Welcome to

Bhakti Yoga Rishikesh

A Yoga Journey with Bhakti Infusion!

Bhakti Yoga Rishikesh is an authentic school of Bhakti Yoga, located in the Divine surroundings of the Himalayas and the Sacred River Ganga. According to the traditional scriptures of yoga, Bhakti is the culmination of all yogic practices, a path of loving devotional service.

The path of Bhakti is developed through sadhana – various conscious & mindful practices such as japa – meditation through mantras or sacred hymns, kirtan – chanting of the sacred mantras accompanied with music and dance, svadhyaya – study of the ancient spiritual texts such as Bhagavad Gita and Srimad Bhagavatam, satsanga – association with likeminded spiritual practitioners, svasthya – eating sanctified vegetarian food (prasadam) for better health and consciousness, and sadachar – cultivating the principles of truthfulness, mercy, austerity and cleanliness as practical values in our everyday lives.

At Bhakti Yoga Rishikesh we’re leading a life of spiritual harmony and holistic wellbeing, by sharing the universal wisdom from the ancient Vedic texts in ways applicable to today’s world. We approach the path of yoga practically and inclusively; while cultivating the understanding of the original purpose of yoga, we’re teaching all the different traditional elements of this ancient science, such as asana and pranayama, as described by Maharishi Patanjali in the famous Yoga Sutras.

Yoga is a journey of heart’s transformation and we’re here to facilitate a supportive, loving environment for your inner personal journey.

ABOUT US

Bhakti Yoga Rishikesh is a project of ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) hyperlink this to ISKCON Rishikesh website. We’re located in the footsteps of Himalayas, in the Yoga Capital of the World and one of the holiest locations in India. Rishikesh is known for its numerous ashrams and temples, and it has been attracting sincere spiritual seekers and yoga students for decades. Since the ancient times the sages and rishis have visited the Holy town to practice austerities and meditate in search of the ultimate goal of life – self-realization. The presence of the sacred river Ganga together with the surrounding Himalayas and the Holy vibrations creates an auspicious and purifying atmosphere for one’s spiritual journey.

Our Philosophy

We help you to delve deep into the traditional science of yoga, based on the teachings of Bhagavad Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and the Yoga Sutras by Patanjali. The teachings are very universal, non-sectarian and applicable to everyone in today’s modern world. Our essential aim is to rekindle the dormant spirit of love and service, and cultivating these qualities is part of the path of Bhakti Yoga...
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Our Practice

In Bhakti Yoga Rishikesh, our emphasis is in taking care of the needs of the often neglected, yet the most important part of our being, the soul. In the Bhagavad Gita the path of yoga is described as a ladder, leading towards the highest rung called Bhakti Yoga. Our emphasis is on the highest rung in form of philosophy, practice of kirtan and chanting and in developing a mood of being of help and service.
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Our Purpose

We are sharing the wisdom and techniques from the ancient Vedic scriptures with a modern understanding. Our approach is holistic, and our aim is to encourage people to apply the teachings in their everyday lives, leading to harmony and discovering divinity within and in others. Yoga means to come to a state of balance and harmony; with our body, mind and soul.
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Our Community

Our mood is warm and inclusive, and we have experience of bringing together seekers from different backgrounds and traditions to connect with the teachings of Bhagavad Gita. Our aim is to create a platform for sharing and connecting, transcending the limitations of nationality, age, race, gender, culture and even species. We welcome you to visit us, follow us or get connected online and we’ll do our best to serve, nourish and inspire you on this journey of transformation – yoga.
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Bhakti is derived from the Sanskrit word Bhaj, which means loving service, and Yoga in Sanskrit means connection. Bhakti Yoga means to connect with the Divine by the means of loving devotional service. We all have the seed of Bhakti within us, but it is in a dormant state and we’re not aware of its existence until we start watering and nurturing the soil in which it’s planted.

Through this process the Bhakti within us – the love for the Divine – awakens.

The Ancient yogic scriptures describe the most effective method for awakening the dormant seed in this modern time to be the chanting of the mantras and Divine names. Through chanting, we will gradually cleanse our mind and wipe away the coverings of dust from the mirror of our hearts and come to the state of self-realization – the ultimate goal of all yogic practices.

