HomeFeatured PostsYoga vacation in Asia: 7 best places

Yoga vacation in Asia: 7 best places

“Everything! Leaving the ashram! “- say escaped from the office routine and vacationers, instead of free trips, trips to the museums and shopping in foreign metropolises, sent a couple of weeks in solitary centers for intensive (or not) practice. If you want to join the slender ranks of the enlightened, this material is for you. By the way, we have already talked about places for retreats and yoga vacations in Europe – it will come in handy if you want to find a place closer. yoga vacation in Asia

INDIA

Choosing a place for your yoga vacation should start with the homeland of this practice and philosophy. In India, there are many ashrams with programs for both experienced yogis and those who yesterday did the mountain pose on the bent ones. If you are not fond of Hinduism and the religious component is not so important to you (in each ashram, different Hindu gods are worshiped), choose according to comfort and price.

Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh

Let’s start with the capital of yoga – the city of Rishikesh. A huge number of ashrams are concentrated here, where people come for inspiration, the practice of yoga, and the study of religious rites. True, there is one but. Rishikesh is located in the foothills of the Himalayas, which means it is not hot in summer and cold in winter. Many guesthouses and ashrams do not have heating or hot water. So if you decide to have a yoga vacation in Rishikesh, do not forget about warm clothes. This is one of the best Yoga vacations in Asia.

One of the largest and most popular ashrams in the city – Parmarth Niketan Ashram (Main Market Road near Ram Jhula, Rishikesh) is located on the banks of the sacred Ganges near the Ram Jhula suspension bridge. The proximity to the river makes it possible to carry out colorful Ganga Aarti rituals here every evening, a must-see for all residents of the ashram. There is also a school for children from poor families – gurukul. For tourists, of whom up to 1000 people can stay in Parmarth Niketan Ashram at the same time, many yoga courses last from 2 days to several weeks. Local Indian coaches teach in English. Those who came to the ashram for the first time are allowed to stay on its territory for no more than 15 days. |Yoga vacation in Asia|

The day for everyone living in the ashram begins at 6:30 am with morning meditation and pranayama (breathing practices). Yoga vacation programs differ in the set and duration of classes, but 2 hours of yoga a day, chanting (chanting), meditation, and communication with a guru remain unchanged. Also, participants in the courses will work within the framework of karma yoga to clean common areas and help in the kitchen. There are three vegetarian meals throughout the day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although you can go outside the ashram for food, the main thing is to return before 22:00, when the gate is closed for the night.

There is a strict dress code on the territory of Parmarth Niketan Ashram: closed, loose, and opaque clothing. Both women and men are advised to wear wide, non-fitting trousers and t-shirts with closed shoulders. Also, cigarettes, alcohol, TV, radio, and non-vegetarian food are prohibited here, which, in principle, cannot be bought in Rishikesh!

What is the price? A day in the simplest room will cost € 7.80, and a twin room with air conditioning and a view of the Ganges will cost about € 23.50. The cost of accommodation includes meals and all lessons according to the program. You need to book a place on the ashram website, at least 15 days before arrival. During the period of yoga festivals, it is better to attend to this in advance. The rooms in the ashram, though austere, are clean. Especially compared to the guesthouses around. In addition, the price also includes bed linen, towels, and hot water. True, in many rooms it is served according to the English system – from different taps, but there are basins for mixing. In winter, you can ask for a heater and sleep with it in your arms!

HOW TO GET THERE? Rishikesh has no direct air and railway communication with Delhi. In the Indian capital, you can take a taxi to the city, spend 6 hours on the road and pay about € 60-70. Or you can get a cheaper one – by bus from the ISBT terminal near the Kashmere Gate metro station. In this case, the trip will last for 8 hours, but the ticket will cost € 1.50-1.65.

If you prefer to travel more comfortably and faster, fly to the nearest airport from Rishikesh in Dehradun. On a flight from Delhi, you will spend only 1 hour, a ticket – from € 26. Many airlines fly in the direction with approximately the same prices: Jet Airways, SpiceJet, IndiGo, Air India. From Dehradun to Rishikesh it takes 1 hour by taxi (€ 19) or a little longer by bus (€ 0.30).

