I´m born in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, and my first thought about visit in India was: “in the third world everything are quite same…” I was totaly wrong… but any way, let´s go for India…
Since 2003 I am based in Germany and there I start practice Yoga, in the Sommer 2008. After been introduced to many Yoga teachers and studios in Germany and another country, I decide to join a Teacher Training Course in the source of Yoga and most of the old Masters had a connection to, Rishikesh, a very special city bathed by the sacred river Ganga, or Mother Ganga as many people prefer to say.
Been in the World Capital of Yoga, only to practice and care myself was the best decision of my life, it´s changed me completely, there I became an inspired Yoga and Meditation teacher, as well Ayurvedic Massge Therapist.
During that five weeks first immersion into myself and in the World of Yoga, I realize how the Indian Epistemology could explain since thousand of years, what the western (or modern) scientists start to talk about right now. That experience made me ask to myself: “if I learn so much in that small amount of time, how much will I learn if continue to come here?”
Right after arrived at home, I start to plan the next visit to the city of the Rishis of India. That subcontinent becomes my continuous destination untill now, year after year, new teachings and experiences.
The Idea to come back the year after doesn´t work, the Stars advice me before the first India trip, that a second child which call Chandra was on the way to my home. 2012 was a year of teaching and get experience as a Yoga Teacher, visit Yoga festivals, make life changes and refresh my dad skills.
The follow year, I visit the Parmarth Niketan again to join the International Yoga Festival, where I got in touch with many others experienced teachers of all styles of Yoga and from all over the wolrd; a huge amount of people who loves Yoga; followed by hours os nice teachings about Yoga Philosophy. This second trip had a visit to Goa and Kerala, with the end in Indore to give a 10 days Intensive course.
In the second part of that same year, I manage to visit India once again, join a second Teacher Training Course this time in Goa, visit Manali in the green Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh and end with a short visit to Rishikesh and join the Yoga and Music Free Festival, this festival was unique two weeks of event day and night. There I got in touch with teachers who gave me privately Ayurveda classes. In this thirty visit to India, I got a first Naturopathy treatment to detox the body and improve health. No doubts it´s was all incredible experices.
2014 was intense, with three months to spend there, I toke some days just to be in New Delhi, to enjoy see the India Gate and others Postal Cards os the city, then meet friends from Manali and travel with then to Ladakh, the most sensitive and remote area of all India. Ladakh provoke me a big impacted, been in a full Buddhist environment and see the Tibetan influences in the Ladakhi lifestyle was very powerfull. That gift I capture and made open at my Flickr Gallery take a look in some of them. After one week adventure through the mountains, back to Manali and from there to Rishikesh. Courses and workshops take most of my time there, hang out and connect with nice people for exchange about Yoga and life toke most of my free time.
2015 was the year to visit Ladakh again and join the 1° Novitiate Program 2015, a offer done by oldies Buddhist Tradition to the people try the taste of Monastical life. That one was also another transformational experience. Totally non-expected I go Monk together with another 40 participants most from Malaysia. We visit the main Monasteries of the region, receive teachings and meditate on them.
After our program, the Mahabodhi Meditation Center also organize the Festival of Buddhist Heritage in Ladakh, an event composed by many activities, like Yoga classes with Baba Ram Dev at Shanti Stupa in Leh Town, a Buddhist Film Festival, discussions about many important subjects like sustainable tourism and woman’s empowerment, and lots of visit to the beautiful and historical sites of Ladakh.
From there I run to Dharamsala to attend the teachings of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, the mostly influent personality in this world nowadays. His talkings about love and compassion captivates everyone, no one can join his teachings and don´t inhale and exhale happiness. At the end of that trip, I toke the last weeks in Rishikesh for a bath into the Ganga, meet the old friends and reattend some Course and Workshops.
2016 The year of the first time,
Then Three months at home and at the end of 2016 I made me ready to move to India again. It was planned to be only a 5 weeks trip just to attend the teachings of Mingyur Rinpoche at Sherabling Monastery, and run to Bodhgaya to join the 34th Kalachakra Tantra Initiation gived by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama in the first days of the next year. But after meet Khentrul Rinpoche form the Jonang Kalachakra Tradition, and see how vast the practice of Kalachakra Tantra is, I extend the trip few more days and join the one week Kalachakra retreat to get ready to practice it. After become part of that huge Mandala I rent back home with another view about what the entire Universe really is.
Still 2017, I move at end of March to one more trip to India, this time to join the 2° year of Mahamudra Teaching gives by Tai Situ Rinpoche, my main Teacher. Right after some other teachings and talks toke in place in Delhi, like the transmission of the four Nouble Truth gives by Mingyur Rinpoche, which is also a very important teacher for me. It´s really a great privilege to been able to get Meditation instruction from this real Master. After Delhi I move to Rishikesh to some Iyengar classes with Suryan and Ashish, and to close, to Dheradum for a 10 Days Goenkas Vipassana Course to the first time.
If what I wrote here, made you curios to visit India, you can contact me for any question.
Wish you all the best.
Ricardo Santanna – updated at December 16, 2018.