Rishikul Yogshala is a Yoga Alliance approved yoga school located at Rishikesh with centers in other parts of India, as well as one at Pokhara, Nepal.
Yoga Retreats (13)
Master of Ashtanga, Hatha, and Vinyasa yoga, Yogi Bipin Baloni has been on the road to self-discovery as a yogi since the tender age of 17. He has dedicated his life to the yoga capital, Rishikesh, and is now dwelling in the spiritual town as a revered yoga teacher.
Swami Atmanananda Giri
Born in the lap of Kerala, Swami Atmaji has devoted his life to yoga and spirituality since childhood. A compassionate soul by nature, he studied Homeopathy in Kerala and also practiced Naturopathy with the purpose to help people become healthier. As a religious follower of Vedas and Upanishads, Swamiji followed his passion for unearthing the essence of spirituality with various meditation practices as a vagrant ascetic for over four years. He completed his education from Shivananda Ashram under the supreme guidance of his guru Swami Adyatamanandaji.
A former Naga Guru, Gangesha Chaitanya holds knowledge and wisdom of the unparalleled yogic mystics that very rare yogis can attain. An E-RYT certified yoga teacher, he received a major part of his spiritual education from the great Saint Swami Rama. He is a master of Meditation, Kundalini Yoga and Pranayama. (Core Subjects: Meditation, Inspirational and Spiritual Guide)
Born and brought up in a spiritual environment of a well-respected family in Karnataka, Kavithaji was raised under the values and teachings of Basavanna (one of the greatest saints in 12th-century and a highly-distinguished Hindu philosopher, statesman, Kannada poet). She has studied and practiced Pranayama under the mentorship of Sri Ganeshwer Avadhut in Srisailam forest before following the footsteps of the great yoga and spiritual guru Swami Veda Bharthi, a disciple of Swami Rama where she studied the art of meditation and yogic philosophy. (Core Subjects: HathaYoga, Pranayama)
Annnamalai Prana Ji (Swami Thiyagaranjan)
The most eminent yoga guru in Rishikesh, Annamalai Pranaji specializes in subjects like Pranayama and Yoga Philosophy. He fulfilled his apprenticeship in the principles of Swami Sivananda – Swami Vignananda tradition of Tamil Nadu. He blends his teachings with traditional authenticity and modern perspective. Meditation, Kundalini Yoga and Ayurveda are some of the other subjects he has keen knowledge of. (Core Subjects: Pranayama, Yoga Philosophy, Meditation, Kundalini Yoga and Ayurveda)
As a disciple of Lord Krishna who is also her spiritual guide, Deepa ji is an avid follower of yoga and the spiritual message of love it carries within. Rebelling against the usual norms of a chauvinist society, Deepa Ji is a subtle feminist and one of the very few women who have made a mark for themselves in the field of yoga. In her spare time, she loves to travel and indulge in quiet photography.
Born and nurtured in the spiritual town of Rishikesh, Gurmeet ji is an expert with subjects like Hatha yoga, yoga anatomy, and physiology. A Yoga Alliance certified RYT 500 yoga teacher, Gurmeet ji also holds a post graduate degree in yoga from Uttarakhand Sanskrit University. Gurmeet Ji trained under the supreme guidance and blessings of Swami Dharma Nanda at the Ved Niketan ashram. As a yoga professional, he refined his skills further by working with renowned physiotherapists in Germany before coming back to India for preaching the science of yoga to fellow citizens.
Vimalji holds various degrees including Bachelor’s degree in Sanskrit, a Master’s Degree in Philosophy and a Post Graduate Diploma in Yogic Science. Born into a conventional Indian family, Vimalji has indulged himself in profound yogic practices since he was 11 years old. He further studied under Mahamandaleshwar Sri Swami Veda Bharati- a disciple of Swami Rama and has devoted his life to teachings and practice of yogic science ever since. With his education and experience in various mystics of yoga including mantra chanting, he attained the status of Acharya Vimal.
A strong believer in the fact that yoga and science are intensely linked with each other, Kushal ji has devoted his life in exploring the complicated aspects of yoga through scientific point of view. Kushal ji holds a Master’s degree in Yogic Science and a strong experience of working with the Indian army as a yoga trainer. In addition with being a dedicated yoga teacher, he is also a passionate karma yogi who often indulges in volunteer work at several yoga camps.
