Known for its beautiful temples, such as India’s Golden Triangle and breathtaking landscapes, India is also the birthplace of yoga and Ayurveda. These two ancient disciplines have been practiced for centuries in India, and are attracting a growing number of wellness travelers from all over the world.
Before you book your yoga retreat in India, remember it is essential to have a valid Indian visa for your trip. Depending on your nationality or citizenship, you may need to apply for an eVisa for India, a quick and easy first step towards every yogi’s dream destination. The India e-Visa application can be quickly completed online and approved in as little as one business day.
Why India Is the Best Destination for Yoga Practitioners
In recent years, yoga has become increasingly popular in the Western world, where it has been simplified, placing most of its emphasis on asanas, or the workout aspect of yoga.
Traditional yoga, as practiced in India for thousands of years as a way of freeing the mind, body, and spirit, focuses on much more than just physical postures and sequences. This ancestral tradition is an integral part of Hinduism, and emphasizes meditation, breathing, mantra chanting, philosophy and community service within its practice, as opposed to just a workout routine.
Beginner, intermediate and advanced yogis have most likely reaped the many benefits of yoga, and are often drawn to seek more traditional, immersive yoga experiences to deepen and expand their practice. Many others have decided to take their passion to the next level and seek teacher training to become certified yoga instructors.
Yoga practitioners are sure to find the perfect yoga center, ashram, retreat or shala to fit their needs in India, where a wide array of services are available, ranging all the way from flexible drop-in classes, to in-depth courses and teacher training.
How to Choose the Best Yoga Retreat in India
There are many things to consider when traveling to India for yoga, wellness or health reasons. Here are the most important questions you’ll need to answer while planning your trip:
- What type of yoga practice are you looking for? There are different schools specializing in specific styles of yoga such as Hatha, Raja, Kriya, Nidra, Vipassana, and Ashtanga, amongst others.
- Do you prefer an all inclusive experience or a more flexible yoga school? Some of these schools offer integral approaches with packages including Ayurvedic therapy and food, naturopathic treatments and accommodation, while others have a more basic offering where you could drop in to certain classes, sleep outside the yoga center and use the rest of your time for leisure or tourism.
- Are you looking for traditional, ancestral yoga or a more modern, luxurious twist on yoga? While some of India’s yoga centers remain more authentic and focused on the more spiritual side of the practice, others have a much more contemporary, western style, offering Wi-Fi, spa facilities, ayurvedic chefs and other wellness-related luxuries within their accommodations.
- What type of environment would you benefit from the most during your India yoga retreat? Most yoga centers deliver an experience that’s rooted in nature and tranquility while others have a more alternative, even psychedelic vibe, so make sure to choose accordingly.
Other Tips to Ensure a Great Yoga Vacation in India
- How long before traveling should I apply for the e-Tourist Visa India? It is recommended you apply about 1 month before your departure date.
- How to ensure the best possible weather during your vacation in India? The weather in India differs greatly depending on the region you visit and the time of the year. Temperatures range between -2 ºC / 28ºF in the winter, and go all the way up to a scorching 40ºC / 82ºF in the summer months in some locations, such as Jodhpur. The Indian summer monsoon typically lasts from June-September with some areas receiving more than 90% of their total annual precipitation during that period. Consider when the best time of year to visit India is as it can make a huge difference on your overall experience., Make sure to think about where the yoga center you’re planning to go to is located and what time of the year they’re open .
- What vaccines do travelers need before going to India? Make sure to discuss the necessary vaccines to travel to India and health precautions with your doctor at least one or two months before your trip to India.
- What should tourists know about Indian cuisine? Indian food is known to be hot and spicy, with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, however, you are advised to be cautious should you choose to eat food sold by street vendors since their food might lack in sanitary precautions. Remember upset stomach and diarrhea are quite common amongst travelers in India, so make sure to only drink safe water and carry any necessary medications on hand.
- How to avoid malaria when visiting India? As much as mosquito bites are annoying everywhere around the world, in tropical climates such as India, they pose an additional risk for malaria. Remember to protect yourself from insect bites by using a high quality mosquito repellent and reapplying when necessary.
- Remember to wear sunscreen and reapply often, especially when outdoors since temperatures in India can sometimes get really hot.