Called initially as Hrishikesh, but to make pronunciation easier, Rishikesh is being used. I was born there and grew up and educated there, both yoga and other subjects. When I was a child, I grew up among the fields that cultivate crops such as wheat, rice, and maize at Luxmanjhula. Our neighbors were far away like 50 m to 200 m from us to reach for a cup of tea or a chat. The village is small, so everyone knows everyone. It was until the year 2000, when the town had a tourist boom, especially for yoga and spiritual purposes.
So nowadays, when you visit Rishikesh, especially Luxamnjhoola and Ramjhoola locality that is more famous with tourists due to suspension bridges, yoga schools and new age cafes are getting busier and busier.
The blast on tourism is that much the luxmanjhula is partially closed for scooters, and a controlled movement of people is governed. A new bridge is under construction next to it, as an old bridge made in 1924 is deemed weak and cannot take more load.
Still, the town kept its charm in form spirituality, the energies, and peace even with the hustle-bustle of modern-day tourism.
Yoga in Rishikesh is a very prominent activity and part of lifestyle due to the ancient town heritage. Rishikesh is also known as the gateway to the Himalayas and famous Hindu Pilgrimage centers of Badrinath, Kedarnath, Yamunotri, and Gangotri.
Gangotri is relevant as close to the source of river Ganga. Therefore, in old times, people who renounce the world settles as monks in Rishikesh. This is the reason why so many temples and ashrams are there in the town. Many famous yogis have started their journey either of learning or teaching begins from Rishikesh such as Swami Shivananda, Swami Vishnudevanand, Maharishi Mahesh yogi, etc.
Yoga classes in Rishikesh are mostly directed to regular practitioners irrespective of yoga styles. Yoga can find the Ashtanga, Iyengar, Vinyasa, Kundalini, and mainly Hatha yoga styles.
Yoga teacher's training is another essential facility that yoga schools and ashrams there cater to yoga enthusiasts. Most courses include spiritual aspects as relevant content that might be not easy for a western student to understand who is visiting the first time to India. Well, the best part for Rishikesh, being from west, you find it much sympathetic and safe due to the blend of east and west.
It is a very safe town; even locals are accommodating.
To be continued .....