Spiritual seekers from across the world can now plan a Yoga vacation in India; and the International Yoga Day 2019, seems like the right start to a journey towards rejuvenation.
India is the land where the around 5,000 year old tradition of Yoga has taken its form, thus making its land the most preferred Yoga destination in the world.
The age old tradition of Yoga combines mental, physical, and spiritual pursuits to achieve harmony and peace for mind and soul and has followers world over.
Since 2015, when International Yoga Day was declared to be celebrated on June 21, the concept has only become more popular.
Seeing the popularity many state tourism boards and tour operators have now started organising Yoga tours, and are rather creatively organising them- under trees, on the banks of rivers or on the beachside.
Here are the top five Yoga destinations in India worth visiting to have a spiritual rendezvous with nature and inner-self.
The north Indian state of Uttarakhand that is nestled in the Himalayas is a famous Hindu pilgrimage site where pilgrims come round the year to visit temples, take bath in the holy Ganges, making it a magnet for spiritual seekers. The major centre for Yoga in this state is Rishikesh that is considered to be the Yoga capital of India and is a perfect place for a Yoga vacation.
Rishikesh has a melange of places where tourists can get hold of their inner self by practicing some Yoga and meditation. There are several Yoga ashrams (hermitages) in the city, but if you are up for a more awakening experience then you must visit Anand Prakash Yoga Ashram, where they teach Akhanda Yoga.
There are several other ashrams in Rishikesh like Patanjali International Yoga Foundation, Osho Ganga Dham Ashram, Vishwa Shanti Yoga, Rishikesh School of Yoga, and Himalayan Yog Ashram. If you are someone who wants to enjoy the experience free of cost then visit Sivananda Ashram as they provide free classes, daily.
Many believe that Goa is the party capital of India but this state is so much more than that. This western state of India is a whole new world for Yoga and wellness. With golden sand beaches, azure waters, striking landscape, Goa provides one with the perfect atmosphere to relax and rejuvenate.
Yoga enthusiasts visit the state to experience the healthy aura and incorporate this refreshing style of living in their daily lives. Plan a stay at the Purple Valley Yoga Retreat, where people come to participate in one of the best Ashtanga Yoga courses. It is nestled in verdant greenery beside the Anjuna Beach and in the Assagao Valley. The Bamboo Yoga Retreat on Patnem beach in south Goa introduces one to the Ocean Shala programme that gives a very special experience of deepening your practice to the sound of the waves and perfecting your poses to a breathtaking panoramic view of the sea. Other yoga retreats include the Satsanga Retreat, Ashiyana Yoga Resort Goa, Kranti Yoga Village Beach Resort and many more.
There can be no other better place on earth to calm your mind and attain spirituality than God’s Own Country, as Kerala is called. Surrounded by lush palm trees, the southern state is a perfect getaway destination for travellers seeking solace. Considered to be a tropical paradise with pristine ocean waters, sandy beaches and traditional houseboats which glide smoothly over the calm backwaters, the state has amazing retreats and Yoga centres.
The Sivananda Yoga Vedantha Centre in the capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, the Universal Yoga Consciousness in Thrissur, International Vasishta Yoga Research Foundation in Calicut, are quite well known centres that provide various Yoga practices, silent meditation that may help one to seek inner peace and spirituality.
If the coasts are not your call then head to the mountains to find the balance between your mind, body and soul. The majestic snow-clad mountains of Himachal Pradesh in north Indian, not only appeal to the travellers for its beauty but also for the peaceful atmosphere around.
Dharamshala, the city that is home to the Dalai Lama is considered to be the most loved Yoga destination in Himachal. A visit to the Shiva Yoga Valley located on the upper Dharamshala, Mcleodganj is a must to learn special techniques of power Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini Yoga, Kriya Yoga and more.
Another place famous for yoga sessions is Dharamkot, a short walk from McLeodganj offers Yoga courses for beginners and experts alike. Yoga centres like the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre include activities such as drumming, bhajans (religious songs) singing and jam sessions.
Also Dharmalaya, an ashram-style campus perched on a forested hillside very close to Bir, a small village in Himachal Pradesh, hosts special Yoga courses, wellness and meditation retreats. It also encourages participants in environmental awareness activities and asks them to volunteer for local community services as well.
Surrounded by a melange of attractions that include pilgrimage and heritage sites, wildlife and beaches, Karnataka, a south western Indian state is certainly a must visit with many amazing places to see and things to do. The state is not only rich in culture, but also makes a great Yoga destination.
Mysore is considered to be the capital of Ashtanga Yoga as it attracts thousands of Yoga enthusiasts every year, including scores on International Yoga Day. The city is home to Yoga pioneers such as Sri Krishnamacharya and his students Pattabhi Jois and BKS Iyengar, who have been instrumental in spreading the knowledge of yoga to the world. A visit to the Mysore Mandala Yoga Centre is a must as this place offers Yoga programmes that include learning the Yoga Sutras as well as Hatha, back bending, pranayama, and shatkriya.
If you are someone who is planning a spiritual holiday then a yoga vacation would be an ideal choice. Head to these yoga centres for a peaceful, calm and wellness vacation.