By train, you will have to get to Rishikesh through neighboring Haridwar. Several trains leave daily from New Delhi Railway Station. By express, you will get there in 4 hours, the slowest postal will take 7 hours to crawl. Tickets from € 2 to € 20, depending on the class of the carriage. If tickets are not available, check out the second floor of Delhi Station at the Tourist Reservation Bureaux for a tourist quota. Further from Haridwar to Rishikesh you can take a taxi (€ 8), rickshaw (€ 4), or hop on a bus (€ 0.30) and get there in 30-40 minutes. Or take a local train for only € 0.05, but only in General Class cars (please, not worth it!). The train runs 3 times a day, you will spend 1 hour on the road.

Dayananda Ashram, Rishikesh

Another popular in Indian ashram Dayananda Ashram (Asthapath, Chandreshwar Nagar, Rishikesh) is located on the banks of the Ganges between Rishikesh Market and the Ram Jhula bridge. The ashram is famous not only for teaching yoga but also for seriously teaching Sanskrit and Vedanta. The main program lasts a year and is more targeted at Indians. However, for tourists from all over the world, there are 4 intensive Iyengar yoga courses a year, as well as several Vedanta camps in the spring.

The daily routine at the ashram is perhaps the strictest of all of its brethren. They welcome you with open arms for morning tea/coffee… at 4:30! Puja is held at 5:15, however, it is obligatory to visit only for Hindus. Then 1.5 hours of yoga, breakfast, and a philosophical lecture. After lunch, students have free time, and in the late afternoon Sanskrit lessons, pranayama (breathing practices), and meditation sessions begin. Dinner ends with Satsang with chanting of mantras, and after 21:00 – lights out. Of course, the food in the ashram is vegetarian (rice, vegetables, and dal), and smoking, alcohol, and meat food are prohibited. One of the largest and most popular ashrams in the city – Parmarth Niketan Ashram (Main Market Road near Ram Jhula, Rishikesh) is located on the banks of the sacred Ganges near the Ram Jhula suspension bridge. The proximity to the river makes it possible to carry out colorful Ganga Aarti rituals here every evening, a must-see for all residents of the ashram. There is also a school for children from poor families – gurukul. For tourists, of whom up to 1000 people can stay in Parmarth Niketan Ashram at the same time, many yoga courses last from 2 days to several weeks. Local Indian coaches teach in English. Those who came to the ashram for the first time are allowed to stay on its territory for no more than 15 days. |Yoga vacation in Asia|

What is the price? It is surprising, but placement in the ashram and participation in most courses is a donation. Students live in small ascetic rooms. The number of places is limited, so it is advisable to send a request for participation in the course several months before arrival.

Iyengar Intensive Yoga Courses start at € 470 (double occupancy). The entire amount is paid upon arrival and is not refundable if you decide to leave the ashram earlier. The price includes not only accommodation, meals, and classes with lectures but also all the necessary study materials for Sanskrit lessons and even a transfer from Delhi and back. You can sign up for courses online.

HOW TO GET THERE? The road to Rishikesh begins in Delhi. Get to the same as before the previous ashram. On foot from the Ram Jhula bridge, where buses stop, it will take about 30 minutes to get to the ashram. Therefore, it is better to take a rickshaw and pay him no more than € 1 for the trip.

Sivananda Ashram, Kerala

The most widespread network of yoga centers in the world with one of the main ashrams Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Dhanwantari Ashram (Neyyar Dam, Trivandrum, Kerala) in the rainforests of Kerala. Yoga Vacation programs last 2 weeks and start every 1st and 16th day of the month. Also, yoga teachers are trained here with the issuance of a corresponding certificate. Shiva and Ganesha, as well as the founding father’s Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnudevananda, are revered in the ashram.

The ashram has a strict schedule: wake up at 5:30 and hang up at 22:00. During the day, you will find 4 hours of group yoga classes and an hour of individual coaching, lectures on philosophy and teaching Sanskrit, group and individual meditations – all in English. Yoga is taught by Indian coaches, and lectures are given by invited teachers from the West. In addition, satsangs will teach you how to chant mantras (bhakti yoga or chanting), and you will also have to work within the framework of karma yoga.

