Ashram originates from the Sanskrit word ‘Srama,’ meaning ‘religious exertion.’ Today, ashram generally means a sacred place for practicing spiritual practices like yoga and meditation to grow spiritually. These facilities are run by spiritual communities committed to the spiritual practice and vary from small hermitage housing several individuals to multiple building complex housing hundreds. Ashrams have been in India for millennia and have recently spread throughout different parts of the world.
Whether you work a stressful job running a janitorial services company or want a break from a house full of kids, visiting an ashram can be the life-changing experience you need.
If you’re still not convinced, here are five more reasons to go to an ashram.
It Lets You Meet New People
Even if you’re not the most friendly person out there, taking a break from your hectic work life and meeting new people can mitigate your stress levels significantly. Ashrams give you the chance to meet people stuck in the same rut as you, helping you form unexpected camaraderie that can last for a lifetime. This sacred place is the kind of area that attracts individuals looking to find their place in life, helping you meet all sorts of people and realize that you’re not alone.
It Teaches You to Be Selfless
There are times in everyone’s lives that they’ve wrongly judged a person because of one interaction. For instance, when someone smiles and greets you, they’re automatically a good person, but when an individual ignores you and walks past you, you deem them rude or arrogant. Although this trait can be unavoidable, it can be toxic as well. Visiting an ashram can open your eyes to the reality that different people are dealing with various problems.
It Helps You Embrace Change and Not Be Afraid
Change is constant in everyone’s lives, and it can be daunting to think about. That’s why many people would rather stay in an uncomfortable situation rather than taking the risk and stepping into the unknown. When you visit an ashram, all these perceptions will change and help you realize that you don’t need to be afraid of the future. The gurus and your stay in the facility can help you face the inevitable changes in your life and promote a happier and healthier life.
It Cleanses You — Literally
Visiting an ashram gives you the chance to experiment with ‘kriyas,’ the traditional hatha yoga cleansing technique. This practice involves several cleansing techniques such as ‘Jal Neti,’ where you clean your nose with a neti pot, or ‘Shanka-Prakshalan,’ where you wash your intestines with saltwater. When performing kriyas, you’ll be guided by an expert yoga teacher or guru, helping you cleanse yourself thoroughly.
It Gives You A Much Needed Break
People tend to let go of healthy rituals due to hectic schedules and convenience, and time in an ashram can help you bring this healthy routine back. Life in an ashram is easy as everyone around you minds their own business, and you get to enjoy the serene sounds of prayers and chanting, instilling a ‘one-of-a-kind’ feeling of calmness and relaxation.
It gives you the chance to take a break from your hectic life and enjoy a simpler lifestyle — giving you a much-needed time out from the modern world and helping you find inner peace.
If it’s not realistic for you to travel to India to visit an ashram, chances are there are some local ashrams modeled after the traditional ones in your area. So, go ahead and explore to achieve ultimate peace — and relaxation.