Luxurious Yoga Retreats in India: Live the Organic Life — Destress, Detox, Glow.
Luxurious Yoga Retreats in India: Live the Organic Life — Relax and Rejuvenate
‘The cessation of all activity of the consciousness’, is how Patanjali defined Yoga, way back in the days when dense forests replete with diverse flora and fauna were scattered across the planet. We’ve come a long way since, and somewhere in the midst of our daily hustle, we’ve nearly lost our connection with all things natural and organic.
Practising yoga moves our attention to the body, breath, mind, and soul, slowly connecting us to our inner being. The intent is to establish an interconnected harmony within ourselves and with the world around us. When our Yoga practice is in tune with nature, when we’re frequently meditating outdoors, inhaling fresh air and basking in the glowing sun, our systems are able to rejuvenate. Not only does this nurture our mind, body and spirit, it also enables us to appreciate our intricate inner ecosystem. Expansion of breath through pranayama reduces stress levels, improves the clarity of perception, and balances hormones.
The feel of soft topsoil beneath our feet, the fragrance of wet earth after a rainfall, the intriguing essence of dewy grasses, all feel like concepts borrowed from rustic fairy tales when we’re working in the city.
Why visit a Yoga retreat in India?
v To find our inner rhythm and harmony. Aligning our Yogic practice with nature’s symphony and meditating in the womb wherefrom all Yogic sciences emerged is a great way to withdraw from the chaos of daily life to recharge and rejuvenate.
v Thousands of tourists, travellers, and Yogis visit India — to reconnect with themselves and to bring millennia-old Yogic practices into their lives. When you visit this ancient land of diverse cultures, languages, rituals, and ancient practices, you’re taking an essential step on your journey inwards; your travels within India act as tools for self-learning and introspection, while your stay at the Yoga centre gives you the rest your body and mind have been seeking, as you spend a few days nestled in the lap of nature.
v As practising Yogis, we encourage you to treat your self-discovery Yoga retreat in India as a reboot switch that truly enhances the quality of your life. Visiting India for Yoga is an opportunity to look within, to contemplate the direction of your life, and to make the necessary changes towards your life goals. Apart from improving physiological health and wellbeing, a classical Yoga retreat helps deal with ancestral traumas and personal inner child wounds, ensuring that you return home feeling light.
v India has been known as a land of miracles, largely because of the amazing inner transformations people have seen by travelling to the country and deep-diving into its offerings. Once you have decided to immerse in the practice of traditional Yoga, it’s only a matter of time before the universe starts bestowing gifts of calmness, inner peace, personal empowerment, and rejuvenation.
Rejuvenating Luxury Yoga Retreats in India
Below is a curated list of the best Yoga retreats and Yoga centres across India with brief bios and functional URLs to help you make your decision. We recommend spending at least 7 days in any of the suggested retreats, and at least 15 days in India, to really make the most of your vacation. A minimum of 7 days is recommended because many ashrams and retreats don’t allow shorter stays; also, a week gives you the necessary opportunity to derive the benefits you’re seeking.
- Swami Dayananda Ashram, Rishikesh
Situated on the banks of the holy Ganges, this secluded yoga ashram is a sanctuary for Vedanta and Sanskrit studies. While all the classes here are conducted in English, the ashram still dedicatedly adheres to ancient traditions of teaching. The ashram conducts regular Vedic chanting sessions and resident courses on the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads. Apart from a Ganges-view lecture hall and Shiva temple, this ashram also has a library that houses over 5000 titles across a variety of ancient Indian sciences.
- Isha Yoga Centre, Velliangiri Hills, Coimbatore
Located on the foothills of the mighty green Velliangiri Hills, also known as the Kailash of the south, the Isha Yoga Centre conducts a variety of Hatha Yoga Programs, Wellness Retreats, and Sacred Sojourns. Helmed by the mystic Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, this Yoga Centre is also home to the iconic Adiyogi statue, the intriguing Dhyana Linga, and the exuberant Linga Bhairavi Devi Temple.
- Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh
Parmarth Niketan is a spiritual haven situated on the banks of the holy river Ganges. Nestled in the lap of the mighty Himalayas, it is the largest ashram in Rishikesh. Parmarth Niketan plays host to thousands of pilgrims from across the world every year. This ashram is well known for its modern amenities, pure, sacred ambience, and its lush abundant gardens. The daily activities here include morning universal prayers, daily yoga and meditation classes, daily Satsang and lecture programs, kirtan, and the world-renowned sunset Ganga Aarti.
- Ashtanga Yoga Institute, Mysore
Located in Mysore, the Ashtanga Yoga Institute is famous for its Yoga Teacher Training courses and Yoga Vacations. This yoga ashram is also well known for its Ayurvedic healing programmes. Ashtanga Yoga Mysore takes visitors on a mystical journey along blessed spiritual terrains. This yoga school is registered with Yoga Alliance.
- Kaivalyadhama, Lonavala
Established more than a century ago by Swami Kuvalayananda in the quaint and touristy small town of Lonavala, this ashram is tucked away from the daily hustle-bustle of the main areas. The ashram conducts online and residential Yoga programmes round the year and several short workshops on subjects ranging from Ayurveda and Naturopathy to Patanjali Yoga Sutras and Hatha Yoga. Kaivalyadhama has unprecedented Yogic research facilities and a Yoga college on campus. This yoga centre is well known for its rejuvenation and weight management retreats.