The work is distributed on the first day of the course after the general meeting, where everyone is asked to say a few words about themselves. The vast majority get to clean dorms and common areas or serve food in the dining room. The luckiest ones get a job at a local Health Hut café, convenience store, or reception. Remember the main secret of a successful career in the ashram! Those who, in the opinion of Indian managers, speak English well and understandably for them, are hired for cool positions. Therefore, if you don’t want to wash your toilets, forget about perfect British pronunciation and complicated grammatical structures.

On the territory of the ashram, the dress code is standard for such places: nothing open, transparent, tight, or short. Students’ uniform is loose trousers and a T-shirt without a neckline and with sleeves. Even in the lake, on the shore of which there is an ashram, it is allowed to swim only in clothes. Teachers and students in the teacher’s course must wear white trousers and yellow T-shirts, the rest of the color code does not apply.

We advise you to bring a good mosquito repellent, a spoon, and salt. You also need your own yoga mat, but it can be purchased locally for € 9. There are only 2 meals (brunch and dinner) and 2 tea breaks in the ashram, there is a vegetarian menu. As a rule, they feed here unsalted rice with vegetables. It is accepted by hand – you will not find a spoon in stores throughout the district. On Friday (free day) you can go to the village of Kattakada to eat meat. According to tradition, students call this day in the ashram Chicken Day, and all the cafes in the village are preparing for the influx of hungry new yogis. Also on Fridays, there is a “Talent Night” or concerts of invited musicians. Whether you are singing, playing an instrument, or performing magic tricks, this is your chance! One of the largest and most popular ashrams in the city – Parmarth Niketan Ashram (Main Market Road near Ram Jhula, Rishikesh) is located on the banks of the sacred Ganges near the Ram Jhula suspension bridge. The proximity to the river makes it possible to carry out colorful Ganga Aarti rituals here every evening, a must-see for all residents of the ashram. There is also a school for children from poor families – gurukul. For tourists, of whom up to 1000 people can stay in Parmarth Niketan Ashram at the same time, many yoga courses last from 2 days to several weeks. Local Indian coaches teach in English. Those who came to the ashram for the first time are allowed to stay on its territory for no more than 15 days. |Yoga vacation in Asia|

What is the price? The cost of a day of the course with dormitory accommodation is € 12.50 from October to April and € 11.70 from May to September. A private room with air conditioning will cost € 29 / day. If you plan to stay at the dorm, you do not need to book a place in advance. It is better to worry about a separate room a couple of months before arrival by writing to the ashram. The minimum stay at the ashram is 3 days. This amount will be asked to pay upon arrival, the final payment will be upon departure.

HOW TO GET THERE? The ashram is located in the Neyyar Dam Nature Reserve in Kerala. Start your way to it from the state capital – Trivandrum. You can fly to the city by IndiGo low-cost airline from Delhi- 3.5 hours and € 65 per ticket. From the airport, in 40 minutes you can take a prepaid taxi directly to the ashram gate and pay around € 18. Or get to the bus terminal in the city center and from there take a bus to the village of Neyyar Dam (€ 0.36). The road will take 2-3 hours. Buses to Neyyar Dam leave every 2 hours. Payment of travel to the conductor inside.

If the bus to Neyyar Dam leaves under your nose, go to the village of Kattakada (€ 0.36), where transport runs every hour. From the bus station in Kattakada, take a bus to Neyyar Dam (€ 0.13), which runs every 30-40 minutes. From the stop at Neyyar Dam to the ashram, you can walk about 20 minutes along the forest road up the hill, or take a rickshaw for € 0.50-1.50 (depending on the time of day and the flexibility of the rickshaw).

Amritapuri Ashram, Kerala

The Amritapuri Ashram (Amritapuri, Kollam District, Kerala) is located in Kerala on a wide spit between the sea and a large canal. The island is connected to the mainland by a huge modern bridge. Unlike Sivananda Ashram, which resembles a small village, Ampitapuri Ashram looks like a full-fledged resort complex on the coast of the Arabian Sea. The main temple on the territory of the ashram is dedicated to the goddess Kali. Another prime destination for a Yoga vacation in Asia.

