The Ashram is truly the hub of Akhanda Yoga – many of you have been there for Yoga Teacher Training or for a personal retreat, some returning year after year. Please celebrate with me this corner of Tapovan, north Rishikesh, the energetic space that it holds and the amazing people who welcome and nourish us when we’re residents.
In the winter of 2006, the Ashram opened with just a ground floor of rooms, the original fire puja space in a lower garden and the downstairs Yoga hall. I remember our chanting mantras in to the concrete walls to bring an energetic seal to the space. On sunny afternoons, we taught on the roof of the first floor on dhury rugs surrounded by the rebar and pillars that were the shell of the second floor. Since that time, there have been a number of small expansions as the Akhanda Yoga Family has grown – the upper bamboo Yoga hall, the foyer, and the amazing creation of a downstairs kitchen and dining area that allowed for the spacious new fire puja and rituals patio.
And all through these changes, there are a few faces that have been consistently present and nourishing us all the while. Yogesh (Yogi) started in the Kitchen when the Ashram opened when he was 17, and has been working at Anand Prakash now for 14 years! He’s always ready to help and greets you with a smile when you’re at the kitchen. Thank you, Yogi, for being there all these years!
Next longest at the Ashram is Rawat-ji. He has been welcoming residents and coordinating staff in the office for about ten years. His calm and fun-loving presence has helped to make the Ashram feel like a Home.
Deeksha’s joining the office team has brought a great liaison for YTTers at the Ashram. Her grace and warmth abound, and we are lucky to have her organization and nurturing presence as one of the first faces you meet upon arrival!
Several staff members have grown up at the Ashram, Yogrishi’s neices and nephews. Vandana, Varsha and Manu have come to play key roles over the years, teaching Yoga, performing fire puja, leading kirtan, and helping with YTT. It has been wonderful to see them all blossom confidently into teaching and leading.
Thanks to you and to everyone who has been a part of the Ashram community! Jai!