Suraj Ji is a Yoga Alliance certified RYT 500 teacher and, also holds a Master’s degree in Yoga Science. Born and brought up in the yoga capital, Rishikesh, Suraj ji has been practicing yoga since his childhood. He also studied under the profound mentorship of Guru Narendra Gussain, a much acclaimed yoga teacher of traditional and contemporary style of yoga. One of the most exclusive elements about Suraj ji’s classes is that he blends in traditional yoga with contemporary styles.
Tiffanie Van Koevering
from United States, December 2018
I found the teachers to be very knowledgeable, and I really enjoyed hearing about their experiences on their yoga journeys. The teachers were so attentive to our needs and inclusive with all the lessons that they provided. I only found one of the instructors on this review, but all of them were wonderful to work with!
The resort was lovely and located up in the mountainside, just a short walk from the lakeside town which was also a really cool place. Everyone who works at the resort was so friendly and did a great job keeping us all very comfortable throughout our stay.
Our group activities outside of the yoga curriculum were so worthwhile. I was so grateful to be able to stay in such a beautiful place with so many things to do and see!
from Sweden, December 2017
"A course that helpt me learn and grow alot!"
I really liked the course, I learned alot about myself and it was so fun to meet so many people from all around the World. I liked that we were Close to the city, it was easy to go and have a coffee break when you felt you needed, but I Think the course would have been much better close to nature. I Think the philosopfy classes was the best, but the other ones was also very intresting. I would recommend this course for beginners and also people that been doing yoga for a while and want to learn more about what yoga really is. We did not do any Writing test in the end of the course but every one had to hold 1 hour own class for the others, it was very fun and you learned alot from it!
Joaquin Gómez Picca
from Spain, November 2017
"Wonderful experience at Rishikul Yogshala Pokhara, Nepal"
I came to this course with no expectations, not knowing what was this all about. Once I arrived, I founded great experienced teachers (and wonderful humans), magestic place (I would recommend every yogi to go to Nepal and experience Pokhara), and incredible people (we became a big family not only with the other students but also with the teachers).
The course is quite intense and it challenges you in a physical, mental and spiritual level, but what you learn from it, is totally worth it.
The hotel is beautiful and the rooms are abobe the Asian quality standards (I found). The food is very good and healthy, sometimes a bit repetitive, but understandable variable as it’s all Ayurvedic food with the intention of creating a regular healthy process on your digestive system, providing you the needed vitamins for such an intense course.
Overall, I’m extremely happy with the experience and already planning to follow my path in the yogic lifestyle.
from Germany, October 2017
"Life changing experience!"
My primary purpose to travel to Nepal and participate on the 200 hrs yoga teacher training at Rishikul Yogshala was to improve my overall health as I have back problems since young age. However, this course was so inspiring and I learnt so much that I received a different impression of what yoga actually is. I loved all the classes and the teachers have such a great knowledge! I met people from all over the world and I got inspired so much. I would recommend this course to anyone who wants to make a change, to live a better life, to become more happy and balanced and just everyone who loves yoga.
This course really exceeded my expectations and I found myself as more than just a yoga practitioner. I am a student, at the same time I became a teacher and I am ready to share my knowledge with the world to make it a better place.
I thank the universe for an experience that I won´t ever forget. Before, I was lost, but I learnt about who I am and where I want to go. Where the focus goes, energy flows. So mind you focus!
from Hungary, May 2017
I loved the enthusiasm of the teachers, the activities, food, curriculum, so basically everything.
from Denmark, April 2017
"Loved it "
Such a great school with amazing teachers. I'll recommend doing this to anyone no matter their experience with yoga. This experience has definetly changed my body and mind to the better!
from United States, April 2017
"everything went well"
the staff was very accommodating and available 24/7.
from Jordan, April 2017
"Real yoga in pokhara (Nepal)"
I have been really taken by the combination of Hatha practice in the early morning and Ashtanga in the afternoon. It was the perfect insight to allow u to decide wich style u want to deepen. Pranayama and philosophy lessons have been so interesting and well explained. Anatomy was a deep discovery about how our body works.
from Netherlands, April 2017
"Best way to learn what you need"
World class teachers and a detailed but yet smartly compressed curriculum. This professionalism was beyond my expectations and beyond anything i have experienced in my 3 years of intense yoga practice. Chapeau!
from Nigeria, June 2019
"First big step towards being a Yoga teacher "
The classes were structured very well and the intensity increased over time. Some of the content was immediately understood. 4 weeks later at home some of it is still working which I´m very grateful for. What I´ve internalised now is that experience matters more than learning theory. And that it´s extremely important how I spent my life energy. This course gives you a great overview of (maybe) all there is and a strong basis for a daily routine.
