5 key Yoga Ashrams in India

Posted on June 20, 2019 by

Yoga is an integral part of Indian culture that has been practiced since centuries to free the mind, body, and soul. With its centers all over the country, it now reflects its prominent presence in the West as well. Traveling in India to delve deeper into the realms Yoga and its rich culture can be one of the most liberating experiences ever. There are plenty of Yoga Centres in India that offer a combination of in-depth classes and flexible drop-in courses. They are a perfect medium to find solace. As there are a huge number of Yoga Centres and each has different approaches and results, it’s important to know which is the best suited for you. Therefore, a listing of key Yoga Centres with their offerings can help you have a better idea about what they offer.

Parmath Niketan: Located in Rishikesh, with a stunning setting of scenic beauty covering mountains and serene lakes, this is a great spiritual place for Yoga. The ashram comprises 1000 rooms on its eight acres campus. It has an extensive program of Beginner and Advanced Yoga, Vedic Heritage, Spirituality and Teacher-oriented courses. The duration of the courses differs from two weeks to three months. The students are also provided with inexpensive accommodations during their stay. A popular attraction to the tourists is the International Yoga Festival held every year in the month of March. The ashram also performs the holy Ganga Aarti every evening and sacred wedding ceremonies. This center is open to everyone, including tourists from abroad.

Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute: If you are looking for a  full-on short-term and serious Yoga classes, then this is for you. Located in Pune, this renowned Institute attracts serious students of yoga from all over the world. It conducts regular classes in Iyengar Yoga (a form of Hatha Yoga which focuses on postures) for all levels. Special classes are also held for women, children, and those with medical problems. Not only that, the students need to have some substantial prior experience in practicing Iyengar Yoga for in-depth training. The courses are held for a month and you can attend 5-6 classes per week at ease.

Ashtanga Institute: This spiritual Gurukul is located in Mysore and run by descendants of the revered guru Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, who taught yoga there from the 1930s up until his death in 2009. The Ashtanga Institute offers ongoing intensive ​ashtanga yoga classes throughout the year. The classes are for serious students only and every batch continues for six months. It’s necessary to apply at least two months in advance. Accommodation isn’t provided but there’s plenty to be found close by.

The Yoga Centre, Mumbai: This is one of the oldest Yoga Centres of the world. This coastal Gurukul was founded in 1918 by Shri Yogendraji, a disciple of Shri Paramhamsa Madhavadasji (a renowned yoga master from Bengal). The main motive of this Yoga Centre is to alleviate the health problems of people. As a result, its therapeutic camps are quite famous in the city. This Centre offers a wide range of excellent Yoga Courses, workshops, and camps. There are also special programs for women and children. They aim to help students overcome specific ailments including heart and respiratory problems, hypertension, diabetes, orthopedic conditions, and stress-related issues. Their courses range from 2 to 21 days. A major benefit is that regular classes are also held here.

The Bihar School of Yoga Ashram: Located in Bihar, this Ashram was founded in 1964 by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, a student of Swami Sivananda Saraswati (one of the greatest yoga masters of the 20th century). This Yoga Centre mainly focuses on a full yogic lifestyle. Satyananda Yoga incorporates traditional postures, breathing, and meditation. Normally an educational institution focuses solely on academic goals, whereas a yoga institute in this ashram environment combines both intellectual and experiential learning, aiming towards the holistic growth of the student. Emphasis is laid on both the mental and spiritual development of the student. Each year, a four-month residential course from October to January is held on Yogic Studies.

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