The word yoga is inspired from the Sanskrit word ‘yuj’ and it means union of the mind, body and spirit. This form of exercise began in India more than 5000 years ago and continues to be practiced by many even today. The various yoga poses not only help you to maintain a good body, but also help in supporting and sustaining it no matter what your age. When done correctly and with dedication, yoga can prove to be very helpful in fighting serious ailments like backache, asthma, arthritis, migraine etc.
In recent times, yoga has become very popular in many parts of the west as well and a lot of enthusiasts are thronging the yoga retreats of India which are famous for providing everything from in-depth courses to drop in classes to promote yoga and to teach the right manner to practice it. Get ready to explore some of the best yoga retreats of our country –
1. Ashtanga Institute, Mysore
It is run by the descendants of Sri Krishna Pattabhi Jois – who had been teaching yoga here since 1930’s until he died in the year 2009. It offers intensive ashatnga yoga classes all round the year and it’s absolutely necessary to apply here at least 2 months in advance.
2. Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh
Situated on the mountains in the town of Rishikesh, the ashram is spread on an eight acre campus. It offers daily classes which is open to visitors as well. A lot of sacred Indian wedding ceremonies are also performed here and ganga aarti is another ritual that is religiously followed every evening. One of the most popular attraction of this ashram is the week long International Yoga festival which is held every year in March.
3. Yoga Institute, Mumbai
Founded in 1918 by Shri Yogendraji, the Yoga Institute is the oldest organized center of yoga in the world. Although, it isn’t as well known as other yoga centers of India, but it offers an excellent range of courses, workshops and camps. They also organise special programs for pregnant women and children.
4. Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune
A very renowned yoga institute of our country that attracts yoga students from all over the world. Special focus is given while teaching students about yoga postures and classes are also held for women, children and those with medical problems. If you’re looking forward to gain an in-depth knowledge of yoga, then this is the place to be. Although, you might have to wait for as long as 2 years to get a place here.
5. Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Chennai
It is run by the son of the “grandfather” of modern yoga – T. Krishnamacharya. The style of yoga which is practiced here is viniyoga, which involves using postures and breath to suit different needs. This institute offers a special International Teacher Training Program as well.