Chanting

There are two different ways to chant the Divine names; meditating on the names by oneself – called Japa or the mantra meditation, and singing together accompanied with musical instruments and even dancing – called Kirtan or congregational chanting. In our Bhakti Yoga tradition we are developing devotion and love towards Krishna, the Supreme being, as taught in the most important book on yoga, the Bhagavad Gita. Krishna is the embodiment of love and full of eternal knowledge and bliss which we are all seeking for, and in the same Bhagavad Gita it is explained that Krishna and Krishna’s name are the same. So when we are chanting the names of Krishna, it means we are calling out to that which we want to connect with; Lord Krishna is actually dancing on our tongue.

The mantra we chant is called the Maha Mantra, the great mantra for deliverance:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare

Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

It is composed of three words of the Supreme being: Hare, Krishna and Rama. Hare refers to the Divine energy of the Lord, Krishna and Rama refer to the Divine as the all-attractive and all-powerful one who is the source of all pleasure. The mantra is most commonly translated as, “O Lord, O Energy of the Lord, please engage me in Your service.” It was popularized in the sixteenth century by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and spread worldwide in the late twentieth century by Srila Prabhupada and his followers in ISKCON.

Japa literally means ‘to speak softly’. There are numerous techniques for meditation in different spiritual traditions and mantra meditation is one of them. In our Bhakti Yoga tradition we chant the Mahamantra, using the meditation beads or japa beads. In japa, the meditator individually and softly recites Krishna’s names with the use of the beads, similar to a rosary.

Repetition of this mantra awakens the soul and mystically brings strength, peace and happiness. It helps us to tranquilize the mind, understand the self and build positive karma and ultimately it connects us with the wisdom within and reveals our original spiritual identity.

Kirtan is a dynamic musical experience, also known as congregational chanting of the sacred mantras. In the Bhakti Yoga tradition, sound is used as a powerful tool for inner transformation. Kirtan is a simple and authentic way to relieve stress, refresh the mind and connect with the heart. Both new meditators as well as seasoned practitioners will find the benefits in the practice, as it is explained to be the most effective method for spiritual advancement in the modern age.

Kirtan offers an opportunity to experience the power of collective devotion as well as creating space for deeper connection, within ourselves and with others. During kirtan we hear and chant the mantras and engage ourselves fully in the practice, clapping our hands and occasionally rising up to dance too. Kirtan is a very wholesome and healing experience.

Sadhana means our personal practice of connecting to our true selves and to God through the power of prayer, meditation and acquiring knowledge. These spiritual practices allow us to tune into the frequency of grace of love and compassion that’s already within us, and when we put time aside to do this daily, we actually establish a deep foundation and clear direction for our life.

Seva means selfless service and it’s one of the key components and aspects of Bhakti. On the path of Bhakti Yoga, we’re trying to cultivate this spirit of selfless service through sharing and giving in the mood of remembering our original identities as parts and parcels of the Divine – Krishna. Understanding this, everything and everyone is thus connected, so serving other fellow living beings and everything around us with the Higher goal of bringing spiritual harmony to the whole of society, means serving the Divine and helping others to do the same. With this principle of seva, we can transcend differences based on culture, colour, nationality, religion, gender, age and even species, and can live together in love, compassion and harmony, thus realizing the spiritual oneness in service of the Divine.

Retreats & Courses

Join our retreats and courses to experience yoga on and off the mat!

Living a yogic lifestyle in association with spiritual practitioners of the Bhakti tradition is a transformative experience itself. Together with the practices of melodious kirtans, yoga and pranayama, meditation, philosophy classes and eating of the sanctified vegetarian food, you’ll gain valuable knowledge and tools to integrate and infuse the lessons learnt into your everyday life as you return back to your home and workplace.

“Spirituality is not separate from everyday life, it is not what we do in a church, temple, mosque or synagogue that makes us spiritual; it is what we do everywhere.” Bhakti Tirtha Swami

UPCOMING RETREAT

Bhakti Yoga Retreat

Join us to experience the magical power of Bhakti Yoga, in the Divine surroundings of the Himalayas and the Holy River Ganges. Our loving and supportive community is waiting for you!