The teachers and the whole group I spent this 4 weeks with were incredibly nice people.
We had 5 teachers: 1 for Ashtanga, 1 for Hatha & Pranayama, 1 for Meditation & Mantra, 1 for Anatomy and 1 for Philosophy. They were always very open for questions and gave support to each individual. All classes were intense, in a good way, I learnt a lot about Yoga and myself.
Being back home, I´m not very keen on eating Indian or Nepalese dishes at the moment, but that´s not something I didn´t like. Just raised my awareness about how we are used to this crazy variety at our globalised homes.
The food is very good. The staff of the Infinity Resort is great, helped all of us very much to feel good and at home. The location of the Infinity Resort is perfect. You can easily walk into town, but you are in a calm spot close the nature.
from Vietnam, June 2019
Teachers are very good, kind, knowledgeable. Food is really really good. And I had a good time with my new interesting friends!
from Singapore, January 2019
"Everything was PERFECT for me!"
I was able to re-discover my ability to gaze upon a stranger with love--something I had known unerringly as a child but lost after adolescence. The sattvic food was a great relief, because my experience in the two years leading up to my visit was that I couldn't find commercially available or prepared food that worked perfectly with my digestion, here in Singapore. Except for the slight amounts of red chili powder used in the curries, I was able to eat foods that interacted well with my highly Pitta energy.
from Denmark, December 2018
"A yogic treat in God’s Own country"
This 200 hour yoga teacher training was an amazing experience - a physical as well as a mental journey to new territories of my body and my mind guided and instructed by highly qualified teachers in whom I had trust. I can only recommend everybody to do this.
from India, November 2018
"Best experience and the Best month of my life"
I liked the overall vibe of the course and the place. It felt more like a home. It was really informative and systematically planned.
from Spain, September 2018
"Great introduction to yoga philosophy and practices"
In general everything was very good, the teachers had a lot of knowledge and the classes were great. The staff is very nice and helpful and the school tries it’s best to give the students the best experience. It is a one month course but very intense and well organized. If you don’t have some years of yoga practice before, you will not be ready to teach after finishingit, but you’ll leave knowing all the basics to start practicing yoga in the proper way.
The surroundings are lovely, there is a good view for the mountains.
The overall experience was great and would totally do it again :)
from Egypt, September 2018
"Amazing experience "
When I arrived, I never imagined that I would not only get my certification as a yoga teacher but also an experience that would change my life totally.
From divine facilities surrounded by Himalayas mountains and just a few minutes walk from the Ganges River and delicious vegetarian food,,, Rishikul Yogshala took my heart. I enjoyed every moment. It is definitely a good option to do introspection and connect with yourself. Notice the changes in my body simply by standing. They helped me overcome the self-imposed limits on me and stay in each asana and breathe. Teachers pass on their knowledge and give themselves completely to the teaching of traditional Yoga, always attentive to the needs of each of the students as a member of their family. This unforgettable memory stayed with me always ,,,
I highly recommend Rishikul Yogshala to obtain your yoga certification ,,,
from United States, September 2018
"This was the perfect yoga school for me!"
I decided to book this yoga teacher training in Kerala because I wanted a more in-depth education that would enable me to better myself holistically during this transition period in my life. I am pleased to report that I found exactly what I was looking for. I found the food to be extremely healthy. I never felt concerned about my nutrient intake or worried about having enough to eat. The instructors were excellent. Every instructor had a strong relationship with their yoga practice, so they had nothing but authentic insight into how we could improve our practice as students and teachers when we returned to our home countries. The location was wonderful, I went back and forth for a while trying to decide between where I wanted this experience to happen and I think I picked the perfect location. Varkala Beach is quite gorgeous.
from Thailand, March 2018
"Prakash u Nicky Ji are the best!!! "
Good food friendly staff strict teacher very good teachings
from Austria, March 2018
"Loved everything about this experience!"
