Beyond the serene locales of hills and beaches, some bustling metropolises of India are home to yoga schools that offer an energising experience for the body and soul of practitioners.
With UN recognising yoga as an Intagible cultural heritage from India, the country’s contribution to this increasingly popular lifestyle choice and exercise form stays strong. The hills of Rishikesh in the northern Indian state of Uttarakhand, the serene beaches of southern Indian state of Goa and many institutes situated in the outskirts of cities, far away from the stresses of daily life remain top choices for both Indians and foreigners as spaces to learn yoga. However, for those looking to learn the ancient practice within the city walls, there are various options to be found, with trusted and established institutes to be found in the major cities of the country.
Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana, Bengaluru
The capital of the southern Indian state of Karnataka, also known as the silicon valley of India, Bengaluru has numerous establishments offering yoga courses and meditation. However, it is also home to major centres of yoga, such as the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana Samsthana or SVYASA. SVAYASA, an institute based on the teachings of Swami Vivekananda offers yoga certificate courses as well as courses on related subjects, with research and studies on health being undertaken regularly. A Yoga Instructor’s Course – a professional yoga instructor training program – is also offered in Bengaluru as well as other centres in the country. Stressing on the theme of holistic living, yoga courses on offer here find accreditation by various national bodies and training can be a rich experience.
The Yoga Institute, Mumbai
Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, located in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, is another city that is home to various yoga schools and centres. Among them is the Yoga Institute, which has been distinguished as one of the oldest organised centres for yoga in the world. The Yoga Institute offers a plethora of yoga courses to choose from and also teacher training courses that range from one month to seven months, most of which are recognised by the worldwide Yoga Alliance. The Yoga Institute, located close to the airport, was founded by Sri Yogendra in 1918, whose beliefs have been carried on by his family that shapes the teachings of the institute today. It stresses equally on asanas as well as the seven-fold ashtanga path of yoga.
Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune
Pune, another major city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, hosts the internationally popular Osho Meditation Retreat, which is known for its yoga classes. However, the city is also home to Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI), established by the founder of Iyengar Yoga, BKS Iyengar. The Iyengar Scool of Yoga, which stresses on the alignment of the body and its postures, with the use of props to perfect and practice asanas, is taught here. RIMYI offers courses ranging from week-long retreats to long-term ones.
Sivananda Yoga schools, Delhi-NCR
Sivananda’s yoga schools have seen branching out into various parts of the world, with India also being home to numerous centres. In the capital of the country, New Delhi, as well as the surrounding regions, there are three Sivananada yoga centres. Offering daily classes, short courses and an intensive teachers training certificate course, the Sivananda institutes are also centres where one can learn about Vedanta philosophy. Sivananda centres are located in south and west Delhi, making them easily accessible for those based in the capital of the country.
World Yoga Society, Kolkata
Located in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, the World Yoga Society employs methods of traditional yoga with an approach of healing and therapy. Improving the current state of being, well being for mind, body and soul through practices of asasnas, pranayamas and other yoga techniques is the main philosophy endorsed by the centre. Apart from offering classes and training on yoga and physiotherapy, the World Yoga Society also provides a Yoga Alliance certified teacher’s training. The institute has also incorporated a yoga dance institute and choir within their facilities, adding a fun element to yoga.