• Best Yoga Retreats in India

Best Yoga Retreats & Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) Courses in India Based on Hippie in Heel’s Readers Reviews

India is a gold mine for people coming here looking for yoga – and many of you are! I am based in Goa, which has dozens of very popular yoga retreats. Rishikesh and Mysore are also huge for yoga. I’ve written some introductory posts on the best yoga retreats in India, which I am going to put in bullet points just below this paragraph, but in this post, I want to share the places my readers have specifically told me about. I have a group on Facebook called  which is full of my readers and travelers to India. I asked them to tell me about their yoga retreat experiences and was so excited that 20+ girls told me their favorites, and many were mentioned more than once.

Here are three post I have on the topic, all three with prices and options for all budgets.

The Best Yoga Retreats in India& Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) Courses in India Based on Hippie in Heel’s Readers Reviews and Personal Experience

Best Yoga Retreats in India

Best Yoga Retreats in India

Best Yoga Retreats in India

I link to bookyogaretreats.com and their partner bookyogateachertraining.com because they round up the best of the best and there are more reviews and direct information to compare programs. You also pay through them, whereas some school in India want you to wire money before the class or pay in cash on arrival, so it makes payment easier and more trustworthy. When you see something you might be interested in, click over to that course and you’ll see dozens of images of the food, room, and classes, as well as more information about the courses, food, and accommodation. You can then read more reviews from people on that website. I’m not going to go into too much detail since you can click through and see it all for the ones you are interested in.

The Best Yoga Retreats in India according to Werkenntwen readers:

1. AYM: Association of Yoga and Meditation, Rishikesh

Tara McManus just did a 200-hour YTT course at AYM and says she recommends it highly. She talked about “beautiful grounds, great well-rounded curriculum (hatha and vinyasa, yoga philosophy, anatomy, meditation/pranayama/shatkarma), and kind & knowledgeable instructors”. She said it’s also an Ayurvedic center, so “Ayurveda courses were available and everyone loved them”. She said that “food was simple and good” and she paid $1350 for the course with a shared room and food. She mentioned it would have been $1,600 for a single room. Someone asked if it was only for advanced people and she remarked “You’ll be fine! Definitely a bit sore but none of the poses they teach are super advanced. Especially if the teachers know you’re a beginner, they’ll cater to you accordingly. I would say go for it!” On the website I use for comparisons of courses, this is ranked as a top 10 retreat in the world based on reviews.

Another reader, Emily Basford, also chose this place for her 500-Hour training. It seems to be the most popular in Rishkesh, but not more expensive so I’ve listed it first.

Option 1: , Rishikesh 86,716 Rs. ($1,352)

  • Daily yoga classes
  • The course combines Hatha, Iyengar, and Ashtanga Vinyasa
  • Classes suitable for all levels
  • Meditation and pranayama practices
  • Certification upon completion affiliated with Yoga Alliance
  • Teaching kit and course-based books
  • 26 nights accommodation
  • Three daily meals

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Option 2: , Rishikesh 192,703 Rs. ($3,006 USD)

  • Great value for money compared to other 500-Hour courses
  • Advanced course
  • Yoga therapy
  • Daily yoga classes
  • Daily practice of yoga asanas
  • Meditation and pranayama sessions
  • Knowledge on anatomy, physiology, and kinesiology
  • Certification by International Yoga Alliance USA
  • 58 nights accommodation
  • Daily meals

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2. Om Shanti Om Yoga School, Rishikesh

Bailarina Gaspar told us how much she loved Om Shanti Om. She did a 200-hour YTT course and said I couldn’t recommend it more. It was the greatest experience ever and I am now going back in January to the same school to do 500 hours. It was a good price: 4 weeks, everything included, around 1150 Euros.”

You can see ALL  6 courses that Om Shanti Om offers  (from 7-day budget ones to an intense 500 hour 71-day YTT courses). But, I’ll give you two options here that are ranked really high with their prices. This school is also ranked 8/10 but you can see full reviews on the links.

