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YOGA AT THE SOURCES OF YAMUNA AND GANGA: August 31 - September 18, 2018

Training and Cultural Study Workshop

Time: August 31 - September 18, 2018
Yoga Cultural Workshop and Pilgrimage in the Himalayas

Organizers: S h a k t i  S c h o o l  o f  Y o g aFoundation Vivaswan

Autor and coordinator of the workshop: F i l i p  R u c i n s k i
Yoga instructors, lecturers: M a h e n d r a n a t h   T r i p a t h i  as well as teachers and swamis from SRSG, HIHT, Patanjala Yog Peeth and other ashrams. 

The program includes: 

- Learning about various methods of meditation and relaxation according to Patanjali's (introduction to this method in the SRSG ashram, 'Himalayan Yoga'), which give the mind's peace and relax the tensions.
- Learning methods of getting inner energy from within by different yoga practices, based on the teaching of Vijñāna Bhairava scripture. 
- Getting to know ashrams, spiritual and health centers in Garhwal Himalaya region.
- A visit to the first residence in exile of His Holiness D a l a i   L a m a  and the Tibetan settlement he founded in Happy Valley in Masoorie, an important place for Buddhists from Tibet.
- Celebrating the Vishnuic festival Eighth Lunar Day of Krishna's Birthday (Sri Krishna Janma Ashtami).
- Pilgrimage to the sources of Ganga (Ganges) and near the Yamuna sources.
- Improvement of fitness through physical Yoga training, exercises and hiking in high altitude conditions (max. altitude not higher than 4000 m.)
- Encounters with wise people in the Himalayas. 

The Vivaswan Foundation is the patron of the educational and cultural side of the workshop and tour.


Delhi - Haridwar - Virpurd Kurd - Jolly Grant - Masoori - Janki Chatti - Yamunotri - Uttarkashi - Gangotri - Pilgrimage to sources Ganga (Gomukh) - Gangotri - Uttarkashi - Devprayag - Rishikesh - Patanjali Yogpeeth - Saharanpur - Delhi

Day 0 (31.08., Fri). Departure.

Day 1 (01/09., So) Arrival to Delhi, you will be picked up from the airport, accommodation in S h r i  A u r o b i n d o   A s h r a m. Meeting with M a h e d r a n a t h  T r i p a t h i, Yoga instructor and history of arts professional. Introduction to the Ashram and its teachings, in the late afternoon, possible cultural program. At night, travel by train (Class 1 AC, two perosns in one compartment) to Haridwar.

Day 2  (02.09., Sun.) - Day 4 (04/09., Tues). Yoga classes in the SRSG ashram.

Day 5 (05.09., Wed) After breakfast, drive (about 40 minutes) to the H i m a l a y a n  I n s t i t u t e  H o s p i t a l  T r u s t (HIHT), the largest health centre in the state of Uttarakhand, housing a medical academy, hospital and Ayurveda Center, and also to the R u r a l  D e v e l o p m e n t  I n s t i t u t e. Lecture on by the Ayurvedic doctor (Dr. R a v i n d r a). Dinner. Then drive through Dehradun to Masuri (about 65 km, about 2.5 hours). Yoga instructor Mahedranath joins us again.  Overnight at a hotel near the Happy Valley, a Tibetan settlement founded by His Holiness Dalai Lama.

Day 6 (06.09., Thurs.) In the morning, participation in the morning Tibetan singing in the Buddhist gompa Shedup Choepelling. Yoga class with Mahedranath. Free time till early lunch. After lunch, we head towards the sources of the Yamuna River. After about 4 hours of driving (a total of about 90 km), we reach the village of pilgrims Janki Chatti (2650 m above sea level), known for its hot springs. Accommodation in a hostel or hotel, meditation, dinner and overnight.

Day 7 (07.09., Fri) After Yoga and breakfast, walk up to the temple in Jamunotri (3293 m above sea level). Possible bathing in hot springs. Walk around, lunch. In the evening, participate in shayan arti (śayan-āratī) in honour of the Yamuna River. Evening Yoga and overnight.

