After a trip to India, what could be better than a yoga retreat at Barsana Dham? Organized by Jogendra “Jogi” Bhagat, it was a weekend filled with various yoga and meditation practices in a union of body, mind, and spirit. (A henna tattoo added a nice touch.)
Barsana Dham is dedicated to Krishna and his consort Radha. The two are depicted indoors and out, referred to as Radha Krishn. There are also examples of Gopis, female devotees, with whom Radha Krishn would dance and play. From a brochure: “Braj [present-day Mathura, Uttar Pradesh, India]) is a holy land where Shree Krishn descended on this earth planet 5000 years ago performing uncountable loving leelas [plays]. Barsana is the village where Shree Radha Rani appeared.”
FYI, we didn’t see the guru hiding out in the ashram–apparently he’s somewhere in Mexico. We yogis just rented the space and enjoyed the surroundings. Bear Creek connects Barsana Dham with the Salt Lick. That has a touch of irony, since Barsana Dham does not allow meat or alcohol. Or pets, except for their own flock of peacocks and peahens!
Lovely temple. Its ceiling is painted like blue sky with white clouds, a perfect Texas sky. Gold-plated trim around the doors; beautifully decorated. Naturally, no pictures were allowed inside. However, I took photos throughout the weekend, including a purchased scarf and a miniature veena, a musical instrument I had admired in India.
The ashram was comfortable and quiet (in part because we took off our shoes outside every building). The Ancient Yoga Center and the Gardenia yoga room held most of our activities. Food was very good and plentiful; we got used to snacks, coffee, tea, and Indian chai available most of the day. One delight was peach cobbler made with peaches from their orchard.
Visitors are welcome to services and darshans (devotionals). Here’s a link to their website. and another link to Barsana, U.P., India.