This list of traditional yoga schools in India will give you an idea of what's on offer
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. Unfortunately there can be a two year wait to get a place at the Institute. As the Institute emphasizes the in-depth study of yoga, students are also required to have substantial prior experience in practicing Iyengar Yoga.
• Address: 1107 B/1,
Hare Krishna Mandir Road, Model Colony,
• Course Duration: One month. A maximum of six classes can be attended per week.
Located in Mysore and run by descendents of the revered guru Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois, who'd been teaching yoga there since the 1930's before his death in 2009, the Ashtanga Institute offers ongoing intensive ashtanga yoga classes throughout the year. The classes are for serious students only, and places are much sought after. It's necessary to apply at least two months in advance. Accommodation isn't provided but there's plenty to be found close by.
•Address: #235 8th Cross, 3rd Stage,
•Course Duration: Minimum of one month, no more than six months.
Parmarth Niketan, with its stunning mountain setting in the holy town of Rishikesh, is a wonderfully spiritual place to study yoga. The ashram is equipped with 1,000 rooms on its eight acre campus. It runs an extensive program of beginner yoga, Vedic heritage and spirituality, and teacher training courses. Daily classes are also open to visitors. A popular attraction is the week long international Yoga Festival that's held at the ashram every March. The ashram also performs sacred Indian wedding ceremonies, and a Ganga aarti every evening.
Address: P.O. Swargashram, Rishikesh (Himalayas),
•Course Duration: From two weeks to one month.
The Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram is run by the son of the "grandfather" of modern yoga -- T. Krishnamacharya. Krishnamacharya taught yoga to both BKS Iyengar and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. The style of yoga practiced at the ashram is viniyoga, which involves utilizing the tools of yoga, such as postures and breath, to suit different needs. Non-residential Pilgrimage of Sound Vedic Chanting, Heart of Yoga, and Pranayama (breathing) courses are offered for international students twice a year. Teacher training is only open to Indian students.
•Address: New No.31 (Old #13) Fourth Cross Street,
R K Nagar, Chennai.
•Course Duration: Two to four weeks.
The Bihar School of Yoga ashram was founded in 1964 by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. It's a very old-school place that teaches a full yogic lifestyle. Satyananda Yoga incorporates traditional postures, breathing, and meditation. However, if you attend the school, you'll find that postures are rarely practiced there. Instead, the emphasis is on work (service) and meditation. Those more interested in attending a yoga course would be better off enrolling at the offshoot Bihar Yoga Bharati institute, which is more open to foreigners.
•Address: Bihar Yoga Bharati,
Ganga Darshan, Fort, Munger,
•Course Duration: Four month residential course in Yogic Studies, from October to January each year.
Located in the state of Kerala, in the tropical south, teachings at the Sivananda Ashram are based around the five points of yoga -- postures, breathing, relaxation, meditation, and diet. The ashram offers drop-in classes, as well as courses in yoga and meditation. The yoga and meditation courses are very popular. Yoga Vacations and Teacher Training, staying at the ashram, are also offered. This ashram is also based in Rishikesh.
•Address: House 18, Subash Nagar, Vallakkadavu PO,
Airport Road, Perunthanni,
•Course Duration: Ranges from two to three weeks, or more.
The Yoga Institute is the oldest organized center of yoga in the world. It was founded in 1918 by Shri Yogendraji. The Institute, while not being as well known as some of India's other yoga centers, offers a range of excellent courses, workshops, and camps. The therapeutic health camps are of particular interest. These aim to overcome specific ailments including heart and respiratory problems, hypertension, diabetes, orthopedic conditions, and stress related issues. There are also special programs for children and pregnant women
•Address: Shri Yogendra Marg, Prabhat Colony,
•Course Duration: From two to 21 days. Regular yoga classes are also held.
Rishikesh, along with Mysore, is one of the most popular destinations for yoga in India. There are numerous ashrams, and numerous styles of yoga and meditation, to choose from. Hence, it's important to investigate which best meets your needs. Find out about some of the top Rishikesh ashrams and what they teach in this article.
