Can't seem to decide what to do with myself for Lunar New Year, so maybe ya'll can help me decide! We have 16 days off at the beginning of February and I will either fly to Rishikesh, India for a yoga and pancha karma recharge, or south to Yangshuo for a Taiji (Tai Chi) retreat.
In Rishikesh, their are several ashrams with which I am already affiliated! After much research, I learned there are ashrams founded by Swami Rama (like the one I lived at for one year in Pennsylvania, USA), Swami Satchidananda (his ashram in Virginia is what I call my home ashram now), Swami Sivananda (Satchidananda's master), and Maa Yoga Ashram (I found them when in Korea and have wanted to visit for years!). Maa is the only one that offers pancha karma retreats, which is what I could really use-- 14 days of detox and cleansing and re-set my physical self! maayogashram.com/ I am also drawn to Swami Rama's ashram, in that it is familiar. www.tripsavvy.com/top-rishikesh-ashrams-1539716
On the other hand is another ancient practice: Taijiquan. This retreat and training center is beautiful, and the teachers are award-winning and well-renowned, also multi-generational practitioners/teachers of martial artists. Plus, the center's head Laoshi (teacher) is a woman! longtoutaichi.com/
I am so interested in both! I may visit Long Tou Shan for a weekend to see if I like it enough for 2 weeks. It's only a 1 hr and 40 min. flight and less expensive overall (about $600 or so less than a trip to India, including retreat fees). I have been studying Taiji, QiKung (Qi Gong), and TCM (Traditional Herbal Medicine) for years now, and so the opportunity to learn this from a master is compelling!
Travel to India, of course, will be more expensive and with more headaches, but I believe well worth it. To meditate in sacred temples built by Shankaracharya in the 8th century, who is also the lineage founder of the Himalayan tradition, leading down an unbroken line to Swami Rama and now, Pandit Tigunait in Pennsylvania. This is the tradition in which I was initiated over a decade ago. And to worship on the shores of Mother Ganga. The power and energy and vibrations of the sacred spaces in Rishikesh really pull me. I could visit India during my longer summer vaca, but I am sure I will end up in the mountains of Kham or Yunnan again!