• ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips

Stay at an Ashram in Rishikesh, the Birthplace of Yoga

While in Rishikesh, of course I followed in the Beatles footsteps like every other traveler in India, and stayed at an ashram.

There are SO many to choose from.  We across Ram Jhula to Swarg Ashram (an area, not the actual ashram). You could waste days searching for the perfect one so instead, we just went for it with the first one we could afford.

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips

When you cross the bridge and turn right, and walk all the way down, you’ll come to Sri Ved Niketan, a hugely popular ashram near Parmath (another popular ashram where the Ganga Aarti takes place).

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips ashram

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips

Sri Ved Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh

  • 200 rs per night, we only stayed here 2 nights
  • 100 rs per class because under minimum stay
  • If we had stayed the minimum of 3 days we could have gotten FREE classes
  • Large empty courtyard, huge meditation center, kitchen
  • Yoga was two times a day, as were meditation classes
  • Class attendance was not mandatory
  • Curfew was 10 (typical at ashrams)
  • No mingling with the other sex allowed
  • Chakra and mantra teaching available
  • No Wi-Fi, A/C, or hot water
  • Basic room, hard beds, not clean
  • Front desk was fairly rude & that has been noted on other reviews as well
  • Was a little run-down & wasn’t really relaxing like I’d hoped
  • Contact: [email protected], +91 135 2430279

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips there are different room variations, this is the cheapest option

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips

The Daily Yoga

I had been in India about two months at this point, and was starting to be very frustrated with Indian men. The waiter would fart as he served me dinner, the salesman would burp in my face, they were peeing in the streets in front of everyone. I would see men doing nothing but squatting on the street chit-chatting with chai, well women were hard at work. Better yet, the fifth guy that day would cut me in line and I’d have to hold back from losing my cool. I always talk about my love/hate relationship with India and as always I fluctuate. The LAST thing I wanted was an patience-testing little Indian man who hadn’t figured out his plurals to yell at me at 5 a.m. (now, I will say at least he can speak English- I can allow speak a few words of Hindi).

Our yoga teacher was as funny as he was annoying.

“point your feeeeeeeets”

“suck it in .. your belllllllly”

As he grabs my wrists to pull them tighter behind me to a position that is killing my arms, I almost want to walk out of class.

meme ashram yoga

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips location was IDEAL with a nice courtyard that was empty and prime spot on the river

ashram beatles in rishikesh birthplace of yoga tips

It’s not your typical yoga, but it was repeated positions, over and over and over and over… holding them for 3 minutes at a time, then repeat. Throught two hours, we would have done maybe six moves. Then it was hand stand time. I did get damn good at those in Pushkar. On the website the yoga style is called “similar to Bihar School of Yoga” with asanas and pranayama. Now sure what that is, but we didn’t do any warm up or sun salutations here. I have to say, the yoga was strange and very advanced. I do pranayamas at yoga now, which I love, and it wasn’t like this class, so not sure what it’s all about.

My Final Thoughts

All in all, the ashram experience was okay for a couple days, and is good for those on a budget. If I go back, I will try somewhere else, unless of course I become more broke than I was then, in which case I’ll be right back here.

Whether you pick this ashram or another, it’s an experience you don’t want to miss.

Book an Ashram for Yoga Retreats in India

There are a lot of crappy ashrams and retreats that are not legit. You need to do research because a true yoga retreat is not going to be cheap.

Click this link for the top listings for yoga retreats in Rishikesh and read all the reviews. You can use this link to see the top yoga teacher training courses in Rishikesh. This is the most legitimate site for yoga classes and Rishkesh is one of the best places to take one.

meme ashram yoga

Heading to India on a big once in a lifetime trip? Don’t forget to get my India Guide ebook, which has 6 years of India travel all wrapped up into the perfect guide to India – it covers everything from preparing with health, visas, and WiFi, but itineraries with custom maps, experiences, monuments, and things to do, places to eat, etc in each place I recommend in the book! Check it out here.


About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Empty Rucksack July 2, 2014 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Considering this yoga session, our yoga teachers in the TTC we did were fabulous? Leave alone touching the students, they never encouraged going beyond 70% of your ability to ensure you were injury free.

    Ashram looks nice but somehow whenver we get to rishikesh it is always too crowded

    • Rachel Jones July 5, 2014 at 9:43 am - Reply

      that’s the way it should be, with good yoga teachers like that! I am taking it from a friend in goa now and love it!

  2. Myriam @OffToWanderland July 2, 2014 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Hahaha I can totally picture the teacher “suck it in..your belllly” :D
    Even if it was not perfect like in movies, you did it!

    I hope I will have the chance to try it as well. * Saving money for trip to India* :)

    Cheers from Sweden!

  3. Reno July 2, 2014 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Haha, I imagine the belly query. :D May I ask what are your plans after India? If traveling, which direction?

