Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sri Ved Niketan Ashram

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!!!


Signorina PrimaVolta said...

thank you for your advice!

Anonymous said...

Your experience was about one session.

Indian culture is all about patience, tolerance and peace.

Yes, the front desk are unfriendly. This is an ashram which does not take anything from you. What they charge is nothing. But you still seem to expect five start services.

And you would have got better than five star services, if you had shown humility rather than judgement.

Ved Niketan is a divine, holy place, beyond religions, concepts and personalities.


Anonymous said...

Im currently holed up in a hotel room due to the unhygienic conditions of Shri ved niketan dham. Im glad Anand had a good experience but I gave it a go for 10 days.
The yoga this time was anything but gentle, way to advanced for intermediate let alone beginner. Also yes, the teacher was late. I did my back in trying to do poses an had to stop. The yoga teacher even put a knee in my back when I expressed I cannot do that pose. Many people were ill from the food an every night I heard people being sick, which echoed across the whole place. The rooms are so damp they are a health hazard, hence I am am now laid up in the very nice Vashist Hotel 5 mins away. The kitchen is just unhygienic full stop so we had to stop eating there, the desk isnt unfriendly, its just down right rude, the main guy on there did nothing but argue with the other handymen an I even watched him yesterday as he ignored two travellers to have an arguement. I was groped by an old man whos clearly been celibate too long, an then to top it off another indian man tryed to force himself into my room, one can only speculate what would of happened, by all means if you are a man, go for your life, but for women this is not a nice place at all an would suggest that women avoid it like the plague. So to be fair I tryed to give it a chance, but it is so run down an in serious need of rebuilding Id advise anyone to stay away during monsoon as wasting a week recovering from the place is not what I had in mind, especially since I was so looking forward to going there an getting fit. The only good thing I have to say about it is Sant Shri Hari, he is in fact lovely with his meditation groups. A genuine nice indian man. So yeah thats my take, Ive been in India for two months an my stay in Shri Ved Niketan has been the worst last 10 days Ive had had since I got here.
To be fair, I can understand why the girls got out, an you do have to pay for it, so you expect some kind of decent service, you dont expect to have to run out left with damp poisoning. No one should be paying for that, if thats the case I would of stayed at my run down council flat in London an continued to get damp poisoning for free. I showed humility an gave it a chance, an no still not a good place to be. You dont expect that of an ashram.
Prem Nagar is an ashram to be an example, the rooms are quite sparse but its dry an clean an they look after it. The only problem is its only hindi an meditation.
Shri Ved has certainly put me off going to an ashram in the future. I cant afford the time to be ill again. As for Anand, like I say glad you had a good experience, but I do think you were a little harsh an of course bias, I mean you dont back your point up too well by admitting the desk is unfriendly then you rip into these girls. Please be a little more understanding. I have found the place is more acceptable to men.

Anonymous said...

Om namah sivaya.
Thanks anonymous! I will not give it a go after reading your post. But do not give up on ashrams!!! Sivananda in Neyyar Dam Kerela for example is a great and beautiful place with good hygiene, good yoga and great saysang. Try!

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