The daily routine at Amritapuri Ashram is not so strict, there is a schedule of pujas, bhajans (chanting of mantras), and darshans (meetings with the guru). The rest of the time, do what you want: go to yoga, meditate on the seashore, or relax, sipping fresh juice with a view of the surroundings. The day begins at the ashram at 5 am with prayers and pujas, but it is not necessary to visit them. Lights out at 23:00, after which they call to keep silent. Every day at 17:00, all new arrivals will have a tour of the ashram with a detailed story and watching a short film about the founder Amma, or completely Mata Amritanandamaya, the most famous woman guru. Yoga is taught by coaches from the west, each lesson is paid separately (€ 1.60). Those interested can also take part in karma yoga. At the same time, if the responsibilities you have inherited do not inspire you, you can change your job. One of the largest and most popular ashrams in the city – Parmarth Niketan Ashram (Main Market Road near Ram Jhula, Rishikesh) is located on the banks of the sacred Ganges near the Ram Jhula suspension bridge. The proximity to the river makes it possible to carry out colorful Ganga Aarti rituals here every evening, a must-see for all residents of the ashram. There is also a school for children from poor families – gurukul. For tourists, of whom up to 1000 people can stay in Parmarth Niketan Ashram at the same time, many yoga courses last from 2 days to several weeks. Local Indian coaches teach in English. Those who came to the ashram for the first time are allowed to stay on its territory for no more than 15 days. |Yoga vacation in Asia|

Meals are included in the price of accommodation, but the menu is not very diverse (rice, dal, and a lot of hot spices). On the territory of the ashram, there are two cafes with Indian and European cuisines and a fresh center. Moreover, the prices are pleasantly pleasing and do not differ from the average village prices in Kerala. Three meals a day in a cafe will cost no more than € 3-4 per day.

Amritapuri Ashram has a strict dress code: loose, non-tight clothes that cover the legs, abdomen, shoulders, and everything in the world. At the same time, it is advisable to wear white clothes. The atmosphere in the ashram is measured and peaceful, but everything comes to life with the arrival of the guru. At this time, most of the pilgrims rush here to meet with Amma. Over the course of many hours of darshans, the guru takes turns embracing everyone who comes and says a few encouraging words to everyone. You can also ask her for a personal mantra, for this you need to say at the meeting: “Amma, mantra!” and with a piece of paper received from her assistant, wait for the end of the darshan.

What is the price? All those who come to the ashram are accommodated in small rooms in two 17-storey buildings. There are separate women’s and men’s ascetic dorms for 4 people, as well as no less strict twin rooms. The cost of accommodation for 1 person is € 4 per day. Before arrival, you must register in advance on the ashram website. There you will also find questionnaires to fill out. The passport is collected upon arrival and given upon departure.

How to get there? Amritapuri Ashram has located 110 km from Trivandrum north towards Kochi. A prepaid taxi from the airport will cost € 40. The trip will take 3 hours. You can get there by train on a more budgetary basis. From the station in the center of Trivandrum, take trains to Kayankulam (12 km from the ashram) or Karunagapally (10 km from the ashram). You will spend 1.5 hours on the way, a ticket for a seated General Class is € 1, and a ticket for a 2nd class carriage is € 11.50. You can buy tickets at any ticket office at the station, see the schedule at erail.in . From the railway stations to the ashram you can easily go by taxi or rickshaw for € 1.60 (20 minutes on the way). There is also a bus from Kayankulam station to Vallickavu Junction every 2 hours, starting at 6 am (€ 0.12). From Vallickavu Junction to Amritapuri Ashram 5 minutes at a leisurely pace.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

As a rule, the island resorts of Southeast Asia go to relax on the beach and have fun in local bars. Therefore, ashrams in their typical understanding cannot be found here during the day with fire. But it doesn’t matter! Local yoga centers will not leave lovers of this practice in trouble and offer to combine business with pleasure.

Pelan Pelan Bali – Surf & Yoga, Indonesia

Retreat centers on the Indonesian islands believe that combining yoga and surfing is a recipe for a successful relaxation of body and soul. Yoga & serf programs are perfect for both beginner surfers, as they provide individual lessons with a trainer and experienced wave catchers who master the first asanas.

