Integration of Mind, Body and Spirit with Yoga
Yoga has been a part of India's ethos and daily practice for over 5,000 years. But it is only recently that the mind, body, and soul-enhancing benefits of yoga have made it a global phenomenon. There are many yoga centres in India providing everything from in depth courses to flexible drop in classes.
Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, Pune
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. As the Institute emphasizes the in-depth study of yoga, students are also required to have substantial prior experience in practicing Iyengar Yoga.
Parmarth Niketan, Rishikesh
Parmarth Niketan, with its stunning mountain setting in the holy town of Rishikesh, is a wonderfully spiritual place to study yoga. The ashram is equipped with 1,000 rooms on its 8 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.
Bihar School of Yoga, Munger
The Bihar School of Yoga 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. The emphasis is on work (service) and meditation. Those more interested in attending a yoga course would be better off enrolling at the offshoot Bihar Yoga Bharati institute, which is more open to foreigners.
Yoga Institute, Mumbai
The yoga institute is the oldest organized center of yoga in the world. It was founded in 1918 by Shri Yogendraji. The Institute 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.
Sivananda Vivanta Centre, Trivandrum
Located in the state of Kerala, teachings at the Sivananda Ashram are based around the five points of yoga -- postures, breathing, relaxation, meditation, and diet. The ashram offers drop-in classes, as well as courses in yoga and meditation. The beginner's yoga and meditation courses are very popular. Yoga Vacations and Teacher Training, staying at the ashram, are also offered. This ashram is also based in Rishikesh.