Parmarth Niketen, on the banks of the holy Ganges river in Rishikesh, is one of the top yoga centers in India and the biggest ashram in the area. It has 1,000 rooms on its sprawling eight acre campus, with various rates (on a "donation" basis from 300 rupees per person, per day),depending on the standard of accommodations and view. Two yoga classes and three meals daily are included in the price. The ashram runs an extensive program of beginner yoga, Vedic heritage and spirituality, and teacher training courses. Outsider visitors are welcome to attend daily classes by giving a donation.
Another of India's top yoga centers, Sivananda Ashram was founded by Swami Sivananda and is run by the Divine Life Society. Teachings are based around the five points of yoga -- postures, breathing, relaxation, meditation, and diet. Free yoga and meditation classes are offered daily. However, accommodations (which are also provided free of charge, along with food) are only available to serious spiritual seekers who need to apply at least a month in advance. The ashram is located 3 kilometers from Rishikesh, on the way to Badrinath.
Omkarananda Ganga Sadan, the guesthouse of the Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas, is home to the Patanjala Yoga Kendra yoga center. Iyengar yoga classes are the specialty there. The center is located at the Muni-ki-Reti area of Rishikesh, on the banks of the Ganges river. It has its own ghat, and a daily aarti is performed. Daily (except Sundays) yoga classes are open to everyone but reservations need to be made months in advance for the intensive yoga courses. Lectures on the Bhagavad Gita are also offered. Accommodations are reasonably priced and clean, and many rooms have river4. Sadhana Mandir and Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram
Sadhana Mandir was founded in 1966 by Swami Rama, author of Living with the Himalayan Masters, and many other renowned spiritual books. Meditation, in the Himalayan Tradition, is the focus of the teachings at this ashram. It has a serene garden setting on the banks of the Ganges river, but away from the hustle and bustle of Rishikesh. Various residential programs are offered and require reservations at least two weeks in advance.
Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama was founded by Swami Veda Bharati, a disciple of Swami Rama. In addition to offering meditation instruction in the Himalayan Tradition, the ashram is a highly regarded center for scientific research into yogic meditation. Accommodations, limited to 100 guests at a time, are provided in very comfortable self contained bungalows. There's a daily schedule of activities, as well as personalized instruction and individualized spiritual retreats. Accommodation rates vary according to nationality, and include meals and daily classes.
If your focus is more on meditation than yoga, Shree Mahesh Heritage Meditation School offers a 300 hour meditation teacher training course, as well as meditation retreats and meditation for beginners courses. The school's approach is based on Vedic texts, and you'll also learn about yoga, Ayurveda, life healing, and spiritual development. In addition, there's a special non-residential Health Supportive Lifestyle Program that teaches healthy choices about diet, exercise and other lifestyle habits that can be easily applied in day-to-day life. Founder Ram Gupta has a degree in Nature Cure Science and Master Degree in Yoga and Meditation, plus more than 20 years of diverse experience in India and internationally.
Yoga Niketan was founded by Swami Yogeshwaranand Paramahans, a renowned master of Raj Yoga. The teachings of this ashram, which is located in the Muni-Ki-Reti area of Rishikesh, are based solely on eight fold path as per the Patanjali yoga shastra. The ashram requires a minimum stay of 15 days for any of its courses. However, it also has a commercially run guesthouse that's available for shorter stays, and guests can attend daily classes at the ashram. Room rates start from 500 rupees a day, per person, for Indians and 900 rupees a day for foreigners.
This ashram was established during the 1960s by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, an internationally recognized teacher of Vedanta and scholar of Sanskrit. It's located in picturesque surroundings, around 10 minutes walk from the Ram Jhula area. Regular residential courses are conduced there, with focus on Bhagavad Gita and the ten principal Upanishads. Vedic chanting is also taught during the courses. In addition, visiting teachers conduct Iyengar yoga retreats (suitable for beginners and intermediate students) at the ashram. The ashram has more than 150 rooms with attached bathrooms. However, accommodations are provided for course students only. The ashram doesn't run a guesthouse.
