Yoga in Goa
The peace and serenity of the swaying palms and waves, make Goa the ideal place for yoga. Among the various tourist attractions, noisy clubs and crowded beaches, Yoga in Goa provides the perfect activities to just relax, rejuvenate and get in tone with your body.
Goa is well known for the various schools of yoga, which not only practices, but also teaches yoga to those who want to become instructors. These schools are usually open from October till May each year, covering the entire tourist season.
In a number of secluded villages of Goa, high-class yoga retreat houses with some of the most advanced equipment and technologies exist. Quite an irony, but it is the truth. Various yoga events and yoga cum music festivals are held in Goa, mostly during the peak tourist season in both the districts of Goa.
Yoga Retreats in Goa
Right from holistic wellbeing to ayurveda to various other natural remedies collaborated in to yoga. Goa is known for it’s ancient remedies and home medications, all these have been mixed up with modern day yoga. Some of the interesting yoga retreat houses are:
Ayurvedic Natural Health Centre Pvt. Ltd. located in North Goa, Saligao is famous throughout India for providing a large amount of good quality ayurvedic medicines and also for their various natural remedies and therapies. They also hold yoga courses here at their centre in a well maintained environment. The difference with this centre is that it isn’t only seasonal but is open throughout the year with doctors also available onsite. They provide a number of natural remedies for a number of illnesses and also suggest various techniques to be incorporated into everyday life.
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre in Arambol, is well known throughout India for it’s intensive yoga classes not only for laymen but also for teachers. They have centres in three locations in India, with Goa being one of them. In Arambol it was established in 1985 by Anand Sagar, and so the experience here in yoga is unmatchable. They have 5-day courses, intensive courses, teachers courses and special courses both in yoga and meditation.
3. Yogamagic Eco Retreat
Placed in the inlands of Anjuna, this retreat house is one of its kind, eco-friendly and naturalistic. The huts uses the most of nature, using logs, palm leaves, bamboo, jute, mud, clay, stone and, this will shock you, cow dung! Yes, dried up cow dung is used in many of these huts, it is an ancient Goan tradition to use dried cow dung to carpet floors, the aroma and texture of this is said to be very healing. This place also has a composting toilets and garbage using effective microorganism (EM). Solar halogen lighting is used within its premises. They also serve only veg foods, which are rather mouth watering, and also conducts a number of yoga classes in various styles, such as; Ashtanga, Vinyasa Flow, Scaravelli, Sivananda, Kundalini and Iyengar). A minimum of three days needs to be spent here, with each night costing around $140, weekly packages are also available.
4. SWAN Yoga Retreat
Scenically placed on the slope of a hill in Assagao, a North Goan village, the SWAN Yoga Retreat house is place amidst dense natural surroundings. Mango, coconut, banana, cashew, papaya and various other trees surround this place. A large number of bird species are also found flying about in this forest area with all kinds of noises from nature. This retreat house is surrounded by nature and away from the noises of everyday life. Daily Yoga activities include, practices like Asana, Pranayama, Meditation, Puja and Kirtan and they also organise Hawan (sacred fire ritual) on every Saturday while chanting of Maha Mritunjaya Mantra is done. There are classes for all ages and also for yoga instructors in all levels of yoga.
5. Yoga Gypsys
Much more simplistic in nature, this retreat house is located in North Goa in the well known Ashvem beach. This area provides a more social and close nit living conditions. There are tipi tents and zen huts within this area with a large number of coconut trees and sharing toilets and bathrooms. However, they are clean and well maintained. Throughout the year there are a number of instructors who come here and conduct classes. These yoga classes are held on a daily basis, along with a number of weekly and monthly retreats. The Portuguese style cottages are rather nice and have their own bathrooms and toilets. They have rates from budget to expensive, which makes it ideal for a larger crowd, which inturn makes it ideal to meet like minded people here.
Satsanga means attaining the highest truth in the company of a Guru. A number of retreats are held here throughout the season on a daily and weekly basis. Located in Canca, this yoga retreat also provides a number of classes but combines European massage techniques as well. This retreat is run by a family and have 15 well maintained rooms with private baths and solar heaters. Ayurvedic meals and therapy is also provided here with a number of other activities.
7. Lotus Yoga Retreat
One of the few Yoga retreats in South Goa, Lotus Yoga Retreat is located in Patnem, peacefully on the quiet beach. It is fairly well priced with rates from $80 onwards inclusive of one meal and unlimited yoga classes. Various other packages are also available along with daily yoga classes for guests. Voted one of the 10 best yoga retreats in the world in 2012, they specialize in body and spirit well being along with Ayurvedic treatments and meditation.
8. Purple Valley Yoga Retreat
Assagao in North Goa houses a rather serious yoga school called the Purple Valley Yoga Retreat. These place specializes in Ashtanga Yoga, beauty treatment and Ayurvedic therapies. They have a swimming pool and accommodation, with a minimum stay of two weeks. Only those seriously interested in yoga should go here as the teach advanced yoga depending on each teacher that comes here. Only organic vegetarian food is served here.
9. Ashiyana Yoga Resort
A little different from the other yoga resorts, the Ashiyana Yoga Resort, located in Mandrem, not only holds retreats and classes but also provides spa facilities and beauty therapies, along with massages and Turkish saunas. They have a swimming pool and accommodations to suit your budget, ranging from $400 a week for beauty and rejuvenating retreats to $600 a week for a single hut, with buffet food and all other yoga activities. They have a number of accommodations from romantic tree houses to huts facing the sea to luxury rooms and lodges.
10. The Mandala
Situated in Mandrem, in the North of Goa, on the riverside, The Mandala is created by a number of designers from various countries. Various styles are offered during the season. Other facilities and activities include a healthy restaurant, juice bar, river kayaking, and birdwatching. Four types of stunning accommodations are offered to suit different budgets; Lake View Room, The Yantra Tents, The Chalets, and Ganesh View Room. The Yantra Tents share a communal bathroom and start from $40 per night. Expect to pay upwards of $105 for The Chalets, while the other rooms cost approximately from $80 per night. They have an amazing service and once you stay here you don’t feel like leaving.
Besides these yoga retreat houses, there are a number of other retreat houses all over the state in both, small and big sizes. Goa is also the proud host to a number of yoga events like Zambhala Yoga and Music Festival. Goa is the ideal place to practice yoga as it is filled with a rich vedic heritage along with abundance of flora and fauna. It helps you to tap into the inner animal and get intune with creation.