Greetings all the way from India! I’m currently in Rishikesh, the holy city of India and the birthplace of yoga! It’s always been my dream to become a yoga teacher and I thought there’s no better place than Rishikesh. I’m currently studying at the World Peace Yoga School for my 200 hr yoga teacher training course and thought it’ll be nice to share my experience with you!
I’ve only been here for a few days but it already feels like home. It’s a rather magical feeling to meet so many people from all over the world, all coming with a different purpose but we instantly connect with each other through our desire to learn more about yoga.
World Peace Yoga School Tour
It’s a little out of my character to speak in my videos but I’m slowly overcoming my shyness! I really wanted to share with you what my home for the next few weeks looks like. What better way than to record a video while giving you a tour? Enjoy!
Of course things are not always rosy and perfect, there are positives and negatives like most things in life. No matter the situation, im learning to maintain a positive outlook in life.
Situated by the magnificent mountains and the Ganga river, the World Peace Yoga School offers the perfect serene environment to study and practice yoga. Most rooms have large windows and balconies facing the garden and mountains. The view is something I’ll miss when I leave here!
The students here are so friendly! I feel everyone came with a positive energy and is willing to share and make friends with each other. Afterall you will see these people everyday for the next few weeks so why not make some good friends?
I absolutely love my roommate. When we signed up we had the option to pay 300USD extra for private accommodations. Like many, I love my privacy but I felt it would be so much better to have someone to share the experience with. We weren’t told who are roommates were before our course began, I met her on the first day and instantly knew we would get along fine!
Every Sunday we are taken on different tours around Rishikesh. This was so important for me because I also wanted to see the city outside of the boundaries of the school. With everything planned and going with my classmates, it feels a lot safer for sure! I’ll be uploading photos of the the tours in different blog posts!
The meals and accommodations are included in the course fees. Meals are provided on most days, except for lunch and dinner on Sundays where we get a day off to enjoy some tours and explore the city. The meals are generally very tasty and healthy vegetarian choices. I especially loved the fresh fruits for breakfast and the different types of Indian food. However, I really wished the food was labelled so I can learn the names of what I’m eating.
The schedule is rather packed! Every morning we wake up at 5:00am, and barely have breaks between classes until dinner at 7:15pm. It is a tough schedule to follow but I think I’m training my discipline and will power. I believe changing my lifestyle even for just a month is the only way to really experience the yoga lifestyle.
The gurus all seem so knowledgeable, each full of personality. I never thought I would be excited for a yoga philosophy class but Dr. Garauv Ji is simply amazing! The class is like story time back in kindergarten. We sit on the floor, bolsters, pillows, and blankets while listening to the meaning of yoga, how to be happy and what it means to be yoga. The other gurus are equally amazing, offering their knowledge and pushing us to our limits.
Booking a month long course half way around the world is a risky choice. Few people have the luxury to scout out what the ashrams and gurus are like before making a deposit. I relied heavily on the website’s photos to shed light on what to expect, I even creeped photos from previous cohorts at each school to see what the ‘reaI’ and unbiased photos show. So here I am paying it forward and hoping this would help you! Back to the bad, the WPYS was hosted at another hotel before I arrived and I committed thinking that was the hotel we would be staying at. One week prior to flying to Rishikesh, I noticed the website changed the photos and location of the school to the Tapovan Resort. There was no email notice or official announcement. It also didn’t help reading on TripAdvisor that the ratings for the new place was significantly lower. Luckily things weren’t as bad, but a little bit more communication would be appreciated.
The room we stayed at was alright. I didn’t have high expectations simply knowing it’s a different country and with a lower standard of living from home. However I did not expect the dirty and stained bed sheets and the state of the washroom (this is the ugly). My roommate and I didn’t pay extra for an air conditioner (we didn’t need one since it’s cold here at night) and found there’s just an empty hole in the window where the AC unit should be. It is surprisingly windy here at night and the hole makes the room even colder! We found out after a few days that they were supposed to cover up the hole…
So I previously mentioned the washroom. It’s the worst thing ever. The state of the washroom was horrendous and it smells really bad! I’ve been to Asian counties before where it’s customary to not have a tub and just let water drain from the floor. My poor roommate was in for a shock since this is a completely new concept. There is hot water as advertised but I was only able to get 3 minutes before the water runs cold. Lastly, we aren’t allowed to throw toilet paper in the toilet. There’s a bucket for the toilet paper next to the toilet and we are responsible for emptying it. The washroom is probably my least favourite part of this trip.
The management team and how they handle situations is not the best. As I mentioned before, they changed the location of the school and didn’t tell us. When I arrived there were no instructions. I was just showed to my room and my roommate had to orient me. She later informed me when she arrived at 7am that morning with several other girls, they waited for an hour before someone helped them out. Everything seemed really disorganized and management doesn’t seem willing to help when you ask for things. Housekeeping staff on the other hand are the extreme opposite and are so nice!
We felt there was quite a bit of false advertising with the school. First thing was we were in for a surprise when we found out it is 5am wake up time vs 6am. Ok, I’m just being a child complaining about that Haha. The next thing is the website states the class size is 15-20 students per cohort. I even asked bia email to confirm. Our ccohort had 40+. We were split into uneven groups. Like myself, many of those in the larger group felt cheated. The advertised small classes was what made this school so much more attractive. Lastly, Guru Vishnu is the founder of the school and the website suggested he would be teaching us. We never saw him and some classmates joked whether he’s even in the country!
Things started off on a rocky boat but I’m not too bothered by it anymore. It’s only been 4 days but I already feel very happy. Exhausted but still happy! Maybe my opinion will change by the end of the course, but I don’t want recency bias to downplay the bad. The points I wrote are those that I wished I read before signing up and I hope it’ll help those thinking about the World Peace Yoga School! Namaste!