Dear Yogis and Travellers! Today I will tell you about one of my favorite teachers in Rishikesh, Ashish Sharma. It’s a teacher with unique expertise, one of the best specialists in Rishikesh in the field of asana alignment and development of programs that address body’s structural misbalances.
Of course, when we’re talking about asana alignment, the teacher number one in Rishikesh in this field would be Usha Devi (to my view at least), of whom I have already written in this blog. But yet, Usha, being a wonderful master, is not a teacher for everyone. I would say she is an excellent teacher for experienced yoga practitioners or for beginners who are ready to go way beyond their comfort zone to learn correct work with the body. She teaches in strict Iyengar style and is famous around the world as a teacher who can push you beyond your limit to make you develop really fast within limited timeframe.
But if you are a beginner or a practitioner who does not want to combine yoga with stress, who would like to receive deep knowledge on how to correctly work with the body and how to activate our deepest muscles and fascia, and yet do it with comfort, with good intensity and without unnecessary extremes, Ashish is your best choice. He’s not Iyengar teacher, but he teaches a lot of information about structural integration that is invaluable to both practitioners and especially yoga teachers. Moreover, he will teach you some points that no other teacher, even Iyengars, talks about – at least the ones I know of.
Ashish has a very good skill of body reading and can easily define what muscles or body parts of particular student need to be engaged to achieve optimal opening or stability in this or that asana. I was struggling with a few poses for several years, not understanding, why my body collapses in Scorpio and what I should do to progress in it. He was the only teacher out there to define my specific weakness and give me tools to work with it. He did it with a lot of my asanas and that actually helped me to deepen my practice a lot.
Of course, once you learn that skill of engaging and exercising deepest body muscles, it will go beyond performing asanas in yoga hall and translates into your entire life, influencing your everyday posture and potentially removing some old pains or problems.
He is one of the few teachers in entire Rishikesh who can safely work with students with disabilities and injuries, such as slipped disks, hernias, scoliosis, pregnancy, knee problems, etc. You need to talk to him before the class and he will pay special attention to you during entire session, suggesting you personalized asanas, props and exercises.
Ashish is a kind of teacher who just in a week or two can lead you from very superficial, rough understanding of your body to its deep knowledge, to direct interaction with it, to precise control of deep small muscles that support your joints and even to your ability to engage skin. This will help you feel your body in a completely new way, to see it open, become strong but soft, relaxed and developed in a balanced, healthy manner. I don’t promise that within a week or a month that you’re in Rishikesh you will learn all intricacies, but you will surely get real instruments to develop your body and get it ready for further stages of yoga. And you will certainly become stronger, healthier, more flexible, open, more stable both physically and mentally, as you will learn to hold positions for a long time and train your attention to go deep inside your body and to get fixed in particular areas.
And Ashish will do all this work to you in a soft manner, without violence and shouting, with a degree of strictness, but this strictness is very friendly and even compassionate I would say.
By reading all this you would think that I’m advertising him. I’m not working in Himalayan Yoga Academy, where he teaches, anymore, so I have no interest to advertise him, I just like him a lot. And he’s really very good.
For the balance, I need to mention some drawbacks. His one is that he often comes late to his classes, so you will need to wait some 5-15 minutes.
He teaches drop in classes in Green View Hotel yoga hall in Ram Jhula. It’s located behind Parmarth Niketan. When you walk through Parmarth Niketan garden, turn right and walk a few minutes until the next crossroad before the building of Green Hotel, then turn left and on your right you will see a stairs leading to a yoga hall. Class timings change between 9 am to 9:30 in the morning and 5 pm to 5:30 in the evening. The duration of class is usually 2 hours, sometimes even more if he’s in a mood :) The cost is 200 rupees.
Ashish also often teaches courses and intensives at Himalayan Yoga Academy. But not all courses, so you better ask them at http://yogaacademy.in