    • Rachel Jones July 5, 2014 at 9:41 am - Reply

      well I think i’ll be here a couple years maybe, it’s really up in the air! I have to consider where my BF works and right now that is india!

  4. Justine July 2, 2014 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    I’m semi-new here so I’m fascinated with your experiences with Indian men. What’s up with men peeing in public places? I’m in Colombia and I’ve seen more men peeing on the beach or in the street, and they’re totally unconcerned with the idea that everyone can see. It’s kind of hilarious!

  5. Yara Coelho July 2, 2014 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    Experiences with India men…. oh well, we could write a whole book about that, isn’t it?

    I’ve heard Rishikesh was to commercial, that’s why I decided to avoid it. But I’ve stayed at Amma’s ashram and gt a hug from her, lolol

    • Rachel Jones July 5, 2014 at 9:39 am - Reply

      lol a BIG book!!! haha .. it is a little commercial, and i’m so jeally you got a hug!! I’m dying to get down there!!!

  6. Karyn @ Not Done Journeyling July 2, 2014 at 10:36 pm - Reply

    Had you planned to only stay 2 nights? Or did you leave early out of frustration? lol

    • Rachel Jones July 5, 2014 at 9:38 am - Reply

      I had only planned 2 nights as we didn’t have a lot of time, but if I had loved it I would have rearranged and stayed longer.. I didn’t love it that much lol

  7. Rika | Cubicle Throwdown July 2, 2014 at 10:52 pm - Reply

    This sounds like something I would probably not enjoy :) But I bet there are others (I’m guessing with a higher price tag) that I might be into!

  8. Olivia @ Olivia Explores July 3, 2014 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    ooh looks like it was pretty intense- I’d love to go to an ashram but I think it would be a huge challenge, and I think I’d find it hard to deal with the ‘not clean’ stuff, but that’s travel really. Still, it looks like you had an incredible experience :)

    • Rachel Jones July 5, 2014 at 9:32 am - Reply

      yes, I didn’t stay long and I don’t think I would have enjoyed staying too long!

  9. vinay October 10, 2014 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    have you tried phool chatti ashram? read a feed from a few US-UK backpackers and seemd Ok

  10. Zeeshan October 18, 2014 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Your post is uplifting & flowing like the ganges & a bit funny too :). I look forward to my trip to Rishikesh next week. I guess, Lakshman Jhula is the ideal place to stay. Or is there any better ashram you’d suggest?

    • Rachel Jones October 18, 2014 at 5:33 pm - Reply

      Yeah, I think it seemed like the best place. I’m not sure of any other ashram information, unfortunately.

  11. Marco February 12, 2015 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    Ha ha, I can’t believe you stayed in that place, you are really a hard core backpacker or I’m way too spoiled but when I took a look at their rooms some time ago I just said to myself, “no way!” Maybe I should try it once, just to practice some tapas :-)

    • Rachel Jones February 12, 2015 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      hahaah well, it was a couple years ago now. I wouldn’t stay there again I don’t think!

  12. CHITS March 22, 2015 at 9:41 pm - Reply


  13. Vivek Yogi May 29, 2015 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Namaste Rachel,
    I am Vivek from Rishikesh. I belong to Ved Niketan Ashram and I grew up in this ashram with Yogic life. I have been worked with Army School, Park Hyatt, Goa and now working with Raffles, Seychelles. I am a Yog teacher as well as an Aesthitician. Rachel I am happy that you are living in India from a long time. As your posts mostly show the bad image about India, I think there is also a very positive concern about this country which is not available anywhere in this world and all the aspirants who are tired from their stressful life get relax after coming on this holy city Rishikesh. Please do not take me wrong and whatever you posted about specially Indian men that’s 100% true but there are a lot of great personalities who were born on this land. And I think it happens everywhere that the women are harassed by men and I think this percentage is more in Western countries. I really d’nt wanna argue but I wanna suggest you if you love India and its culture so please see towards its greatness which I think you also did not feel anywhere. Namaste.
    Kind regards;
    Vivek Yogi

    • Rachel Jones May 29, 2015 at 4:46 pm - Reply

      90% of my almost 400 posts are positive about India, so clearly you haven’t spent any time on my blog. This blog promotes India in a huge way and many girls email saying they’ve decided to come to India thanks to this website. I have been here for years and wouldn’t be if I didn’t like it. You don’t want to argue you say, but unfortunately you are ill-informed.

      • Vivek Yogi May 29, 2015 at 7:25 pm - Reply

        Oh Rachel!
        I’m so sorry about this misconception. I did not read all of your messages fully but I was little bit upset about other people’s comments. If it could be possible please forgive me. I really d’nt have words to say you sorry. But I am apologized. Thank you and have a beautiful time in Goa. Also thanks to promote a good environment about India here. Namaskar.

