We would like to give you a short impression of three of the most popular destinations when it comes to searching for Hatha Yoga in India. Obviously this can only give a glimpse of the vast diversity of yogic teachings and Yoga practice on the subcontinent.
With the term Hatha we not only refer to a specific style of Yoga, but reference the entirety of all styles of Yoga practiced physically, and which describe the physical body as the most important tool. However there is a connection between ancient Tantra Yoga practices and the physical practices of Hatha. The first Hatha Yoga scriptures date back to the 12th century, which is widely believed to be the beginning of the Hatha Yoga movement. For more in-depth insight into the history of Hatha Yoga we recommend Lubomír Ondračka’s article.
As a Portugese colony until as late as the 1960’s, Goa didn’t have a Yoga tradition of its own; and so, visitors to the state today, will find a western dominated Yoga world. In the 1970’s the hippies arrived with their freedom-seeking culture which fit well as a backdrop for the local Yoga scene, and helped in promoting Goa as a Yoga destination in the West. Even today you will find a colourful mix of people in Goa, and within advertisements of sandy beaches and leisure activities, Yoga schools will promote their wide range of retreats and teacher trainings. Seekers looking for traditional teachings might want more than Goa has to offer.
Travel time: October to April.
For more information visit our Yoga in Goa page.
Having been home to Krishnamacharya, the most influential Yoga scholar of the 20th century and favourite to the Maharajah, the people of Mysore are easily familiar with the teachings of Yoga. Pattabhi Jois, the founder of the popular Ashtanga Yoga in Mysore Style, made this pleasantly tropical city in southern India, a popular destination for all who studied at his school there. Mysore is a definite destination for its far reaching traditional Hatha Yoga offerings.
Travel time: All year round (especially October to April).
For more information visit our Yoga in Mysore page.
Rishikesh refers to itself as the Yoga Capital of the World. This city grew widely popular in the West after the Beatles left their mark, having had an extended visit there in the 1970’s. Sitting at the feet of the Himalayas of northern India where the holy river Ganges originates, travelers find a mix of old traditional ashrams such as the Sivananda Ashram, to fresh green Yoga teachers keen to experiment, and everything in between. Rishikesh, as the City of Yoga in northern India, is also a place of pilgrimage, and so meat and alcohol are forbidden.
Travel time: September to April.
For more information visit our Yoga in Rishikesh page.
For more information on specific locations in India visit Yoga.in