An ancient practice and an art in itself, Yoga has been an integral part of Indian culture spreading across the world at an impressive rate. It is quickly becoming something of a practice in the western world where people are embracing its potential and its ability to train the body, mind and spirit into a unified whole through unique exercises and meditations. Although you may find many schools that offer yoga classes nothing compares to the land where it all originated back in India itself. Here we have made a small list of the major yoga centers there worth visiting and learning from on your travels:
1. Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute
Located in Pune and concentrating on Iyengar Yoga practices, a variation of Hatha yoga also with the ability to offer classes to women, children and people with medical. It is an ancient variation of Yoga which dates all the way back the 5th century B.C. Unfortunately the waiting list to get into the institute is a rather long one because of the incredible interest shown in this particular type of Yoga. Prior knowledge in this field is required though since the courses offered are for advanced Yoga practitioners. The duration of the courses offered here is one month with no more than six classes per week.
2. The Ashtanga Institute
Making its home in Mysore and run by guru Sri Krishna Pattabni Jois it is an old school with the current guru teaching the art of Yoga since the 1930s up until this very day. It offers classes throughout the year and classes here are highly sought after so you’ll have to be persistent and willing to work hard. Apply for this place at least two months in advance if you want to have a chance to learn here or otherwise you’ll miss your chance. The minimum you’ll have to attend is one month of practices.
3. Parmath Niketan
Situated in the holy city of Rishikesh, this school has a very large campus with more than a thousand rooms for travelers and students to live, meditate and experience the wonderful program which covers a beginner program on Yoga, knowledge about the Vedic heritage, spirituality and many useful training courses. One may even get married here following traditional Indian wedding ceremonies.
4. Krishnamacharaya Yoga Mandiram
Ran by the grandson of one of the most prominent Yoga gurus out there, T. Krishnamacharaya and situated in the Chennai area, this particular type of yoga is called viniyoga. It uses the traditional postures and breathing techniques for utilization in different needs than the usual ones. There are courses covering pranayama (breathing techniques) and vedic chanting among other things. The duration of the courses spans from two to four weeks of time.
5. The Bihar School of Yoga
Located in Munger, it was founded by Swami Satyananda Saraswati which teaches and incorporates old traditions in posture, breathing, meditation and relaxation techniques as well as proper dieting. You can also enroll in the Bihar Yoga Bharati institute which is part of the same school as this particular school takes a more practical approach to their education and instead of mostly doing postures you will be working quite a lot. If of course you’re not afraid of a little work and helping others through your actions than this is the place for you.
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