I came with an open mind and open heart. And they both got filled more than over the top with holistic, experienced knowledge! I loved the disciplined energy that all the teachers emanated. It reflected onto us students and made me ambitious to give as much as my own 100% into this course. The in-depth knowledge paired with the teachers personal experience and understanding made me get a really profound “first glance” into the depth of the holistic Yoga Practice, with all that comes with it. I came to understand and remember even more that Yoga is a lifestyle to be practiced. I loved the way we were taken care of. I felt so much care and love from the staff. Just overall perfect, for perfect is what you make it!
from Italy, February 2018
I learned a lot from the teachers and from this experience. I have found kindness and open mind in almost every teacher\people and this is so important when you are so far away from home, so thank you all the teacher.Also staff were kind.
from United Arab Emirates, February 2018
People of the group and teachers!
from Great Britain, February 2018
"Mary Kavanagh "
I stayed in Savitri - the accommodation was so fantastic and the location couldn’t have been better.
The staff at both Savitri and Rishikal couldn’t have been more accommodating.
The teaching was fantastic.
from Kazakhstan, January 2018
"Good experience "
I liked asana classes, it was perfect. Food was good. Location in varkala - beatiful place, clean and cozy rooms. Teachers were great. I recommend this school.
from Netherlands, January 2018
she was very good educated and a nice person
Charlotte Von Bülow
from Denmark, January 2018
from Australia, December 2017
most of the teachers were excellent, knowledgeable and inspiring. the philosophy and history of yoga is the focus of this particular course and was very informative and interesting. yoga asana classes were very intense (not really beginner level) but enjoyable. our fellow students in the course were truly wonderful i made some lifelong friends. the location is great (though often noisy- take earplugs) near the ganges river in the bustling and welcoming town of rishikesh.
from Saudi Arabia, November 2017
"Ideal location and great school"
I liked how much information was provided for each subject. Your brain will feel overloaded but once you have had time to digest the information you will feel amazing because of all of the information you have absorbed.
The location is great. The little village has some lovely shops and cafes and the locals are very friendly. I highly recommend the french bakery if you want to study somewhere different.
The food in the school was very good. I personally struggled at times but they are catering for over 50 people so they did an amazing job of making sure everyone had something to eat.
All the teachers are good but a special mention to my Ashtanga and Alignment teacher - Sachin. He is very knowledgeable and inspirational... He always made me push harder in the class and go away and research more. Without question I learnt the most from him during my time at the school.
from Singapore, November 2017
"Good for Yoga not so good to stay around"
Yoga schedule and very personal attention given to us
from Great Britain, October 2017
"Teacher training experience :) "
200hr Teacher training experience
It's pretty hard to put into words my month at Rishikul Yogshala but I'll give it a go. People told me before I went it would be a life changing experience and they weren't wrong.
It was an intense month mentally and physically but such a rewarding experience. With about 40 students our group was split into 2. With people from all over the world and different personalities/ stories to tell I found it fascinating to meet such beautiful souls.
Let me start with the food. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. Honestly credit to the cooks because every meal was lovely. Sure towards the end of 4 weeks it gets a tiny bit repetitive but there are many places outside of the school to mix it up a little on days off (you get wed and sun off). if you eat meat expect to maybe find the experience a little different/ harder,
The teachers make the yogshala what it is. You can really see their passion and enthusiasm to keep the real tradition of Yoga alive.
The rooms are pretty basic so please just keep your expectations low. Please apply this attitude to many aspects during your time there if you go. Nothing gets done in a hurry. It's India. You have to ask for things a few times.
from Cambodia, September 2017
"Learning From The Source"
Where do I begin! I've just completed the 200hr TTC course and it totally exceeded my expectations. The quality and knowledge of the teachers is priceless. You really get to learn all about Yoga- not just the physical aspects of it. You're fully immersed in the culture too with activities on the days off. The school itself is in a beautiful area surrounded by nature and also close to shops and cafes when you need a break or a coffee to go with your study. The food is amazing and has real selection- you'll never go hungry thats for sure!
from United States, July 2017
"Absolutely the best school in Rishikesh"
There were so many things that I liked.... So, lets start with the food. (I felt on a culinary journey there as well!) Breakfast, lunch and dinner takes place in a cosy garden (its the best to eat in an open space!) Its a buffet style dining and even though I am vegan, always had plenty of different dishes to choose from. Different stews with lentils, chickpeas, beans, vegetables.... Sometimes pasta or sandwiches, or amazing desserts too.. Food full of flavor, spices and so delicious! For breakfast I loved papaya and porridge! BIG thanks to the chefs, kitchen staff and everyone else involved in food preparation.