Day 8 (08.09., So) After morning practice and breakfast drive to Uttarkashi (about 5 hours, 1150 m above sea level) or 'northern Varanasi', the holiest city in the Himalayas. Late dinner, evening meditation / yoga, dinner and overnight in one of the ashrams.

Day 9 (09.09., Sun.) After Yoga and breakfast, drive to Gangotri (93 km., About 3-4 hours), the highest town from which pilgrimages start to the sources of Gangs. Lunch in Gangotri (3042 m above sea level), accommodation, evening ceremony of arti to Ganga on its stream called in this part Bhagirathi. Accommodation and evening Yoga session.

Day 10 (10.09., P.) Morning arati in the temple, then breakfast. Then walking towards the glacier called "Cows' mouth" - Gomukh, from which Ganga flows. For those who do not wish or are unable to climb, an alternative program will be arranged.        

Pilgrimage to the sources of Ganga, the first day

Before noon, hiking along the mountain paths to Chirbasa  (9 km from Gangotri), lunch here. Then climbing to Bhojbasa (3600 m above sea level). Meditation and overnight in one in the small Ashram of one Baba or in a tent. On this day the hike through the mountains will take about 6.5 hours.

Day 11 (11.09., Tues)

Pilgrimage to the sources of Ganga, the second day.

In the morning, after yoga, we set off further and reach the Gomukh (4000 m above sea level, about 2 hours away), the glacier from which flows the Ganga stream. Meditation under the glacier. Then a day-long return to Gangotri with a stop at Bhojbasa and Chirbasa. Overnight in Gangotri. On this day, a hike through the mountains will take about 8 hours.

Day 12 (12.09., Wed) 

Light yoga in the morning. During the day travel to Uttarkashi (about 3-4 hours), Yoga and overnight in the ashram.

Day 13 (13.09., Thurs.) After yoga and breakfast, we head down to Rishikesh (about 6 hours of driving). Along the way, we stop in Terhi near one of the world's largest mountain dams. After reaching Rishikesh, meditation / yoga session and overnight. 

Day 14 (14.09., Fri) Morning yoga class, breakfast, then free time for walking through the Yoga-town, visit the ashrams, temples, shops, etc. Pre-departure shopping. Optional short rafting on Ganga for volunteers. Participation in the evening arati, then meditation and overnight. 

Day 15 (15.09., So) After morning yoga class and breakfast, we drive through Haridwar, (about 2 hours) to Patanjali Yogpeeth (, India's largest institute of yoga, Ayurveda and naturo-therapy. Two kilometers before reaching the destination we visit the Ayurvedic College and Hospital branch of P a t a n j a l a  Y o g p e e t h. After that accommodation at the Patanjali Yoga Institute and Research Center. Evening Yoga session in the Centre (guided by the instructor of the Institute), dinner. Free time, overnight.

Day 16 (16.09., Sun). Before dawn (around 5:00), we participate in the morning activities: possibly Vedic agnihotra (fire offering) with Vedic mantras sung by children from a Sanskrit Pathshala and / or participate in yoga session conducted by B a b a  R a m d e v or his disciples. Practices according to activities of the Ashram.

Day 17 (17.09., Mon.) In the morning, participating in Yoga or morning puja classes by Baba Ramdev. After breakfast, drive to the nearby city Saharanpur (about 1.5 hours‘ drive) to visit Dr. K e d a r n a t h  P r a b h a k a r, a scholar, historian, astrologer, yogi, who runs Research Centre of Vedic Astrology in his house, where she stores manuscripts of B h r y g u  S a m h i t a  as well as Swami R a m a  T i r t h a  C e n t e r. Meeting and dinner with his family. From Saharanpur in the late afternoon, departure to Delhi airport (about 4.5 hours). Arrival at Delhi airport. 

Day 18 (18.09, Tues.) Departure from India.

Note: The detailed itinerary with Yoga schedule and topics as well as the alternative program will be announced to the registered participants one month before the trip.

The cost of participation: The payable amount can vary depending on the economy of the country you are coming from. The details of the contribution and account number will be sent by e-mail after you write to us.  

