Five Places to Flex: Yoga Retreats to be at this Year

Five Places to Flex: Yoga Retreats to be at this Year
Looking to reboot yourselves through yoga? Try a retreat, Photo Credit:

On International Day of Yoga, team OT rounds up the five places you should add to your list to bring back the prana

OT Staff
June 21 , 2021
07 Min Read

If there's one good thing that the pandemic has left us with, it has to be the instilling of a sense of urgency about self-care and a greater focus on both physical and mental well-being. We first witnessed the urban cycling movement in 2020—then, as more knowledge about preventing and fighting the virus became available, working out to improve lung capacity and building better immunity became a priority.

Read: Seeking Wellness in the New World 

Yoga, too, picked up the world over, owing to its proven holistic impact throughout the body and mind—and its no-fuss approach. Over the past one year, resorts and retreats have been devising their own programmes and wellness residencies, and online events aren't too far behind. On International Day of Yoga this year, we bring to you five retreats in India that you should add to your wellness-goals list.

Shreyas Yoga Retreat, Bengaluru

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Rucha Sukhramani, Head of Sales and Reservations at Shreyas, shares that the retreat has been operational throughout the duration of the pandemic, and the staff has been fully vaccinated. Shreyas has put in place guidelines for both the staff and guests for healthy lifestyle practices. Guests will be on special diets to boost immunity, along with regular yoga sessions, breathing and meditation practices. The serene atmosphere at Shreyas and the greenery are a great add-on for healing. The retreat has recently put together a post-covid care package that includes Ayurvedic therapies, naturopathy, yoga (pranayama and meditation) and a nutritious diet plan.

Contact Shreyas at

Patanjala Yoga Kendra, Rishikesh

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This no-frills yoga centre right in the middle of Yoga capital Rishikesh, is just the kind of restorative break that you need if you're travelling in these parts. The resident instructor is the Swiss-born Usha Devi, who teaches the Iyengar version of yoga, along with teachers Ekta Ghale and Siddhartha Krishna. One can either enroll in the intensive course, or just sign up for the drop-in classes (no registration needed for the latter).

The ashram, established in 1993, enjoys a peacful location at the banks of the Ganga. You can stay at Omkarananda Ganga Sadan House, the onsite lodging facility ideal for students and groups, and with a view to die for—or choose from the several hotels and resorts available close by; there's no dearth of these in Rishikesh. 

The ashram will reopen on October 4. For further updates, get in touch at

Read: The Sound of Silence: Naad Wellness

Sivananda Dhanwantri Ashram, Kerala

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The Sivananda group of retreats has nine ashrams and over 20 centres throughout the world, and we would recommend the ones in southern India—Kerala (Dhanwantri ashram) and Palamedu (Meenakshmi ashram). You can even enroll in a yoga teacher's training course. Students live in dormitories for the course of their stay here and abstain from tamasic food and alcohol, obviously.

The best part is the location: the Dhanwantri ashram is nestled in the foothills of the Kerala Western Ghats, and enjoys pristine surroundings of the Neyyar Dam, the cool forest, coconut groves. What's not to like?

To know more, visit 

Kaivalyadham, Lonavala

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A well-kept secret among wellness lovers who love escaping to Lonavala at the drop of a hat, Kaivalyadham is a serene getaway just under a couple of hours away from Mumbai. Days begin early with the ambient birdcall, followed by herbal tea and starter kriyas for correction of minor ailments; food at Kaivalyadham is of the satvic variety and accommodation includes 70-odd rooms (with and without attached baths) and four cottages for families or groups travelling together. A range of courses are available at Kaivalydham, where yoga is combined with naturopathy, weight management, Ayurveda, and the like.

More details at 

Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre (HIYC), Dharamkot and Arambol

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Not many people headed to the serene hippie village of Dharamkot near McLeod Ganj know about this little retreat in the middle of a pine forest. Founder and teacher Sharat Arora is another proponent of the Iyengar school, and offers courses like yoga for therapy, yoga for Vipassana and yoga for Ayurveda after the completion of the compulsory five-day training initially. In November, at the onset of winter, Sharat and the school move to Arambol in north Goa! We'll let you find out the rest yourself at

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