- The Sattva Center, Rishikesh
The Sattva Retreat is located on the outskirts of Rishikesh; this yogic spa and retreat is a refuge from the hustle-bustle of daily life, uniquely designed to revitalize and awaken “reasonless joy” within guests. This retreat offers individual and group retreats. The Sattva Yoga Academy also offers a number of Yoga Teachers Training Programs, Ayurvedic Retreats, Detox Retreats and more.
- Ashiyana Wellness Retreat, Goa
Ashiyana Wellness Retreat, situated amidst abundant tropical flora and fauna on the beautiful, almost untouched Mandrem Beach in North Goa, is surrounded by lush green hills covered by tall palm trees. This tropical yoga retreat is hidden from the public eye and very quiet around the year. This nurturing space has luxurious rooms, an exquisite restaurant that serves healthy, delicious meals cooked from local produce, a tranquil spa with a natural self-cleaning swimming pool and hammam, and several Yoga shalas for yogic practices. Ashiyana is great for Yoga Holidays, Retreats, Teacher Training Programs, and 1 to 1 Private Yoga Classes.
- Swan Yoga Retreat, Goa
A yoga, meditation, and Ayurveda retreat located in the lush tropical paradise that is Assagao, just fifteen minutes from a pristine beach in north Goa, the Swan Yoga Retreat offers much for solo Yogis travelling to India. This retreat is famous for Yoga Teacher Training, Meditation and Tantra Training, and Yoga Nidra Training. Regular practices at Swan Yoga Retreat include daily guided morning meditations, asana in classical Hatha Yoga style, mantra chanting, yogic kriyas (yoga detox), and sacred fire rituals.
- Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Goa
Located in Arambol, North Goa, the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre propagates the BKS Iyengar style of Yoga. Just a few minutes’ walks from the sea, this yoga retreat offers a peaceful, natural environment for yogic practices. Led by Yoga master teacher Sharat Arora, a follower of BKS Iyengar, Ramana Maharishi, HWL Poonja, SN Goenka, and Jiddu Krishnamurti, this Yoga centre offers programs for aspiring yoga instructors, yoga therapists, and everyone else who wishes to adopt the yogic lifestyle.
- Kaivalyam Wellness Retreat, Kerala
Kaivalyam is a holistic eco-retreat nestled amid the tea valleys of Munnar. This yoga and wellness retreat is an ideal place to harmonize the body, mind, and soul. Kaivalyam Retreat invites locals and tourists to live a holistic lifestyle, indulging in organic dining experiences. This retreat enjoys cool climes round the year and is abundant with natural water streams, and plantations of tea, coffee, cardamom, pepper and other spices. Kaivalyam is well known for its traditional Ayurvedic healing and rejuvenation programs.
- Phool Chatti Ashram, Rishikesh
Located on the foothills of the Himalayas by the banks of the mighty river Ganges, the Phool Chatti Ashram with its beautiful flower gardens has been around for over 120 years. Well known for having welcomed thousands of visitors, travellers, yogis, and tourists from across the world for decades, in recent times this ashram has become popular because of its 7-day Yoga/Meditation Program. Some interesting activities at the ashram include grounding dances, laughter yoga, mantra chanting, bonfire celebrations, ritual havans, and baths in the sacred Ganga.
- Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry
Since its inception in 1926, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram has grown under the Mother's guidance, from just 24 disciples into a diverse community of almost 1600 members. Located in the east of Pondicherry, ashram residents live and work as part of a cohesive community across the campus. The ashram provides the residents with food, clothing, accommodation, medical care, library access, and an opportunity to pursue cultural activities in the fields of music, dance, arts, and theatre. Asana practice is an integral part of ashram life here.
- International Center for Yoga Education and Research (ICYER), Pondicherry
ICYER was established by Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri, at the age of 88. Swamiji was a well-known guru in the field of ashtanga yoga worldwide. Trained in modern allopathic medicine, he effectively combined ancient traditional spiritual sciences with a modern scientific temperament, offering to the world a comprehensive school of yoga practice and research. Apart from Yoga Teachers Training, this yoga ashram offers a special 10 Lessons Program — a one-to-one program designed for visitors who wish to learn more about Indian culture, how to perform Pooja, Surya Namaskara, simple Asana and Pranayama practices, Mudras, and Kriyas. ICYER also offers a unique Yantra Program for those interested in the science of numbers from a traditional Indian perspective.
When planning your trip, do make phone calls to the retreats you have shortlisted, get a feel of how the staff interacts with you, make sure you’ve received all the answers you need and don’t hesitate to voice your concerns to the retreat managers. This way, you’re largely prepared and immune to last-minute hassles.
A pro tip is to do your research regarding the founding members of the ashram/s you select. Read up about their ideologies, lives, and experiences so you know what to expect. Do look for reviews from other visitors, too.
For more detailed guidelines to prep for your Yoga holiday in India, read this blog.