There are several 7-day Serf & Yoga Retreat programs at Pelan Pelan Retreat Bali (Banjar Batan Tanjung, Cemagi, Mengwi, Badung, Canggu, Kabupaten, Bali) . Depending on the chosen course, you will have morning and afternoon yoga and meditation classes or individual surfing lessons with a coach, or maybe both. The traditional Indonesian breakfast, lunch, and two coffee breaks a day, as well as Balinese massage sessions, remain unchanged.

Pelan Pelan Retreat is located on the Indian Ocean coast at the southern tip of Bali in the Canggu province. Canggu Beach is one of the best surf destinations on the island, perfect for both beginners and seasoned surfers. In addition, around Canggu Beach, there are plenty of bars, cafes, and shops to roam around in the evening. In the very center, you can also take a free bike and cycle around the area. One of the largest and most popular ashrams in the city – Parmarth Niketan Ashram (Main Market Road near Ram Jhula, Rishikesh) is located on the banks of the sacred Ganges near the Ram Jhula suspension bridge. The proximity to the river makes it possible to carry out colorful Ganga Aarti rituals here every evening, a must-see for all residents of the ashram. There is also a school for children from poor families – gurukul. For tourists, of whom up to 1000 people can stay in Parmarth Niketan Ashram at the same time, many yoga courses last from 2 days to several weeks. Local Indian coaches teach in English. Those who came to the ashram for the first time are allowed to stay on its territory for no more than 15 days. |Yoga vacation in Asia|

What is the price? Pelan Pelan Retreat has only 8 rooms of different capacities, so an individual approach to each program participant is guaranteed. There are singles, twins, and dorms for 3 people, as well as large family rooms. The cost of the weekly program starts from € 557 with accommodation in the dorm. The price also includes meals, classes according to the program, and transfer from Denpasar airport and back. Available online booking on the Center’s website.

How to get there? Tickets from Minsk to Denpasar start from € 742 (round trip), however, you will have to go through 2 transfers in each direction. You can fly from Moscow and Warsaw with one change and tickets from € 540 in both directions.

Ulu Yoga, Koh Phangan, Thailand

Ulu Yoga Center (Thong Nai Pan Yai, Koh Phangan) is located in the depths of Thong Nai Pan Beach on the Thai island of Koh Phangan. Koh Phangan is famous for the monthly Full Moon Parties that take place on the other side of the island and do not disturb the residents of Thong Nai Pan at all.

The Ulu Yoga center conducts both daily classes for wintering and vacationers on the island, as well as full 5 and 7-day courses in vinyasa yoga and air yoga on hammocks for beginners and future coaches (with the issuance of a certificate). In addition, Hatha and Akroyoga are taught daily at the center. And the morning one-hour lesson also includes meditation and pranayama (breathing practices). Those who wish can study individually with a trainer. In the evenings, lectures on yoga philosophy and workshops on meditation and pranayama are organized on the territory of Ulu Yoga. In short, the perfect place to clear up your karma and take care of your health after a break at the Full Moon Party! One of the largest and most popular ashrams in the city – Parmarth Niketan Ashram (Main Market Road near Ram Jhula, Rishikesh) is located on the banks of the sacred Ganges near the Ram Jhula suspension bridge. The proximity to the river makes it possible to carry out colorful Ganga Aarti rituals here every evening, a must-see for all residents of the ashram. There is also a school for children from poor families – gurukul. For tourists, of whom up to 1000 people can stay in Parmarth Niketan Ashram at the same time, many yoga courses last from 2 days to several weeks. Local Indian coaches teach in English. Those who came to the ashram for the first time are allowed to stay on its territory for no more than 15 days. |Yoga vacation in Asia|

What is the price? The cost of 5-day courses (from € 280) and 7-day courses (from € 467) do not include meals and accommodation. You can settle in any guest house you like on the beach and come to Ulu Yoga for classes, or rent a bed in the dormitory for 8 people in the very center (€ 8.50) or a bungalow: a small one-room (€ 19) or two-room with a balcony (€ 33) … Breakfast is included in the price. Individual yoga classes start at € 9.50 per session.

