The fresh mountain air, stunning landscape and abundant natural beauty of Himachal Pradesh creates a perfect setting to practise your downward dog and get your Om on. Whether you’re looking for a transformative yoga and meditation retreat or a casual drop-in session, there is a yoga and meditation center to suit every taste. Here, we’ve handpicked some of the best to help you find your ultimate zen.
Tushita Meditation Centre
Perhaps the most popular meditation center in Himachal is the Tushita Meditation Centre. The centre focuses on Buddhist philosophy and teachings, offering a wealth of meditation and spiritual retreat facilities along with courses on Buddhism. Introductory and group retreat courses as well as drop-in sessions are also on offer. Courses are suitable for anyone from absolute beginner to the seasoned practitioner.
Here you can completely immerse yourself in silent meditation amidst the beautiful, natural environment. The morning session starts with shamatha meditation (mindfulness), which aims to develop concentration and awareness. The other meditation sessions include a series of analytical meditation retreats and chanting of mantras that provide a relaxing and powerful experience. All the course takers are required to do Karma Yoga, which involves participating in activities like cleaning, sweeping, washing dishes and the general upkeep of the center. All the classes are led by Buddhist practitioners or course teachers holding decades of experience.
Tushita Meditation Centre, McLeod Ganj, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. +91 089881 60988
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre
Brainchild of well-known yoga teacher Sharat Arora, the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre is the perfect zen retreat for your body and mind. It has branches in Himachal Pradesh as well as Goa. Nestled amidst the snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas and picturesque valleys, it creates an ideal environ for yoga, meditation and other relaxation activities. The centre offers yoga and meditation sessions for all abilities and levels. The options include a five day yoga training session, pranic healing that is a blend of yoga asanas and Pranayama techniques, a yoga and meditation silent retreat, and a yoga therapy course that is taken by Sharat Arora himself.
Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre, Dharamkot, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh. +91 098166 11075
'Yoga isn’t a flexibility contest’ 😂 Everything I thought I knew about #yoga has been questioned after completing two weeks at the Himalayan Iyengar Yoga Centre thanks to our amazing teachers! If you’re looking for an authentic course to learn about how to practice yoga with awareness while healing your body and aligning your spine, starting at the HIYC in Goa or Dharamsala is highly recommended 🙂
Manali Iyengar Yoga Retreat
Set amid the villages of the Kullu Valley, surrounded by the mighty Himalayas and lush greenery, the Manali Iyengar Yoga Retreat is a home away from home. It aims to offer thorough relaxation to the body, mind and spirit, and offers numerous yoga sessions, including Pranayama and asana classes. Comfortable accommodation and home-cooked vegetarian meala are also on offer. The sessions are conducted by Rushad and Shirley Batiwala, both are certified yoga teachers. Visitors can sign up for a seven-day course that includes yoga sessions, meals and accommodation.
Mahi Yoga Center
Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned practitioner, Mahi Yoga Center is your one-stop spot for learning and practising yoga. From a range of yoga sessions – Therapeutic Yoga, Hatha Yoga and Ashtanga-Vinaya – to meditation, Pranayama (breath work), Vedi gazing and Ayurveda, this center offers classes on everything that allows you to get close to your inner-self. Classes are taken by the experienced yogis, who are always enthusiastic to guide people of all levels.
Bhagsu Yoga Institute
For a wholly authentic Himalayan yoga experience, Bhagsu Yoga Institute is your place. This yoga institute provides a holistic health experience with seven to 10 day yoga and meditation retreats, along with health and wellbeing classes, and nutrition meals that go well with such fitness activities. The course covers an array of yoga sessions, like Ashtanga, Vinyasa and Hatha, along with meditation and relaxation sessions. Guests rise early with Hatha yoga/meditation, followed by Ayurveda lectures and Pranayama in the afternoon, and Ashtanga Vinyasa class in the evening. There is also a 200-hour yoga teacher training course to learn the discipline for those who want more.
Pure Ganga Yoga
Started by a yoga-aficionado, Mr. Yagya Dutt Sharma, Pure Ganga Yoga offers an impressive selection of yoga classes that are suitable for both the beginner and advanced practitioner. The exceptional team of yogis at this retreat help people relax and rejuvenate their body, mind and soul through a powerful mix of yoga styles and meditative techniques, including Hatha Yoga, Therapeutic Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa, Shatkarmas, meditation and pranayama.
Kailash Tribal School of Yoga
Surrounded by verdant landscape and serenity, the Kailash Tribal School of Yoga offers an array of yoga and meditation classes and a spectacular place to do them. In fact, practising yoga and meditation at this school feels more like a treat, owing to its breathtaking location. The school focuses on holistic healing, and that passion extends to its courses, like Ayurvedic Yoga course (combines the science of Ayurveda with spiritual and yoga practices), meditation course, reiki course, and sound healing that involves healing via chanting, singing bowls and other instruments.