On this International Day of Yoga, browse through our selection of yoga retreats in Rishikesh to train yourself for a healthier and a more spiritual lifestyle.
A yoga retreat in Rishikesh can be a life changing experience. It is known as the ‘Yoga Capital of the World’, a nomenclature it received in the 1960s when the Beatles came over to stay at Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s ashram. Today, there are hundreds of yoga training courses, ashrams and retreats in Rishikesh, offering different styles of yoga and experiences — all with the common aim of making you physically and spiritually healthier.
Here’s our pick of eight of the best, in case you are planning to book a yoga retreat.
One of India’s top yoga centres, the Sivananda Ashram is run by the Divine Life Society. It was founded by Swami Sivananda and his teachings are based around the five elements of yoga — breathing, postures, meditation, relaxation, and diet. The ashram offers free yoga and meditation classes daily and aims to engage as many people as possible. It also offers free accommodation and food but only to serious spiritual seekers who need to abide by all the rules of the ashram and apply at least a month in advance.
Address: Near Ram Jhula, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249137
Parmarth Niketan, on the banks of the Ganga, is one of the oldest yoga retreats in Rishikesh. Spread over a sprawling eight-acre campus with 1,000 rooms, it is also one of the largest yoga centres in India. The ashram offers a variety of yoga courses, Vedic heritage, spirituality and teacher training courses. Around 200 impoverished children are educated at the ashram and you can make donations towards their welfare. You can also volunteer for other humanitarian projects undertaken by the ashram.
For those looking for a short yoga retreat, initial stays of up to 15 days can be booked. Two yoga classes and three daily meals are included in the price.
Address: Main Market Road, Ram Jhula, Swarg Ashram, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249304
Yoga Niketan was founded by Swami Yogeshwaranand Paramahansa in 1964. He was a master of Raja Yoga and the teachings of this traditional ashram are purely based on the Eight Fold Path as per the Patanjali Yoga Shastra. Students at the ashram must follow the strict daily schedule of yoga, meditation and lectures. The ashram has around 100 comfortable rooms with private bathrooms available for students.
Address: Muni-Ki-Reti, Ramjhula, P.O. Shivanand Nagar, Near-Ganga Vatika Flats, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249192
Omkarananda Ganga Sadan
The Omkarananda Ashram Himalayas has a guesthouse called the Omkarananda Ganga Sadan, which is home to the Patanjala Yoga Kendra. If you are are looking at learning yog practice from the Iyengar School of Yoga, this is the place for you. While daily yoga classes are available for everyone, if you want to do an intensive yoga course then you need to make a reservation, months in advance. The guesthouse in on the banks of the Ganga and has its own ghat. A daily Ganga aarti is conducted. Lectures on the Bhagavad Gita are also offered. Rooms are clean with several offering river views.
Address: Badrinath Rd, Near Taxi Stand, Shivananda Nagar, Muni Ki Reti, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249192
Anand Prakash Ashram
A relatively new player on the Rishikesh yoga ashram scene, the Anand Prakash Ashram was founded in 2007 by husband and wife team Chetana Panwar (a Canadian woman) and Yogirishi Vishvketu (who’s studied Hatha and Raja yoga, and the Vedic healing arts). They offer their own style of yoga called Akhanda Yoga, which translate to mean ‘whole and indivisible’. It offers a holistic toolkit that has non-sectarian teachings from multiple sources and lineages. It incorporates asanas, pranayama, relaxation and meditation, as well as discussions on yogic lifestyle and yoga philosophy. Students can either stay at the ashram or just attend drop-in classes. If you want to become a yoga teacher, you can enroll in a 200-hour and 500-hour Yoga Teacher Training programme. You can also learn Ayurveda-based cooking.
Address: Tapovan, Shivananda nagar (Rishikesh) 249192
One of the oldest ashrams in the area, Phool Chatti, (Land of Flowers), was founded 120 years ago. It’s perfect if you are looking for a short yoga break since it allows you to book a 7-day yoga and meditation program. The ashram focuses on the full spectrum of the yogic path and not just asanas. During the week-long stay, you will learn meditation, breathing exercises (pranayama), cleansing, chanting, mauna vrat (silence), and other important aspects of the yogic path. They have recently set up a new building and will be ready to welcome you once the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.
Address: Neelkanth Temple Road Paliyal Gaon, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249302
Founded in 1966 by Swami Rama, author of Living with the Himalayan Masters, and many other renowned spiritual books, Sadhana Mandir Trust focuses on meditation. Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas it is surrounded by beautiful flowering gardens, mango trees, and a lotus pond. It offers weekend as well as 10-day and 16-day long retreats. The participants engage in daily yoga classes, breathing and relaxation practices, guided meditation practice, and individual instructions in yoga.
Address: Ram Nagar, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249201
Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama Ashram
The Swami Rama Sadhaka Grama ashram was founded by Swami Veda Bharati, a disciple of Swami Rama. Referred to as ‘village of spiritual seekers’ this ashram also focuses on meditation, besides being a highly regarded centre for scientific research into yogic meditation. It provides 33 fully-furnished comfortable cottages of single/double and family size occupancy. There’s a daily schedule of activities including meditation, breathing, and Hatha yoga.
Address: Virbhadra Road, P.O. Pashulok, Aam Bagh, Birpur Khurd, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand 249203