The Best Yoga Retreats in Goa and Places for Yoga Teacher Training in Goa.
When I first came to India learning yoga was on very high on my India bucket list. India is the home of yoga so what better place to learn yoga or train to be a yoga teacher. Rishikesh, the Himalayas and Goa are the best places for learning yoga in India. From complete beginner to the most advanced yogi, there are many wonderful, serene and potentially life changing yoga retreats in Goa, and for those who want to make a complete career change there are also many good places for yoga teacher training in Goa.
I’ve been practising yoga for a few years now and I’ve experienced how many benefits yoga can have and how beneficial taking time out for a retreat is. It’s far more than just about the poses ‘asanas’ and being flexible – it’s a great work out for both body, mind and soul. In fact, the very meaning of the word yoga means to bind or unite, as it unites you not only with yourself, but with everything around you. It has been a really positive force for transformation in my life, teaching me to listen to my body, calm my mind and, at the same time, become stronger and more flexible. Read more about the benefits of yoga here.
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There are so many yoga retreats in Goa that offer every style of yoga for every level. In busy North Goa there are many yoga retreats around Anjuna, Mandrem and Arambol and the quiet and beautiful beaches around Agonda and Palolem in South Goa are also home to many great yoga retreats. If you want to practice yoga whilst still being close to the market, parties and action, choose a yoga retreat in North Goa; whereas if you want to get away from it choose a yoga retreat in South Goa.
Most yoga retreats in Goa are open from October to May and many of the yoga retreats in Goa also have centres in the mountains in Dharamsala over the warmer months. If you just want a taste and don’t want to commit to a whole course or retreat there are many places, especially in Arambol, that offer drop in yoga classes, just look out for the numerous posters advertising drop in yoga classes.
I get many emails asking about the best places to learn yoga so after living in Goa for 5 seasons I wanted to put together my recommendations of the best yoga retreats in Goa and places for yoga teacher training in Goa. I haven’t managed to do all these yoga retreats myself (I wish I could though!) so I’m also going off recommendations from friends.
It can sometimes be hard to know if a yoga retreat is good or not (there are many fake gurus out there!) so I’ve included links to www.bookyogaretreats.com which is a good site for learning more about the yoga retreats offered and instructors and most importantly for checking reviews and testimonials and for booking your place.
The Best Yoga Retreats in Goa
Ashiyana means home in Hindi, and that is exactly the feeling that was created at this sanctuary that is set amongst stunning gardens and Mandrem Beach. It is a magical place that makes you feel like you are in another world, while also doing yoga. Ashiyana is one of the very best yoga retreats in Goa, it’s not an ashram, but a resort with a variety of different accommodation options. They offer a wide range of retreats, including Hatha Yoga retreats, Vinyasa Yoga retreats and Iyengar retreats. In addition to doing yoga, Ashiyana also has detox programs that include yoga classes, massage treatments, Ayurveda consultation and cleansing. If you really want to delve into yoga, they also offer 200 and 300 hour teacher training programs. See more details and read the reviews here.
If you’re looking for something with an ashram feel, this is the best yoga retreat in Goa for this. Swan is nestled in the hills away from the business of Goa, yet close enough to be able to walk to the town of Mapusa and the beach. The main focus here is traditional Hatha Yoga, chanting and meditation, giving you the full yoga ‘package’. All teachers here hail from India, so it really is the real deal. They will teach you all of the traditional methods of yoga, including breath work and the chakras. Accommodations are basic, but eco-friendly and very comfortable. They offer 7-, 12- and 15-day retreats. See more details and read the reviews here.
This is one of the most budget-friendly yoga retreats in Goa, but don’t let that in any way make you think that it’s not good. In fact, Conde Naste Traveller magazine voted it as one of the Top 10 Yoga Retreats in India 2017. The centre sits right at the end of Patnem Beach and offers a wide range of yoga styles, including Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Hatha and Iyengar. The entire atmosphere at Bamboo is fantastic, having friendly staff, great international yoga teachers and a yoga shala overlooking the beach. They offer a 3- to a 14-day retreat that are full-board, with their meals complimenting their yoga programs. See more details and read the reviews here.
Little Cove sits right on Cola Beach in South Goa, which is a super secluded beach that many people don’t even know about! It is definitely the best yoga retreat in Goa if you want to get away from it all and really concentrate on your practice, while at the same time enjoying the tranquillity of the beach. A great thing about this place is that they have an organic vegetarian Indian restaurant that can cater meals according to special dietary needs. The resort is run by Mahendra Pardeshi, who is also the resident yoga teacher. He teaching Ashtanga Yoga, pranayama (breathing) and meditation classes. See more details and read the reviews here.
If you want something a bit different, Yoga Magic is one of my favourite yoga retreats in Goa. As its name suggests, it’s a magical place with a Rajathani design that is 100 per cent eco-friendly. Sleep in a luxurious hunting tent with an open-air bathroom, or in Havali style suite with a lounge and a terrace that overlooks the swimming pool. They are the perfect accommodations to relax in before and after enjoying a yoga class, meditation class or chanting session. Join one of their 8-day retreats that include yoga classes, morning chai, meditation classes, and vegetarian/vegan meals. See more details and read the reviews here.
