Yoga in Indian Culture – Its Origin, & Retreats Guide for travellers

Yoga in India – Rejuvenating your soul

Which country comes to your mind when you think of yoga – India, well yoga in India originated thousands of years ago and has been in practice since then. Yoga is a spiritual discipline that focuses on bringing harmony between the body and the soul, the word Yoga is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning to unite, and one whose individual consciousness unites with the universe is known as a YOGI. Yoga is a blend of physical, mental, and breathing practices that help boost the overall well-being of humans. This ancient practice is widely acclaimed all across the world today and there is a special day to celebrate this revered practice on 21 June every year, which is celebrated as International Yoga Day. India was the birthplace of yoga and experiencing yoga in India is surreal, you get to learn the original practice preserved in its root form from expert yoga teachers.

Yoga in India

Yoga is believed to be a cure for many physical and mental illnesses, and this is the reason Yoga is becoming so popular all across the globe due to its proven effects on multiple illnesses. This blog section describes the effects of yoga on various diseases. The first mention of yoga is found in Rig Veda and other Indian texts including the Upanishads, and Bhagwat Gita, while Patanjali Yogasutras offers a complete collection of texts on yoga in India. Yoga is practiced in many forms and the 20th century this ancient practice has seen a rapid growth in the number of practitioners due to the growing number of diseases and illnesses among people to which yoga is the best cure.

The are 19 various forms of Yoga, some of which are listed below –

  • Yama (five abstentions),
  • Niyama (five observances),
  • Asana (Postures),
  • Pranayama (Suspending Breath),
  • Pratyahara (Abstraction),
  • Dharana (Concentration),
  • Dhyana (Meditation),
  • Samadhi (Fully integrated Consciousness),
  • Bandhas (Lock) & Mudras (Gestures),
  • Shat-karmas (Cleansing practices),
  • Yukta-ahara, (Holistic food),
  • Yukta karma (Right Action)
  • Mantra japa (Chanting of the Sacred Words)

Yoga was introduced to the Western world by Swami Vivekanand in the 1890s in the United States along with other famous saints. Later he was taking world conferences on the subject making the world of this ancient practice. Today everyone across the globe is well-versed in yoga and practiced by millions of people. This is only possible because of the positive benefits it has on human health which is visible over a period of time of regular practice.

Rishikesh Yoga Capital of the World –

Rishikesh Yoga capital of India

When it comes to learning and practicing yoga, Rishikesh, India is the place to be. This city on the banks of the river Ganges is one of the holiest cities of India and home to numerous yoga ashrams where once yoga was performed and taught to students by revered saints of yoga. The city of Rishikesh is just on the foothill of the great Himalayas and is a perfect place for yoga training in India. The Beatles got this city to fame on the international stage when they visited it in 1968.

Here is a list of Yoga retreats in India to heal your mind, body & soul –

  • Rishikesh – Parmarth Niketan, Sanskriti Yogpeeth
  • Maharastra – Iyengar Yoga Centre, Kaivalyadhama Ashram
  • Tamilnadu – Isha Yoga Centre, International Center for Yoga Education and Research:
  • Goa – Purple Valley
  • Kerala – Kalari Kovailakom
  • Bihar – Bihar School of Yoga
  • Karnataka – Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Centre

Yoga Ashram in India

Planning your travel to India, here is some important information on the best time to visit India.