Maa Yoga Ashram, Rishikesh
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Ardella Martin December 16, 2017
I was at Maa for a teacher training course from October 2nd to October 28th, 2017. I could go on about how this program violated the Yoga Alliance standards in so many ways. I could also share the frustrations that the ladies in the Ayurvedic practitioner course experienced with their program. However, this site focuses on retreats. Maa Yoga offers both yoga and ayurvedic retreats. During my month long stay, I met numerous individuals who came for both; some for a few days, others for a week or more. We shared meals, yoga and meditation classes. There were several instances when strangers were asked to share accommodations because the Ashram had overbooked. Guests expressed frustration that the yoga classes were not meeting their needs (no adaptations provided for physical conditions, limitations or experience). This was largely due to the fact that instructors were trying to focus on the teacher training students (even though, according to Yoga Alliance guidelines, these hours would be considered unallowable hours because they included the general public). The Ashram seems more concerned with saving money by combining programs than serving the needs of their guests. One poor lady had just had hip surgery and had contacted Dr. Amrit several times to be sure her physical needs could be accommodated. She was put in a nearby building, up several floors without an elevator. Yoga classes were on the third floor of the Ashram. When she finally got moved to the main building, she did not have a shower in her room because the hot water heater had exploded on the previous guests belongings and had not been replaced. (Did I mention the ever present sewer gas smell in the rooms. Many guests (myself included) were made very uncomfortable by his guided motivational yelling from the third floor balcony of the yoga studio. While the poor homeless people living in tents below us watched, we were asked to yell “Thank you for making us millionaires! Thank you for making us billionaires!” If you are truly looking for a spiritual place whose leaders follow the yamas and nyamas of yogic philosophy in their own lives, please keep researching.