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Karuna Ezara’s top five picks to learn yoga in India

Image courtesy: ©Karuna Ezara Parikh

Finding yoga’s roots here, India offers a profound spiritual journey for those so inclined. Even sceptical travellers can enjoy the benefits of trips to spas and yoga centres. You can practise yoga almost everywhere, from beach resorts to mountain retreats. With the International Yoga Day not far away, Yoga enthusiast and TV presenter Karuna Ezara Parikh gives her top picks for leaning yoga in India.

Samyak Yoga Ashram, Mysore

I did my Teacher’s Training here and their technique is outstanding. Batches are usually 18 students and the school offers YTTs in both Hatha and Ashtanga. Courses are month-long and staying at the ashram for the entire time is necessary.

Purple Valley Yoga, Goa

A beautiful old Goan house converted into a Yoga Centre. Retreats and courses are between 10 days and 4 weeks, with 2 week courses being most popular. The upside – you’re in Goa and the house has a pool! They plan their schedule almost a year in advance so you can plan ahead and book through their website with ease.

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Himalayan Iyenger Yoga Centre


Karuna practicing Yoga
Image courtesy: ©Karuna Ezara Parikh

Iyenger is one of the serious Big Daddies of yoga and his focus on correct posture, precision and alignment is considered unparalleled by many in the yoga world. This school started by one of his students has two branches – one in the mountains and the other by the sea. I strongly recommend the former, located in Dharamkot village just above the Dalai Lama’s hometown, McLeod Ganj. Dharamkot is charming itself and you can trek to nearby waterfalls on your day off. Beginner course is 5 days.

Soukya or Dr Mathai’s International Holistic Health Centre, Bengaluru

Definitely pricier than the rest, this eco-friendly Bengaluru centre combines yoga instruction with ayurvedic healing packages that include both medicine and massage. Retreats can be as short as five days and yoga is practiced in a stunning thatched roof yogashala. Seeing how much you will end up spending, it’s best to get in touch with them and let them create a Wellness Retreat Package for you based on your needs.

Hinterland Village, Kerala

An hour from Kochi, retreats at this gorgeous home go from 6 days to 2 weeks long. Kerala is special in more ways than one, and the Hinterland retreats bring those elements together beautifully. With massages and cooking classes as part of the package, and day trips on houseboats or to places like Fort Kochi and Munnar, you really get a complete wellness holiday.