Option 1: Rishikesh 80,293 Rs. (1,251 USD)

  • Daily yoga and meditation classes
  • Experience a pooja ceremony and mantra chanting
  • 200-hour Yoga Alliance US certificate upon completion
  • Teaching methodology, anatomy, therapy, and Ayurveda notions
  • 1 Ayurvedic massage and an Indian traditional music concert
  • Meditation and pranayama theory and therapy
  • 3 daily vegetarian meals per day
  • 26 nights accommodation

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Option 2: , Rishikesh 44,964 Rs. ($701)

  • Daily Ayurveda yoga lessons
  • Daily Hatha and flow Vinyasa classes
  • Ashtanga and Laughter yoga therapy sessions
  • Outdoor and Osho dynamic dance meditation sessions
  • Pranayama, Satsang class, and mantra chanting
  • Indian classical music concert
  • 12 nights accommodation
  • Daily vegetarian meals

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3. Yoga with Awdhesh Semwal at Shiva Yoga Peeth or Vedansha Institute of Vedic Science and Alternative Medicine

Courtney Gonsky said that her favorite Ashtanga teacher from her YTT 200 She said he is an “incredible teacher” and “he was by far the best part about my YTT and I would highly recommend his classes to anyone!” She took his classes at Shiva Yoga Peeth, but he also teaches at Vedansha. She said she recently completed her 200-Hour YTT course but felt like she was participating in “yoga tourism” and it lacked the authenticity she had hoped for, as everyone “passes” regardless of skillset. But she did ‘expand her own personal practice and surround herself with yoga, which was great”. She loved that her room had a view of the Ganga River and the food was “great”. So, since she liked but didn’t love her experience but did love the teacher, I’m going to share her exact course but also two other courses that Awdhesh is a teacher at.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As of Feb 5th 2018 there is news that an instructor called Sudhiranand was arrested for molesting a student at Shiva Yoga Peeth! You can read about this . These things happen at yoga retreats and yoga teacher courses way too often and it’s horrific! I will be following this story and see if he’s been fired or released; so I can remove the listing from this post if so!

Option 1: 28 Days 200-Hour YTT Course at Shiva Yoga Peeth

This one looks to be , but you can monitor in case it becomes available again. You can also check out which is where Courtney booked.

Option 2: at Vedansha Rishikesh 83,505 Rs. ($1,301 USD)

  • Concentration and meditation
  • Deep study of breathing & mantra techniques
  • Asana Hatha and Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga classes
  • Yoga philosophy & Ayurveda in daily life
  • Workshops & teaching your own class
  • Excursions & Ayurvedic massage
  • 26 nights accommodation
  • 3 daily vegetarian meals
  • This is for beginner and intermediate yogis

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Option 3:  at Vedanasha Rishikesh 22,482 Rs. ($350 USD)

  • Daily Hatha yoga classes
  • Pranayama & Asana self-practice
  • Mantra chanting and meditation classes
  • Brief astrological map consultation and aura assessment
  • Participation in online webinars and courses
  • 3 daily meals and detox drinks
  • 5 nights accommodation
  • Himalayan excursion
  • For all levels of yogis

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4. K Pattabhi Jois Yoga Institute, Mysore

Sara Eaton says she highly recommends K Pattabhi Jois Yoga Institute in Mysore: “It’s amazing to meet Ashtanga yoga people from all over the world who go there to practice and study. It’s so inspiring!” I went to their which had tons of information about their style of Ashtanga yoga but it says they only reach in Dec/Jan and are already full. The institute is also quite strict, saying “Beginners (who have not studied from our KPJAYI authorized teachers/never visited Mysore to study in KPJAYI) are not allowed to apply/study with Guru Sharath Jois. One should study with any of our KPJAYI authorized teachers around the world for a minimum of 2 months to apply/study with Sharath ji.”

But there is another place called Samyak Yoga in Mysore that does his teachings, so you could learn this style then next year try for the actual institute since you can’t go there without having already done courses on his style of teaching. This place, Samyak, has an 85% “excellence” rating.

