The other day Stephanie and I decided to check out Sri Ved Niketan Ashram which is just down the river from Parmarth.
Rooms there are only 125 rupees ($2.50) a night which include 2 yoga classes a day. We wanted to first check out the yoga class to see what the ashram was like before we made a move.......
The ashram itself is a lot more run-down than it's neighbor Parmarth. It is a concrete courtyard with a desolate atmosphere, and disgruntled guys at the front desk. The main hall where the yoga class is conducted was painted colorfully and opened up into the concrete courtyard.
We attended the "advanced yoga class" which was from 8:30 - 10am. The teacher arrived 15 minutes late, and by then our bodies and digits were almost frozen off. Since the yoga hall is completely open, there is no warmth whatsoever. We were expecting to do a few sun salutations to get our bodies warmed up... but no! We were led in meditation, and then found ourselves sticking our fingers in our ears while repeating "OM" a gazillion times. Normally I don't mind long meditation sessions... but when you are FREEZING your butt off, and can't feel your fingers and toes... I can only take so much. We gave eachother a glance.... and about 45 minutes later he finally finished our "OM"ing, laying about, and then ordered the students to line against the wall to do the scorpion pose!!! HUH!??! We weren't even warmed up... and he wants us to go straight into the backbending scorpion pose?!?!? No thank you... So Stephanie and I gave each other a knowing glance, and as fast as we could packed up our mats and darted out of that place!!!!!!!!!!! I never in my life have walked out of a yoga class before... (especially one that costs 75 cents.)
I was really disappointed with Sri Ved Niketan. Possibly the class would be better in the summer... but if you're visiting Rishikesh in the winter... beware of Sri Ved's yoga classes!!!