We meet in Delhi (1 night) and then head to Haridwar (5 nights), the gateway to Rishikesh. We stay at the Johari family compound made up of two large 5 story houses connected by a sunny courtyard. The Johari home was built speci cally as a home-away-from-home for the students of Harish Johari, one of the foremost spiritual teachers of India in the modern age. It is just a few steps away from Ganga Ma (the Ganges) which you will have access to at any time. Here the waters of Ganga are at their purest.
Our days begin with extended Jivamukti Yoga classes (starting with BASICS then OPEN classes and eventually progressing to themed workshops) and end with evening satsang, led meditation or a restorative class in Master Johari’s teaching hall. Day activities will vary from Ayurvedic cooking classes, yantra painting, lunch at the Johari rose farm just outside of town, gemology and numerology classes and visits to Santosh Puri Ashram and the former home of legendary saint, Sri Anandamayi Ma. There may even be a ‘teaser’ trip to a Rishikesh just one hour away.
We will then head to Rishikesh (2 nights); the ‘city of yogis’ which is also built on Ganga. Last pilgrimage we visited the ‘Beatles Ashram’ took a laughing yoga class, enjoyed an exceptional concert of Hindi and Su music and explored the narrow and ancient streets by foot. This time the International Yoga Festival will be taking place and YES we will be attending!
GET CLOSE TO NATURE
From Rishikesh to Kanatal (1 night), the site of an old hill station and surrounded by forest and the Himalayan mountains. Here we will do guided hikes (walking meditation) enjoying the purest air and quietude. Back to Haridwar to catch the train (an adventure in itself) to Vrindavan, the home of Krishna.
It is said that we can only come to Vrindavan on Krishna’s invitation. Many believe Vrindavan (3 nights) to be the holiest city on the planet. It is surrounded by the forests of Braj. Here, over 5000 years ago, was where the young Krishna came into his own and engaged in lila (divine play) with his fellow cowboys and gopi (cowgirls), of who, Radhe was his true love. Vrindavan is the home of 24 hour Kirtan, the widow ashram, retired cow sanctuary, Nittivan monkey forest, Food for Life School for Girls and... well I don’t want to give EVERYTHING away! It’s SECRET sadhana for a reason! Suffice to say there will be MUCH music... and a little bit of magic.
From Vrindavan we head to Agra (1 night) for the Taj Mahal. And WHAT a monument! We meet the descendants of the Taj Mahal’s mosaic artists and also plan to visit Sheroes Hangout Cafe before heading back to Delhi to say goodbye.
ABOUT YOUR TEACHERS
Katie Manitsas brought Jivamukti Yoga to Australia. She opened Samadhi Yoga and co- founded the Jivamukti Yoga School in Newtown and has had three highly successful books on yoga published: ‘Spiritual Survival in the City’, ‘Yoga o the Mat’, and ‘The Yoga of Birth’. Her latest book, Everyday Sadhana is soon to be published and this pilgrimage is inspired by the teachings in this book. She teaches yoga and Ayurveda throughout Australia and internationally.
Keith Kempis was a student of Katie’s at Samadhi Yoga, where he completed the Yoga Teacher Training. He then went on to complete Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training, and the Jivamukti Yoga Apprenticeship under Jessica Stickler. He was a foundation teacher at Jivamukti Yoga Sydney where he remained for almost a decade. Keith recently opened BIJA Yoga at the former site of LILA Yoga in Penrith.
Both Katie and Keith have served Jivamukti Yoga founders, Sharon Gannon and David Life in New York, Sydney, Byron Bay and throughout the world. Katie and Keith have travelled to and around India numerous times.
Seema and Anushree are the daughter and grand daughter respectively of Harish Johari. For half the year they host pilgrims in their home in Haridwar and for the other half, they continue the yantra, chakra, meditation, Ayurveda, numerology and storytelling teachings of Harish Johari all over Europe, North America and now Australia.