Including:
Daily Prana Enhancing Techniques and Yoga Asanas, Mantrameditation, Kirtan, Bhakti Wisdom Classes, Yoga Nidra, Journaling Practices, Healthy Vegetarian Food, Comfortable Accommodation, Space for Sharing and Expressing, Ganga Aarti and Rishikesh / Himalayan Excursions

Upcoming Online Courses

Introduction to Bhagavad Gita

Wherever you are, now you can join us online to study the most important text written on Yoga – the Bhagavad Gita! In 21 sessions we will cover the 18 chapters and understand the different themes and concepts of this ancient text and how to practically apply them in our everyday lives in today’s world. Our experienced teacher, a Bhakti Yogi monk and a lifelong student of the Gita, Hare Krsna Das, will guide the participants to seek deep and meaningful value from the words spoken by Krishna to his friend Arjuna around five thousand years ago on the battlefield of Kurukshetra.

OUR FACULTY

Hare Krsna Das

Yoga Philosophy Teacher

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Heidi Sokka

Yoga Teacher

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Radhakunda Das

Director

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Madhvacharya Das

Lead Kirtaniya

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Our Blog

Modern Day Spirituality

By Heidi Sokka Has modern-day spirituality become a feel-good business, a marketplace with unlimited options for mixing the desirable combo individually to satisfy our current taste buds? Has the essence been watered down and lost while packaging the thousands of years of traditions into more easily understandable products, selling partial

Posted On
November 28, 2022
Spiritual Bypassing – hiding behind spirituality to avoid or reject something uncomfortable

By Heidi Sokka Spiritual bypassing - a term familiarised in the spiritual circles in the past few years. It refers to “a tendency to use spiritual explanations to avoid complex psychological issues”. We’ve all been on that road in one way or the other, haven’t we? As the spiritual scriptures

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November 28, 2022
Yoga – A Journey through the Layers

By Heidi SokkaYoga – a word familiar around the world today. Wherever we are, we’ll find yoga studios and advertisements for yoga classes with different names and styles to choose from. It can be almost overwhelming to navigate in the ‘yoga jungle’, not knowing which direction to choose. Becoming consistent

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July 6, 2022
Bhakti Yoga Experience – A seeker’s story

By Heidi Sokka Here's a little story of a wonderful spiritual seeker who came in contact with us online and travelled all the way to India from Spain. She didn't know anyone else here, but wanted to experience the life of an inner transformation and learn about the remarkable spiritual

Posted On
July 6, 2022
Pratyahara – the fifth limb of Ashtanga Yoga

By Hare Krsna Das  Yoga is the process of linking our consciousness with the super-consciousness, or more simply put connecting the soul with Ishvara. The Ashtanga system of Yoga prescribes eight limbs or steps leading to complete absorption of consciousness and awareness in loving relationship with the Supreme. The first

Posted On
July 6, 2022
Climbing up the Yoga Ladder

By Hare Krsna Das “Yoga, the word, invokes in my mind the image of a slim, athletic bodied, fair-skinned girl posing in an incredible asana for a photograph” was one student Isabella’s answer when I asked her, “What do you understand by Yoga?” Although not the truth, but her version

Posted On
January 25, 2022

ASK A MONK

Do you have a philosophical question about life and its purpose, are you going through a dilemma or are you perhaps in a middle of transformation in your personal life? Hare Krsna Das is an experienced spiritual practitioner and a very liked teacher among his students, living a monastic life since nearly the past two decades and would be happy to answer your questions with a deep understanding of life in the light of spiritual scriptures. Connect and get connected!

Ask a Yoga Teacher

Are you new to yoga or already a seasoned practitioner? Are you interested to know how to get started with yoga, how to incorporate the practice of Bhakti in your daily practice or how to take the next step, wherever you are on your journey? If you have questions and would like to be part of a supportive community, Heidi would love to be of help. She is an experienced practitioner and a yoga teacher, sharing her understanding of life’s lessons through compassion and joy. Connect and get connected!

