soft sound. Considered to be the only pranayama one can safely practice while walking or engaged in other activities, e.g. during asana practice. Some older versions require digital pranayama (the fingers controlling the nostrils). The slightly closed airway creates a Valsalva maneuver and typically results in a parasympathetic response (lowered heart rate, lowered blood pressure, increased digestive activity, stimulation of the vagus nerve, and much more)

  • Viloma Pranayama - the air is inhaled with pauses and exhaled as one breath or vice-versa, usually with added kumbhaka.
  • Visama vrtti - Uneven breathing where specific ratios (e.g. 1:4:2) are maintained between inhaling, retention, and exhale. The opposite of sama vrtti.

Medical pranayama

Several researchers have reported that pranayama techniques are beneficial in treating a range of stress-related disorders. A Cochrane systematic review on the symptomatic relief of asthma by breathing exercises did not find a statistically significant improvement but did find that there was a statistically significant increase in the dose of histamine needed to provoke a 20% reduction in FEV1 (PD20) during pranayama breathing but not with the placebo device. This is just one example.

Safety

Authoritative texts on yoga state that, in order to avoid injuries and unwanted side effects, pranayama should only be undertaken when one has a firmly established yoga practice and then only under the guidance of an experienced Guru.

Shatkarma

Also known as yogic cleansing, shatkarma refers to the yogic practices involving purification of the body. These practices are outlined in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika as kriya, and they are:

  • Neti: nasal cleaning, including jala neti and sutra neti
  • Dhauti: a cleansing of the digestive tract
  • Nauli: abdominal massage
  • Basti: colon cleaning
  • Kapalbhati: purification and vitalisation of the frontal lobes
  • Trataka: blinkless gazing

Yoga Nidra

Nidra is a Sanskrit word meaning sleep or yogic sleep - it is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the going-to-sleep stage. It is a state in which the body is completely relaxed, and the practitioner becomes systematically and increasingly aware of the inner world by following a set of verbal instructions.

This state of consciousness (yoga Nidra) is different from meditation in which concentration on a single focus is required. In yoga Nidra the practitioner remains in a state of light pratyahara with four of his senses internalized, that is, withdrawn, and only the hearing still connects to the instructions. The yogic goal of both paths, deep relaxation (yoga Nidra) and meditation is the same, a state called samadhi.

Yoga Nidra is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness. In lucid dreaming, one is only, or mainly, cognizant of the dream environment, and has little or no awareness of one’s actual environment.

The practice of yoga relaxation or Nidra has been found to reduce tension and anxiety. The autonomic symptoms of high anxiety such as headache, giddiness, chest pain, palpitations, sweating and abdominal pain respond well. It has been used to help soldiers cope with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

  • Maayaa

    As the name suggests, Maayaa takes yoga seriously and makes her living by practicing the art with a high level of skill and commitment to demonstrate extensive training and experience, professional attitude and demeanor, strong ethical principles, and knowledge of both the efficacy and the limits of astrological practice.

  • Dr. Vibha Sharma

    Dr. Vibha Sharma holds a Bachelor of Ayurvedic medicine and surgery from Mahrishi Dayanand University, Rohtak. She is a specialist in Panchkarma Therapies, specializing in the branch of Ayurveda that helps in detoxifying the body. She is devoted to practice teachings of Ayurveda for the past 25 years curing various diseases from the lives of numerous patients suffering from serious ailments.

  • Dr. Mukesh Sharma

    Dr. Mukesh's passion is to cure masses by reaching out to the wider section of society further flourishes on national TV and All India Radio wherein he divulges the secret of healthy living and aspire to heal ailments in most natural and Ayurvedic centric methods. Dr. Sharma also featured in general health promotional ad campaigns.

  • Guruji Rishi

    Rishi, who is a mind therapist and yoga instructor, clinical hypnotherapist, and an energetic alignment practitioner. He is a master for mind therapies and heal people by using various techniques like hypnosis, yoga, pranayama, and meditation, working directly on the subconscious levels. The process is done in an effortless manner and helps to recover with issues quickly.

This retreat will take place in Rishikesh, India. Rishikesh is imbued with an environment that is in itself rejuvenating. Breathing the fresh Himalayan air automatically detoxes your lungs. A couple of weeks of quiet meditation, pranayama, yoga, walking in the hills, and enjoying the sound of the temple bells sitting by the Ganges River will enable you to nurture a practice that can give you a more peaceful life.

Guru Yog Peeth aims to provide you the right tools so your yoga retreat experience equips you with tools to combat the negative influence of modern city life.

The food provided is hygienic and well-prepared organic vegan food. The pure vegan meals are served according to the principles of Ayurveda and you are expected to be fully devoted and obey all the guidelines and disciplines of the yogic path during your training so that you may get the best benefits.

Guru Yog Peeth's trusted team of Ayurvedic doctors, Vaidyas, will do a weekly health check of all the students, so that changes can be made in the personal diets to correct any health aberration or anomaly.

While you are booked into your yoga retreats at Guru Yog Peeth, you will also have ample opportunity to visit the tourist spots in Rishikesh. The ashram is located just steps away from the Laxman Jhula and the Holy Ganges. Undertaking a yoga retreat in Rishikesh is like partaking a profound spiritual experience. The mystical vibrations reverberate everywhere and you cannot go away from Rishikesh without being affected positively.

You can book an Ayurvedic massage on site with a reservation for an extra cost.

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Daily Ayurvedic and vegan meals
  • Daily pranayama sessions
  • Daily yoga and meditation classes
  • Weekly health checks with Ayurvedic doctors
  • Airfare
  • Extra activities
  • Personal expenses

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL). From there you may continue your journey with a domestic flight to Jolly Grant Airport, Dehradun (DED).

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.

Rishikesh, India

Guru Yog Peeth is a premium yoga school for 200-hours yoga teacher training courses. They organize various teacher trainings locally.

  • Availability: The Yoga Retreats of this organizer are available 0% of the time.
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7 days / 6 nights

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Available to start any month of the year with arrivals on Sundays.

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