The state of sun and surf is also a great place to learn some asanas. Choose from a range of chic yoga retreats that have mushroomed across the state. By the beach, on a cliff, in the middle of a forest—pick your setting and roll out the mat. Popular yoga hubs include Palolem, Agonda and Patnem in the south and Arambol, Mandrem and Anjuna in the north. Stay at Banyan Tree Yoga in Ashvem, which combines a yoga experience with home-cooked farm-fresh meals. Open from November to April.
What better place for yoga than where it was born! Filled with scores of ashrams and every kind of yoga and meditation centre imaginable, it deserves to be the top stop on every yogi and yogini’s list. The most appropriate setting for yoga and meditation is just north of the main town, where the Ganga and forested hills form the perfect backdrop for your contortions. Go during the annual International Yoga Festival, usually held in March, which packs in over 70 hours of yoga and meditation, along with motivational discourses, by some of the finest yoga teachers in the world.
A short walk from the touristy madness of McLeodGanj is this upcoming yoga destination. In the bowl of the Dhauladhar range, at the edge of cedar forest, Dharamkot offers yoga courses for beginnerrs and experts alike. Sign up for sessions at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, which also include activities such as drumming, bhajan singing and jam sessions. Open from April to October.
A gravity dam on the Neyyar River in Thiruvananthapuram district, this popular picnic spot is also a huge draw for those seeking to detox the body and mind. The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram offers a variety of courses, including Yoga Vacations, a programme that entails simple, structured living and relaxation for two weeks (or more).
Considered the capital of ashtanga yoga, the city attracts thousands of yoga enthusiasts every year. There are a number of centres that specialise in this form of yoga: from Ashtanga Yoga Mysore (pictured) to Mysore Mandala; the latter’s classes are conducted in a traditional Indian home, with a beautiful garden around it.