5 Best Yoga Retreats in Rishikesh, India – The Yoga Capital of the World
Rishikesh, a spiritual mountain town in northern India, is one of the most popular yoga destinations in the world. India is the birthplace of yoga and Rishikesh was made famous as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’ after The Beatles stayed at the ashram of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1960’s to practice transcendental meditation. It was one of the most creative periods in the group’s career. A yoga retreat in Rishikesh can be a life changing experience and, not surprisingly, there are now hundreds of ashrams, yoga teacher training courses and yoga retreats in Rishikesh, all offering different styles of yoga and different experiences. The trick is finding the one that is perfect for you.
Rishikesh is located about 5 hours north from India’s capital Delhi in the Indian state of Uttarakand, a place of myths and mountains known as ‘The Land of God’s’ by Hindus. Rishikesh is a magnet for spiritual seekers so you’ll meet lots of interesting and like minded people here. It’s not just the yoga that brings people to Rishikesh but also the soul stirring scenery with the beautiful holy Ganga River coursing through Rishikesh and the views to the Himalaya mountains beyond.
As well as yoga, Rishikesh also offers thrilling white water rafting and trekking opportunities and also has many cafes serving healthy western and local food, bookstores, and plenty of shopping opportunities. Don’t miss the nightly ‘Ganga Aarti’ ceremony and exploring the now abandoned ashram that The Beatles stayed at. See here to read my quick Rishikesh Travel Guide.
Rishikesh’s spiritual energy and atmosphere cannot really be explained in words – you really have to experience it and feel it for yourself. Rishikesh is always a soul stirring experience and a yoga retreat can have a transformational and positive impact on your body, mind, and soul, and is an experience that you’ll remember forever.
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There are so many different ashrams and yoga retreats in Rishikesh all offering different styles of yoga, meditation and other therapies and all with different standards of teaching, accommodation and food. Ashrams often have basic conditions and many rules to abide by – if you’re looking for the authentic Indian ashram experience then check out these recommended ashrams as well as tips about what to expect. I’m focusing on yoga retreats in Rishikesh in this post as I prefer that environment more.
Yoga in Rishikesh is big business nowadays. Because yoga retreats in Rishikesh are so popular, there are few ashrams and gurus that are unfortunately not the real deal. So it’s very important to do your research before booking your yoga retreat in Rishikesh. A great site I use for checking reviews and testimonials is www.bookyogaretreats.com. You can also find out more about the classes, instructors, accommodation and food offered as well as booking your place.
The best time to come on a yoga retreat in Rishikesh is in October/ November or March/ April. It can be quite chilly here in the winter (between Dec and Feb) and most budget accommodations generally don’t have heating. In Summer it can be boiling hot and monsoon season runs from July – September. Don’t forget that you’ll need an Indian visa too – read this post on how to get an Indian visa.
Here is my pick of the 5 best Yoga Retreats in Rishikesh:
If you’re a beginner yogi and short on time but still want to experience one of the best yoga retreats in Rishikesh then Yoga Vidya Mandiram is perfect. Embark on one of the most popular yoga retreats in India on this 3 day, 2 night Himalayan meditation and yoga retreat in the mountains of Rishikesh. It’s the perfect place to get introduced to and learn the basic yoga poses and beginner’s mediation, pranayama and philosophy with experienced gurus like Swami Omkarananda and Swami Atma Jnanananda. This is the place to come if you’re wishing to experience healing and deep relaxation, and learn asana and pranayama meditation practices in both traditional and modern form.
Not only that, but they also offer yoga Nidra, contemporary meditation practices, and yogic cleansing processes. This school also offers you the chance to explore the surrounding nature, with plenty of leisurely time to see the local shrines and temples in the Himalayan region. The different yoga styles at this school include hatha, vinyasa, nidra, ashtanga, and karma. They model traditional and ancient teaching practices, making it an excellent place to expand your spiritual roots through yoga and meditation practices, learn Indian philosophy, and explore the ashrams and temples. You can choose between a single private room or a shared double room, both equipped with Wi-Fi and air conditioning. See more details, dates, prices, reviews, and book here!
