Thinking of studying yoga in India? Here are 10 reasons why you should.
Photo by Coni Hörler Photography
1. Study in the birthplace of yoga
It is no secret that India is the birthplace of yoga. If studies are correct, yoga has been a part of India’s ethos for over 5,000 years. Understanding and connecting to the history and traditions of yoga will deepen your personal practice and bring new perspectives to those who are teachers. By being in India and meeting the people, you will gain a deep insight into the friendly and welcoming society. One way to participate in the Indian culture and traditions is to plan your trip during one of the many Hindu celebrations like Holi, Diwali or the festival of Ganesh. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss. If you want to become a yoga teacher, you can find teacher trainings on yoga.in and in our book Yoga in India: a journey to the top yoga places.
2. Gain a broader view of yoga
In the West there is no doubt a large emphasis on the physical practice of yoga. That emphasis also exists in India to some extent, however, it is primarily a spiritual practice. No matter if you are coming to India to perfect your scorpion pose, to become a yoga teacher or to get away from your hectic lifestyle, most travelers to India find themselves on a spiritual and philosophical journey, whether they intended it that way or not. By immersing yourself in a daily physical, mental and spiritual practice of yoga, you will return home with a calm mind, an inspired soul, a new lifestyle, and in good physical condition. Each center on yoga.in lists the techniques and courses they focus on in order to help you find the right course for you.
3. Find a guru
Gurus are spiritual leaders who can help you in your journey through life. In our book, you can find respected teachers, gurus or swamis to guide you in the philosophical and spiritual aspects of yoga. Many gurus have a daily satsang where people gather together and have discussions with the guru.
4. Experience the ashram lifestyle
No trip to India is complete without having stayed at least one week in an ashram, really one month is preferred if time permits. An ashram is like a hermitage or a monastery. It is not designed for luxury comfort but rather for simplicity, which can be a healthy challenge for any ego. After many early mornings, you might just realize you are not a night owl! You can research hundreds of yoga centers in India on yoga.in ranging from ashrams to high-end retreats.
5. Break the bad habits
In an ashram (or typically anywhere you study yoga in India), smoking, drinking and eating meat are prohibited. For some people, the idea of breaking any of these habits seems impossible; however, when you are living in an ashram it is easy! For example, you have the opportunity to be vegetarian since most eat a sattvic diet. The positive changes in your body and mind after eliminating these toxic substances from your daily routine will encourage you to continue a similar lifestyle when you come home.
6. Learn to chant
Chanting is the blend of sound, breath and rhythm and can drastically change your internal emotional state as well as provide health benefits. It is said to strengthen your immune system, balance your nervous system and reduce stress. So drop your insecurities about singing, let the child in you shine through and chant away to good health!
7. A great value
Historically, yoga was an experience of learning between a yoga master and the student – and it was typically free. Nowadays, and especially in the West, it is a little different. The price of learning yoga can be steep. In India, you can find places to study as well as yoga teacher trainings at a great value to fit any budget – big or small. You won’t have to break the bank to have an experience of a lifetime.
8. Climate and Nature
From the foothills of the Himalayas in the North to the beaches of Kerala in the South, and everything in between – India has a wonderful climate as well as sublime natural beauty. So why not spend your vacation in a beautiful place that is inexpensive and where you can easily return home feeling enlightened? Now that would be a unique vacation! You can search yoga centers on yoga.in by location including regions, cities and natural characteristics such as “in the mountains” or “near the beach”.
9. Travel in India is . . . easy and safe!
Yes, we said “easy” and “safe”! First, there is no need to learn another language because English is an official language in India. Next, India also has decent air, bus and train transportation that you can book online so it is fairly easy and inexpensive to get around the country. Last, traveling alone as a man or a woman is safe but like any foreign country, awareness of your surroundings and street smarts are the key. There are a few more yoga traits you will need to bring with you, like patience and detachment, and then travel in India will indeed be easy and safe.
10. Meet like-minded people
India attracts a certain kind of person, someone who is open-minded and searching for a deeper meaning to their yoga practice, or in fact, a deeper meaning to life. If any of the the 9 reasons above resonate with you, then you are guaranteed to find like-minded people, whether it be fellow travelers or welcoming Indians, with whom you can share your experiences.
Studying yoga in India is an experience of a lifetime. We hope to see you soon in India!