Before you move on to read about Yoga retreats in India, first read about what a Yoga retreat is. Retreat means to withdraw, and Yoga retreat is an escape or withdrawing from your routine of life to experience Yoga in a destination. Simply put, a Yoga retreat is a way to have a holiday that rejuvenates your mind, body and soul.
And, a yoga retreat to India is a perfect holiday plan. Why? Yoga has its roots in India, dating back to the times of ancient civilizations between 1500 BC to 3000 BC. From then, Yoga has evolved through centuries in this country, spreading the knowledge and the benefits globally.
Yoga is an indispensable part of Indian culture today. You can have a unique holiday revolving around the Yoga experience. Combine your love for travel with Yoga or enjoy other activities like trekking, dancing or meditation with Yoga. In this post, we’ll give you ideas on how to have a Yoga retreat in India.
Yoga Retreats to India
First, let’s introduce you to these various wonderful destinations for Yoga retreats in India:
Yoga Retreat India – Mysore
Mysore, the heritage city and the city of palaces, located in Karnataka in south India is the mecca for Yoga teacher training in India, particularly Vinyasa and Ashtanga Yoga. Mysore has been the home and the centre of learning for many Yoga gurus for decades. It is the place to do all types of Yoga courses in India. Some of the best Yoga schools in Mysore are Ashtanga Yoga, Mysore Yoga, The Shala and Mysore Mandala.
If you are not looking for Yoga teacher training or Yoga courses, you can still visit these places. They offer demo classes or 1 to 2 classes to know about Yoga. Some even offer accommodation, weekly retreats or therapies that would rejuvenate you. Although Mysore is ideal to travel during the entire year, it gets hot during the summer between March and May.
Traveling in Mysore
You can use the rest of your time to travel and explore in and around Mysore, as the city has plenty of cultural, historical, architectural and natural attractions. The city also has some great eateries to try local food in the old town area, which might certainly interest you if you are a foodie!
You can rent bikes to explore Mysore, which is cheap and a great way to go around. Some of the bike rental companies where you can check the details and even book are Royal Brothers, Eeezee Rentals and Onbikes. You can enrol in walking tours to discover old Mysore, its markets, off the beat attractions. Check Royal Mysore Walks for more details on these tours.
Yoga Retreat India – Rishikesh
In the northern part of India, Rishikesh, located at the foothills of the Himalayan state Uttarakhand beckons Yoga lovers, hippies, backpackers and people looking for a spiritual journey. It is also a hub for Yoga enthusiasts looking for a retreat amidst the luxury of nature’s bliss in the Himalayas. Its perfect location makes it one of the top places for Yoga retreats in India. Whether you want to get an introduction to Yoga or want to go for a retreat for your body, mind and soul for weeks to enjoy serenity or want to become a certified Yoga teacher. Some of the yoga schools in Rishikesh are Rishikul and World Peace Yoga school.
The weather in Rishikesh can be erratic during the monsoons between July to September with landslides and road blockades being common in this region. But apart from that, Rishikesh is a great place to visit during the rest of the year.
Travel in Rishikesh
Rishikesh is a mixed pack of experiences – You can indulge in extreme adventures like Bungee jumping, giant swing or participate in rapid, lengthy white water rafting or go on hikes to the upper regions of the Himalayas or just sit by the cafes along the banks of the river Ganges sipping tea and reading your favorite book or experience the tranquility watching the Aartis in the temple on the banks of Ganga. It is a town for every kind of traveler, making it one of the most popular places in India. Watch this space for a travel guide to Rishikesh with our insider tips!
Yoga Retreat India – Kerala
Yoga retreats in Kerala are probably the most luxurious ones that you’ll find in India. If spending days in opulent resorts surrounded by the swaying palm trees by the backwaters, enjoying quiet Yoga sessions, sunsets and cocktails are your ideas of having a holiday, Kerala is the place to go.
