Shivananda Ashram in Neyyar Dam (Kerala, India)
WAY THERE AND CHECK IN
My last 5 days for this time in India: I have been told about this place several times so I decide to go to the Shivananda Ashram in South Kerala near Trivandrum. If you only need a bed in the dorm, you do not have to register before, per day the stay costs 800Rs. So in Trivandrum I take the bus to “Neyyar Dam” at the big bus station on platform 1. The Name of the town is even written on this bus in English, otherwise you have to ask because everything is in Malayalam language. The ride costs me maybe 30Rs and then I take another rickshaw up the mountain to the ashram, again 30Rs – with a rickshaw I would have paid about 1000Rs for the whole trip. Although the Ashram is super full (international teacher training) at the moment, I am quickly checked in and get a great bed with mosquito net. I have to introduce myself briefly to the doctor, first I find this annoying, then I get to know some nice people in the waiting room, quite nice.
TASTE OF ASHRAM LIFE
The next 4 days are extremely nice for me. Morning early and evening singing and meditating with about 300 people (it’s not always so crowded) in the largest hall, twice a day nice tea time at the big tree and two good meals with everyone eating on the ground. Twice a day Shivananda Hatha Yoga makes me super fit in headstand, back bending and abdominal muscles, I am surprised how little muscle soreness I get. Sometimes the yoga takes place beautifully at the bottom of the lake, you hear the lions on the other side roaring. In the afternoon there is a short lecture for the yoga holiday visitors, I was very impressed by the subjects and teachers. I came there alone, but I quickly got to know people and also spend a morning at the lake with people. Actually you are not supposed to bathe in it, but briefly will probably be ok.. We did not see any crocodiles.
I would have liked to stay here for a whole month or even longer, the place is magical. The Shivananda Yoga impressed me, quite different from Ashtanga but super good for me and quite demanding. I enjoyed the food, the juices at the small health hut, the sweet chai tea and the given daily rhythm helped me totally to relax…2