Following the Ashtanga tradition, Purple Valley is a haven for anyone that practices Ashtanga or wants to learn more about it. All teachers at the retreat leaned from Sri K.Pattabhi Jois himself, or his grandson Sharat at the world’s first Ashtanga Yoga school in Mysore. Purple Valley is also known for its fabulous Ayurveda treatments, which compliments their 14- and 28-day retreats. The Guardian even listed Purple Valley as one of the best yoga retreats in all India. The place is very peaceful, located in a valley not too far away from the beach. Everyone that comes here is dedicated to the Ashtanga practice and stay in one of the ‘houses’ onsite. See more details and read the reviews here.
The teaching here is based on Ashtanga Yoga and Vinyasa Flow, teaching the fundamentals of the Primary Series but with a Vinyasa Flow aspect to it. It’s a unique approach that is taught by some great teachers, with classes being taught throughout most of the day. In addition to the Primary Series, they also teach specialised classes, like ‘Hip Opening Flow’ and ‘Back Bending Flow’. Retreats are offered that last from 3- to 15-days, as well as offering 100-, 200-, 300- and 500-hour teacher training courses. See more details and read the reviews here.
Oceanic is known more for its yoga teacher training in Goa than its retreats, although they do also hold retreats that last for 7-days. You can choose between a yogis retreat or a yoga and meditation retreat, which I think is pretty good, as not everyone that wants to do yoga wants to practice meditation. This also means that there is a great mix of people here. And add the teacher trainees to the mix and you end up with an eclectic mix of people. They teach Hatha and Vinyasa, as well as Osho meditation, with the yoga space overlooking the sea. See more details and read the reviews here.
Is a peaceful centre that sits on the banks of the Asvem River in a lush coconut grove. Mandala is a peaceful place that is just a 5 minute walk from the beach, which means you can do yoga in the morning, spend the day on the beach and follow that with a late afternoon practice. They bring in international teachers that teach a wide range of yoga styles, so be sure to choose dates that best suit your practice. You can also do a yoga and detox retreat, which includes 2 yoga classes, 2 meals and 2 super juices each day. See more details and read the reviews here.
This ‘village’ is just that, a village where you feel like you are part of one big family. The place is extremely peaceful with community being the main focus. There is a community kitchen, a small library, numerous chill-out areas and hammocks hanging everywhere. It’s an eco-village that, in addition to yoga, also features a wellness centre. Come for a 15- or 30-day yoga retreat, or do a 7-day yoga holiday, which can start at any time. Hatha and Vinyasa are the main styles taught here. See more details and read the reviews here.
Best places specifically for Yoga Teacher Training in Goa
Many yoga school and yoga retreats in Goa also offer yoga teacher training courses but there are also places who sepcifically focus on yoga teacher training in Goa.
Kranti has been running one of the most popular courses for yoga teacher training in Goa for over 10 years down on the beautiful and peaceful Patnem beach in South Goa. Kranti focuses on Ashtanga and Vinyasa and you can earn your 200 hour YTTC in only 22 days here. There are 2 campuses, one is on the beach with an ocean view shala! Accommodation and food are included and the rooms here are some of the nicest I’ve seen, some rooms even have ocean views, plus the food is delicious. See more details, read reviews and book your YTT here!
Learn everything from proper alignment to pranayama when doing a YTTC at Parmukti. They offer 200- and 300-hour courses, teaching the art of Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin, Kriya and Restorative Yoga. During the training you stay right onsite in either a private or shared room, with all meals being included except for on Sundays (rest days). Parmukti is located in Arambol just a few minutes’ walk to the beach and is one of the best places for yoga teacher training in Goa. Nikki from Southeast Asia Backpacker Magazine did her yoga teacher training in Goa here and wrote a full diary review of the experience. See more details and read the reviews here.
Another great place for yoga teacher training in Goa is Ashtak. Husband and wife team Dr Gaurav Malik and Kate Malik are what drive Ashtak Yoga, and their YTTC courses are both knowledgeable and inspiring. Their 200-hour course is held at Arambol Beach and teaches Ayurveda and Hatha yoga styles. You will learn yoga traditions and philosophy, as well as modern ones as followed in Vinyasa Yoga theories. The 28-day course includes breakfast and a one-on-one consultation, but does not include accommodations. See more details and read the reviews here.
I tend to spend a lot of time in beautiful, spiritual places with great yoga and have been lucky to spend alot of time in Bali and the island of Koh Phangan in Thailand – both are also some of the best places in the world to practise yoga. Check out my pick of the 5 best yoga retreats in Koh Phangan, 5 best yoga teacher training courses in Koh Phangan and the 5 best yoga retreats in Bali and top yoga teacher training courses in Bali. Also check out Reasons to take a retreat holiday.
South East Asia is also a great place to learn yoga or take a yoga retreat. Check out this post from SouthEast Asia Backpacker Magazine about the best yoga and meditation retreats in South East Asia and the best places to do Yoga Teacher Training in South East Asia.
Have you been on a great yoga retreat in Goa? Please leave a comment below and share you experiences to help other travellers out 🙂