Apart from many schools teaching classic Yoga, Kerala is known for its Ayurvedic massages and traditional spa therapies that have wonderful benefits. Combining this with Yoga sessions in the quaint towns of Kerala can’t be anything but a fantastic holiday experience!
If you want this kind of a holiday, some of the places to retreat would be Ayurveda Yoga Villa, Ayushkamy, Sivananda, Ahimsa Retreats, Hinterland Village Resort, Somatheeram, Reminiscence Ayurveda Yoga Retreat and Kairali Yoga.
Travel in Kerala
Kerala is one of the most visited states in India. It’s especially popular among foreign travelers for its stunning backwaters, splendid retreats, delicious food, Ayurveda and beaches. From dense reserve forest areas to the hill stations to the backwaters, Kerala has plenty to offer for travelers. In fact, you would easily need a month to go around the state to discover God’s own country!
Yoga Retreat in Goa
Goa, the party capital and the centre for beach holidays in India has also slowly opened up to become a destination for a Yoga retreat in India. Thanks to the hippies and a large percentage of foreign travelers visiting Goa, Yoga retreats have come up here in the recent years. Although not as popular as the ones in Mysore, Rishikesh or anywhere in Kerala in terms of the quality, choices and the style, Goa still is a great place for retreats rather than learning Yoga. Check bookyogaretreats for the best Yoga retreats in Goa.
Read our complete travel guide to Goa to know everything you need to know to plan your trip.
There are some resorts that combine luxury holidays with Yoga, which come in different budget ranges. As for Yoga schools in Goa, you can check Kranti Yoga Community, Ashtak Yoga school and Sampoorna Yoga.
How to Choose a Yoga Teacher Training Course in India
If you are looking for more than just a Yoga retreat, i.e, if you intend to learn Yoga to be a professional, then continue reading further. To choose what type of training is best for you, you should first understand the different types of Yoga that are taught in India.
Types of Yoga in India
There are many types of Yoga. Based on this you can choose the Yoga course that you would wish to try. Here are some basic things to know.
This is the classical Yoga and often referred to as the traditional Yoga which originated in India. It involves many simple and complex Asanas through which the breathing and body movements are controlled. It is a slow form of Yoga involving meditation like Pranayama and is often carried out without music. There are many schools in Mysore, Rishikesh and other parts of India where you can learn Ashtanga Yoga.
This is more of a modern version of Ashtanga Yoga. It is taught in many gym schools and studios across India. Although it involves the Asanas and meditation techniques of Ashtanga Yoga, some gym techniques are blended to make the postures a bit dynamic, usually practised with music. It is ideal if you are looking to combine traditional Yoga with a tinge of dance-like moves.
Iyengar Yoga is actually the Yoga that has been taught by one of the most ancient and popular gurus, B K S Iyengar. His postures, which are a combination of Ashtanga Yoga or Eight limbs of Yoga, and his customised Asanas including props are taught in some schools in India. It is for people looking for deeper postures involving meditation for longer durations. If you want to understand and learn advanced Yoga, then you can opt for this course.
Power Yoga is the combination of intense postures with ancient Yoga. It aims at strengthening the core and the upper part of the body. It’s more active than the traditional Yoga forms. If intense workouts with Yoga are what you want, you can opt for Power Yoga.
Some things to know before enrolling for a Yoga course
Finally, here are some things to keep in mind before opting for Yoga courses or retreats.
Note that none of these forms of Yoga requires for you to have prior experiences or knowledge. Anyone with an overall good health can try these. It needs a lot of practice to get the postures right and gain the flexibility just like any other forms of exercises. So all you need is the dedication and interest to learn Yoga, which will make you enjoy its benefits completely. If you have any pre-existing ailments you can discuss with the teachers to help you choose the one right for you.
For more details and help on planning your trip for Yoga retreats to India, download Talk Travel, a free mobile app that will let you call & talk with travel experts from across the world. You don’t have to worry about planning or things to do. All you have to do is ask the local experts! Go ahead and click on the links to download on your Android and iOS mobiles.