a heart touching experience during my 200 hour yoga teacher training in rishikesh,india : visit to a silent yogi’s home

Choosing a place for my 200 Hour yoga techer training was honestly not very difficult, I could easily think of India. Being the birth place of Yoga, India is also a country know for its vibrant colours, it’s diversity in culture and hospitality which is something one should definitely experience atleast once in a lifetime. This was going to be my second visit to India and once I received confimations from my yoga school, I was almost like a excited kid!

Rishikesh, being the Yoga Capital Of the World offers everything an aspiring yoga teacher can dream of – from classical Hatha Yoga to Aerial Yoga, Hot Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga & a paradise to spiritual lovers indulging in Meditation. Not just that Rishikesh has a taste for a number of arts like Sound Healing, Dance classes, Ayurvedic cooking classes that you we may take up alongside Yoga.

Out of the many beautiful experiences during my teacher training in Rishikesh, I particularly want to share a unique visit organized by my school – Rishikesh Yoga Valley, to meet A Silent Yogi, who has been doing his Mouna Sadhana; which means observing silence completely, for 12 years.

On Sunday we packed our light & healthy breakfast and started out at 7 AM. For the entire journey, The River Ganga stayed on our right side, as we drove surrounded by the beautiful views of mountains. We crossed a bridge and now we had entered the calmer side of the town, where there was no hustle & bustle of the tourist crowds. The River beach on this side barely had any people, except few locals. We saw shepherds and cow-herders, and a few hundred meters ahead, there resided my yoga teacher ‘s spiritual Guru – A Silent Yogi in his humble abode.

Guru Narayan Giri, who has almost turned 50yrs has been practicing yoga since his younger years, & for the past 12 years he has taken up Sadhana – Mouna Sadhana. He lives in a humble mountain home, with a small lobby as we entered, a little living area attached with kitchen & a room. What truly touched my heart is, Inspite of having a small space for himself, he has a room reserved for travellers/yatris who keep visiting the holy temples in t hat region. This reflects how his heart was filled with service and love to fellow us fellow humans.

His routine starts at 4 AM everyday. He takes bath in the Holy River Ganga, offers Surya Arghya – A form of Prayer where people offer water to the Sun. He then perfoms Sun salutations, and continues about his day, mostly meditating. He only has two satvic meals in a day, which mostly consists of fruits, berries, simple dal & rotis. In the evenings he offers prayer to the fire, and once again slips back into meditation.

It is not everyday that he meets guests, so I consider myself lucky and honoured to have gotten this opportunity, and also a bit curious to ask him a few questions. He agreed to communicate with us through writing, which would be translated by my yoga teacher – Kamal.

First thing I asked him was why he had taken up such a difficult Sadhana. To which his simple answer was- ‘because my intuition guided me to’ & he smiles.

“There is a lot of noise in the world, but I’m deaf to it. There is a lot of temptation and trigger in this world, I’m dumb to it. ” “My heart is so full with prayer, at peace & love, in silence. I have no pressure to seek validation and attention from the world. “

He also says , ” Very often we tend to take our speech for granted and hurt others with our words; words have the capacity to scar another person’s heart, but my Sadhana doesn’t allow me to do so.”

“The goal is to achieve control over your senses, to not give in to it’s temptations. My Sadhana is not just about silencing my tongue, it is more about silencing my mind”

This made me realize that yes, the true essence of yoga is to silence our minds & to always reflect inwards. We are gifted with free-will, but how many of us are truly capable to do so? It was thought provoking and inspiring.

As we rode back, we had a pit stop for Chai. No one said much, I suppose we all felt calm and contemplated our own lives and actions.

There are numerous yoga courses in Rishikesh, but choosing the right yoga teaching centre is the first step and will define your entire experience and transformation during the journey . I chose to learn authentic classical Hatha Yoga at Rishikesh Yoga Valley, and Kamal always made sure to provide us experiences that aligned with our learning. On the next morning, he taught us heart opening asanas, to reflect on our lessons from the previous day ; which is acceptance and living life with a free – will guided by our intuition. We worked on our Anahata Chakra, and I almost had tears during Shavasan by the end of this session.

There is everything for everyone is Rishikesh. For Adventurers – River Rafting, or Bungee Jumping. For travellers – hostels & cafe-hopping. For spiritual seekers – The Ganga to meditate by, many ashrams & temples. But this experience wasn’t listed anywhere, I thank Rishikesh Yoga Valley & Kamal for including such unique experiences & cultural immersions to their students during their 200 Hour Teacher Training, which I believe truly helps them to find answers to whatever they are seeking in life. This was a very thoughtfully crafted experience for their yoga students.

My 200 hour Yoga teacher training experience in Rishikesh couldn’t be any better. This experience has truly impacted me in many ways, and will stay with me for a long time in life. To all the aspiring yoga teachers, may the universe grant you such unique experiences!

Love & Light

Rosa, Germany