For a sacred space to flex your body, expand your mind, yogic skills, and meditation practices, then Yoganandham is one of the best yoga retreats in Rishikesh for you. You’ll take yoga classes in the morning and evenings, and have the daytime for personal meditation, learning, and purification practices. Yoganandham is one of the most popular yoga retreats in Rishkiesh and offers a 7-day yoga retreat to suit yogis of all levels.
You can also enjoy purification rituals, Ayurveda massages, camping, sunrise yoga and trekking, and white water rafting as part of this retreat, making it a wonderful, well rounded experience for every yogi whether you’ve been practicing for just a couple of months or a couple of years. It’s much more than just asanas too – Yoganandham will also teach about Ayurveda and diet, satkarma, yoga philosophy, and pranayama and meditation. The shared or private accommodation offers balconies and outside sitting areas with incredible views of the holy Ganga River. See more details, dates, prices, reviews, and book here!
If you’re looking for guided self-improvement of your mind and body, then Hari Om is the perfect yoga and meditation retreat for beginners. This 6-day Hatha yoga retreat takes you through the very basic yoga and meditation poses and breathing exercises. You’ll be under the guidance of teachers like Pramod Sahoo, who has E-RYT 200 and RYT 500 training with the USA Yoga Alliance.
Apart from the yoga practice, one of the best parts of Hari Om is the ability to experience outdoor activities such as rafting, swimming, or cycling as well as yoga. Accommodation is provided in shared or double rooms with Wi-Fi, hot water and river facing views. You’ll also learn how to balance your doshas and Samskaras; your karmic imprints. By the end of the program, you will have developed a personal yogic lifestyle that you can carry with you long after the program ends.
You’ll experience Hatha yoga, ashtanga, pranayama, and relaxation and meditation techniques, as well as embark on a daily excursion in the surrounding area. This is one of the best yoga retreats in Rishikesh for beginners. See more details, dates, prices, reviews, and book here!
Aym is one of the best places in India to experience a yoga retreat because it combines yogic practices with adventure, which helps improve your physical and mental health towards a lifetime of happiness. Aym school offers a 7 day Ashtanga yoga and meditation retreat under the guidance of Dr. Sumit, Yogacharya Mahesh Bhatt, and Jayakumaran Annasamy.
There are daily yoga classes, meditations and lectures, trekking excursions to a nearby waterfall and Ayurveda massages. Accommodation choices include shared room or a private room. A day at Aym includes tea breaks, asana and ashtanga practices, pranayama, karma yoga, lectures, and cultural and self-studies. See more details, dates, prices, reviews, and book here!
Fusion offers great retreats for beginners to experienced yogis who want to focus on their inner awareness and yoga practices. This is one of the most relaxing and rejuvenating multi style yoga retreats in Rishikesh, taking place over the course of 7 days. There are two daily yoga classes, evening meditation sessions, asana and pranayama practices, and different yoga styles like Hatha yoga, vinyasa, aerial, and ashtanga offered at this ashram.
Accommodation includes air-conditioned rooms in spacious yoga shalas and free Wi-Fi. The program is flexible with plenty of free time to explore Rishikesh so you can make yourself as busy or as free as you want at Fusion. If you’re feeling an intense vinyasa flow in the morning or a laid back class in the evening, the choice is up to you. This personalized yoga retreat is wonderful for both beginners and more experienced participants. See more details, dates, prices, reviews, and book here!
These five yoga retreats in Rishikesh are some of the best places to calm your mind, work on your yoga and meditation practices and learn about ancient Indian philosophy while also experiencing everything Rishikesh has to offer and meeting like minded people. Yoga has changed my life – how will it change yours!?
Have you been to any amazing yoga retreats in Rishikesh?
Leave your recommendations below the post and help out other yogis and travellers!