Secondly, teachers were absolutely amazing. I felt as if I am attending some magical school like Hogwarts, as we had nine different teachers that had so much knowledge in their field. I learnt a lot during that month and in particular really deepened my understanding about yoga philosophy and alignment.
My favorite classes were with Yoga teacher Manoj. I feel its very important for everyone to understand how important is a proper technique and body alignment while doing yoga poses in order to prevent injuries and Manoj explained that perfectly.
The school is located a little bit further from Laxman Jhula vibrancy and noise. It is tucked in a little alley, in a quiet neighborhood where you will always encounter cows wandering around.
Every room has a balcony. I had a beautiful view to the little mountains. There is even hot water in the room! GREAT!
from United States, July 2017
Food, hatha classes, yoga philosophy, clean accommodation, massage, yoga nidra
from Uzbekistan, July 2017
"It's great experience. "
System of training
from Thailand, June 2017
"A fantastic experience"
Loved meeting so many interesting people from around the world, pure food, excellent training and awesome teachers.
from Ireland, June 2017
"Life Changing Experience"
Liked everything, food was great, people and co yogis were awesome. I liked the quality of the teachers the most, and have noticed massive internal changes after my TTC.
from United States, April 2017
"March 2017 300hr"
The teachers were amazing!!
Valérie (éléonore) Royet
from France, August 2019
Le lieu était super, les repas excellents.
Les professeurs ainsi que les modules étaient intéressants, ainsi que l'ensemble de la formation.
Nous avons tous réussi à finir cette formation et avoir notre diplôme.
from Austria, February 2019
"Gesamtheitliche Erfahrung - wirklich Life-Changig"
Die Lehrer haben sehr professionell komplexe Bereiche erklärt; sehr umfangreiche Ausbildung, die tief in Yoga, der viel mehr als nur Asanas ist, eintaucht. Und ja, die bereits oft erwähnte Life-Changing-Experience trifft zu.
gute Lage, sehr nettes Personal in der Unterkunft, Varkala ist eine geniale Location
from Germany, July 2018
Rishikesh is a beautiful, living City with a lot of People! You can geht everything what you want in the Shops.
I Loved going to all the Nice coffe places and Restaurants. There are Almost everywhere vegan options. I went there almost Everyday to study, Talk to People and eat good and Healthy Food.
The School has a very Good Location. It is Not Directly in the City, so you can Enjoy the silence. However, After a two Minute walk you Reach the First Shops and Restaurants. It is Not very far to visit the Ganges and the sightseeing Spots of Rishikesh.
Most of the Teachers are nice. I learned a lot in Rishikeh. Not only About yoga, also about myself, about being Alone in a completely different Culture. It is hard in the beginning to get used to the Climate, the Noises, the smells, the People and the Food. But After a While, you learn to take it easy and just Smile about the circumstances which usually annoy you. The electricity for Example didn‘t work very offen. Believe me, it`s not easy to sleep without a Fan if it`s 40 degrees outside..
The light in my room also didn`t work for more than 10 days. So Don`t forget to bring a flashlight.
The Food in the School was different from what I excepted. They Advertise it to be ayuvedic and very Healthy. But Most of the Time it is Not. There is Too much Oli in the Food. My Body was Totally confused. I felt so heavy After eating and my digestion was Never that Bad before. That`s why I ate outside very offen.
from Belgium, June 2018
I loved the teachers, the classes. I've learned so much from them! The people that I've met are friends for life now. Also Rishikesh is a magical city. I'm definitely coming back.
from Nepal, June 2018
"Scholarship at Rishikul "
I have to say the food was AMAZING! The building where I stayed was very nice, with a great view, very confortable and we had the hall to practise just top floor (they have 3 buildings, not sure how the others room look like)
The training was intense as I expected and the quality of the teachers very very good. Each of them is specialised in an specific subject so the classes where well focused.
I got the scholarship, and for that amount of money I have to say the TTC was perfect. A good beginning for the yogic path. If you are looking to learn more about yoga and start your way, this is a course I would recommend.
