Moving into the ashram means that one need to follow the rules and routines that exist here. In general it is mandatory to attend the activities during the day. Sometimes it is quite intense, sometimes it feels easy to just go with the flow.
05.20 Wake-up bell. The guard make a lot of noise with the bell outside the sleeping quarters. (I snooze to 05.35…)
06.00-07.15 Satsang. The morning gathering starts with silent meditation at sunrise followed by chanting and a short reading of some wise words from a book.
07.30 Tea time. Nothing fancy, just tea.
08.00-10.00 Asana class 1. Practicing breathing, yoga postures and relaxation.
10.00 Brunch. A vegetarian meal that is eaten the Indian way; with your fingers from a metal tray while sitting cross-legged on the floor.
12.30-13.30 Optional coaching class for yoga postures or meditation. Perfect when some extra help or tips is needed.
13.30 Tea time. With fruit!
14.00-15.00 Lecture. A teaching series of different topics related to the practice and philosophy of yoga.
15.30-17.30 Asana class 2. More practicing of breathing, yoga postures and relaxation.
18.00 Dinner. Indian way again of course. Scooping up rice and curry with the fingers is a skill that is mastered after a few days.
20.00-21.30 Satsang. Closing the day in the same way it was started. With meditation, chanting and a reading.
22.30 Bedtime and lights out.
Even though there is a basic schedule for the daily activities at the ashram no day is the other alike. I was lucky to be there over the celebration of Shivaratri which is a annual festival dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva (the destroyer of evil and the transformer). To make a long story short, I joined the others in walking, dancing and singing the mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” from 7.30 PM to just after 05.00 AM in the morning. Yes, that is all night. With one sentence on repeat. The yogis sure know how to make a good party. 😉
“The only thing better than singing, is more singing.”