How to choose best yoga retreats in India

The secret to happiness is a healthy body and a relaxed mind. But sometimes in life, we are faced with storms and challenges that can derail us, and make us feel stressed and overwhelmed.

Though holidays, in general, create a happy space in our lives, how about a more definite approach to refine your lifestyle during a holiday? Such holidays are popularly called wellness vacations and a Yoga Retreat is one such holiday. You will be offered the best yoga retreats in India as it is the hotspot of Ayurveda and Yoga and is frequented by travelers from across the world to explore holistic yoga retreats.

What does yoga retreat mean?

A yoga retreat is your first point to embrace a holistic lifestyle. Amidst the exotic natural settings of a seafront and/or hill top resort, and under the guidance of certified yoga teachers you spend a minimum of 7 days to imbibe the practices of yoga. It’s a holiday concept dedicated to improvise your lifestyle for better health and happiness. A yoga retreat is a de-stressing and rejuvenating holiday leading to the adaptation of a holistic lifestyle after you return to routine life.

Why should you go on a yoga retreat?

Sometimes in life, we all undergo physical hardships and emotional stress. In today’s world, obesity, stress, diabetes, blood pressure, hormonal imbalance in women, spondylitis and many other lifestyle ailments are common. There are many ashrams in India which offers yoga retreats which can help provide relief to many of these, combined with healthy eating habits and some basic discipline. The ancient principles of yoga helps us to de-stress and switch to a happy, healthy and holistic lifestyle. For all these reasons you should consider a yoga retreat.

Who should go on a yoga retreat?

The science of yoga can be practised by all of us irrespective of our age and gender. Thus, anyone can go for a yoga retreat. However, if you wish to refresh your mental and physical health, switch to a better lifestyle and are willing to follow the practices of yoga in your daily life, you should consider going for a yoga retreat for your next getaway.

What to expect at a yoga retreat?

Yoga retreats are generally conducted at scenic resorts located in beautiful natural surroundings with a tranquil ambience to relax your senses and devote to the practices of yoga.

On yoga retreats expect to wake up early in the morning for a power-packed session of asanas and meditation.

There will be doctors, Ayurveda and yoga professionals guiding you at every stage during the retreat to train your mind and body.

Meals served are organic or vegetarian.

Expect a lot of other recreational activities scheduled during your yoga retreat. Activities range from nature bathing, pottery sessions, mindful breathwork, cooking demonstration, local village visit, trekking, boat rides and more.

Often at a yoga retreat, you are provided with spa or Ayurveda therapies as well.

Ideal duration of a yoga retreat:

There are yoga retreats for 7,10, 11, 14, 21 days, a month, three months and so on.

We recommend you to go for a 14-day retreat to help you adopt the practices and follow those in your routine life later on.

Where are yoga retreats conducted?

Yoga retreats are generally held at resorts located in exotic destinations away from the hustle-bustle of city life, amidst scenic natural beauty.

Rishikesh (popularly known as the ‘yoga capital of the world’), Kerala, Mysore, Goa, Karnataka, Bodhgaya, Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand are the hotspots of yoga retreats in India.

When to go on a yoga retreat?

It is best to book your yoga retreat when the chosen destination experiences moderate weather conditions with cool temperatures. Avoid monsoons and extreme summers or winters.

Women should avoid menstrual days while booking your yoga retreat.

How to choose the best yoga retreats in India

Here are the top 10 resorts in India offering the best yoga retreats you can choose from:

1. SwaSwara, Gokarna

SwaSwara offers holistic yoga practices and luxury spa therapies focused on rejuvenating not just the mind and body but relaxation on a spiritual level.

Enjoy your stay in a traditional Konkan villa, modern yet austere, amid acres of greenery and coconut groves with a yoga deck of your own. While Ayurveda and healthy organic cuisine recharges your body, a regimen of yoga, meditation and art therapy refreshes your mind.

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What includes a yoga retreat at Swaswara?

A yoga retreat at Swaswara includes consultations with doctors and yoga instructors, therapeutic massages, group and private yoga classes, meditation, art therapy, nature trails, interactive cooking classes and healthy organic meals.

Where is it located?

You will find this resort on the pristine Om beach in Gokarna.

How to reach?

Gokarna is located in Karnataka just a few hours from Goa and Bangalore. Although it does not have an airport, it is well-connected by road to all major cities.

Dabolim airport in Goa is the nearest airport about 140 km away. The airport is well connected by flights to Indian and international cities.

Generally, Swaswara offers pick up from the nearest airports.

What would be the starting price of a package? Retreats start from – Euro 1100

2. Somatheeram, Kerala

Somatheeram is noted for its Ayurveda and yoga programmes offering the best of traditional practices.

The focus is on the importance of Ayurvedic therapies for both curative and preventive treatments of body, mind and soul. Yoga works on the level of one’s body, mind, emotion and energy; it provides a holistic approach to health and well-being.