 The fee will include:
- Care and guidelines of the learned and experienced guides and teachers, Philip and Mahendra, proficient in Sanskrit, Hindi and English.
- Additional care of the staff of Shakti Yoga School in case the overall number of participants is above 12 persons.
Yoga training and lectures on Yoga philosophy and arts
- Yoga training and lectures by other Indian instructors and teachers in SRSG Ashram.
- Simultaneous or consecutive interpretation of talks and lectures whenever they happened to be in Hindi.
- Learning tools and study material.
- Accommodation in ashrams, hotels, guest houses (tourist standard, 1-2 persons in clean and nice rooms).
- Vegetarian breakfasts as well as other meals in the Ashrams
- Local transport in Himalayas by hired cars / minibuses
- Trekking cost, including administrative cost of permits whenever required
- Local guides and services.

The fee does not include: 

Travel insurance - you are advised to get travel insurance by yourself if you travel from outside Poland. We recommend you World Nomads (Standard Plan, click here to see example what it includes)
The cost of Indian visa. It is to be applied here. If you travel for short time to India, it is advised to get e-visa online
- The cost of flight (if you travel from outside Poland).
- The cost of facultative participation in rafting (about 30 USD)
- Meals outside Ashrams
- Not obligatory donations in temples / ashrams.  
- Private expenses not specified above,

We can provide you assistance in booking flight tickets to match it with the flight of the group from Poland. Please try to arrive to the airport in Delhi not later than the 31 night or 1 September in the morning, the earlier the better. We will arrange your pick-up from the airport. In case your date of arrival and plans would be different, anyway our meeting point is the Aurobindo Ashram in New Delhi.     

Important notice: 
The program involves visiting sacred places and places of worship, that is why we ask for a personal culture and respect for people and customs and for adapting to the guidelines.

Information and registration:
You can register by mailing us, calling us on phone or filling the online form.

Contact us:

- Philip: (registration and inquiry in English and Hindi), 
e-mail: f i l i p . r u c i n s k i @ g m a i l . c o m
cell phone +48 7 9 6 3 4 1 9 7 6,  

- Barbara Andrunik (registration in Polish and German)
e-mail: b a s i a @ s h a k t i s z k o l a j o g i. p l
cell phone +48 5 0 2 3 9 3 2 6 8

- Agnieszka Dołengiewicz (the owner of the Shakti Yoga School, only enquiry),
e-mail: r a j e s h w a r y m a i @ g m a i l . c o m         
cell phone: +48 6 0 4 9 5 9 5 0 8. 

Online registration: 

After reading the General terms of participation and Terms of participation in the cultural studies workshop 2018the REGISTRATION FORM which is available here should be fillied and sent by clicking submit button. Then, we will mail you the Participation Agreement signed by us, to be signed by you, scanned and mailed back to us.  

Main website
mail icon  [email protected]
tele icon 
+ 48 5 0 7 7 6 1 5 8 0 

Patronage of the study program:
Vivaswan Foundation,
mail icon  Contact form


[1] Or the alternative program for the part of the group.

Illustrations of the Program


Ganges Dreaming
Place and time: Varanasi, 02.2003.

Short film coposed by Eric Hiss.
Music used: तेरे बिना दिल लागे ना  ("without you my heart doesn't like anything")

Description: Fusing the images, sounds and textures of India with a compelling soundtrack, "Ganges Dreaming" takes the music video category to unexplored territory. Instead of posing dancers and lip-synching artists, Ganges Dreaming is a transcendent experience created via a kinetic, non-linear journey through a striking palette of spontaneous images shot entirely on location by wandermelon's Eric Hiss alongside the Ganges in the ancient city of Varanasi. Filmed during Shivaratri, an important Hindu religious festival, "Ganges Dreaming" relies on the random unfolding of events on location and inspired editing instead of calculated performances to create a mythic journey to the soul of one of the world's most ancient and profound cultures (description by wandermelon, where the Journey begins)

This short film took part in several film festivals in USA.  

Eric Hiss was in Feb. 2003 participated in the two days' program in temples of Varanasi alongside Ganga river, guided by Philip.