8 Places to Learn Yoga in India

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It is yoga day this 21st June. This day is will be celebrated across 177 UN nations. That is a great achievement because not only India but the world is recognizing the significance of Yoga. In the modern times where we are all bound by long working hours in desk jobs it is very important that we embrace Yoga as not just a set of exercises but also as a way of life by internalizing it. But, if done the wrong way it may not be that effective, or worst it can actually harm you. There are DVD’s and free videos on youtube, but they are not of much help as this is something which you can’t learn without personal guidance of a proper coach. Hence Team AHA brings you 8 places to learn yoga in India. Here goes-

1) Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama, Rishikesh

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If you are more interested in the Raja Yoga path and want to improve your meditation practice or learn meditation directly from the teachings of the Himalayan Masters then this ashram is ideal for you. The daily schedule includes two hatha yoga classes a day and two one hour group meditation sessions. The ashram was founded by Swami Veda Bharati, disciple of Swami Rama, author of Living with the Himalayan Masters. The ashram offer ongoing meditation and yoga classes for visitors, silent retreats and a Yoga and Meditation Teacher Training Course.

2) Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram, Chennai

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It 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.

3) Ramana Maharshi Ashram, Tiruvannamalai

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Tiruvannamalai is one of the most powerful spiritual places in India. Sitting at the foothills of the sacred Mountain Arunachala, which Hindus believe is Lord Shiva Himself, surrounded by many small ashrams and temples and home of the great sage Ramana Maharshi who recommended Self inquiry as a path to liberation, Tiruvannamalai has everything that a seeker needs.

4) Yoga Institute, Mumbai

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It is the oldest organized centre 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 centres, 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.

5) Bihar School of Yoga 

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The 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.

6) Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute, Mysore

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This institute in Mysore, a city of palaces and fountains near Bangalore, is much sought-after by foreigners serious about yoga. It was established by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, 93, a contemporary of B.K.S. Iyengar. Both were disciples of famous yoga exponent T. Krishnamacharya. Jois propagated the ashtanga vinyasa brand of yoga, which is the fast-paced synchronization of breath and movement throughout the routine. The courses range from one month to six months. Students can also take classes in Sanskrit, in which the ancient yogic texts are written.

7) Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune

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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.

8) Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh 

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Another amazing centre of yoga in Rishikesh its stunning mountain setting 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.

So, take some time out from your busy schedules and visit any of these places so that enlightened by the light of yoga you can meet your daily life challenges in a better way and lead a more wholesome life. Yoga would not only improve your health, but also your relationships at work and at home because a better you means you are better with others as well. And, for your travel do not forget to book a taxi with AHA taxis. Happy travelling! And Happy yoga day!

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