The best Yoga centres in India
Yoga has its origins firmly rooted in India and hence it is obvious that the country is laden with the best Yoga institutes one can ever find. As Yoga continues to become a part of popular culture these institutes keep mushrooming so that people have easy access to the yoga way of life. Because of its origins and its deep connection with Hinduism many western followers also come to Indian shores to learn and practice Yoga in the way that it should be, with constant contact with the spiritual self.
From housewives who teach Yoga in their living rooms to elite socialites who have opened up posh yoga studios, there are a plethora of choices. However, many prefer the yoga schools run by masters who still practice and preach about Yoga in the grand old way. For them Yoga is not a shortcut that can be applied when nothing else works. To them it is an art form, something that needs constant practice and mastering.
Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute: Nestled in the small city of Pune, this institute works under the care and guidance of the world renowned Yoga master B.K.S. Iyengar along with his children. The teaching here lays a great deal of importance to the thorough knowledge of asanas and pranayamas. This institute teaches the more advanced version of Yoga and hence people going here should have their basics in place. Admission to this place is a tough deal. Many have had to wait for about 18 months before making it inside. Once there you will have to make your own arrangements for fooding and lodging. However, this should not be too difficult since Pune is loaded with hotels and eateries.
Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute: This small city located miles away from Bangalore, and beautified with ancient palaces and fountains is a popular Yoga destination. It was established by a contemporary of B.K.S. Iyengar, Sri Pattabhi Jois. The main focus for Jois was the Asthanga Vinyasa Yoga, which deals with a fast paced breathing and movements that are synchronized. One can take up the course for 1-6 months and can also opt to be taught in Sanskrit, the language in which the vedas were written. After Jois’s retirement, now the institute is run by his daughter and grandson. However, Jois remains in the campus if anyone wants to consult him directly.
Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram: Located in Chennai, this institute masters in the gentler form of Yoga called Viniyoga. Under the guidance of Guru T.K.V. Desikachar this place is soon becoming a yoga haunt for many tourists. The course here is based on therapy, meditation, exercise and breathing practices. The institute is open for admissions twice in a year, February and September. That apart there is an intensive two week course that is conducted in March that specialises in specific meditation exercise or specific healing processes.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram: This institute is situated on the outskirts of Trivandrum in the Sivananda Yoga ashram. This place is run by Swami Sivaswaroopananda, an India based Italian doctor whose sole objective of coming to India was so he could build a peaceful life. Today he sits as the director of this institute. The courses they offer are to week long and admissions are open twice every month. Twin rooms or dormitories are available for lodging. During the Christmas-new year season there are special courses that are run fitness camps as well that offer both Yoga and Ayurveda to the students.
Parmarth Niketan: This institute is located in one of the tourist hot spots of India, Rishikesh. Beautifully located along the banks of the Ganges, this small town is best suited for Yoga retreats and camps. Infact this city can boast of more Yoga camps than eateries. Presided by Chidanand Saraswati, this institute offers yoga courses in English and the focus is to set a spiritual ambience suited for Yoga so that students can get the best of the practice. The institute is sprawled over 8 acres and has many rooms for lodging. This makes it easy for students who do not have to look elsewhere for lodging. The main attraction of this institute is the International Yoga festival that is organized every March and lasts for a week. This is a gathering of about 550 participants across 32 countries with the aim of bringing together, under single roof different kinds of Yoga and healing practices like Power Yoga, Shinto Yoga and Reiki. For a serious disciple or student of Yoga this is almost like Yoga heaven where in just a week you get to see the best of Yoga that is practiced across the world.