The best place to learn, practice and understand yoga is the birthplace of yoga itself, India. There are a number of brilliant retreats, centers and institutes where you can learn yoga under some of the top yogis and yoga instructors of the world
“If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India.”– Max Muller
The ancient Indian discipline of yoga has taken the world by storm over recent years. People all over the world are starting to understand the massive impact and immense health benefits that yoga has. However, yoga is a discipline, a lifestyle, and above all, a philosophy, which lays the guiding principles on living a yogic life. Yoga poses or asanas are just one of the many parts of yoga. To understand the philosophy and its principles on a deeper level it is necessary to study. While reading the original Sanskrit texts and vedas might be a little difficult there are several retreats, centers and institutes which are dedicated to the teachings of yoga. The birthplace of yoga, India, has some of the top yoga and Ayurveda destinations if you plan on studying the discipline.
The Yoga Institute, Mumbai, Maharashtra
The first-ever established yoga institute and learning center of the world, The Yoga Institute was founded in 1918 by Shri Yogendra who brought yoga to the western world. Located in Mumbai, in the state of Maharashtra, it is a research institute recognized by the government of India. They offer a number of courses for various levels of yoga learners and enthusiasts. They also conduct workshops and health camps to spread the word of yoga and its health benefits. It also offers advanced teacher training programs for yoga instructors. They have a huge list of publications, scientific articles and extensive research opportunities for their students, which makes this institute such a coveted choice. With over a hundred years of experience of teaching yoga and the top yogis on the faculty board, you get an excellent opportunity to learn the discipline and its philosophy the traditional way.
International Center for Yoga Education and Research, Puducherry, Tamil Nadu
The International Center for Yoga Education and Research is a traditional gurukul for dedicated yoga learners who are seeking to have a deeper understanding on the discipline. Situated in the beautiful coastal town Puducherry, this institute offers classes on the classical style of yoga and its eight traditional branches. Here the courses are strictly residential with minimal contact with the world outside. Yogis are expected to live a highly disciplined life. They have courses of various durations out of which the six-month course is the most sought after. After the completion of a mandatory year-long correspondence course, applicants from the country and abroad are eligible to apply, which is followed by a strict elimination process and to select the best ten participants. Life here is modeled after the lives of Indian hermits and ancient yogis and hence, you are offered all your basic necessities, but not much of luxury.
Ananda in the Himalayas, Narendranagar, Uttaranchal
If you are looking for a luxury and relaxed yoga retreat vacation, Ananda in the Himalayas is one of the top-rated spas in the world. It is located in the state of Uttaranchal. It is spread over an area of 100 acres in the luxurious palace of the Maharaja. With several awards in its bag, it offers a range of meditation and ‘ShuddiKriyas’ for weight loss, stress management, better health, yoga detox as well as specific needs. They have extensive classes on various styles of yoga such as Hatha, Gatyatmak, Kriya, Yoga Nidra as well as branches of meditation like Antar Mouna, Chidakasha Dharana, Trataka etc. You can also enjoy relaxing sessions of Indian Head Massage, Earth Stone Massage, Tibetan Ku Nye Massage and Hydrotherapy Aromatic Bath at their spa. It offers a tranquil experience, in the lap of the breathtakingly beautiful Himalayas.
The OberoiSukhvilas& Spa, Chandigarh
The OberoiSukhvilas Resort and Spa is one of the latest ventures of the famous Oberoi group which is internationally known for their opulence and lavish accommodations. True to the brand’s promise of grandeur, this luxury destination spa is designed in a magnificent traditional Indian style. It is nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, and is located in the middle of 8,000 acres of Siswan forest. The resort is located right outside the capital city of Chandigarh, and yet offering perfect tranquility. Their three-day wellness programs conducted by Dr Robert Svoboda are highly sought after. Here you can enjoy private as well as group yoga sessions, excellent spa and massage facilities, meditation and more. They offer a range of Ayurvedic treatments, hydrotherapy, infrared sauna, and Turkish Hammam and Roman tepidarium to give their guests the ultimate relaxing experience.
Ayurveda Yoga Meditation Resort, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
Situated in the pretty little town of Coonoor the Ayurveda Yoga Meditation Resort is an excellent Ayurveda retreat Indiahas to offer. Nestled in the lap of picturesque Nilgiri Mountains, it is surrounded by lush green nature. They offer a number of packages for healing several physical as well as mental health problems, along with specific needs such as weight loss, yoga detox, stress management and others. These packages make use of a combination of therapies, which include yoga, pranayama, meditation, massage, herbal detox, and Ayurvedic treatments. They aim to eliminate the issue from the root of the problem. They offer unique attention to the detailed needs of every individual and offer a specialized plan for each participant. Their glass rooms and cottages are highly favored by their participants so book in advance as they are sold out quickly.
Purple Valley, Assagao, Goa
Purple Valley is where fun meets yoga. Purple Valley is an excellent retreat where you can enjoy relaxed and disciplined yoga lessons without an austere life of a yogi. Located between the popular Anjuna beach and the cute market town of Mapusa, in the party-state of India, Goa, this retreat is housed in modern Portuguese style property. It has a pool and a lounge area, picturesque landscaped gardens, Wi-Fi, sumptuous buffet meals, trained massage therapists and Ayurvedic doctor on call. They offer excellent Ashtanga yoga-training courses, retreats and classes, which are conducted by the top teachers from India and abroad. They also organize pranayama sessions, kirtans, and classes on yogic philosophy and living. Their programs are designed for both amateurs as well as advanced yoga enthusiasts.
Thus, to come to a conclusion…
If you are planning on learning about yoga and the yogic philosophy, India is the best place to be. It is the country, which gave birth to the discipline. Here you get a glimpse of the traditional styles and classic forms of yoga, from highly esteemed yogis and rishis. Depending on your expertise, experience, need, budget, choice of luxury, there are several amazing options you can choose from. Whether you are looking for chronic pain relief, general wellness, weight loss, stress management or simply a relaxing exotic yoga vacation, India is the place to be.