According to this study, 73% of all working adults suffer from stress. That’s a serious indication of people needing ways to relax and rejuvenate, yoga being one such way. What better destination for yoga than India; the origin of the ancient science. In India, each city has its share of yoga retreats and experiences to offer. Essentially, you could practice different schools of yoga – Hatha yoga, Iyengar yoga, Sivananda, power yoga being a few. However, there are yoga retreats across India perpetuating different schools of yoga practicing which you can have life-changing spiritual experiences.
India is a dream destination for aspiring yogis with no dearth of ashrams and spiritual retreats. But given a plethora of potential yoga retreats, each promising a unique experience, how would make the right choice? This list curates everything from rigorous yogic experiences for serious yogis to boutique experiences for those who want a taste.
Discovering yoga retreats for relaxation
If you’re looking for yoga or spa resorts that offer more relaxation than spiritual experiences, you can find them using the following methods.
Wildr is a travel app that curates resorts and vacation stays based on the activities they offer. Using Wildr, search for your destination and then apply the “Yoga” filter. The resulting yoga retreats can further be filtered by price range to arrive at the best possible options.
Although TripAdvisor has a wider collection of resorts and stays, you can find yoga retreats by choosing your location and entering the search, “Yoga” in the app’s search bar. You can’t further filter the results by price range, but can read reviews to choose a suitable yoga retreat.
If you run a search for Yoga on Thrillophilia, you will find curated lists of yoga tours, retreats, and experiences worth considering. Although Thrillophilia lists places in blog format, you can get more of a sense of what each retreat is about so you can make the right choice.
Discovering yoga retreats for spiritual experiences
If you’re looking for serious spiritual experiences, there’s no shortage of yoga schools or retreats in India where you can stay and reconnect with your soul over either an extended period of time or short spells for intensive courses.
International Centre for Yoga Education and Research, Tamil Nadu
This gurukul that’s located on the coast is easily the most traditional yoga retreat on the list. Its classical teaching style involves all eight limbs and is challenging, but equally satisfying. The retreat offers a three-week course on Yantra that also includes daily yoga and pranayama practices.
Mysore Krishnamachar Yoga Shala, Karnataka
BNS Iyengar, who has taught at the Mysore Krishnamachar Yoga Shala for over 40 years, is originally a disciple of Krishnamacharya, who once taught infamous gurus BKS Iyengar and Pattabhi Jois. He schools trainees in Ashtanga yoga, kriyas, and meditation in his popular brutal, no-holds-barred style.
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Himachal Pradesh, and Goa
The teacher at Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Sharat Arora, is a student of BKS Iyengar. The Himalayan center is located in a picturesque village in the Himalayas alongside Tibetan settlements. The center has courses such as yoga therapy, Vipassana and yoga with Ayurveda. In addition, the proximity of the ashram to the Dalai Lama’s residency and the general environment of pine and oak trees, rhododendron and glaciers are an effective draw.
Kaivalyadhama Ashram, Maharashtra
Located in a vast parkland in the dainty town of Lonavala, the Kaivalyadhama Ashram is most certainly a sight worth seeing. If you’re interested in getting a diploma in yoga, this is the place to get it. Apart from long-term diploma courses, the school also offers short and long-term courses for beginners and advanced students.
Bihar School of Yoga, Bihar
The Bihar School of Yoga trains aspiring yogis is different kriyas and asanas alongside hard, disciplinary work such as kitchen work and toilet cleaning. While this type of training may be off-putting for some, others consider it vital to character-building so yogis can gain life-altering qualities that prepare them for the daunting task of mastering their mind, body, and soul.
Isha Yoga Centre, Tamil Nadu
Founded by self-realized mystic Sadguru or Jaggi Vasudev, the Isha Yoga center has a lot to offer to aspiring yogis. The yoga ashram has weekend courses, intensive three and four-day courses, and courses to train teachers in both physical yoga asanas and meditation practices, some under the guidance of Sadguru.
Apart from the yoga retreats and ashrams mentioned on this list, there are far many more that are less popular and relatively unknown. You can locate such centers by asking any of your local yoga teachers or learning where yoga masters have undergone their training.
Top travel destinations in India that are home to the best yoga retreats
When searching for yoga retreats on Google or in travel apps such as Wildr, you can use these travel destinations to narrow down your search results and find the best yoga experience.
Being the ultimate destination for yoga, India has a variety to offer in terms of yoga retreats, ashrams, and gurukuls. Based on your preferences, you can identify the best yoga retreat or experience for you.