With the beginnings of yoga believed to have been developed in Northern India over 5,000 years ago, India has long been a dream destination for yogis all over the world. Year after year, thousands flock to the motherland of yoga to experience the array of ashrams and courses on offer.
But with so much on offer, it can be difficult to make the right choice. Here, Jet Airways’ cabin crew member and fully-fledged yogi and certified yoga teacher, Pooja Chaturvedi, shares her top yoga retreat picks, from world-famous retreats to the lesser-known, boutique secret finds.
The Yoga House, Mumbai
Why it’s great? A modern, bright and welcoming space in the lively Mumbai neighbourhood of Bandra, which seeks to link traditional Indian knowledge and practice with a contemporary health-conscious lifestyle.
Insider tip: A yoga studio run in conjunction with a health food café; try the Signature Tofu Brown Rice – it’s divine!
Kaivalyadhama Ashram, Lonavala, Maharashtra
Why it’s great? One of the oldest and most comprehensive centres of yoga research, teaching, and learning in the world. Kaivalyadhama is where you should go if you are serious about your practice.
Insider tip: If you are an animal lover, this is the place for you. The big and beautiful campus spreads across 180 acres of parkland and includes a wide variety of birds, butterflies and a few friendly dogs too.
Purple Valley, Assagao, Goa
Why it’s great? This popular retreat in a beautiful location specialises in Ashtanga yoga and offers a range of courses of varying durations and ability levels.
Insider tip: Their world-famous YouTube channel is one of the best sources for the Ashtanga practice (see here), so if you can’t make it over you can still practise in your living room.
Little Cove Yoga Holiday Retreat, Cola Beach, Goa
Why it’s great? A breath-taking beach-front yoga resort set under the coconut palm trees on Cola Beach in South Goa, India where you can enhance your yoga stay with massages and meditation sessions on the beach.
Insider tip: Vegan or gluten-free? The staff here will cater to you with organic vegetarian Indian meals, as well as offering complimentary cooking classes for all guests.
Phool Chatti, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Why it’s great? Phool Chatti Ashram is situated in the north of India along the banks of the Ganges in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. Set in stunning gardens and surrounded by mountains, the name "phoolchatti" means "land of flowers".
Insider tip: With a breath-taking location right on the banks of the river, don’t miss the opportunity to swim in the cool, refreshing river waters.
Yoga at Ananda, Himalayas
Why it’s great? An award-winning luxury destination spa resort situated at the Himalayan foothills in Northern India. Through a mixture of personalised yoga sessions and sensual spa treatments, this is a place to strengthen and stretch your muscles with seven and fourteen-day stays.
Insider tip: As well as yoga, guests can enjoy a host of activities during their stay. For an unforgettable experience, adrenaline junkies should check out the white-water rafting on the Ganges.
Yoga at Atmantan Wellness Resort, Sahyadri mountains
Why it’s great? Located in a stunning valley overlooking mountains and lakes, this retreat is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the Mumbai streets. The programme is suitable for both beginners and current yogi enthusiasts.
Insider tip: Don’t miss your initial consultation on arrival because this will decide your tailored wellness programme during your stay. This means you get the treatment that you need, as opposed to getting the treatment you think you need – a common mistake.
Soul & Surf, Kerala
Why it’s great? This laid-back surf and yoga hotel on a cliff top overlooking Golden Beach in Varkala opens from October to May for a relaxed programme of surf lessons and guided yoga practice.
Insider tip: Anil's tuk tuk is a fantastic experience and will allow you to explore colourful Kerala, visit temples, climb lighthouses, drink chai tea, sail on the back waters and get all those Insta-grammable pictures you’re looking for.
Shreyas Retreat in Bengaluru, Karnataka
Why it’s great? One of the best luxury yoga retreats in India located in Bangalore offering yoga & spiritual meditation.
Insider tip: If you stay at Shreyas, guest care is an absolute priority. You will be greeted with an abundance of flowers and sent off with a small gift to remember your experience.
Mysore Krishnamachar Yoga Shala, Mysore, Karnataka
Why it’s great? Mysore Krishnamacharr Yoga Shala is dedicated to teaching all aspects of yoga. Located in central Mysore, the school offers a private space in which to practice yoga with accommodation to stay nearby.
Insider tip: The small class sizes provide an intimate experience, guaranteed to help you feel the full benefit of Guruji’s teachings.
Jet Airways, India’s premier international airline, flies daily from London Heathrow to Delhi, three times daily to Mumbai, and operates a large number of domestic routes throughout India to the destinations above. Return fares from London Heathrow to Delhi cost from £1,647 in Première business class or £510 in economy class. To book visit jetairways.com or call 0808 101 1199.
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