Yoga is an ancient 5,000 years old discipline originating from India. Yoga became very popular in the western world in 1960’s when popular culture of that time started to show interest in eastern religions and practices. The hippie movement introduced first yoga classes during the 1970’s. Some of the most important figures of that time, including the famous Beatles were very much interested in yoga and studied Eastern religions. The traditional yoga texts were made available to the western world due to the efforts of some of the famous yogis: Sri Krishnamacharya, Swami Sivananda, Sri Yogendra and Swami Kuvalyananda. Today, the most practiced type of yoga is the Hatha yoga, which emphasizes physical exercise. Ashtanga yoga involves synchronizing the breath with a progressive series of postures, putting the emphasis on breath and awareness. The goal of the exercise is to produce intense bodily heat, purifying sweat and awakening and detoxification of the muscles. One of the greatest ways to learn more about this type of yoga is to take a completely distinctive vacation and visit a yoga retreat in India.
Choosing a yoga retreat in India
The best way to connect with different yoga retreats in India is to contact the Ashtanga Yoga Research Institute and learn more about the ways one can practice Ashtanga yoga. Most of the retreats in India are much more professional than ones offered in the other parts of the world. For example, you can buy an arrangement to spend 10 days in a retreat in Italy and enjoy 9 Ashtanga yoga classes. However, yoga retreats in India demand more commitment from the attendants and most of them require a minimum stay of one month. Visiting a yoga retreat in India is a true school of yoga where a visitor can continue learning up to six months. One should be aware that the payment is only accepted in rupees, which is the local currency in India. Some of the yoga retreats offer full accommodation and meals, while in some others one has to rely on a partnership with a travel agency to assist in arranging everything.
A typical day in a yoga retreat
Yoga retreat is designed to refresh visitors, inspire them, make them feel relaxed and help them to gain deeper understanding of themselves through the practice of yoga. In most of the retreats, a day will begin with refreshing drink and fruits, followed by yoga class, remedial massage therapy and deep relaxing meditation. Further yoga sessions continue after the lunch, which is usually vegetarian and made from fresh organic homegrown and local products. Each yoga retreat has its library, and participants are encouraged to involve in spiritual conversations among each other's and with their teachers. Some of the retreats include Ayruveda classes where participants learn how to manage their vital energy and remain healthy.