Meaning "Land of Flowers", Phool Chatti ashram was founded in the late 1800s (yes, it's more than 120 years old) and is located a peaceful 5 kilometers upriver from Laxman Jhula. The ashram is renowned for its frequent seven day yoga and meditation program. The teachings are different from many others as they focus on the full spectrum of the yogic path and ashram life, not just asanas (postures). Students will get to experience meditation, breathing (pranayama), cleansing, chanting, mauna (silence), pooja (worship), kirtan (sacred singing), and other important aspects of the yogic path. There are opportunities for meditative walks amongst nature as well.
Anand Prakash Ashram was founded in 2007 by husband and wife team Chetana Panwar (a Canadian woman) and Yogirishi Vishvketu (who's studied Hatha and Raja yoga, and the Vedic healing arts, in northern India since childhood). They offer their own style of yoga called Akhanda Yoga, which has holistic, non-sectarian teachings. Emphasis is on balanced sequencing of asana, pranayama, relaxation, mantra and meditation, as well as discussions and readings on the yogic lifestyle and yoga philosophy. Stays at the ashram including yoga, accommodations, and meals are from 700 rupees ($15) per person, per night.
There are 18 rooms, and a minimum three nights stay is required. Yoga classes for non-residents are 150 rupees for afternoon classes and 200 rupees for morning classes. The ashram also runs 200 hour and 500 hour Yoga Teacher Training programs. It's located in the Tapovan area.
Located a short walk up the hill from Anand Prakesh, the compact Himalayan Yog Ashram teaches the practice of Himalayan Yoga based on the Vedic tradition, which forms the base for all different paths of yoga. The programs consist of a combination of yoga postures, breathing, meditation, and spiritual teachings. Various Ayurvedic healing programs are offered as well. The minimum stay at the ashram is a week, but two weeks are recommended to obtain maximum benefit. As well as the teachings, guests praise this ashram for its great food, beautiful environment, and welcoming hosts.Himalayan Yog Ashram
Located a short walk up the hill from Anand Prakesh, the compact Himalayan Yog Ashram teaches the practice of Himalayan Yoga based on the Vedic tradition, which forms the base for all different paths of yoga. The programs consist of a combination of yoga postures, breathing, meditation, and spiritual teachings. Various Ayurvedic healing programs are offered as well. The minimum stay at the ashram is a week, but two weeks are recommended to obtain maximum benefit. As well as the teachings, guests praise this ashram for its great food, beautiful environment, and welcoming hosts.Osho GangaDham Ashram
The Osho GangaDham ashram is situated on the Ganges river at Brahampuri, around 10 minutes drive from the Laxman Jhula area on Badrinath Road. Various types of Osho Active Meditation practices are taught at the ashram, and meditation camps are offered throughout the year. Alternatively, you can simply listen to discourses, or do nothing but relax there
The word yoga has been derived from the Sanskrit word Yuj (Yoke), which means bringing physical body and spirit together. Yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual practice that helps in the transformation of your body and mind. There are numerous proven benefits of yoga
Yoga day – Its significance
The wealth of ancient India’s knowledge is quickly becoming the part of the people’s life style of Western Countries, especially across many countries of the US and Europe. However, in India, many of the ancient Indian practices never got an endorsement from the government – one among them is Yoga.
But, recently Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, in his speech at the UN general assembly had made an appeal for observing International Yoga Day. After a span of three months of Modi’s speech at the biggest international forum, 175 members out of 193 of the UN countries agreed by an approval, declaring June 21 as the International Day of Yoga, in recognition of the ancient India’s “holistic approach to health and well-being”. The aim of this day is to promote yoga among the people for their well-being.
Modi also added a few words on yoga – many people across the world has made this yoga as an integral part of their lives and it’s going to inspire many other people towards yoga. Yoga has the power for uniting the mankind together; embodies the unity of mind and body; harmony between the man and power; thought and action; restraint and fulfillment. It beautifully combines the Gyan (knowledge), Karm (work) and Bhakti (devotion).
As a part of it, the UN general Assembly (UNGA) resolution said that the goal of the yoga day was “wider dissemination of information about the benefits of practicing yoga would be beneficial for the health of the world population.” The impact of this resolution may yoke these efforts in the area of Global health. The diverse benefits that come from the yoga are promoting the “resilience against non-communicable diseases”, apart from helping the people in dealing with stress in emergency situations.