Several years ago, I was invited to speak about A Million Steps at the Sun Valley Wellness Festival. One of the perks was a free pass to see the other presentations. I was particularly looking forward to seeing Arielle Ford, a celebrated love and relationship expert. I arrived early and began chatting with the man to my right. About halfway through the presentation, Ford introduced her husband in the audience. Guess who was sitting to my right?
He put me in touch with a fellow Camino pilgrim named Laurie. Just a few months earlier, she had taken a gigantic leap by exiting the traditional workforce and landing in India to become the executive assistant for a prominent spiritual leader. She’d begun to practice Seva, selfless service performed without thought of reward or repayment. During the five to six weeks after Sun Valley, we exchanged a handful of private messages about the Camino and our mutual love for life-changing travel.
Then one day, the conversation shifted. Laurie sent me a short message that said, “I really like Rishikesh and think that you should visit.”
I was startled by this communication and didn’t know what to make of it. India was not even on my radar. My initial reaction was lukewarm at best.
Later, thinking about Laurie’s message, I became more intrigued. I Googled Rishikesh and discovered a city of about 100,000 people in northern India at the base of the Himalayas. The Wikipedia description hooked me on two fronts. First, it described the city as the “Yoga Capital of the World.” I had been practicing yoga regularly for about two years at that time. Wikipedia then informed me that in 1968, The Beatles visited the city to learn about Transcendental Meditation at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Yes, this is where most of the melodies and lyrics were created for The White Album.
In late October of 2015, I found myself standing on the banks of the Ganges River (Mother Ganga) at the Parmarth Niketan Ashram. Over the following five weeks, I felt like I had exited my life and stepped into a colorful James Bond movie. My yoga practice expanded by taking classes with some of the greatest teachers on the planet. My body easily adapted to a vegetarian diet. My soul was reshaped by experiencing immense love and kindness from local strangers.
I became smitten with Rishikesh and have returned each fall for 5-6 weeks. During the 2017 trip, I completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training with Surinder Singh. Instead of staying at the ashram, I spent that trip living in his yoga shala with 16 students from around the world. At the end of that trip, I decided to write my second book (Practice). My intention was to share India travel stories and incorporate the journey of my personal yoga transformation.
I released the book in 2018 and sent 1,000 copies to random yoga studios throughout the United States. One of the recipients was a very experienced yoga teacher from New Hampshire. She has been teaching yoga for over 20 years and organized countless retreats throughout her career. She approached me about partnering to create a transformative travel experience in Rishikesh. My intuition immediately said yes.
We have two of ten spots remaining for this retreat. The dates are Nov 4-13. I hope this message unlocks your passion to join our small group for the continuation of this journey.
Click here for details: The Practice Retreat
Feel free to call me at (208) 345-6421 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
The yoga sessions are optional and we welcome beginners.