  14. alan479 October 25, 2015 at 9:46 am - Reply

    I have stayed at the Ved Niketan for over a month and some of the rooms are 2x as bad as yours. I guess the monkeys have gotten out of control, so now they have the hallway fencing which is just a recent addition. I always worried about spiders in my room, India is full if them and they are big. The only other ashram that I know of that is cheaper is the one across the street from the Trayambakeshwar temple near the Laxman Jhula bridge area. The ashram is cheap because all day long until the temple closes in the evening the temples bells are always being loudly rung. The temple has bells within everywhere. The ashram rooms are not as bad as the Niketan’s but they are a little smaller, seem newer and have much fewer spiders.

  15. Shivam Yoga Dublin February 17, 2016 at 2:20 am - Reply

    I have done Yoga classes there in 2010, as Yoga Teacher (22 years) and the teacher and the class was so traditional and advanced enough.
    In fact, those are good Yoga Teachers, for for sure not for any begginer as they will discribe badly about the severity of teaching.

  16. Brandon April 20, 2016 at 2:00 am - Reply

    Ha ha sounds like a good experience! We really need to get back to India, we missed Rishikesh last time.

  17. Rahul April 23, 2016 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel,

    I have stayed in Ved Niketan couple of times and must say they are quite traditional and havn’t changed over time. Just basic facilities and a very big courtyard & meditation centre which you also noted, away from crowded place like Lakshman Jhula makes it a cool place.

    All in all a quiet and affordable place.


  18. yuvraj singh July 30, 2016 at 7:11 pm - Reply

    Dear Rachel,
    May i know the name of yoga teacher.

  19. Beth Bauer October 21, 2016 at 12:18 pm - Reply

    “Starting to be very frustrated with Indian men…” welcome to my world! Would be a good topic for a blog (wink,wink). I’m heading to Rishikesh for 1 month of beginning yoga soon. I’m nervous about it! LOVE your blog!

    Beth Bauer

    • Rachel Jones October 22, 2016 at 3:45 pm - Reply

      I hope you find a great place to stay. I find that that can make all the difference and this place wasn’t the best!

  20. Milarepa March 28, 2017 at 10:04 pm - Reply

    You may want to take a look at this travel advisory that was recently published regarding the long history of corruption behind Ved Niketan. It is very interesting. It seems there has been a slow and steady attempt at property theft by Indian “land mafia” since Vishwaguru’s death in 2007. You can read the article here:


  21. Such In March 29, 2017 at 9:28 pm - Reply

    Hi Rachel,I really like your writing and your perspective of being human .

    So I am moving to Goa this May and planning to start a Backpackers Hostel there. Which Place would you recommend for a hostel as I have theme based on spiritual arts and writings. More of Chill ambience spirited beach. it’ll be a help for me to get a place, I have plans for.

    And also if you can help me find a yoga and meditation teacher there. I am enlightened.

  22. Vishesh Mahadik May 15, 2017 at 12:10 pm - Reply

    HI Rachel,

    I am traveling to Rishikesh for spiritual upliftment and I found your blog really helpful for it gave me a llot of encouragement! But I am looking for places I could stay in RIshikesh – can you help or suggest me please?

  23. Monoyoga September 27, 2017 at 5:29 am - Reply

    I stayed at Ved Niketan back in 2013 and the experience was pretty good. I guess the teachers change quite often so it depends a lot on who is there, but I liked the atmosphere of the place.

    • Rachel Jones September 27, 2017 at 11:05 am - Reply

      Yeah definitely – it’s been ages as well since I was there so I’m sure things have changed quite a lot!

  24. Best vacation spots in India for Yoga August 5, 2018 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    […] someone says yoga, we`re all immediately in India in our thoughts. India is the birthplace of yoga so when we want to explore it more we`re naturally drawn to the source. It`s safe to say that […]

  25. Alicia Lee December 25, 2018 at 7:43 am - Reply

    Hi Rachel,
    I am planning on a trip to Rishikesh –> Jaipur –> Udaipur alone. Well a friend pulled out of the trip last minute so I guess I’ll be going alone. I have been to Delhi and Varanasi before with my sister, her indian mother in law and my brother in law’s younger 16 year old brother. It was an amazing trip and I do like India a lot but there was a moment in Varanasi that I was actually terrified as I was in a sea of indian men accompanied by the young brother and I knew that if anything untoward were to happen, there is nothing I or the boy could do to prevent it. Well… nothing actually happened, but it was just vivid scary moment that stuck with me.

    In any case, I’m quite confident that I’ll be fine in Rishikesh. But I’m taking the train down from Delhi to Jaipur and to Udaipur. In terms of traveling alone, do you think that will be ok? (we flew from delhi to Varanasi last time, so I have no experience taking regional train in India and don’t know what to expect).

    Would love to hear your thoughts!


    P/s: I’ve read a few of your other posts on Rishikesh and have took notes on what to bring and how to prepare for that trip, so thank you for the tip!!!

  26. Pablo Lopez December 30, 2018 at 10:26 am - Reply

    Ved Niketan is amazing ….and the people you meet there are the best…not Americans at all…a lot of Germans, French and Russians…

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