All rishikul team (teachers included) are very friendly and kind
Lesley Van Der Woude
from Netherlands, March 2018
"Yoga Teacher Training in (hot) Paradise "
The Ashtanga classes of Nicky Ji were really intense.. a lot of sweating was involved, but he is such a dedicated and good teacher. I still hear is voice in my head when I practise. The same goes for Pankesh, amazing hatha teacher. I loved the Anatomy classes as well, and the allignement classes. The location was great. And loved the bamboo houses, make sure to get one! Mr. Binu is nice and the best.
from South Africa, November 2017
Pokhara is a lovely place to stay. The yoga lessons were very good and the food was delicious. Everyone was super friendly and helpful.
Massages and day trips were included as well.
i stayed at a hotel so it was mixed and changing guest. I was the only one joining the retreat all others joined a teacher training
from United States,
My experience with Rishikul Yogshala in Nepal for my 200 hr YTT was everything I was looking for and more. I came into this course with a desire to acquire tools/training experience for applying out in the working world of yoga. And here I am coming out of it gaining a family, deeper insight into myself and therefore others, teaching tools and techniques, shanti (peace), and a whole new perspective on yoga and what it truly is.
The teachers and coordinator are incredible people with so much love, humor, wisdom, and knowledge to share - whether in the yoga hall or out, you can't help but feel their passion and knowledge trying to seep into you. The location is wonderful - surrounded by mountains, across the street from Fewa Lake, and in a quaint hotel with a lovely staff and owner.
I am incredibly thankful for the past month I've spent here. It has truly been a life changing experience that I will forever carry with me and continue. I look forward to the 300 hour course in India!
a life changing experience
This 1 month training program has been just incredible!! Everyone was amazing! Truly! The teachers, the staff, the cooks, the teaching is just another level! I can only highly recommend this school for their professional knowledge and their kindness! Do not hesitate too long!! Register now! You will definitely love this experience too!
A few days ago I completed a 200 hour TTC at Rishikul Yogshala in Kerala. Although I learned a ton, improved many aspects of my yoga practice and feel inspired to go home and share, I can’t shake the feeling of frustration. To give you some context, I’m a 30 year old male from Europe, who values science, reason, logic, evidence, conversation and asking questions. I’ve been studying yoga and meditation for years and enjoy using these wisdoms to explore who and what I am. Among other things, I also despise dogmatism and faith based religion. What bothered me was that teachings of the esoteric and mystical metaphysics of yoga, for example chakran, nadis and panic energy, were taught like if it was scientifically and undoubtedly true. There were no or very little room for discussions and many of the groups questions were left unanswered. Some teachers, rather than earning respect, demanded it, and time after time had a very derogatory tone towards us students. Basically we were asked to leave all of our critical thinking out the door and radically lower our standards for evidence and truth. Some of these classes felt more like an attempt to indoctrinate or brainwash.
With that said, there were also many great thing about the course. Most teachers were very knowledgeable and inspiring. The group of 17 students felt very warm and close after just a few days, and I really felt comfortable with everyone during the course. All the meals were surprisingly good and diverse, though it got a bit repetitive during the last week. Despite the things I struggled with I leave the course feeling happy and inspired, and feel grateful for the effort all the teachers and the staff put in to make this a great and knowledgeable experience for all the students. Thank you!
If you are like me, don’t go to this school. If you don’t mind being told what to think and believe about reality, maybe you would enjoy this course. Many of my peer students did.
Either way, remember to be doubtful, ask questions and think for yourself.
Management Response from Rishikul Yogshala:
Hope you are doing well.
First of all, we would like to thank you for taking time out and provide us with your valuable feedback. Every feedback and suggestion is important to us as they help us improve our courses and services. We appreciate and respect your thoughts and viewpoints.
As you know, our TTC program is limited to a month’s time and our primary focus is teaching the aspects of yoga that has been followed and observed since the beginning of yoga. We agree a lot of these teachings and logics may not apply to every aspect of the modern day world and there are indefinite possibilities of science not agreeing with the facts stated in the study of yoga philosophy. After all, philosophy has seldom walked hand in hand with the factuality of science. We are certain that over time with more development in the two fields, there will be a common ground where one agrees with the other in most if not all aspects.