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What includes a yoga retreat at Somatheeram? Ayurveda treatments comprise therapies/massages, healthy Ayurveda diet and herbal medicines, all put together in a disciplined manner under the supervision of experienced and qualified ayurvedic doctors and therapists.

Where is it located? Somatheeram is a beautiful Ayurveda resort located in Chowara, Kovalam near Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala.

How to reach? It is just 21 km from Trivandrum International Airport. Somatheeram offers pick up from the airport or you can even book a car.

What would be the starting price of a package? Retreats start from Euro 850

3. Shathayu, Bangalore

The charming Ayurveda yoga retreat offers you retreat under trained teachers to heal your mind, body and soul.

Experts at Shathayu say that yoga therapy has a strong success rate in curing digestive problems, gynaecological disorders, lifestyle disorders, musculoskeletal disorder, endocrine disorders and more.

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What includes a yoga retreat at Shathayu? Yoga sessions at the retreat involves the best practices of yoga asanas, pranayama, breath-work, guided meditation and more.

Where is it located? Shathayu is located in Avathi Village in Devanahalli, Bengaluru in the state of Karnataka.

How to reach? You will have to reach Bengaluru International Airport from where there’s pickup offered for guests at Shathayu.

What would be the starting price of a package? Retreats start from Euro 500.

4. Purple Valley Yoga Retreat, Goa

Tucked away in the valley of Assagao, Purple Valley is a yoga house for a rejuvenating yoga retreat.

The refreshing smell from the garden of frangipani and the melodious chirping of the birds make the ambience of the yoga shala at Purple Valley perfect for your daily early morning yoga sessions.

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What includes a retreat at Purple Valley? The programmes are dedicated solely to Ashtanga yoga. Tasty vegetarian buffet meals are served in an open-air terrace during your retreat. Additional recreational activities include visits to the spice plantations, open-air movie nights and more.

Where is it located? Purple Valley Yoga Retreat is located in a peaceful valley in Assagao, North Goa, between the Arabian Sea at Anjuna beach and the small market town of Mapusa.

How to reach? The nearest international airport is located at Dabolim. On reaching the airport, you will be picked up by a representative from Purple Valley Yoga Retreat.

What would be the starting price of a package? Retreats start from Euro 1100

5. Jiva Spa, Taj Hotels, Gwalior

 If your idea of a yoga retreat in nothing less than a royal experience, then the Jiva Spa by Taj Hotel is the ultimate place to be.

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What includes a yoga retreat at Jiva Spa? This award-winning spa is known for its international standards of spa therapies, daily yoga and meditation programmes, personal growth and multiversity programs.

Where is it located? Jiva Spa is part of all Taj properties; however, we recommend the one at Gwalior for a yoga retreat.

How to reach? The nearest international airport is located at Jaipur, which is around 245 km from Gwalior. You can book a cab in advance to reach the Taj Hotel, Gwalior.

What would be the starting price of a package? Retreats start from Euro 1800

6. Osho Meditation Resort, Pune

 Founded by the spiritual guru, Osho Rajneesh, Osho Meditation Resort in Pune is a blend of the traditional ashram concept and an opulent spa.

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What includes a yoga retreat at the Osho Meditation Resort? Offering a peaceful tranquillity in the heart of the city, this retreat is ideal for travellers looking for a yoga retreat blending traditional practices with modern ones.

Where is it located? The resort is located at Koregaon Park in Pune, Maharashtra.

How to reach? Pune Airport is located at the heart of the city. It’s an international airport, busy with flights from all around the world. From the airport, you can avail cabs to reach the resort.

What would be the starting price of a package? Retreats start from Euro 1100.

7. Ananda in the Himalayas, Rishikesh

One of the most beautiful and luxurious yoga resorts in India with a pleasant ambience in the lap of the pristine Himalayas, Ananda is a perfect choice for a yoga retreat.

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What includes a yoga retreat at Ananda in the Himalayas? With a view of the spiritual town of Rishikesh and the Ganga river valley, Ananda is situated on a 100-acre Maharaja’s Palace Estate offering retreats integrating traditional Ayurveda, Yoga and Vedanta with international wellness experiences.

There’s a variety of activities scheduled during a yoga vacation. You can opt for traditional hatha yoga or go for tailor-made yoga sessions crafted as per your needs.

Where is it located? It is located at the Palace Estate, Narendra Nagar in Uttarakhand.

How to reach? The nearest international airport is Delhi. From Delhi, you can travel to by road or fly down to any of the domestic airports in Uttarakhand. Pantnagar Airport is situated in Kumaon Region, Jolly Grant in Dehradun and Naini Saini Airport in the Pithoragarh.

What would be the starting price of a package? Retreats start from Euro 2200.

8. Kalari Kovilakom, CGH Earth 

The 200-year-old palace of Kalari Kovilakom has now been converted to Kerala’s one of the most recognized yoga, Ayurveda and meditation centres in India.

