Many of you have spoken to me about my trips to India so I thought I would share some of my experiences with you. Mostly my interests there involve yoga, ayurvedic medicine, nature cure, acupuncture and soaking up the culture, people and architecture.
In December last year I visited Rishikesh which is in the north of India located in the foot hills of the Himalayas. The beautiful Ganges river courses through the town. The "Ganga" (as it is known to the locals) looks very powerful and clean, and draws Hindu devotees to bath in its waters. It also attracts western spiritual seekers, laid back hippies and adventure seekers, It is also spectacularly beautiful so makes a good place to simply go to for relaxation and to enjoy some good food.
For some time now I have been very interested in nature cure as a foundation for health. There is a realisation I am coming to as I age, that greater care needs to be taken of our bodies if we want to age comfortably and healthily. I have been fortunate to be able to visit two of the main nature cure hospitals in India on previous visits.
Naturopathy is different in India to Australia. Naturopathy was introduced to India by Mahatma Gandhi who was a great believer in nature cure. Naturopathy in India is also different to Ayurvedic medicine. It is nature cure in its purest form. Nature cure relies on the power of nature for healing, the most important part of the treatment involves: diet, fasting, juices, massage, exercise, good sleep, detoxification and practicing healthy habits. Nature cure marries beautifully with yoga, herbal medicine and acupuncture - these healing modalties all complement a nature cure approach.
Rishikesh is the yoga capital of India and while there I was fortunate to study with Mr Ram Gupta. Ram assessed my yoga on the first day and determined the best program to address my needs. I had two personal sessions a day for twelve days. While spending time with him, he shared his passion for yoga and, as he is also a qualified naturopath, for health. I feel I benefited greatly in treatment ideas generated from our discussions that I can share with my patients and use personally.
Ram speaks excellent English and is a very gentle and compassionate teacher. He has mastered the art of taking you to your limit with kindness. He graduated in 1992 with a masters in yoga and meditation and has been the department head at the Chandra college for yoga and naturopathy in Delhi, Head of yoga at Ananda in the Himalayas and Head of yoga at Jindal Naturcure Institute in Bangalore. He has also conducted training in Germany, France, Sri Lanka and China. Ram's father was also a master in yoga.
Ram has now settled down to stay at home in Rishikesh with his wonderful family and has his own studio teaching yoga, meditation and naturopathy.
I could not recommend Ram more highly for yoga training. If any of you reading this are planning a trip to India and would like to study yoga, please feel free to contact me for Ram's details or advice about travel in India generally.
After Rishikesh I travelled to Mumbai where I visited the barefoot acupuncturists in Mumbai Slums. I'll write about this for our next issue.
View David's India trip photo album
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