We really apologize for the way you felt about our teachers and discussions. Please believe us when we say that all these suggestions and feedback have been discussed with the teachers who taught your program. Our teachers have been practicing and training these subjects for as long as we know and we say it on behalf of all of them that nobody’s intention was to defy anybody’s values or principles in any way. At the same time, we also have to understand that you and we are from different schools of religion and culture and it is only fair that we give each other that benefit of doubt and a fair chance.
You would agree when we say that the origins of yogic science is deep rooted in our culture since its birth here and we try and do our best to ensure that the knowledge and wisdom is shared equally amongst students who put their trust in us enough to come train with us. There are a lot of such matters that yoga is still trying to explore and likewise, there are many theories that science is still trying to prove.
In no way any of us intended to brainwash or manipulate any student to forget or disrespect their own beliefs to value ours but at the very beginning of the training, we mentioned that there will be differences – culturally and otherwise that all of you would feel and see from time to time. Also, nobody can ever truly define reality, can we? But, what we can do is accept that there will be differences everywhere we go and that it is entirely on us to take what we like and leave what we don’t with from a place we visit or people we meet. In no way, any of it can be forced on one another or else the whole process of learning through exploring different cultures will be defeated.
We have been training students for many years and when we say this we say it with utmost honesty that we have never been told that any of our students felt their knowledge or viewpoints were disrespected. Also, we understand that with so many students and so little time, it may have been difficult for the teachers to answer all questions at all times but if in any way you felt that it was done deliberately, we sincerely apologize for the same.
Last but not least, we really appreciate all the kind words you shared with us about our teachers and arrangements and they only inspire us to keep improving and do better.
Once again, we thank you from the deepest corner of our heart and wish you all the best for the journey that lay ahead of you and we hope you will stay in touch.
Best wishes, Team Rishikul Yogshala
from United States,
I had a wonderful experience there. It was honestly everything I could have hoped for in a 300 hour YTT and more. The teachers and the staff in general were AWESOME- so knowledgeable, so kind and caring, so informative and helpful. All around amazing people that I hope to meet again one day. The class size was perfect- 10 students is a great size. Many more than that would be too much, as I know was the consensus for the 200 hour students with 40+ in their class! Also, I'm really happy we got manuals for our training, but we had to continually ask to have them printed in order to receive them. That should not happen. A manual for a 200 or 300 hour course should be handed to us on the day of our orientation before the program begins. They are easy and cheap to print in India and it is a staple for a course to have a manual, no questions. We had amazing classes, especially our Hatha and Ashtanga classes! I loved our mudra and mantra classes, yoga nidra, philosophy, and anatomy! Honestly I loved them all - each teacher was unique and had his or her own style. I would have liked to have some yoga therapy incorporated in the course, as we were told that we would study that and I was really looking forward to it. But even though we were told it would be, for whatever reason it was not part of our program. I think it's important to keep us a bit more up to date on what is included in each course specifically since the trainings are all a bit different each month and it seems like what is listed as being included on the website is more of a general listing and not so specific to the month. The excursions and field trips were wonderful. Super fun and worthwhile. I loved the white water rafting and the yoga at sunrise on the top of the mountain! Absolutely beautiful. The food was at Rishikul was incredible. So sattvic and healthy and nourishing. I loved that it was vegan; it was my favorite style of food and if I could continue to eat in this way throughout my life, I would. I have never felt so healthy and happy as I did when I was at Rishikul- now the key is to bring this feeling to the world outside rishikesh! The studio we practiced in at the top of our hotel was gorgeous- new and had great 360 degree views of the city and mountains. The apartments in my building (I can't remember the name of the building but it was the one where the 300 hour students stayed) were a nice size and I loved the balconies and mattress was fantastic!! But they really have to get new sheets and WASH the bedding!! The bedding needs to be washed in between each guest, especially if they are not going to make the bed with a top sheet. The comforter had dirt and hair on it which was quite appalling. And the laundry prices in that building need to be posted as well OR they should be the same as in the main building where reception is. Lastly, I love the idea of silence during meals. I love eating in silence But the technique needs to be a bit different for it actually to work for the students. I think the students need to be told right in the beginning that meals are silent, what the reason is for meals to be silent, and that this practice will be enforced. And maybe there is one or two tables or some inside seating where meals are not silent if people really need to talk. But the passive aggressive way in which it was enforced did not seem to work so well. Again, I love and appreciate the concept, I just think it needs to be discussed with the students ( and it was not for the 300 hour students) for it to work and be appreciated. I am very happy with the overall experience at Rishikul and would go back and study or work there in a heartbeat. I would give them a 9.3. Thank you thank thank you for such an amazing and fulfilling experience.