Option 1: , Mysore at Samyak Yoga 115,00 Rs. ($1,797 USD)

  • Ashtanga yoga teacher training follows the traditional practice and teaching of Ashtanga yoga as per the teachings of Sri K Pattabhi Jois
  • Daily Ashtanga yoga practices
  • Daily meditation and pranayama sessions
  • Understand the meaning of Vinyasa Krama
  • 200-hour yoga teacher training certification from Samyak Yoga
  • Learn yoga philosophy and theme-based workshops
  • 27 nights accommodation
  • Daily Ayurvedic meals

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5. Anadi Yoga Center, Rishikesh

Sarah Wainewright says that Anadi Yoga Centre in Rishikesh is “incredible”. After finishing her course in November, she says she “can’t recommend it enough thanks to small class sizes and really knowledgeable and authentic teachers”. On their , they have some YTT classes available although you cannot see the price until you email them with an inquiry and fill out an application form (this is why I stick to linking to the bookyogaretreats page). On the bookyogaretreats, they seem to be sold out. I’ll go ahead and link to the 200-Hour course below in case they get more dates added in.

Option 1: , Rishikesh (price not available)

  • Yoga practice
  • Pranayama and asana sessions
  • Guided meditation, yoga Nidra, and mantra chanting
  • 200-hour yoga teacher training certification
  • 27 nights accommodation
  • Vegetarian meals

6. Yoganandham Yoga School, Rishikesh

If you want something a little more relaxed and not as long and intense, you might enjoy these two options. Reader Caroline Smits wanted a place that could communicate with her well as she’s deaf and was worried about communication challenges. She emailed them ahead and they said they can write everything down with her. She realized while researching that other schools include rafting, massage, or trekking which she didn’t want – so settled on Yoganandham. She explained, “I have two yoga classes in one day. Hatha yoga in the morning and asthanga in the evening. After evening yoga class I got meditation class from Sailesh, my guru. He’s very friendly and had patience with me. He also took me for his private class to repeat his meditation lesson and it helps me to understand.” As for her classes, she said they were good and they taught correct posture so she didn’t have any pain. The meals were good too, and they gave her vegan food which she requested.  She added: “The people working there are friendly and patiently.  I surely recommend you all to stay at Yoganandham school ashram to experience the purity and simple life.” She did the 3-day class linked next.

Option 1: , Rishikish 8,335 Rs. ($130 USD)

  • Daily yoga classes
  • Meditation and pranayama classes
  • One yoga t-shirt and cleansing process material
  • Introduction of yoga philosophy and participation certification
  • 3 organic and vegetarian meals a day
  • 2 nights accommodation
  • One excursion

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Option 2: , Rishkesh 19,235 Rs. ($300 USD)

  • Yoga sessions daily
  • Meditation sessions daily
  • Yoga asanas, philosophy, and satsang
  • Pranayama and introduction to Ayurveda
  • 6 nights accommodation
  • Daily Ayurvedic meals

Many Goa Recommendations for Purple Valley (famous teachers from all over the world), SWAN Yoga (real traditional yoga), and Kranti Yoga. I have a post on yoga retreats in Goa which tells you more about these. Usually, Goa is more expensive than Rishikesh but you are on the beach in a really cute beach shack! Here’s the post that explains more about the best Goa beach yoga retreat options. If you click there, you’ll see the top 5 including these rather than me copying all the information over here. But DO check it out as Goa will be totally different than learning in Rishikesh or Mysore. Also, thank you so much to the readers who took time to do this. If you have stayed at any of these places, please leave a comment with your thoughts!

Pin these first-hand reviews of the best yoga retreats in India for later:

 Best Yoga Retreats in India
2018-03-05T23:03:46+00:00

About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.

3 Comments

  1. Jetairways Discount Deals January 25, 2018 at 2:42 pm - Reply

    Amazing info about the yoga retreat available in India. Thanks for sharing this info!!

  2. Marlene Schrunner January 25, 2018 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Hey Rachel, I’m starting my 200h YTTC at Om Shanti Om in 2 weeks, I’m super excited for it! I will share my experience with you when I’m done but from what I heard so far it’s pretty amazing!!! :)

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