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Ashrams in India

Travel_Bug

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  • Added on: June 8th, 2002
Hello everyone,
I'm in the process of planning a trip to India (it wont be for a while yet but I'm having fun planning it!) and I saw a programme about places called ashrams and they look like my kinda thing, and I was wondering if anyone could tell me about them and how you go about going to one, I mean is it like a hotel ie. you just turn up and book yourself in?
Thanks in advance.

sima

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  • Added on: June 16th, 2002
there are loads all over india. i've never been to one, but have met loads of people who have. the easiets place to find one is prob rishikesh in the north. there are tons here and they offer trial days to see if you like it..... there are also yoga week courses and mediatation lessons etc offered all over india (varanasi, dharamsala etc). i think you basically turn up and say hi!
good luck and have fun
sima x

lunasol

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  • Added on: June 24th, 2002
both rough guides and Lonely Planet India have ashram listings. There are many on Rishikesh but also many in the South.
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Dustyshoes

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  • Added on: July 10th, 2002
Hi
I have heard of one in Pondicherry, Meaning to go there myself sometime after I collect info.

Have posted for tips on the spiritual traveller's bulletin board. There is a site called www.pondicherry.com, which gives some details. sounds like an interesting place to visit.

Hope u can make that trip to India soon.
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Amanda Smith

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  • Added on: October 7th, 2008
I wanted to offer you some guidance as I have had similar interests in the past that lead me to some wonderful experiences.

Ashrams are essential spiritual communities where people practice yoga and other traditions from the spiritual heritage of India. Ashrams are an integral part of India's history as they were and are responsible for preserving and maintain the richness of the spiritual wisdom that has been practiced in India for nearly 10,000 years (as far back as the Indus Valley Civilization).

Although there are hundreds of spiritual centers throughout India, only a few will fit your needs as an individual on your own spiritual journey. There are so many different forms of yoga that are available, and each is designed to fit the character and personality traits of the Individual. Here are some of the more general forms of yoga that are taught in case you are not familiar with them already:

    * Raja Yoga: Yoga that is mainly focused on developing the intuitive sense and works to evolve what some may considered a psychic sense.
    * Bhakti Yoga: Yoga of devotion and song. This type of yoga raises ones sense of connection to God and is usually done through the median of art.
    * Jnana Yoga: Yoga that is focused on developing the mind and wisdom. It is very much the philosophical side of Yoga.
    * Karma Yoga: Yoga of service and action where people work for the good of others to build a humble and compassionate character.


In the past I have studied at one Ashram in Southern India where they offer both short term visit and long term courses in spirituality and yogic traditions. If you want to get an idea of some of the activities at an ashram and the typical environment, you might want to check out their website at: Tureya Ashram in India They have great accommodations for a reasonable donation.

There are many other ashrams throughout India but only a few will fit your needs and intentions. If staying at the ashram is secondary to traveling the area than you might want to consider finding a hotel first and maybe participating in ashram activities during the day when it is convenient as some ashrams have strict guidelines as to when guests must return at night and what activities they must participate in.

I hope that helps! I thought I would give my best answer as I love India its spiritual traditions. Best wishes on your Journey!

Wildcat1982

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  • Added on: October 13th, 2008
How much is an appropriate range for ashrams and yoga courses? They seem a bit pricey and I was told that reputable ones don't charge you much?
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Shannon080

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  • Added on: October 15th, 2008
My best friend got back a few months ago from six weeks at an Ashram in India and had an amazing experience and it was pretty cheap - $100 a month - they ask that you stay for at least a month.

She stayed at Mother Amma's Ashram in the South - Kerala (Cochi..maybe?).

She came home a different person and learned a lot about herself Smile
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Wildcat1982

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  • Added on: October 15th, 2008
Can anyone recommend specific places? Most places seem to require RSVP way in advance. I'm going around Jan-May and would love to take a yoga course.
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PhotoChick

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  • Added on: October 23rd, 2008
I have been to Amma's ashram in Kerala.

The experience was um, interesting. A lot of white people doing manual labor and a lot of Indian people just trying to get a normal education and watching in confusion as the westerners did the manual labor. I felt like the westerners were almost brainwashed and looked glassey-eyed.

Just my experience. I'm also very skeptical though the whole "deep" scene in India. Seems kinda like a racket. Read Karma Cola for an insider's view on westerners searching for something in India.

I think I would have enjoyed a yoga retreat of some sort but I just couldn't deal with the areas they were in (Rishikesh / Pune).

That said, India was awesome. Have a great time.

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