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 India Travel Tips 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
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 Hippie in Heels 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: 27 Days 200-Hour Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Course, 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
Read reviews and book the hugely popular 200-Hours AYM course.
Option 2: 59 Days 500-Hour YTT Course, 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
Read more reviews from the 500-Hour course and book here.
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 on this link (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: 27 Days 200-Hour YTT & Meditation course, 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
Click here to read in-depth reviews and book this 200-Hour course.
Option 2: 14 Days 100-Hour YTT & Meditation Course, 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
Read more about this 14-day course and book here.
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 here. 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 booked out online, but you can monitor in case it becomes available again. You can also check out Om Yoga Academy which is where Courtney booked.
Option 2: 27 Days 200-Hour YYT course 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
Read more reviews and book here.
Option 3: 6 Day Budget Yoga Retreat 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
Read more reviews and book the budget retreat here.
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 website 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: 28 Days 200-Hour YTT Course, 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
Read more about the Mysore yoga and book.
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 website, 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: 28 Days 200-Hour Hatha YTT Course, 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: 3 Days Relaxing Meditation & Yoga Retreat, 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
Look at reviews and book this 3 day retreat.
Option 2: 7 Days Meditation & Yoga Retreat, 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
Read more reviews and book this week long retreat
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!
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Amazing info about the yoga retreat available in India. Thanks for sharing this info!!
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!!! :)
Amazing – I can’t wait to hear how it goes!!
I’ve done my YTTC in Thailand but I want to learn more and have had my eyes on India for some time already. I’ve never been to India so not sure if I should go to Rishikesh or Mysore (I practice Ashtanga). I would kind of want to do both but I think I’ll have to choose one. I’d like to visit Goa for the hippie vibes also but most likely I will need 2 separate trips for these holidays. Anyway, thanks for the useful post. Will be looking into these more carefully when booking my YTTC.
Amazing Article. I have also just completed a 7 days training in a Yoga Retreat in Rishikesh, India. It has been a wonderful experience and would like to go for YTTC next. Thanks for providing all the info.
So good. Thanks for sharing!
Hey Rachel, The Yoga Institute in Goa also offers such courses. You should try it there sometime. Its one of the oldest Yoga Institutes.
Hey, I want to do a Yoga teacher training course in India. But I am confused between Rishikesh and Goa. Which do you think is the best place for completing Yoga Teacher Training Course?
Thanks in advance