My 200 hrs YTT experience has been awesome and transformative, spiritually enriching, just like it has been for all my fellow students, one by one for different reasons. All 42 of us, yes it was a big group, felt filled up with gratitude and joy at the end of this intense month. But having said this, I want to say something different as well: I feel grown in my knowledge and confident to go out there and teach others safely and comprehensively now. I was already a teacher (not in yoga), but I got given the tools, the deeper knowledge behind it all. And that it worth a lot. The "technical/practical" knowledge from anatomy, alignment & adjustment, pranayama, the root principles of the "how & why" as well as the philosophical, meditative and spiritual aspects of yoga as a way of life, have been explained to us with a patience and thoroughness than can only come from passion. The focus on safety and the immense background yoga stems from, could only be taught so intrinsically in Rishikesh, where it all originated. Rishikesh is a magical place, worth visiting regardless and we took a few trips to nature and temples that were in one word breath taking, by the way. Like I mentioned before our group was big, but the school split the group in two for the practical sessions, so we could still get the needed attention. And I am glad the group was so big, because I met 42 seriously amazing people, and the input and questions everyone brings into the group are only enriching. Never was there any animosity, or clickiness, the atmosphere was always great, everyone was helpful and fun, ohhh we laughed so much as well! Thank you teachers, no actually gurus, for being there for us, with all of your heart, with a true love for yoga - and I am sure I speak for at least a few of us when I say we will try and come back to Yogshala for more.
This program changed my life. Hands down the best experience I have ever had. Everything was amazing and humbling and perfect. I would highly recommend it to anybody thinking about improving the quality of their life!
from Ohio USA,
Overall, I found the Rishikul Yogshala in Rishikesh to be a great experience. The staff was incredibly kind. Deepa goes out of her way to make you feel at home. The staff is very kind and helpful as well. For example, I saw a spinal specialist during my stay due to back issues that at the time. A member of staff, Nitin drove me to see the specialist every three days and never once asked for reimbursement of petrol. Additionally, he was very kind and waited patiently for my appointment to end. That kind of hospitality truly makes Rishikul Yogshala feel like a home and not just a yoga school. Additionally, it speaks volumes on the character of the staff.
All the teachers are very knowledgeable and are open to answering questions. They really do want to make sure that the students understand the material. The ashtanga teacher Prashantj was excellent and was very accommodating to helping me find ways to work around my back. Additionally, it is clear that Deepa loves the work she does and is extremely knowledgeable on pranayama, meditation and mantra. Her classes always brightened my day. She was truly an inspiration and I have been practicing what she taught in class since!
I only have a couple critiques overall. Firstly, the cleanliness of my room and bathroom when I arrived was slightly lacking. It looked as though only a minor sweeping had been done vs. a dusting and wipe down before my arrival. That being said, cleaning standards of Westerners vs. what you can expect in India are very different (this is not a bad thing! Just simply a cultural difference). Secondly, most non-asana classes will not provide physical handouts. You will be listening and taking notes. As someone with a auditory processing disorder, I found this at times a little hard to keep up with. Additionally, some non-native English speaker classmates at times struggled as well. That being said, the teachers would slow down and repeat information as necessary. Perhaps just a syllabus of what to expect in each class could help with before class studying to help keep students who struggle a bit on track. However, these critiques are incredibly minor in the grand scheme of my experience!
Simply, I enjoyed my stay immensely. It was a life changing experience and I am so grateful for Rishikul Yogshala. I would highly recommend the course to others and cannot speak highly enough of the staff and teachers. I already look forward to returning even if only for a week long yoga retreat. If you are looking to deepen your practice and have a life changing experience, Rishikul Yogshala is the place for you!
Thank you for such an amazing feedback and thank you for investing your valuable time detailing significant points where we need to act upon. We are extremely alarmed by your statement regarding cleanliness issue and will definitely make sure that such things should not happen in future. Thank you for your advice for the handouts, already we are working on making our own book but to ensure we give the best to our students, we are working on minute details like correction of language and pictures of our teachers. Hope soon we will achieve this and start giving best manuals. We are glad to know your wonderful experience with us and hope to see again in our advanced training.