How to get there? The nearest airport to Koh Phangan is located on the neighboring island of Koh Samui. Bangkok Airways (€ 90) and Thai Airways (€ 123) fly there from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport). Next, a ferry from Koh Samui can take you to Koh Phangan (Thong Sala Pier) for € 8. It’s good if you catch a boat that goes to the neighboring island from Bangrak Pier or Maenam Pier, which are closest to the airport. Swim for 20-30 minutes.

Asian low-cost airlines AirAsia (from € 40) and NokAir (from € 57) sell combined tickets for Koh Phangan, which include an hour flight from Bangkok (Don Mueang airport) to one of the towns of Surat Thani or Chumphon provinces, a bus to the pier and a ferry to the island … In total, you will spend about 8.5-9 hours on the way. On Koh Phangan, high-speed catamarans and boats arrive at Thong Sala Pier, from where you can take a taxi to Thong Nai Pan beach (€ 6.50-7) or take a public songteo (€ 2.60 per person). You will spend about half an hour on the way.

Vikasa Yoga Retreat, Koh Samui, Thailand

Koh Samui is perhaps the second most popular Thai island after Phuket. And where in Samui and without a yoga studio, where they teach in Russian? Vikasa Yoga Retreat (211 Moo 4, Maret, Chaweng Noi Beach) is a place for those who want to do yoga on the tropical coast, but are not confident in their English. A yoga studio with an adjoining spa hotel and a vegetarian and raw food restaurant is located between the island’s most populated beach, Chaweng Beach, and the tranquil Bophut Beach.

At Vikasa Yoga Retreat, many courses are constantly held, designed for intensive practice for 3-7 days or full-fledged teacher programs lasting 30 days with the issuance of a certificate. Ashtanga and hatha yoga, pranayama and various meditation techniques are taught here in Russian, English, and Thai. Western coaches are often invited. You can view the course calendar on the studio’s website.

In addition, wintering and vacationers on Koh Samui can attend individual yoga classes (€ 13 per lesson), of which 4 are held per day, as well as workshops on meditation, Pilates, and tantra. The schedule of classes and terms of payment with all discounts and bonuses are published on the studio’s website. One of the largest and most popular ashrams in the city – Parmarth Niketan Ashram (Main Market Road near Ram Jhula, Rishikesh) is located on the banks of the sacred Ganges near the Ram Jhula suspension bridge. The proximity to the river makes it possible to carry out colorful Ganga Aarti rituals here every evening, a must-see for all residents of the ashram. There is also a school for children from poor families – gurukul. For tourists, of whom up to 1000 people can stay in Parmarth Niketan Ashram at the same time, many yoga courses last from 2 days to several weeks. Local Indian coaches teach in English. Those who came to the ashram for the first time are allowed to stay on its territory for no more than 15 days. |Yoga vacation in Asia|

What is the price? On-site at Vikasa Yoga, you can stay in a thatched Zen bungalow (€ 80) or a small yoga cave (€ 90). If you want a more traditional room, there are rooms with a garden or ocean view (from € 130 for a single and € 170 for a twin) and comfortable bungalows on the beach (from € 110 for a single and € 150 for a twin). Accommodation at Vikasa Yoga includes two meals a day, buffet style (lunch and dinner), as well as morning meditation at 8:00 and 2 yoga classes per day (morning and evening). Online booking is available on the center’s website.

How to get there? Bangkok Airways (€ 90) and Thai Airways (€ 123) fly directly from Bangkok(Suvarnabhumi Airport) to Koh Samui. You will spend only 1 hour on a flight. And from the airport to the yoga center, you can take a taxi (€ 13) or take a public songteo (€ 1.60 per person).

You can get to Koh Samui on a budget, but longer in time (5-6 hours). AirAsia (from € 35) and NokAir (from € 53) sell combo tickets that include an hour-long flight from Bangkok Airport for Don Mueang low-cost airlines to Surat Thani or Nakon Si Thammarat provinces, 1.5 hours by bus and a high-speed catamaran crossing to one of the piers on the west coast of the island. Further, across the entire island along the ring road, you will have to take a taxi (around € 22) or a public songteo (€ 3 per person).

Above were the most visited places for Yoga vacations in Asia

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