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What includes a yoga retreat at Kalari Kovilakom? Kalari Kovilakom specializes in retreats to enhance mindfulness, create a therapeutic engagement of the senses and an inward integration of the body, mind, and spirit.

‘Yoga Nidra’ is one meditation exercise that had been enticing people from all over the world to this serene resort. An ancient meditation technique, this exercise provides deep relaxation and helps in de-stressing individuals.

Where is it located? Kalari Kovilakom is located in Palakkad in Kerala.

How to reach? You can fly down to Thiruvananthapuram or Kochi from any international city. Connect with Kalari Kovilakom for pick-up from the airport.

What would be the starting price of a package? Retreats start from Euro 6350

9. Anahata Retreat, Goa

 Imagine practising yoga on a wooden deck overlooking the sea in the scenic natural settings of Goa. That’s what Anahata Retreat welcomes you to.

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What includes a yoga retreat at Anahata Retreat? Enjoy empowering yoga sessions twice a day. Yoga sessions are based on hatha yoga practices, meditation, breathwork and yoga Nidra. Each session here has a different flavour and intensity ranges from complete relaxation to meditative surrender. Explore its spa therapies offering a range of treatments including reiki, shiatsu, Shirodhara and hot-stone therapy.

Where is it located? Anahata Retreat is located near Ashvem Beach in Mandrem, Goa.

How to reach? Goa is well connected with flights from any international city. On reaching Goa, you can take a cab to reach Anahata Retreat.

What would be the starting price of a package? Retreats start from Euro 850

10. Vana, Dehradun

Enjoy a yoga retreat in the scenic beauty of sal forest and flower gardens at the Vana refreshing your senses.

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What includes a yoga retreat at Vana? Vana offers you a retreat that integrates pranayama, meditation and yoga asanas for a holistic experience. Morning yoga sessions are conducted in a temple while evening sessions are held in private studios. Known for its Tibetan meditation and culinary lessons, Vana is a popular choice for yoga retreats in India.

Where is it located? Vana is located on the Mussoorie Road in Dehradun.

How to reach? You will have to reach Delhi from any other International city. Take a flight to Jolly Grant Airport to reach Dehradun city as the airport is 31 km away. From there, you can easily find a cab for yourself.

What would be the starting price of a package? Retreats start from Euro 1850

An itinerary of a 7 day yoga retreat

Here’s an itinerary of a 7-day yoga retreat at Swaswara in Gokarna, to give you a brief idea of a yoga programme:

Day 1: Welcome ceremony followed by doctor’s consultation on arrival. Explore the flavours of organic/vegetarian meals during your stay from the morning drink, breakfast, lunch, evening snack and dinner. In the evening, begin your first yoga asana session.

Day 2: Feel refreshed with early morning yoga and meditation session followed by guided nature walk before breakfast. In the evening, enjoy another session of yoga. Later, participate in an interactive cooking session with the chef. Enjoy your dinner while interacting with fellow participants at the retreat.

Day 3: Enjoy an early morning yoga session at the beach. Go for forest bathing. Explore various forms of meditation at the meditative art session. In the evening, there shall be another session of yoga asanas.

Day 4:  Early morning yoga and meditation session. Post breakfast, enjoy a local village/town visit. In the evening, there shall be a session of focus meditation and yoga.

Day 5: Early morning yoga and meditation session followed by a guided nature walk and bird watching. Post breakfast, devote in a guided pottery session. Have lunch and relax until the evening session of yoga and meditation.

Day 6: Begin your day with an early morning yoga and meditation session followed by a guided nature walk before breakfast. In the evening, enjoy another session of yoga. Later, participate in another round of interactive cooking session with the chef.

Day 7: Wrap up your yoga retreat with early morning yoga and meditation session, have your breakfast and prepare to travel back to your home with a new vigour to lead a healthy, happy and holistic lifestyle.

The itinerary may vary depending on your required programme, chosen dates for the retreat and more.

Types of yoga retreats to choose from:

–       Detox yoga retreat

–       Spiritual yoga retreat

–       Healing yoga retreat

–       Intensive yoga retreat

–       Silent yoga retreat

–       Mindful yoga retreat

–       Yoga and wellness retreat

–       Yoga and Ayurveda retreat

What are the other types of retreats you can choose from?

You can customize your yoga retreat to include programmes related to wellness, such as Ayurveda, guided meditation, rejuvenation, detoxification etc depending on your requirements.

How to book a yoga retreat?

It is extremely important to research well and book the right yoga programme tailor-made to suit your requirements. We suggest you consult experts offering services to help you choose the perfect yoga retreat in India.

You can get in touch with our wellness experts to discuss your requirements, budget, travel time and more and we shall pamper you with bespoke choices to choose from. You can even join our wellness retreat offering a complete holistic solution through yoga, guided meditation and Ayurveda therapies, conducted once a year with our wellness consultant.

Write to us at connect@flyingsquirrelholidays.com or speak to us at +91-33-4052-5777.