TESTIMONIALS

JOHANNA


Finland

I attended Heidi’s classes in Lapland, Finland, between 2016 and 2018. Heidi is a very serene and calm instructor who guides you through her classes in a very peaceful and devoted way. She is very empathetic and supportive in instructing her classes. Her classes are very holistic and all-encompassing experience, and they leave you stress-free and energized.

I have gained inner peace and tranquillity from Heidi’s classes that helped me to cope with my everyday life.

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NITA

Yoga Teacher Student,
Finland

I’m a yoga teacher student from Finland. I started to study Bhagavad Gita online with Hare Krsna Das about a year ago. From the very beginning it felt very natural, easy and safe to study with him. It’s been easy to ask anything from him and I’ve begun to understand yoga philosophy more deeply. I’ve learned to trust in a Higher power through his words.

Hare Krsna Das explains all the texts very well and opens new point of views to a Western yoga teacher student. I’ve found his support very helpful and comforting during my yoga teacher studies. Hare Krsna Das has a great sense of humour and he understands a lot about other cultures. Even though the time is limited and the subject itself is not funny, we laugh quite a lot during the classes. He is clearly very interested about his students and cares how everyone is doing.

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ANASTASIA

Reiki Master & Psychoanalyst,
Russia

Namaste! My name is Anastasia. I am from Russia.

I was lucky to have met Heidi Ji and take several Yin yoga classes in Rishikesh in October-November 2021 at the MVT Yoga Studio.

I’d like to thank the teacher for the beautifully organized classes, where I was able to practice a good stretch and deep relaxation. The classes were suitable for me, even though I was at my Second pregnancy trimester. Heidi Ji helped me to adjust yoga asanas according to my level of practice. She has had an individual approach to every student. I also loved the mantras she was playing during the classes. I highly recommend Heidi’s classes to everyone!

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ALICE ANDERSON

Artist, Musician, Therapist,
U.K.

Reading and studying the Bhagavad Gita has helped me to understand philosophy and the importance of leading a disciplined life. Hare Krsna Das is a very intelligent and competent teacher who breaks everything down so that it can be easily understood by learners of all abilities and levels. He helps you to understand complex philosophical principles and concepts easily. He creates a very comfortable learning environment.

Hare Krsna Das is a very approachable teacher and is very easy to talk to and discuss important topics with. He is never judgemental and is a very learned man with a lot of knowledge. I have learnt a lot from Hare Krsna Das over the years and he has helped me to understand the importance of leading a life of service and gratitude.

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HEIDI

Finland

I have attended (my namesake) Heidi’s yoga classes here in Levi, Lapland. Classes have had different aspects of yoga and yoga philosophy. Combination of all her knowledge of theory, experience & physical practice is one of a kind here in Lapland and I’ve learned a lot and found a welcoming place to learn and practise spiritually and physically.

Heidi introduced me to a study group where we have read, learned and discussed the Gita. We’ve been so lucky to have Hare Krsna Das as our teacher, as he has unique and personal way to connect with all of us, making it easier to understand the different parts of the Gita. Early days and still lots to go through but I’m so happy to be introduced to Gita with our teacher and a group, where there’s space for different thoughts and interpretations, and where we all come together in the end.

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JOLYNN

Holistic Therapist,
USA

Hare Krsna Das has such an understanding and welcoming energy. He delivers wisdom authentically in a natural manner. Always, seeing and having the gift of expressing the truth. It is very apparent Hare Krsna Das is seasoned in his practice and studies. I feel blessed to have been in his presence.

Heidi has a beautiful way of expressing the true essence of empathy and devotion. She truly listens and understands the bridge between eastern and western philosophy. Heidi’s classes are peaceful yet powerful in the structure of sequence and what needs to be released from the body.

I truly feel a deep devotion, understanding and welcoming as authentic family every time I participate in their programs. The wisdom I receive truly bridges the ancient teachings of Bhagavad Gita and modern living. I will continue to enrol and participate in future classes. Forever grateful for all the support!

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PHOTO GALLERY

Get In Touch

Meet Us

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Call Us

+91 960 624 2579

Email Us

connect@bhaktiyogarishikesh.org

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